host a gig

Host a Gig in Your Own Space

Live music is one of the most effective marketing tools for businesses. In fact, 90% of live music fans say that brands can enhance the live music experience and 63% of fans say they are more likely to connect with brands during a live music event (https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/90-of-live-music-fans-say-brands-can-actually-enhance-the-experience/). Hosting a gig in your own space is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to build a real relationship with your customers. 

At the Governors Ball Music Festival, both Subway and Citibank experienced tremendous success with their promotions. Subway hosted a tasting area with sandwiches and other refreshments that included a DJ and Citibank had a private viewing area for Citibank cardholders.

It’s one thing to realize the potential that live music could have on your marketing strategy but it’s quite another to plan and host a gig. The good news is that it’s a lot easier than you think. Follow these steps and you’ll be hosting your first gig before you know it!

  1. Make sure your space is good to go.
    • Ask yourself a few logistical questions to get an idea of what kind of artist you want to book and when you want to schedule the concert. How many bathrooms do you have/need? Will the neighbors be angry if you book a metal band? Stuff like that. 
  2. Artist booking and scheduling.
    • Obviously, Friday and Saturday nights are the most popular nights for live music but they also have the most competition. Hosting a concert mid week could be a great strategy if your neighborhood has good pedestrian traffic. 
    • Artist booking is the fun part. What kind of artists do your customers listen to? What kind of music resonates with your brand? Once you decide this, you can create your gig post (link) and find a band. Make sure the artist knows what equipment they need to bring and what you can supply. If you don’t have speakers or microphones, no worries! Most artists are used to this and will be able to supply their own gear. 
  3. Promote and plan.
    • Once you’ve set a date and booked an artist you can finally start to promote. Artists will help carry the burden so make sure they are posting to their social media and getting their fans to come. You should do the same – put flyers on your sales counter, send a message to your email list, post to social, put a sign outside your store. Do everything you can to get people excited and bring them in the door. 
  4. Show time! Hosting the gig
    • So, you found a band, promoted the show and and brought people in the door. Congratulations! Now, make the most of it. Make sure people know where they are and what you do. Yes, it should be obvious, but don’t take that for granted. If you’re a gym, pass out flyers for membership discounts. When you’re introducing the band, introduce yourself, talk about your business. Pass out free samples. TAKE PICTURES AND VIDEO. Rinse and repeat. 

It may seem daunting, but once you get going you’ll find it’s a much smoother process than you think. Remember, we’re here to help! 

Good luck, 
Team Gigmor

American Idol Partners with Gigmor

Atlantis the Band: Spotlight

There’s nothing like a charismatic twin-duo to get a room grooving. Today let’s look at the jazzy R&B/Soul and Pop group stationed in Los Angeles, Atlantis the Band, led by the Merriweather twins – brothers bound not only by blood but by their simple love of music. Their voices blend smoothly with a cool dynamic; lead singer Travis Merriweather leads the group with his sweet but edgy melodies and impressive range, while his brother Rustein Merriweather  provides the the fruity rap component with his quick, magnetic, syncopated verse. Watch the band performing their own version of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabrosa” live at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. 

 

 

The band also has a pretty stacked cast in regards to instrumentation. In addition to Travis with funky bass lines and Rustein’s adeptness on the keyboard, there is some serious backup. They’re joined by the Regiment Horns – Sean Eric on trumpet, Kevin Lloyd Williams, Jr. on trombone and Leon Silva on the sax. On drums sits Grammy award-winner Lyndon Rochelle, whose drum solos captivate and will leave an awestruck audience wanting more. Takahito Mori’s guitar interludes and riffs rock the stage and fill the sound with eccentric, gleaming energy. They are also joined by Grammy nominated producer and drummer Taylor Gordon in addition to Natalie Stephenson on vocals. Watch them here performing a cover of Santana’s “Maria Maria” at Couture in Hollywood. Be sure to catch Mori’s epic guitar solo about 50 seconds in!

 

 

The band has performed at some notable venues, such as The Mint, The Peppermint Club, Sofitel Beverly Hills, Sunset Tower, and The House of Blues on Sunset. The twins have also been involved at a political level with Hillary and Bill Clinton, after being invited back during college to take part in the Clinton Global Initiative University summit. The two of them stayed connected with the Clintons and Travis even got to work on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign. See lead singer Travis Merriweather showing off his vocals with “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

 

 

Atlantis the Band, thanks to the initial catapulting by the twins back in college, has emerged as a powerful band with an intense range of talent – everywhere from their emotional depth and soul to excited hip-hop beats – and their innovative interpretations and writing proves them to be very worthy of the stage. Be sure to check out their page to see and listen to more of their music. Also, although they began in Texas, their music-making happens in Los Angeles, so if you’re in the area, be sure to check on their Upcoming Gigs category so that you can hear their hearty music live! Here’s one last clip of them covering Jay Z’s “Can’t Knock The Hustle” at the House of Blues on Sunset.

 

 

Fly with Flights Over Phoenix

 

Talk about a music manifest destiny success story. Keith Longo had spent too much time in Boston feeling the need for a change, so he packed his bags and drove west. He had nothing but his car, his playlists, and his hunger to find his place in the music scene. Listen to his band, Flights Over Phoenix, playing their moody song, “Hypnotize.”

 

 

Longo got lucky as he could have been, and all it took was a little Craigslist-ing. He found guitarist Chris Santillo, and the two immediately hit it off. They started working on new material, practicing and jamming and writing as they saw fit. Little did they know, they were setting up what was soon going to become much more. Jordan Nuanez was just coming off some national tours when Santillo met him through a mutual friend. The drummer was in search of a permanent spot in a band, and the opportunity fell into his lap. The three of them started playing together and their chemistry was too obvious to be ignored. They got to work, and now their band is thriving; they’ve been playing together since. Listen closely and get swept away by Flights Over Phoenix’s official music video for “Middle of the World.”

 

 

 

It’s impossible to deny how good they sound together. Santillo’s lines carry each song with an upbeat yet smooth sound, never letting the speed fall and keeping a steady, twangy rhythm that’s peaceful on the ears. Nuanez’s beat is powerful and heavy but artistic, syncopated, and synchronized perfectly. He manages to tie together the voices of his counterparts and weave them into his playing, all the while making it seem effortless. Longo begins every song with his unique, confident, dimensional verse, but his voice takes a journey in each song. He begins with a simple, almost respectful voice, begging the audience to think that he does not have a strong range. Then, in the chorus, he offers his surprise in the form of a beautiful chorus, followed by rifs between him and Santillo on the guitar. The two of them sing together, while Nuanez holds down the back. The three of them support each other in sound, but manage to sustain their unique personas while playing. Listen to this last example of this undeniable chemistry, “Runaway California.”

 

 

Make sure you come see this guys if you’re in LA. Check their page for more music and any upcoming concert dates. Listening to them will make you want to get up and dance so we promise that seeing these guys live is an experience not to be missed!  

music marketing promotion

Music marketing for the independent artist: a conversation with Kevin Wright of Ramsay Mulholland Events

Gigmor sat down with Kevin Wright, the man running the show in the Marketing and Artist Development department at Ramsay Mulholland Events in Los Angeles. Kevin offered some insight into how to be successful as an independent artist and how he and the rest of the team at Ramsay Mulholland Events are working to better the music marketing process for musicians today.

People generally describe music marketing as a thing of the past, but it seems like you and the team at Ramsey Mulholland have found a way around that. Tell me a little bit more about exactly what Ramsey Mulholland does.

Yes, of course! So we’re sort of set up in two different halves: accessible artist development for independent and local artists or entrepreneurs and the second is college-based touring and education.

Ok, let’s begin with that first part — what does artist development mean at Ramsay Mulholland?

What I saw when I was working at the label was that there wasn’t much we could do for people. The biggest artists are staying home anyways and doing their own thing — so what we noticed at the record label was that no matter how fast we move or how nimble we are, we can’t connect to the culture as efficiently as those who just are already in those cities and are currently experiencing that culture. Nashville, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago — they’ve all blown up, and the people who have grown from those places are choosing to stay there. Working at a record label taught me that and led me to decide that, well, maybe we should just switch the model. We started looking for artists who are just working on themselves in the space that they are from in specific areas across the United States. I wanted to take what I had learned as a label scout and give it to those independent artists and entrepreneurs throughout the United States so that they could reach a viable level of fame on their own. We are also trying to show them what they need and what they don’t.

So what does your interpretation of artists development and showcase entail?

It includes an artist meet-up and showcase. We saw that old model — where you get in front of a scout and anything could happen — and decided to flip it on its head a little bit where we act as the scouts that people get in front of but then we tell them what we think they should be working on to get noticed. We also try to get to know and work with artists before we get there and when we get there — until we leave honestly — just because the time we spend there will be so limited. We want to be able to speak of them and their act as well or as fully as possible because there is only so much we can do and say based on one specific performance. The more interaction and consumption of the artist, the better.

So the initial college tour will include thirty cities. We have invited artists, producers, DJs, managers, booking agents, and anybody that’s around the music scene in those cities to those events and we want to bring them together to connect and network. It’s 30 cities and about 10-12 artists for each.

What’s the college-based portion of your efforts entail?

It’s essentially the same thing as the artist development work we are doing — it’s a showcase and music meet-up. When I saw the guys trying to put the showcases together I remembered my time as a scout. I remembered people coming up to me when they were trying to put events together and using me as a scout at that time. They would go through the immense hassle of having to put an event together. And I remember wishing that when I was in college that there would have been an opportunity like this. I would have loved to have gotten involved — and I had the necessary skill set but no where to put it! So the idea of these showcases was sort of born out of that — they are not just for college artists, they are for the entrepreneurs and the business students as well. And the best part about it, honestly, is that it is for them and by them, with them being the college students who understand the community and music scenes around them.

From September through December of this year we are doing local showcases and then from January to May we are going to do the college showcases.

What is it behind all of this kind of work that drives you to do it?

Some of it comes from fighting for the independent artist but it’s also that the industry is changing super rapidly. It’s all changing so fast; I consider myself a student of the game and how it once was and what it will be due to the internet and the different ways by which we now as a culture consume music.

Everybody knows the artist, but what I learned when I got into the industry I learned that there are people behind the scenes — individuals like a Clive Davis or a David Geffen— that are 100 times bigger than you could ever imagine. For every one superstar that you could imagine they’ve got ten or twenty underneath their belt. Those guys are the real special ones, but the power there has been reduced over time. But that sort of power has been reduced, and now the artist almost has to create it on their own. The A&R men and women of the past were buying and then funding independent labels. I love that — they were removing the economic burden of these independent labels so that artists could have all the space to capture their work. They were funding them to have artistic freedom which is something that we hope to replicate on these college tours.

I wanted to bring that into the 21st-century music scene. All of these college kids think that they should be working towards a record label and how to suit those record labels in some way — and I’m trying to communicate to them and the entrepreneurs or business students around them that that old form is dead. The music industry is a changing game, and I want to relay those changes to these kids so that they and all their talent can react accordingly.

Everyone seems to have a negative outlook on the music industry. But you seem to have a hopeful outlook on it all, despite the criticisms of the masses. Why are you hopeful?

I remain super hopeful about the music industry, you’re dead-on. The music industry is healthier than it has ever been; there are more options for everybody and there are more ways to make money than ever before. In the transition, you had to lose some. You had to break a lot of eggs to make this omelette. But I really believe that it’s better and more inclusive than it has ever been. And it’s growing pretty rapidly. Most of us, us being the industry people, have to figure out how it is that our audiences are finding music now. It’s still pretty vague how people are consuming and looking for music, but we are getting better.

What’s even better about the current reality in the music industry is that it is a meritocracy. So if it’s great it’s going to survive and if it’s not it’s going to die quickly because that what the public decided.

What is some of the best advice you could give to artists who are trying to promote and market their music?

I think that the most important thing is take the time and do your homework. I have my own label and that’s where I’m pulling this understanding from. It always starts with the music; everything starts with the music. People always come in and ask me: how are we going to promote this? And what about PR? And to all of that I always tell them to just go and make the music and you’ll be surprised how many opportunities come your way.

So one, make the music. And then two, do your homework. There are so many good songs that go out and no one is working to make sure that you are collecting royalties. It costs $9 to put a single out on TuneCore. It’s not that hard to get your songs out on Spotify, and SoundCloud is great too; but always do your homework because there are so many good opportunities online right now that can help you be more successful.

Any other specific recommendations that you would offer to up-and-coming artists? 

I would tell individuals to learn what TuneCore is, and learn what distribution is or label promotion, too. It’s not that hard to have your songs out there and seen by the public, but do your homework so that you can guarantee that you are getting the most out of every outing or performance you do. If you have a song on YouTube that gets one million or 100,000 views and you don’t do your homework, you’re likely to not make a single dime from it.

There was one duo that I developed outside of a label were two brothers who were really active on Vine. They had 300 million and 600 million in their number of Vine views and they just weren’t putting it on YouTube. I put a bunch of their Vine videos together and used their cellphone to do a sort of intro; we put that up on YouTube and now they have a new record deal at 17 and 18 years old. From that post too they got a deal with YouTube and their multi-channel network — they were doing all of the hard work but they weren’t doing the homework.

It sounds like a lot of your tour is focusing on smaller cities in the United States that still have a vibrant music scene but aren’t necessarily that immediate go-to place that a lot of people would consider. This is intentional, I assume. Why is that?

You have to make your music palatable, and I always think that you should start small and capture the attention of that small city. If you can capture the attention on that smaller stage, you can then take it to another, more major level. Someone like a Bryson Tiller who is from Louisville, Kentucky where everyone in Kentucky knew exactly who he was. Then, when you’re entering the New York or Los Angeles scenes, you’ve got far more people consuming your music but a foundation of fans to fall back on.

Email Marking, direct marketing music promotion

If You Don’t Start Email Marketing, Then You’ll Hate Yourself Later!

Become A Marketer

Many people put up a website and wonder why they only got 3 album sales that year.  Below is the secret to separating yourself from the other 95% of musicians who don’t get it.  Seriously, this is how to utilize one of the oldest and best forms of marketing.

 

What is email marketing?

I will first describe what it is not.  First, it is not a bunch of coupons that get sent out to emails that never get opened.  It is also not a way to make people buy your stuff.  What it is however is the one place online that you are guaranteed for someone to see your message.

So… how do you make this silver bullet work for you?

Below is one of many strategies and I will go over all the philosophy followed by an exact blueprint of how to make this work.

Email is the best place to create an authentic message and conversation with your fans.  You want to write emails that tell stories and somehow help people to see that you care about them.  You build a relationship by creating a conversation with them.  You engage with them by replying personally to their emails.  Once you have a relationship you ask for people to purchase tickets,  albums, and merchandise.  Finally, you over deliver.  You give them more than what they asked for and keep building the relationship.  This is what it is all about.  It is the way to foster a community of raving fans.

Email Marketing

Let’s go over the exact blueprint of email marketing.

 

Collect An Email Address

The first thing is that you want to collect an email address.

An “opt-in” form.  When you have people land on your homepage, you want to offer them a free three song download.  All they do is submit their email address.  You can also offer them this with a pop up opt-in form.  I know pop ups are really annoying but, it really does work.  You just need to make the offer sound too good to pass on.  You should also put a smaller version of the opt-in form in the middle and bottom of you blog posts that you are driving traffic too.  Making the offer relevant to the blog post is a must for having this be the most successful.

 

opt in formTips:

  • Telling them you won’t spam them.
  • Saying you will keep them up to date on your shows and even presale discounts.
  • Good post for super detailed opt-in pages.

http://www.copyblogger.com/email-landing-page/

Yay… You got an email!  So now what?

So, let’s say you make an offer for a free music download for an email address.  There is software that will automatically email them the music download once someone submits their email address.  There are also a bunch of really cool features like auto sending emails at predetermined intervals to help you build a relationship on autopilot.

So, what kind of emails should I write write?

You will write emails to build a relationship.  The first email will have your music download confirmation.  The person will need to confirm that they signed up with you before they get the music download.  This is standard to make sure that future emails don’t end up in the spam folder.  Once they click confirm your auto responder (this is the thing that sends the automatic email) will send the music download.  Since this is a download explain what the item is and how to download it.  Thank them for being interested and make them feel included in your fan group. Here’s an example below.

 

 

Email Marketing

Example #1:

Hey [They’re Name],

You did it!  You’re an exclusive member and here is your personal copy of our songs.  Just click the zip and download it.  Open the folder in your computer and extract the files.  Then listen till your heart’s content.

The first is [name] did the percussion and it is up tempo and awesome! The second is [blank] was made when I was feeling down, so it really is my soul on a plate. The third is [blank] is about how excited the band was after touring for a month and excited to get home.

We sometimes send out email updates on tours, other music, and sometimes crazy things.  So, keep posted on other emails.

Glad you are now in the club; thanks.

[Your Name]

 

P.S.  This might seem weird, but could you do me a huge favor…?  Email me back and let me know what you think.  You Rock!

Some notes:

Remember to just be yourself.  Let them know you appreciate them.  Get them excited and don’t forget to ask them to respond.  This opens the conversation.  Whether they email you back with good or bad comments, thank them for letting you know and respond to their email.  It will also make them feel special that you personally sent them a message.

Send an email two days later.  In the email send them to a blog post.  This will help you to build a relationship with your audience even further.

Email Marketing

Example #2:

Hey [Their Name],

I hope you have been enjoying the music you got.  Remember when I said I would email you crazy things sometimes.  Well this is one of those times.  As I sit here in my purple chair watching “Sanford and Sons” reruns I couldn’t help but think it hasn’t been all cupcakes and cheetos!  Check out this post I wrote and think you would really enjoy [link].  

Stay Well,

[Your Name]

P.S.  Some big things are in the works so stay tuned, our fanbase has grown and we’ve noticed!

Some notes:

This email starts by reminding them of your relationship by recalling something you said in the first email.  Second it gets specific about what I am doing.  The little details make you seem more real.  Then it sends them to a link.  The article should be about a struggle you have had in your life.  This makes someone feel connected to you by reading an emotional story that they can connect to.  The connection, everyone has struggled at one time or another.  Next in the blog describe how you overcame those obstacles. Then summarize the article with how important your fans are to you.  Describe how when you struggle even now, your fans help you through these struggles.

The Next Email

Now send a third email three days from the one you just sent.  This email should direct someone to another blog post that either you, another band member or even a fan wrote.  The blog post should be about community.  How your fan community stands by each other and how exciting that is.  The idea is to get someone involved in the excitement of being involved in something bigger than they are.

Email Marketing

Example #3:

Hey [Their Name],

OMG, have you met Janice?  Seriously though if there was ever there was a more heart warming event read [link].  She’s one of our supporters and was hiking down a road in the middle of December, in the Cold!!!!  I can’t even finish cause I’m too excited.  But honestly go check out the article its that good.

I almost forgot, your are special.  No, I mean Really Special:-)  Thats just my opinion.

Keep On Rocking,

[Your Name]

P.S.  Good things still percolating, stay tuned!

Some notes:

You can probably imagine the blog post that this email sends you to.  The point is to confirm there is a community of people that follow your band and stick up for eachother.  You might have to search for some of these stories but by asking around you should find some good ones.  Also this email is very persuasive in getting someone excited about the blog post.  It also cheers them up by letting them know what you think.  It might seem cheesy but you have to be super obvious when you write otherwise readers can jump to their own conclusions.  Sometimes these conclusions are good but other times they can damage your relationship.

Wow! Lots of work and still not a single dime… right?

Wrong… You are getting paid in social currency.  Honestly better than real dollars. Most people want the check and then move on to the next adventure.  But, the really successful individuals build social currency into reoccurring revenue.  While others want the paycheck and then wonder why nobody knows who they are two years later.  You are building a group that will keep giving you money every show, album, and merchandising event. Woohoo!

Earn Money1

So how do you ask for the money?

After you have sent four or five emails (including the one that has the download).  It is time to send a sales email.

l’ll lay out an email that gets high responses every time.

Email Marketing

Sales Email Example:

Subject:   You Rock, Seriously… Okay Check This Out

Hey [Their Name],

Since we have gotten to know each other I feel like we are family.  That’s why I felt compelled to give you this; our newest record at 25% off (use code club25 at checkout).  This will only be until (specific date five days from now), so… “get it while its hot”, as they say.  Plus, a free download of any other album.  Thats a huge discount!  Keep on rockin’.

Yours truly;

[Your Name]

P.S. This offer is only valid for people that I deem worthy and yes, you are worthy.

Some notes:

A killer subject line that will get opened.  I don’t know about you but if the one above is in my inbox, I’ve got to check it out.  Second keep is short and sweet.  Get to the point and don’t over do it.  Give a specific time that the deal ends.  Lastly give an offer they cannot refuse, you don’t need to give away all your music, but showing you appreciate them and giving a great deal usual compels even the people who are on the fence.

That’s it, you’ve done it – Great job. “So, what did you just do”, you might be wondering. Well, let’s break it down. The first email is giving something away to a prospect for their email. The key is to remember some people will stay on your mailing list while others will unsubscribe right away.  Don’t let this shake you it’s perfectly normal.  Then you got a prospective fans email and you started to quickly build a relationship.  As the relationship was built, they felt more connected to you, the musician.  Finally, you asked for the sale.  This can be a tough thing to do, especially if you have never been in sales, but here are some tips that will help you.

  1. Always be yourself.  Follow the formula as it is laid down but don’t sound fake. Be authentic.
  2. This style of selling is called direct sales based off earlier forms of mail order sales.  There is a right and a cheesy way.  Above, I have laid out the right way.
  3. This formula can be used for selling shows, selling merchandise, or selling other things.  For example, I had a client take customers through the process above, but then ask for reviews in iTunes.  This worked and helped them rank well in the iTunes store.
  4. Be creative.  Above is a guide for starting out, but the more creative you can be the better for you and your audience.

 

Now you’re equipped to go out and make some sales.  You can start to get profits and repeat as often as necessary.  Next we are going to move into a profitable EPK or electronic press kit.  I’ll lay down what works, what doesn’t, and how to succeed best.  Go check out the next chapter!

 

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