I’ve sometimes told the story of how I booked an artist showcase at Starbucks and several artists came up to me later wondering exactly how I did it.
And the truth is, when I was working for that music industry startup, I ended up booking multiple showcases at multiple coffeehouse locations – it wasn’t just Starbucks.
But the novelty of it was something that obviously intrigued other artists. Because they probably hadn’t seen alternative venues as an opportunity for themselves or hadn’t even considered that music and live performance might belong in a venue other than the established ones. Plus, Starbucks is a big brand carrying a certain amount of prestige.
Now, the process wasn’t hard.
When I was working for the startup, we had business cards printed up for the key people and I had my own. When I approached a local Starbucks with the idea of an artist showcase, I let them know that I was “so and so” from “such and such” company, and that I was looking to partner with them to create an opportunity. And they were all for it!
The trick, if there is one, is to take care of all the details. A Starbucks manager isn’t necessarily going to know much about booking artists, organizing seating, electrical requirements, and other technical details. So, it would be your job to handle all that.
You also want to be respectful, right? So, you probably shouldn’t book a death metal act to play at Starbucks. That’s a mismatch. You’d want to book singer-songwriter or acoustic solo acts and maybe duos and keep a close watch on volume levels.
The opportunity is obviously that you could book a show for yourself and maybe some friends at a local coffeehouse, and thereby create more opportunities to be seen and heard.
The idea, though, isn’t just to show up with a business card in hand and say, “hey, I’m Mike, bassist from Atomik Penguins.” It’s to show up with your card and say, “I’m Mike, and I work with XYZ Music Collective. And I wanted to discuss a collaborative opportunity with you.” Get the appropriate permissions, to put up posters or whatever, and you’re off to the races.
Sometimes, you’ll get rejected, but that’s okay. Because this lesson goes quite a bit deeper than just venues. It applies to all businesses. And businesses do business with other businesses. So, how can you create and market yourself as a business?How can you create and market yourself as a business? Click To Tweet
For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.