Is the CD Going Extinct?

A gif showing music industry stats from 1983 to 2013

The Music Industry Sales Stats Since 1983-2013

The music industry has exploded in the digital space since 2001.  If you look at the data presented in the chart, the adaptation in music listening is going completely digital.  Ever since cars stopped making vehicles with cassette decks in them, there has been a trend to do the same with cd players.  Yes cars still have cd players.  Although there is an effort to include mp3 connections in vehicles, and the declining popularity in purchasing CD’s.  This begs the question, when will the CD no longer be made?

Check out each individual frame below.

A gif showing music industry stats from 1983 to 2013 1984G1985G1986G1987G1988G1989G1990G1991G1992G1993G1994G1995G1996G1997G1999G2000G2001G2002G2003G2004G2005G2006G2007G2008G2009G2010G2011G2012G2013G

book shows

Book shows and get paid to perform

How To Book Shows

Playing a lot of gigs can help you build a fan base  but how do you book shows as an independent artist?  Continue reading and you’ll learn how to book shows and get paid to build up your portfolio.

Starting with the basics.

First, we’ll cover how vendors and concert promoters go about booking shows. Following that, we’ll have an exact plan of how to book a gig just like a concert production company.

The business of booking shows and playing concerts is based around one thing, money.  You need to understand this to make it ahead of 96.5% of all artists.  Once you realize that they want to sell as many tickets, cover charge and bar sales as possible you can understand why you don’t play the big venues.  To understand what each part of the business is looking for, I’ve broken down each roll in the transaction.

Venues –

The venues pay for top talent.  These are the venues that get big name acts that have a following and will easily sell tickets to a show.  Many musicians do not fall into this category.  The second way venues get shows is that they rent out the space to a band.  The band will then sell tickets to cover the cost of the rental.  Sometimes venues have a bar guarantee.  This is where the bar is guaranteed a certain amount of revenue from drink sales.  Venues want two things, money is the first and most important.  Second is a terrific experience for the customers, because happy customers always spend more at the bar.  As you can see the second has a direct effect on the first.

Concert Production Company –

Many musicians cannot afford the rental fee for a venue’s space.  So what do they do?  This is where a concert production team comes into the mix.  A concert production team will put the money up front to rent the music venue.  Then, they get a bunch of bands to play a concert.  The bands are then required to promote the show to their audience.  The promoter rents the space, books five bands, and collects the money for the tickets sales.  Once the promoter makes their rental fee back, they take a percentage of the ticket sales.  The musicians only get paid if they sell all the tickets they promised to sell.  This can work well for musicians, as long as they sell the amount of tickets or more than they promised to sell.

Now onto the exact blueprint you can use to book shows.

The Gigmor Promoter Techniquehow to book shows

You can be the concert promoter.  Call up all the bands in your area and find out if they want to play a show with you.  Get five or so bands to start, then call around to the venues, find the ones that consistently have music similar to your bands and look at the reviews of the venues online.  You will want to find quality places to have a show.  Now, call the best venue and say you are a concert promoter and want to rent their space.  Find out the cost.  It could be anywhere from a bar guarantee, to a 5,000 dollar fee.  Depending on how much you have, book shows that make the most sense.  I know it may seem crazy to spend money to play a show, but really if you do your research and find the right venue you can make some good money.

Then, enlist the bands that you gathered to make sure that they will sell a specified amount of tickets.  Have them post fliers and send people to your website to purchase the tickets.  Look at that!  You are your own concert promoter!  Great.

Tips: Use your email list to promote your show.  Also, make sure that people friend you on facebook or twitter at your shows.  Ask them to when you are on stage.

The second technique:

If you have been networking with other bands, you will be able to leverage your relationships.  Find a band that you have formed a relationship with and ask if they need an opening act.  Say, you can bring your own fans to help increase ticket sales.  You will want to show that you can help them grow as a band and maybe you can show them how to promote their band online too.  This way you will been seen as a new up and coming act and will gain fans that are fans of the other band.

Gigging Like You’ve Never Gigged Before

book shows

The last piece of the puzzle is about throwing the ultimate party.  Many musical acts play music and hope that the audience likes their music. But, there is more to it than that. The goal is to throw an event. What do I mean by this? You want to have people enjoy themselves. In creating a show, the key word is “Show” so the audience feels connected to you and your music is important. Being a great musician is about throwing one awesome party. Here are some tips to throwing a terrific concert.

Connect with the audience. 

Speak to them in a direct conversation. Engaging with your audience is about talking about local talking points.  So ask around, talk about the restaurant that everyone knows or the local [fill in the blank] everybody knows.  Do some research about the area.

There are some tools you can use such as  It is a live twitter feed that you can project while you are in concert.  This will create a live conversation during your show.  Put a guest book over by the bar so people can give you their email.  This will help with your email marketing.

Be a great showman

This is an art and can take some practice.  It can take time but don’t worry about making mistakes.  The key is to make mistakes early and often.  As you learn what works continue to do those things.

Some tricks that you can use to become a better showman

  1. Bring People Up on Stage. This might make you nervous the first time you do it but trust me the person coming up onstage is more nervous.
  2. Create a part of the song that the crowd can sing. I know this may seem cheesy, but the goal is to get participation, and create a memorable evening.
  3. Sing about things that your audience finds relevant. Or bring somebody on stage ask their name, and then include that persons’ name in the song.
  4. Pretend you are, throwing a New Year’s party and have balloons drop down from the ceiling. This stuff may sound gimmicky but the real goal is about creating an experience.
  5. Does your audience read teen vampire novels? Hire a friend or actor to dress up in a vampire costume and dance around on stage.

The point is you want to get engaged with your audience.  Show them you care, and do what is relevant to your audience.  I went to a jazz club once where the singer song writer got into a conversation with a person in the front row.  It seemed like two old friends having a chat and you, “the audience” felt connected to them.  It was a great show and I had a wonderful time, plus there were only fifty people in the bar anyways.  The size of the show doesn’t matter.

Just get out there and go book shows.  Big or small it doesn’t matter.  No matter where you think you are in your gigging skill set you can only get better with practice. Also, congratulations! You just finished this article.  Leave your comments below and tell me how you are putting the techniques to work.  Take action.  You are equipped with knowledge on how to book shows and succeed in today’s music industry.  Get out there and put these techniques to work.  The only way this will work for you is if you do the work.  Don’t be scared. Roll up your sleeves and put in the work.  It will pay huge dividends down the road.  Good Luck!

Congratulations, you can run the ultimate music promotion.  Don’t just stop with reading this article.  Sign up for to get awesome newsletters and connect with other musicians.

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.

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!