Capitalizing on High-Profile Gig$
Gigging musicians can become so caught up in the
normal "work" syndrome that, when a highly publicized
and well paying performance opportunity comes along,
they become so concerned with the performance aspect
that they completely forget about doing their part to
Regardless of how well paying the gig is, they
unknowingly and potentially lose a tremendous amount of
peripheral income in the process. So, allow me to show
you how *not* to do so ...
The next gig that you have that is in a fairly decent sized
metro area or is a major event, consider contacting a
popular retail music store in the area, in the interest of
adding more income to your opportunity.
You could do an in-store performance on the day of your
main performance, in stores that allow for such and would
welcome it as an attractive added feature to their normal
And, it would certainly go over well with the record-buying
public, not to mention serve as a perfect opportunity for
you to introduce yourself while selling additional CDs,
even before your performance.
10 Steps to Use:
Let's say you are a Kansas City-based act, but have just
gotten a gig in St. Louis, which is a few hours away (be
sure the gig is already under contract and is a done deal
1. Contact a retail music store in the St. Louis area,
starting with the chains. If chains are not receptive, move
on to smaller independent stores that are likely to be
2. In a large metro area, try to choose a store that is
centrally located (usually in the downtown area) and that will
allow for equal access for all potentially interested
3. Call up the store manager, informing him on the date
and time of your main appearance, and ask if you can arrange a prior in-store performance on
the same day (an hour-long performance or so, should be
Note: If you manage to secure a store gig, don't drag in
the same amount of equipment that you normally require
on stage. Use the 'bare bones' amount that
you need, in the interest of the store's smaller space and
4. Inform the manager that this will be a no-cost
performance to both the store and its customers. Offering
a freebie will dramatically increase your chances of a
store performance, as well as allow the manager to
promote a FREE performance to his customers. And, as
human nature readily subscribes to "free," you will naturally
draw a larger audience.
5. Give the manager your web site (which, hopefully, you
have your music in "streaming" format and not in MP3
time-wasting downloads) so that he can listen and review
your material in advance.
6. Offer to send out a press kit, in the interest of
product credibility, so that the manager can see that you are a
"real" artist with a commercially released recording, and
not simply an artist with only music files, and no actual
product (hopefully, you also have a bar code on your CD).
7. Offer to send fliers that are customized for the
store performance, which include the store's name,
address, telephone number, date/time of performance,
your own web site address, small versions of both your
CD cover and photo, and any additional information that
might be important.
The fliers should be simple 1-page 8-1/2 X 11 hand-outs
for the store's customers. Consider sending a couple
hundred or whatever amount the store manager desires.
You should be able to easily design these on your PC,
then have a master copy duplicated at a copy shop if
you do not also have a color printer.
The good thing about the flyer promotion is that you don't
now need to rely solely on the store to promote your
appearance. It will also eliminate any additional work
on the store personnel, as customers can simply pick up a
flyer from the counter on their way out.
Be sure to plug the event where you are playing at
the bottom of the flyer (as long as it is a public function and
not a private one). As people are busy, or tend to forget,
doing so will give them two opportunities to see you
8. Ask the manager if he will consider making your
music available for sale while you are performing, in
exchange for a commission or percentage of each sale.
Most likely, the manager will have no problem in doing so
and your resulting performance, audience reaction and
sales might also lead to the store desiring to carry your
music on a regular basis.
If you can afford it, have a counter display made of your act's photo (usually, these are 1-2 feet
cardboard cut-outs that outline your photo silhouette),
that can be placed on the store's counter as you perform. This display will allow your audience to make the "visual"
connection in large music stores.
9. On the chance that the manager will be
interested in carrying your music, be prepared and ready
to do business by having your own consignment form with
There is a chance (depending on the store) that
it will carry its own consignment form. But, whether it does
or not, having your own form will present you as business
10. If time and the event permits and, again, if the function
is open to the general public, and is not a private one,
consider contacting television stations, radio stations and
press publications in the gig area, in the interest of having
them either review your in-store appearance, event
performance, or both. Local news coverage will
further serve to help you sell even more music, and for a
longer period of time in each of such gig areas.