[This article was written by guest contributor James Wasem from Gigee.me] As a working musician, you know how critical it is to engage the world around you. You also know how important it is to create something of value - a quality product that reflects who you are.
Let’s face it; most of us don’t really have a problem creating something of value. There are thousands of “unknown” artists with massive talent and value to provide to the world. Yet, 99% of them are seemingly lost in obscurity. We wish we were the 1%, at least in this category.
So what sets the 1% apart from the 99%? Well, you’re probably reading this because you know that there must be something you can do differently.
Dave Kusek at NewArtistModel.com put it very well when he said:
“The music industry is not the same as it was – not even 5 years ago. Today, artists, managers and producers run their own careers, much like an entrepreneur runs a startup company. The new music industry revolves around YOU. You’re expected to write music, record it, distribute it, book gigs, connect with fans, execute marketing campaigns and make things happen. It’s a lot of work.”
He’s right. The music industry is not the same as it was 5 years ago. And in five more years, it won’t be the same as it is today. It’s a lot of work to keep up with all the strategies to make your career an enjoyable success. But with the right education, planning, and action, you can leverage your energy for greater returns on the value you have to offer to the world. And have fun! That’s why you do it in the first place.
How valuable is your music?
Today, the world is full of opportunities to engage a growing online audience. The question at this point better not be: “is your music online?” You already know that’s a requirement. The real question is: “what is your plan to stand out?” What strategies are you using to connect with your growing audience? Are you engaging with your fans in a meaningful way? Are you delivering more value than you did last year? Why should I follow you, when so many other things are competing for my eyes and ears?
Hopefully you’ve already answered some or all of these questions. All of them relate to how you are going to stand out. Here are a few things you can do to rise above the entertainment noise and social media banter:
- develop and deploy an engaging social media strategy - encourage real interaction with and between your fans - team up with other musicians or artists to do events together - collaborate with charity or non-profit organizations in your community to assist with fundraising events - invest in your education as a creative artist in business for yourself - get involved with communities of like-minded individuals, share your stories and skills, become a leader
When live performances don’t work
I excluded “perform more often” from the list above because you’re probably already looking to do more of that, and it may be the obvious choice. What might not be so obvious is that the performance landscape is changing. You’ve probably already heard it a dozen times, but don’t go to SXSW, or any other big festival, expecting to “get discovered”. And don’t rent out the big hometown venue simply hoping the shiny lights and your name on the marquee will fill all the seats.
You need to be more strategic than ever with your live performances, where you do them, and for whom you’re playing.
You need to be better at marketing your events, getting the word out, and mobilizing your social media base.
And, you need to be looking for new, unique, and creative ways to perform for your fans around the world.
Live + Online = $
Your fans, friends, and family can probably already reach you at a moment’s notice, just about anywhere. Cell phone, Facebook, Twitter, text message, email, etc… What they can’t always do is see you play live. Why? Because you’re not performing live online!
Why not? You’ve probably got fans across the country and around the world that want to see you perform, but they are limited to the experience of recorded YouTube videos and short snippets from someone’s mobile video post on Facebook.
Did you know that you can make cash from your online events too? Giving away creative content can be great, but you should always be looking for ways that your audience can “give back”. Giving is a two way street, and that’s a good thing! Selling tickets for your online events helps you monetize an online audience that may otherwise have no other way to support your live performance.
What are you waiting for?
Get out there and take action. Make the new world of live online performances part or your music business strategy. You and your fans will have fun in the process, and you just might tap into a trend that helps you make more money with your art online.
Don’t forget all those other important things about marketing, collaboration, and engagement. Successfully and consistently using all of those methods will help drive your live performances and audience participation to new levels.
Whether you use Gigee.me or some other service to stream your live events online, just make sure you engage your audience wherever they are. That’s one crucial way you’ll stand out – with personal connection and unique, live experiences.
James Wasem is an audio/video engineer and drummer, as well as a co-founder and technical director at Gigee.me. Gigee provides an easy-to-use online platform where artists can broadcast their own live ticketed events, and make 80% of all ticket sales. Learn more at www.Gigee.ME