Music artists have a hard time selling downloads, CDs and merch while getting new fans because their shows are boring. Somewhere along the line a huge percentage of artists either forgot or never learned that a show is an experience for their fans.
I am amazed at the video links I receive from artists showing them standing there on stage performing for what seems like an entirety. Nothing changes during the whole set. No visual changes, no interesting stories between songs, no interaction with the audience, just the feeling like the audience is there to watch them play. I am fortunate because I can turn it off! Have music fans done the same to many artists by no longer coming to their shows? You got it!
To avoid this happening to you or if it is starting to, I would ask you to examine some of the same things I ask the artists I start to mentor.
1. What does your show look like? If you can't tell me how interesting or exciting it is, film it and watch it. Most either want to die or are bored to death seeing how the stage is the same as the last performer, how the camera never has to move in 45 minutes and how much interest the audience has lost.
2. Who are your fans? Print a copy of your mailing list. Can you tell me about 50 to 100 different people on there? You want people to know you and your music so you need to know them, especially at this stage of your career! A dedicated fan that feels they have a connection or bond with you can bring you more fans, sales, media contacts and even sponsorship deals. One of the differences between selling thousands of downloads, CDs or having a successful Kickstarter campaign is how well connected you are to your fans.
3. What are you doing to promote? Try something different! Call people you want to attend. Text them a personal note. Tell them what is exciting about the upcoming show? Don't send Facebook event notices that people hate and never open.
4. Change the venue and their expectations. I have done workshops in artist's living rooms where I will host a potluck or I will cook for everyone coming. I give everyone an hour to hang out and get to know one another and build new friendships (that's probably why the workshops are so well attended. The artists see them as social events where they can hang with each other while working together). You can do the same thing with your next house concert. You can have your fans meet for dinner beforehand at the venue, at a restaurant down the street. Change the venue. Be different. Some of my "environmental" artists like to host concerts in the park, many of my women artists play for women's organizations on college campuses and lecture in their classes. My Jazz artists will teach and perform in American History classes teaching the history of our music and its importance over the years. What can you different to inspire and find a new fan base? What charities can benefit from your shows? Start writing ideas down now!
Your music career is what you make it. It can stay at this level or it can grow and accomplish a lot more than you can even imagine at this point. The choice is yours. It's time to make a change for the better. If you are ready to make a change for the better, call me at 951-303-9506 or email or Facebook message me.
I'm looking for artists that I can talk about in a good way!
Author Tim Sweeney is head of Tim Sweeney & Associates, who are entering their 18th year of being, "the only true artist development company in the world."
Tim is one of the music industry's most sought after experts and consultants, and has written several influential books including "Tim Sweeney's Guide To Releasing Independent Records".
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