Category Archives: Muze

How to Get People to Attend Your Shows

In my previous article for Muze, we took a dive into the ways independent artists can book more shows, more often. From relationship building with venue managers and fellow artists, to making sure you deliver a complete, organized pitch, the steps are outlined to ensure that you find greater success, as you strive to bring your live show to new audiences.

But… you know what they say about a tree falling in a forest, right? If nobody is around to hear it, does it really make a sound? The final step in that article was to make sure you promote your show once it’s booked, to get people out and ensure that the venue is happy (thus, increasing the likelihood that you will be booked again in the future).

Last time, I promised to come back with ways to make your gig stand out as special, and to make it the place to be in any competitive live music market. That’s what we’ll do here today!

Tips and Tricks for Booking More Shows

With the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic (hopefully) behind us, more artists are emerging from their hiding places to rejoin the live music landscape. As more of your musical peers become comfortable performing for the masses in the weeks, months, and years ahead, booking gigs only figures to become more competitive. (Here in Nashville, it’s already approaching pre-pandemic levels).

So… how do you stay ahead of the curve, and ensure that you remain in the mix to be considered for performance opportunities? We have some tips and insights, acquired through years of navigating the live music landscape.

The Importance of Rest for Musicians and Creatives

The digital age brings numerous benefits for the independent creative. It is easier than ever to communicate your message, build community, and find your audience. We have more tools at our disposal to build a platform than ever before. When compared to previous generations and the limitations they experienced, we’re quite fortunate.

However, any society in the midst of rapid growth is bound to experience growing pains, and those of us within the ever-evolving digital landscape are not immune to this reality. Certainly, it is beneficial to have so many ways to build our creative empires. However, it can be so easy to get caught up in learning and utilizing the tools of the trade that we often forget to shut them off. Couple that with the FOMO (that’s Fear Of Missing Out) and comparison culture that digital technology has ushered to the forefront, and it can be difficult to feel like we’re ever truly doing enough.

We must break past that notion and remember that we are not machines. We are not born to endlessly create content to please the algorithmic gods, nor are we designed to spend all of our waking hours working. Every so often, we must remind ourselves of our humanity, and embrace the increasingly elusive concept of rest.

Not only is rest a fundamental human need. Contrary to what 21st Century hustle culture will have you believe, rest has numerous creative and health benefits that empower us to show up as our best selves, professionally and personally. As a creative entrepreneur – and one who often must pull myself, kicking and screaming, away from my own work – I took the initiative to convince myself through research, and nail down the reasons why rest is a good thing for those of us on the grind.

Networking In The Ever-Evolving Music Industry

For the past 25 years, Jenna Rose has had an unparalleled passion for supporting musicians, and an unmatched penchant for building relationships.

What started as superfandom for Tulsa-based sibling trio (and “MMMBop” songsmiths) Hanson has turned into two-and-a-half decades of connecting with people through music. Upon moving to Nashville in 2020, Jenna quickly immersed herself in the music industry, co-founding her own female-owned community organization, Music City Movement; becoming a contributor for Underground Music Collective; and, most recently, joining Nashville-based artist development company AGD Entertainment as an artist coach and program manager.

How has Jenna done it? By mastering the art of networking. Today, we’re honored to have Jenna share her insights and expertise with us!

Building Community Through Music: How to Do It and Why It’s Important

In any creative endeavor, it is those who build strong communities who are most likely to see their platforms grow over time. Certainly, anybody can pick up an instrument, learn to play, and become adept enough at engineering and/or performing to put their music out into the world in some form. However, without building a strong support system of collaborators, patrons, and professional contacts, it becomes much more difficult to have your work reach and impact larger audiences.

If you’re going to put all of that work in, you might as well share it with other people. To do that, you must think about how your music – and all it encompasses – will help connect you to your audience. You must work to build community.

Finding the Right Artist Management (Part 2)

Artist managers are the true Swiss Army Knives of the music industry. A few weeks ago, we spoke to a couple of artist managers about their many varied responsibilities, the importance of a strong artist-manager relationship, and more.

Since then, we’ve had more artist managers reach out to us, ready to share their wisdom and experience with us all. One thing that we’ve found throughout this process that no two artist managers are the same. They all carry different responsibilities, which may even vary from client to client. Even so, there are a couple of universal details which can’t be ignored:

Management is a partnership between the manager and the artist, and relationships are everything.

Today, we have two more artist managers in our midst to share their perspectives, and they are:

  • Alex Halloran, Founder of Help The Bear Records and an artist manager with AGD Entertainment.
  • Nicolas Larsson Billett, CEO of Midas Music, Inc.

Finding the Right Artist Management

Artist managers wear many hats. However, at the core of their job is the responsibility of ensuring that artists move steadfast toward their long-term creative and professional visions. For certain, a manager is one of “The 10 People Musicians Need on Their Side.”

What, exactly, are a manager’s responsibilities, both in a long-term sense and a day-to-day sense? Can — or should — one manager take on all of those responsibilities single-handedly? How do managers help artists build a strong team culture around their craft?

We asked two artist managers – Nathan Dohse, co-founder of AGD Entertainment and the author of the Zero to 60 by AGD artist development program, and Lexee Shapiro, co-founder & artist manager, 9802 Management – to share their experience, and their insight proves tremendously valuable for any artist looking to secure management. Simply put, this is a must-read!

Finding the Right Performance Opportunities

For artists, there is much to consider when trying to score better live performance opportunities. Where can artists find paying gigs? Are the gigs in question the right fit for the artist? How can performers build relationships that will help them secure more opportunities and further their careers? Are there platforms out there that are designed to help performing artists as they search for these opportunities?

The latest article in our “10 People Musicians Need on Their Side” series tackles these questions. I reached out to Channing Moreland, who is the co-founder of EVAEVA is an online marketplace that connects entertainers with paid live event opportunities. While it’s important to note that EVA itself is not a booking agency, EVA works directly with booking agents and independent artists alike to connect musicians and entertainers – of all disciplines and career levels – to paid performance opportunities at corporate events. These opportunities can be vital toward helping entertainers build lasting relationships and grow their platforms.

Finding Support from the Indie Music Media

Musicians: whether it feels this way or not, opportunities to be seen and heard are all around you. I would know – I happen to run an independent music publicationa podcast, and an event production company. So, when Luke Holden and I divided up the articles for Muze’s “10 People Musicians Need on Their Side” series, I laid claim to the “Media Supporter” archetype right away.

What I didn’t want to do, though, is just have this be an op-ed about all of the things I look for when considering whether to feature an artist or their music. So, I received an assist from a couple of my peers in the industry for their takes on what they’re looking for, where they find new music, and other tips and tricks that will help you identify the right opportunities.

What Can a Publicist Do for You?

All artists – especially those at the outset of their musical journeys – need all the support they can get, as they look to communicate their stories to the masses. Of course, that means building a fan base full of people ready and willing to engage with their art. To do that, artists also must find opportunities to connect with new audiences. Building that buzz is no easy task – especially in the beginning, and especially when attempted alone.

That’s where a publicist comes in! Publicists are the great connectors between artists and opportunities such as media features, public appearances, sponsorship opportunities, and more. The right publicist will believe in their artists and advocate on their behalf, ultimately ensuring that they find opportunities that are the best fit for their career vision.

As part of our series on the 10 People Musicians Need on Their Side, we sat down with Sarah Bennett. Sarah is a Senior Publicist at IVPR, a narrative-based music and culture public relations firm located in Nashville, Tennessee. Sarah graciously shares her insights into the world of public relations, including:

  • Her role in helping artists tell their stories.
  • What she looks for when assessing taking on a new client.
  • What artists need to be “ready” to work with a publicist or PR firm.
  • The importance of relationships for every artist.
  • What not to do when trying to grow your artist brand.
  • …and much more!
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