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wheresgrant3

Gig Masters or Gig Salad

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If you were to get a membership at either entertainment site which would you choose? Thinking of plunking down the CC card and doing a 6 month trial.

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I have a free GM and a $15/month GS account. So far........nothing from either this year. I had a few inquiries with my GS free account last summer.

 

I think it may be regional? I don't think our listings are so poor that we would chase away ALL inquiries??

 

Wes

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I dunno. Have to see your listing. GM isn't going to be much use unless you have a pretty good promo pak. Without a good pic and decent video, you might as well forget it. And gigs beget gigs. The bands that do the best are the ones with lots of gigs booked and lots of good reviews. And how much you book over each 6 month period determines how high you come up in the searches. So it's a bit of a Catch-22 and it does take a while to get things moving. Having said that, this is turning out to be our slowest GM year in a while. I don't know if that's because they've changed the format of the site so much, reflections of a changing market, more competition from other bands on the site, or something we're not doing as well as we need to.

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I'm surprised we've had *crickets* this year mostly because there is only one other band in our area listed with GS and no other band in our area listed with GM. Everything else that comes up are bands from Toronto or Ottawa (both a couple of hours' drive from here).

 

Maybe I shouldn't be too surprised -- our media is pretty weak at the moment and the show isn't mind-blowing by any stretch. I'm super frustrated at the lack of audio/video/photo collateral, particularly with our new lineup. The new lineup includes a new front man, so stuff from last year is really not usable. If I had any money...I would definitely put it into promo, but the PA and vehicles keep eating all of my spare cash! I sat down with one of my band mates and analyzed the Jump Start video, showed him how it was put together to show various shows, feel "live" even though it was recorded under controlled circumstances, etc. I appreciate the opportunity to learn I've found here, especially from you, Dave. We'll probably do something similar once we get a little more established and I get some money in the bank. Similar from a process POV, not content. We're a very different kind of band. Basically a bar band of older guys that play rock; I figure our wedding demo is the 35-55 crowd. The late marriers and the second timers. So, pretty light. Hm. Maybe we're losing out on private parties because we don't play country...

 

But, jeez, you'd think that with such sparse competition we'd hear *something* if people were using the services.

 

My listings, FWIW -

http://www.gigmasters.com/Classic-Rock-Band/Dr-Bombay

http://www.gigsalad.com/dr_bombay_inverary

 

My focus area is "Kingston, ON". And yeah. Plenty of content on there I'm not happy with, but I am working hard to maximize what I have! I should probably get our new video up on GM, though. I built a "clip show" a couple of weekends ago pasted together from camera-phone footage. But man, I really need some decent photos and footage. And better audio.

 

"Gigs beget gigs" - truer words were never said. I am going out of my mind, we are not booked again until May 24. Which is a big holiday weekend here. So either we're going to have a huge crowd or an empty bar.

 

Wes

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Wes: thanks so much for the compliments and yes, you're exactly right that anything you should steal from my band or any other band when it comes to promo is about process and not content. Take the stuff that is working for other bands and learn how to apply it to your own.

 

But there is one major flaw I see with your promo as it is and why it's not going to work well for you with Gigmasters: it's not geared to reach the customers you're going after. Sites like Gigmasters appeal to one specific client: the individual person looking online to hire a band for a private event who knows nothing about how to hook up with a talent agent. They want a band for a birthday party or a wedding or whatever and decide to google "Kingston Rock Bands" and see what comes up. And the problem with your promo is you look like a standard-fare bar band. Every photo is clearly you guys playing in a bar. And not a particularly packed bar at that. The shot of the backs of the 3 old guys sitting along the rail to a nearly empty dance floor? That's probably exactly the type of band the typical Gigmasters customer DOESN'T want.

 

The first thing---and one of the easiest--- to do is revamp the photos. Even with some of the existing photos, a lot could be done by cropping them better. If you've got a picture with 6 people on the dance floor, crop it close around the dancers so that it doesn't show all the empty space and looks like the dancefloor might be packed around them. For band shots, crop close so you don't see walls and ceilings and doorways. Stage some photos at a rehearsal so the band is set up in front of nicer background than what is obviously a sports bar. Don't be afraid to get a couple of photos with band members smiling or mugging for the camera a bit.

 

The second thing---rewrite the text so that it punches up what you guys do and hits the target market a bit more directly. You guys aren't a "party band" but you need to sell the benefits of live music at an event more. I read your text and...ok...you sound like a nice bunch of guys who play music well, but why should I spend money to hire you over just getting a DJ or running an iPod? Tell me why.

 

I'd suggest starting by playing off the Dr. Bombay theme. Great name for a band, but you're not doing anything with it. "Dr Bombay, Dr Bombay, Emergency, Come Right Away!" You guys are the musical EMTs who can show up and inject an infusion of blood and life into the event and turn it into the special evening the client is hoping to have. You're the Witch Doctors of Classic Rock. Stuff like that. Sit around and start spit balling some ideas and see what feels good. Don't be afraid to be a little bit corny or silly. What you or I probably think is a little "too much" is usually right on target with audiences.

 

As far as video goes---yeah, that's time and money intensive and will come with time. At least you have something. Bands that try to do GM with no video at all will be dead in the water. But remember with video that less is more. (Something I need to remember myself). Whatever you can say in 3 minutes you can probably say in 15 seconds. Don't drag out songs or scenes. Don't risk boring anyone. If all you have is one or two songs, I'd put a clip that was only 30 seconds long of the best parts of the song rather than the entire piece. But there are a lot of ways to approach video and at this point that's probably another topic for another thread. (Again, I'd use the Dr. Bombay theme. I'd open the video with a Bewitched clip of Samantha calling for Dr. Bombay and then fade into a shot of the band playing. Or stage a dead party and have some girl ask for Dr. Bombay and you guys rush in, get on stage and the next shot is a packed dance floor. So many great things you could do with that!)

 

If there's one thing I'm most proud of with our promo--the one thing we do most right---it's this: We've taken a top-down approach to who we are and what we do and the gigs we want to get and apply that mentality to everything in the promo. Starting with the name of the band, everything from that point forward is about the idea of "jump starting a party". So we try as much as possible to make sure every pic, every video clip and every word on the site reflects and emphasizes that. And if it doesn't, then it's something we probably need to change and improve. Yeah, we do it for a "party band" theme, but that stuff really is just Marketing 101 stuff that you'll see used with most every successful band or restaurant or whatever. Hit the customer right where they want to be hit and leave them thinking "wow....I want some of THAT".

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Hey, Dave -- this is super awesome feedback and I really, really appreciate having an outside perspective. I'm going to be reworking a bunch of stuff next week. :) You're right - I'm not using the band name effectively. I had ideas there, too, but have not been able to execute. I'm hoping to get some better live collateral soon, too, I have a wedding booked (and permission to shoot) in June. Hopefully the guests are in a dancing mood. Incidentally, I recently rewatched all of the Dr Bombay footage from Bewitched. Holy cow, it's waaaaaaaaay funnier as an adult!!! The time spent on YouTube will definitely help me develop a brand better. I'm in a funny situation, I'm a pretty bland, information-providing kinda guy (mashed potatoes - nutritious but unappealing) but I'm also the guy with the zeal required to market us. This is way outside my comfort zone, but I am learning. Again, thanks for the constructive feedback, I'm going to use not only some of your suggestions, but I understand better the perspective of my prospective clients now, and that will help, too!

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Ps - I used paragraphs, but apparently VB decided that they weren't important, and I can't edit on iPad. Ugh.

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' date=' but I understand better the perspective of my prospective clients now, and that will help, too![/quote']

 

This is the most important part of putting together any marketing strategy and one that is often the most difficult for people to do. You have to put yourself in the mindset of your potential customer which usually means stepping outside of yourself. As musicians and as members of the band we have a completely different perspective about the business. We usually would like to see a live performance that is very different from what the average person would most enjoy. What would attract us to any particular band is different as well. Probably the worst mistake anyone can make when thinking about their own band and own marketing is to say "well, if I was looking for a band...."

 

It's best to find someone or some people outside the band you trust to bounce ideas off of. In my case, my wife is my most valuable resource. She's not only the typical EveryJane when it comes to listening to music and watching bands, but she knows what she likes and doesn't like and isn't at all afraid to tell me when she thinks what I'm doing isn't good enough. As members of the band it's way too easy to be inside "the bubble" and see all sorts of things (and overlook others) that the average person sees differently. If you've got a photo that isn't really working and you find yourself saying "well, if you knew Bob..." or "well, if you had been at that gig you'd know that...." then what you've got is a photo that isn't going to work.

 

One other point to make re: Gigmasters is because of the type of business model it is, the phrase "you only have one chance to make a first impression" has never been more important. The people going to that site most likely don't know any of the bands on the site, and if they are going to choose one are going to do so based on what they see then and there. If your promo pak isn't exciting to them, they probably aren't going to look at it a second time. And they will be glancing at 50 other bands. So you've really got to stand out and grab them with those front page photos and text.

 

As far as paragraphs go? Yeah, no paragraphs for you on iPads. I suspect you might be able to use HTML code for paragraph breaks, but I haven't tried that yet.

Edited by Vito Corleone

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With any craft-based activity, including music, there comes a point at which, to move forward in the field, it is necessary to develop (or hire) expertise in an unrelated field. Internet marketing may not have much of a skill set in common with being a musician, but if you want to succeed at the latter, you need some level of mastery of the former.

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In the old days, musicians hired agents and managers to do all that stuff for them. Many probably still do, but the internet and other technologies have made everything so DIY that it's important to have all those other skill sets as well.

 

And with profit margins becoming so tight in the business, the only ones who are going to be successful in the future are those who do it all themselves. You need to write, perform, record, produce, and market it all yourself.

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