Rap Coalition

A HOW-TO RESOURCE FOR RAP ARTISTS, PRODUCERS, & DJs. Since knowledge is power, here is your best defense to succeed in the urban music industry...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Secret to Making Money Playing Live Music
From: www.LiveMusicMachine.com (a cool new website/app for booking artists)

The simple secret to making money playing live music is:

1. Create exciting market worthy music products, both recorded and live
2. Expose your music through every possible avenue at your disposal, both terrestrial and digital
3. Focus more of your time on selling live music interactions to your fans than to night clubs.

Unfortunately, most artists think that making it onto the club circuit will pave the way to financial security and, eventually, that almighty record deal. This is not true. However, until artists truly understand their position in today’s music marketplace, clubs will still be able make them think they have all of the leverage and thereby the upper hand in booking matters. By working smarter not harder, artists can change this perception and build a large moneymaking base from their fans and eventually from clubs who will pay them for live music interactions. Here’s how.

Fans are desperate for more personal interaction with the artists they love. Because booking has been an intimidating task for most fans and something they have never really known how to do, the average person has never booked an artist. On the artist side, most fail to realize that the best source of live music bookings for them is their own fan base.

When a fan wants to book an artist for a house party, private concert or other type of special event, which most booking agents generally don’t want to deal with, they rarely know how to go about doing it. More than likely, cost is not the same determining factor for a fan that it is for clubs. When a fan is booking an artist they love, their priority factor is that they are looking to make a personal connection with an artist and they are willing to pay well for that connection. They get to deal with the artist directly, an exciting factor in and of itself and they control their own event. The price point will usually be much higher for a fan than a club because a fan is buying from emotion whereas a club wants to fills its room with the best talent it can find for the cheapest price so it can sell tickets and alcohol.

Sometimes playing for free makes a lot of sense. Find artists with large followings and sell yourself to them as a free opening act. Go to restaurants and bars with moderate to large client bases that don’t have live music and offer to play for free as long as you can sell some merchandise. Remember, the more you play out live, the tighter your live music product becomes. If friends are have parties, offer to play for free. A party is always better with live music and it makes you seem cool and provides great exposure. Slowly you will lock in a base of “True Fans.” These are the people most likely to pay you money for a a live performance or a CD. Go to malls and offer to play for free. Pass out flyers for future paid gigs and sell merchandise. Talk to high schools and offer to play for free but make sure that you will help the school with something that’s important to them, like raising money for band instruments or team sports.

It is extremely important that you put your music everywhere you can for free. Give free downloads of your music away on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and on any other website that people into music are exposed to. Give away a new download frequently, say at least once or twice a month. Figure out which music blogs talk about your kind of music (use Echonest.com’s Promobot to find the right blogs) , email them, but even better, talk to them and tell them they can give your music away for free. If you are an emerging artist with no real base, the more you give away your music for free, the better chance you have of converting people into true believers. Also, you will have a greater opportunity to be booked and to sell CD’s, downloads, ringtones, or other digital products like a mini EP with photos, artwork and lyric sheets. Look at giving away music for free as extremely cost effective way to advertise yourself to the world.

Most bands are not organized enough to get booked through their MySpace page or from anywhere else on the Internet. Most of the time your page is so cluttered that people wouldn’t know who or how to contact you so they can book you. When they play live, a truly great band will work whatever room they are in to connect with as many of their fans as possible. Your fans may ask you for a card so they can book you. Chances are even if you give them one or you exchange numbers, they won’t ever call you because they probably lost your card or your piece of paper and you will almost never return their email on MySpace anyway.

So here you are. You have a good music product, you are continuously exposing it to as many people as you can and you still aren’t reaping the benefits of more bookings. What can you do to increase the possibility of your being booked more often from this group of people who really would like to book you? Well you should sign up for LiveMusicMachine.Com, the first booking tool on the Internet that, if used properly, can definitely increase your opportunity to get booked.

LiveMusicMachine has a music booking widget that you can put anywhere on the Internet to get booked, including from your MySpace page, your Facebook fan artist page and even directly from your YouTube videos. The LiveMusicMachine widget has a calendar, with 3 views (List, Availability Calendar and Tour Map) that automatically updates everywhere you embed it on the Net when you make changes on your booking page. Anyone who clicks on the “Book Us” button on your widget, immediately sees all of the information they will need to book you -- your price, availability, distance you are willing to travel and requirements that must be met before you can be booked. If they click the submit an offer link, they first have to put up a credit card and pay a $10 fee before the artist gets the formal offer. Any email you get from LiveMusicMachine will be an offer for an actual paid date. If you accept the offer, you also pay a $10 fee and the booking is set. LiveMusicMachine provides hosts and artists with all the tools they need to see their booking through to success. The artist keeps the entire performance fee. LiveMusicMachine takes no commission.

Promotion! Promotion! Promotion! Wherever you put your band info, including CD’s, flyers, promo materials, ads, signage on stage, YouTube videos and your various profile pages, you should always promote your band website and, along side of it, the fact that you can be booked directly from LiveMusicMachine. The more exposure people have to where they can book you for a live performance, the more opportunities for booking will come your way. It’s only a matter of time before a fan reaches out and submits an offer to book you and, more than likely, for more money than you will ever get from a club. Besides, your future as an artist ultimately lies in the hands and hearts of your fans. If you can emotionally bond with them as an artist, you can pretty much sell your “true fans” almost anything.


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