Scenario Number One For Your Immediate Success

Posted on August 21, 2010

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Memoires from another discussion that you should have heard.

Joe (to Struggling Artist): Okay, here’s a checklist you need to try, I guarantee that if you have the goods, it’s going to work.

1. Build a band website.

Struggling Artist: What? Well no kidding…. We have a Myspace page already! It’s got pictures, tons of people on it and you can hear the music.

Joe: Okay, let me see ….. 30 seconds – still loading ….. 60 seconds … still loading ….. 90 seconds, screen freezes …. 2 minutes in and I shut the page without hearing the music.

Struggling Artist: Okay, I agree – a good website. Give me pointers.

Joe: Make it one page: have an outstanding picture of the band with a background that speaks of the band’s direction. Later, add a link to a second page of photos.

(Note: maybe you need a photographer and graphic artist)

Joe: Include an easy java based streaming application that has one click to listen – try the DewPlayer – search Google for it.

Struggling Artist: Okay, Ill see you in a week.

A week goes by.

Joe: I saw the page; it looks great and loads fast. The pics look terrific and WOW, the songs sound fantastic.

Struggling Artist: Okay, what’s step two?

2. Go open for someone who kicks your ass.

Struggling Artist: Why? We want to crush the band we open for!

Joe: That’s not good. You want to get on stage with a band that attracts your kind of fans and SUPPORT that act with respect. They’ll appreciate that and probably work with you again. Make sure your set is tight.

Struggling Artist: Okay, Ill see you next week.

Week two rolls by.

Joe: Hey, I was on the club’s website that you guys are opening for the Whoosie-Whats-its. GREAT!

Struggling Artist: Yeah, they went to our site and they agreed to let us open immediately, thanks for helping us get that setup. Now what?

Step 3: Record your work to CD.

Joe: Okay, go to Best Buy and get a sleeve of 50 blank CDr’s. Record three of your songs on them and write the address of your website neatly on it. Put them in plain white CD envelopes.

Struggling Artist: Yeah, we’ll sell them for 8 bucks each and walk out with 400 dollars!

Joe: No, no, no. You’re going to give them away during the intermission. For free.

Struggling Artist: Why would we do that?

Joe: When you do that, the people are going to visit your website. Go on your website and make each of your 12 songs available as a purchase for download. 99 cents each or 9 bucks for the whole CD. Include printable cover art.

Struggling Artist: Won’t people print them and sell them on their own?

Joe: You aren’t Ozzy buddy, just do it!

Struggling Artist: Okay, Ill see you next week before the show.

Week three rolls on by.

Joe: Okay, you’re ready for the show. You’ve got the website up with songs to buy and you have 50 free discs to hand out with all your contact info on them. Ready for the next step?

Struggling Artist: Okay, what do I do?

Step 4: Give it all you’ve got.

Joe: Go on stage and play your SECOND best song first. Don’t announce yourselves, just start playing the shit out of those guitars and do it tight. After the first song, introduce yourselves and say this: “Thanks you for coming to see the Whoosie-Whats-its. We’re the Struggling Artists and after the set, we’re going to be in the back giving away free copies of our songs. We’ve only got 50 copies, so meet up with us get yours.” Then continue to play your set.

Struggling Artist: That’s it? That’s all we say?

Joe: No. At the end of your set, before you play the last song, remind everyone that you will be in the back after this song giving free music away. Then, play the BEST song you have and knock them out with it. Say goodnight and remind everyone that the Whoosie-Whats-its are up next to kick your asses.

Struggling Artist: Okay, if you say so.

Night of the show, the band did what they were told to and they gave away 50 CD’s, got 58 email addresses on their fan list and wouldn’t you know it. The next day they sold 7 copies of their CD on the website. Yeah, just seven. That’s 6 more than most artists do when they open for an act.

A week later I meet the artist at a coffee shop in town.

Joe: Hey Struggling Artist, how goes it?

NOT SO Struggling Artist: Hey Joe. The band liked our professionalism so much, they asked us to do 18 shows with them over the next three months. We made a run of CD’s because fans were asking on the site if they could buy a copy already printed. We made some t-shirts and we’re going to do this mini-tour. We’ve got merch to sell, CD’s and a growing list of fans. Thanks for all the help.

Hey, it was just a long conversation but I hope you got something out of it.

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