Thursday, November 5, 2009

Taylor Swift, U2, Keith Urban: How Did They Get There?

Ok…so I have to admit, I don’t know personally how these particular artists got their start.

However, if I were a betting man, I would say they got out there and gigged! That’s right, they went out and played their music!

It is amazing to me that this fundamental principle escapes most artists these days! It would seem very obvious; but then again, most artists are thinking about getting the record deal or winning American Idol.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but for 99.9% percent of us, it will not happen that way. So, the basic question is, how do I get out and book myself?

The first thing you must overcome is the fear of picking up the phone and “pitching” yourself. My first comment on this is, get over yourself! I hear so many artists say… “I just don’t like calling, because it sounds like I am trying to promote myself” or “I am not comfortable talking about myself.”

Come on! If you are not going to have confidence in your own abilities, then who is? Who is going to be able to better market you…than you!

I would suspect that most of you don’t have booking agents that work on your behalf. One suggestion on this is to have a friend or family member assist you in booking. Here is a little secret as well (don’t let this one out): create an “alter ego”…that’s right, come up with another name to book yourself under!

As I shared last week, find out where your audience is hanging out. Go to the owners or the people who book in those venues and develop a personal relationship with those folks. Convince them to have you play there at their venue. After you have done that, ask them to give you the names of 5 friends/contacts that you could contact about coming and playing at their venue….get the idea?

There are other elements that go into booking yourself as an artist…but these are some good ways to get going.

I have no doubt that Taylor Swift, U2, and Keith Urban would all tell you…play, play, play!

Next week we will talk about how to build your fan base.

Until then, remember if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward…there is no standing still in the music business!

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