Keep Your Productivity Up During the Holiday Season [INFOGRAPHIC]

The holidays are a special time of the year for a lot of people. Some celebrate religious traditions they hold dear. Others use this time to gather with friends and family, often involving lots of travel from far-flung locales. Still others rely on the various memories and rituals to give meaning to this time of the year. But whatever the reason during the season, there’s a constant that we can’t escape, and that’s work. Work doesn’t stop because there’s extra for us to do, whether it’s cooking or shopping. And, the combination of the two factors can lead to a dramatic decrease in productivity for nearly all employees. Of course, that decline in productivity can have a real impact on a business’ bottom line, which is why it’s important to think about rewards that help employees push through creatively through this time of the year. This graphic offers some ideas. The dip in December productivity Boost workplace productivity Strategies to gamify and incentivize work projects

How to Approach Venues to Get Your Show Booked

Hey, music entrepreneur!

Jordan Gates of Megaphone Agency is back with another great post on the topic of booking shows.

With that, here’s Jordan to fill us in!

Booking shows can be difficult, especially if you don’t have an experienced booking agent working with you. If you are lucky enough to have an agent, it can be a game changer. A good booking agent can help find bigger opportunities, increase your earnings, and fill more dates. Agents are scarce though, and there are way more talented artists around than there are reputable booking agents.

Most artists start out booking their own shows early on in their career. This can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process. There is a lot to consider, like finding the right venues to play, scheduling dates, and striking a fair deal. Knowing how to properly represent yourself to venues and get booked is an essential skill for independent artists.

There is no definitive playbook for getting gigs, but here are some things that can help get your foot in the door.

Play With a Purpose

Before you start reaching out to venues, do your homework and create a plan. Figure out where you should be playing and why you want to play there. Ask yourself how each opportunity will benefit you and fit into your overall strategy. Seek out opportunities in the right venue at the right time in the right market and for the right price.

Right Venue

Choosing the right venue means one that aligns with your genre of music and one that is an appropriate size for how many people you can draw.

If you are in a four-piece rock band, you probably don’t want to play in a small coffee shop that typically books acoustic singer/songwriters.

You also shouldn’t be playing in a big music hall or theater unless you can draw enough people. It may sound cool to play in a bigger venue, but if you can’t fill it, it will make you look bad and the venue will lose money.

Right Time

Picking the right time to play a show is also important. Pay attention to day of the week, time of year or seasonality, other events that are happening, and timing of your own music releases or other notable milestones.

In a perfect world, you would be playing Saturday night on a beautiful summer evening where you’re the only entertainment in town. Of course, you won’t always be that lucky, but aim for dates that work for both you and the venue.

Right Market

Picking the right place to play is more than just the venue, but also the market or city you are in. It doesn’t make sense to drive across the country to play to an empty room in a city where no one knows you.

Choose markets carefully and develop them strategically over time. Developing a fan base in your home town is important, and then work your way out to nearby cities or other locations where you know you have fans and listeners.

Right Price

Price is another key factor to consider. This includes the ticket price for the show and also your own compensation. Know what you are worth to the venue and to your fans.

Think about the size of the venue, whether you have played in the market before, and price sensitivity of your fans. You will likely set ticket prices differently for a show in New York City than you would for a small college town.

Make sure you are also being compensated fairly. Being able to sell more tickets should translate into earning more money for your performance.

Pay attention to the terms of the offer you’ve received as well. Make sure you are getting a fair deal whether it’s a flat guarantee, percentage of ticket sales… or just free drinks.

Crafting the Perfect Message

There is no silver bullet to get an instant response from a talent buyer, but there are a few best practices you can follow.

It is hard enough to even get a talent buyer’s attention. They get flooded with booking requests every day. So, when you do have their attention, make sure you are getting your point across and making a clear case for why they should book you.

When contacting a venue, you should present yourself in the most appealing way possible, communicate with the right tone and format, and be concise.

Flaunt What You’ve Got

Provide the best information you have available to the venue. Obviously they are going to want to hear what you sound like, so be sure to link to somewhere they can listen to your music.

They will also be paying attention to your marketing presence and the quality of your live show. Take the time to keep your social media pages updated and highlight any recent major achievements or press coverage in your message.

It is also a good idea to provide links to high-quality live performance video. Additionally, any past show history or ticket sales in the market would be great to include.

The main goal is to highlight your most positive qualities to be attractive to the venue’s booking person. Don’t be afraid to brag, but definitely don’t lie about your stats.

Be Professional

Your message should be sent with the appropriate tone and format. Be professional. Use complete sentences, and don’t ever come across as arrogant or entitled. You will get a better result if your message has a more respectful tone.

The format is important too. A lot of business is done over email, but some talent buyers may want to communicate over the phone instead. Make it as easy and friction free as possible for the talent buyer to review your message. They will be more likely to respond to a message that is to-the-point and has all the key information they need to make a decision.

Tying it All Together

Packaging all this information into a well-crafted message can be an art form in itself. Keep your message direct and concise.

At this point, you should know what you want, so be purposeful with your request. Prove that you are the right fit for the venue, and suggest available dates that work for you.

Try to condense the message to make it as concise as possible. It should only take a few sentences to get your point across. Your music and other links will speak for itself if the talent buyer wants to find out more.

Finally, don’t be afraid to follow up multiple times. Be persistent, but not annoying. If you are truly a good fit for that venue, they will be in touch.

Rémi Jourdan of Tunetrax Shares How Artists Can Manage Their Careers from a Centralized Location

Rémi Jourdan of Tunetrax Shares How Artists Can Manage Their Careers from a Centralized Location

There’s no such thing as an all-in-one solution for independent artists, is there?

You need a website. You need social media accounts. You need MailChimp (or some other email marketing software). You need to distribute your music everywhere using a service like CD Baby or Ditto Music.

If that wasn’t enough, you need to promote everything you put out. Your singles, EPs and albums. Your videos. Your shows and tours.

Getting dizzy yet?

Well, that’s where Tunetrax comes in. From creating a press kit and promoting your shows to managing your social media channels and connecting with fans, it gives you the opportunity to do just about everything you need to do online as an artist, in just one place.

Cool, right?

Well, here’s Rémi Jourdan to tell us more about it.

1. Tell us about who you are and what you do.

I am passionate about music and helping musicians in managing their careers. I created a digital music platform called Tunetrax. I spent many years running concert venues and producing music festivals and have booked thousands of performers in my career. I started Tunetrax because I saw the struggles independent and under-represented artists faced in growing their careers and managing their digital media assets and thought I could help to streamline and make some of those processes easier and more fun for artists to do.

2. What is Tunetrax? How does it benefit musicians?

Tunetrax is a music discovery site where musicians build successful careers. Tunetrax is an all-in-one platform that helps artists to self-publish, distribute, book and promote their music. Artists can upload and share their songs, videos, photos, blogs, newsletters and upcoming shows, all shareable instantly onto all major social networks and many others– and connect and interact with fans, booking agents and venues. Artists keep 100% of their music sales, control of their copyrights and how their music is getting published and distributed.

Musicians are benefiting from Tunetrax because:

  • Artists can sell direct to fan: Artists keep 100% from selling albums and downloads.
  • Artists can maintain control of their rights: Artists stay 100% in control of copyrights and how their music gets published and distributed.
  • Artists can promote their upcoming shows and toursArtists can automatically import and upload their scheduled Bandsintown events to their Tunetrax profile, track the real time location of their fans, and fans can follow them. This gives another great way for artists to connect with their fans, increase their fan base, promote tour dates, and expand their social fan engagement.
  • Artists can reach and engage with more fans: Artists can share unlimited songs, videos, blogs, photos, and newsletters instantly onto all major social media platforms and connect with fans on a whole new level.
  • Artists can connect with music professionals and increase their booking activity: Artists can create a complete Digital Press Kit to connect with talent buyers, venues, and promoters to increase their booking and show activities. Artists can manage their booking activities and requests all in one place.

3. How can artists stay in control of their copyrighted materials?

From what I have witnessed working with many artists, the biggest challenge for artists is to keep up with the fast-paced and ever-changing world of digital music platforms and staying in control of their content.

As far as artists staying in control of their copyrighted material with Tunetrax, for a new song or other work, copyright begins when the music and lyrics have been set down on paper, recorded, or stored on a computer. Copyright protects the musician even if the song is never registered with the Copyright Office. There is little or no value in registering a composition with the Copyright Office until it has been published. This typically means selling or distributing copies of the song to the public.

Posting a new recording to Tunetrax will constitute publication of the artists’ new materials. On Tunetrax, when artists upload and publish their materials, they stay in full control of how they get published and distributed. At any time and if needed, artists can add, modify or remove any of their materials from the Tunetrax platform.

4. What does it mean to centralize networking and how does this lead to better professional outcomes?

Centralized Networking means that all information and data pertaining to an artist is centralized onto one location, one platform and one place, then shared to the rest of the world through social media from that same location. Centralized networking leads to better professional outcomes in the following ways:

  • Booking: Artists have the ability to share their stage plot, input list and any of their material within their artist profile, which makes it easier for promoters and venues to book them. Talent buyers can get a quick snapshot of a specific artist’s bio, audio and video content, and book them, without leaving the artist’s page. 
  • Media outreach: Effectively reach out to media outlets. When artists release a new album, they usually make the point of reaching out to radio stations, music bloggers and regional print media outlets. With centralized data, artists gain a lot more exposure and coverage from media outlets. When we ask what made the media click on Tunetrax’s artist EPK links provided to them, they are telling us that it is super helpful to them to get a complete snapshot of artists all in one spot. Bloggers and the media in general do not like to receive emails with multiple links they have to click on.
  • Keeping content up to date: It is much easier and faster for artists to keep their content up to date with the most recent content, when their content is located all in one place instead of on multiple platforms and sites.
  • More fan engagement: Fans have easy access to artists’ music audios, videos and upcoming shows, which results in increased fan engagement and new followers.
Bloggers and the media in general do not like to receive emails with multiple links they have to click on. Click To Tweet

5. How can underrepresented artists better handle their own booking and make a living from their art?

One of Tunetrax features includes the ability for artists to receive and manage their booking requests, messages and activities all in one place, which makes it a lot easier and faster for artists not having to check multiple platforms and email accounts to handle their bookings.

Music promoters and talent buyers can directly contact artists and access their stage plots and promotional materials, which makes it more efficient and less time-consuming for them to book artists. As a result, artists are able to book more gigs and get better paid ones using Tunetrax.

6. Is there anything else I should have asked?

How do I see the future of fan engagement for independent artists?

First, I think fan engagement happens not only on social platforms, but of course at shows as well. What independent artists need to remember is the music industry has and always will be about one thing: the relationship with your fans.

What independent artists need to remember is the music industry has and always will be about one thing: the relationship with your fans. Click To Tweet

I think applications such as the one provided by Bandsintown and now integrated with Tunetrax, which allows independent artists to track the real time location of their fans, will continue to be key for fan engagement and development of an artist and their fan base.

An artist may know how many people showed up to their gig last night, but it is becoming extremely critical more than ever for artists to know who their fans are to encourage valuable engagement and interactions with them.

In the future, I am anticipating more solutions and platforms such as Tunetrax will exist to assist independent artists by providing more effective tools to increase and manage their fan engagement activities.

Final Thoughts

Well, I’m sold. I’m definitely interested in checking out Tunetrax.

If you have any other thoughts or questions, please leave them in the comments section below.

How Do Musicians Make Money? Here Are 7 Ways!

How Do Musicians Make Money? Here Are 7 Ways!

Do you love making music? That’s great! But how do musicians make money? Here are seven ways you should consider.

Jeff Goins said it best when he said:

Real artists don’t starve.

To follow your artistic passion doesn’t require you to live an impoverished existence. That’s good news if you’re a musician.

Consider the stats. Though the range does vary, the average yearly salary for a musician in the US is just over $41,000 (and can go all the way up to $104,000). The average hourly rate is roughly $20.

Now, that may not sound like a lot for some people. But it certainly contradicts the common stereotype of the poor musician following their passion without a penny in their pockets!

Clearly, it’s possible to earn a living as a musician without hitting the dizzying heights of superstardom.

But how’s it done? How do musicians make money? Keep reading to find out.

7 Ways Musicians Make Money

Here are 7 ways you can earn money as a musician.

1. Selling Digital Music

The digital world presents a plethora of opportunities for musicians these days.

Thanks to copyright law, you can earn money from online stores (such as iTunes and Amazon Music) when your songs are reproduced and distributed. Every time a song or album of yours is downloaded, you get paid what’s known as a royalty.

Rates vary. But imagine having a popular song that’s downloaded and played hundreds of thousands of times. That’s the goal, right? And it can earn you a bunch of cash in the process.

You should sell your music through your own website too. This way you get to control the price! Drive traffic to your site through social media and other forms of marketing, and set up an online store to sell your music.

2. Utilizing YouTube

All budding musicians should set up a YouTube channel.

This video streaming behemoth boasts 2 billion monthly users. Five billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube every single day. And, many are actively searching for new music.

Clearly, using this platform the right way can help you gain exposure and grow an audience in. But you can earn money directly from your efforts too, via ad revenue.

Popular videos attract a lot of eyes. This, in turn, becomes prime real estate for advertising companies, who’ll pay YouTube to advertise there. If that video happens to be one you’ve made, you get your cut.

To begin with, the pay is minimal. But it grows as your videos gain more viewers. It’s perfect passive income for a platform that’s critical for developing your musical career anyway.

Furthermore, some companies will even want to pay you to use your song in their videos (more on this later).

3. With Streaming Service Royalties

Remember how copyright laws help musicians earn money online through downloads? The same is true of streaming services.

Thanks to reproduction copyright, as the owner of your song, you can get paid royalties whenever your music is streamed via a streaming service such as Spotify.

Interactive streaming services like this offer a source of income that’s set to grow over time.

4. With Live Performance

One of the primary ways of making money with music is through live performance. These days, touring and gigging are two of the highest paying revenue streams for top artists.

Sometimes, you can earn a flat fee from a venue. When you’re starting out, you’ll earn very little this way (and you may have to perform for free).

But as your name grows, so will the venues that want to hire you. And, what you earn goes up with it.

Another option is to do cover gigs (at weddings and other events). Some musicians consider this below them, but these gigs can pay quite well, bring a steady source of income and enable you to earn money with your music.

5. Offering Music Lessons

Students will pay handsomely to learn from your expertise.

Music lessons may not be what you had in mind when you conceived of a career in music. But it can be a sensible way of putting some money in your pocket. This especially true when you consider that the gigs you play may not pay anything.

It’s also worth remembering that you’re in total control of setting your rates. Many musicians earn a substantial income by teaching others.

6. By Selling Merchandise

As you grow a fan base, you’ll find that people will pay good money for stuff with your name and face on it. Over time, this can become a serious source of cash.

But even from the beginning, you can earn some cash by selling T-shirts, CDs, toys or anything else your fans will to buy from you.

7. With Royalties from Sync Licenses

Remember earlier when we mentioned that people who want to use your music will pay you for the privilege of doing so?

This is called a sync-license royalty. Think of a commercial that’s perfectly matched to your music. Or a film or TV show that wants your song in the background. Decision makers will pay you a license fee to use your music.

It’s usually a one-time payment, but it can mean a substantial cash-injection. Some musicians make their sole income like this composing music – specifically to sell in this way.

The demand for music in commercial projects has led to the formation of sites/apps that offer YouTube royalty free music for YouTubers/video makers to use. Musicians can make their music available for use with content creators too.

Time to Make Some Money Musically

There you have it: seven ways musicians earn a living.

There’s no single answer to the question of “how do musicians make money?” Generally, there are multiple sources of income that can add up to a larger sum over time.

Obviously, how much you earn is going to vary based on your pursuits. But as we’ve seen, there are plenty of income streams to tap into.

Musicians stand a great chance of earning a solid living if they can utilize several if not all of these approaches.

Now we’d like to hear from you! Are you a musician? What do you currently do to earn a living? Let us know in the comments!

And, be sure to contact us for more information on progressing in your career.