Putting Things in Context


Have you ever walked down the street and accidentally evesdropped on someone’s conversation.  You’ve caught 1 sentence in a discussion and what they’ve said makes no sense whatesoever!  But you know, if you could have kept listening or jumped in earlier on the conversation, you’d be on the same page.  This is the same idea behind music marketing.  You’re trying to sell an idea to someone that just hasn’t caught onto it yet.

Because people like patterns, routines, and categories, they want things to fit into their frame of reference. We naturally compartmentalize thoughts and put certain ideas into certain categories as a way for us to make sense of the world. Even though you might not have it all together (cause nobody does), here are some tips on how to put your music into context so you can better sell yourself.

Promoting Shows
A good businessman knows what his competitors are doing so he can be on his best game at all times.  In the same way, a good musician needs to know other events occuring during the time of his/her show and if that will affect the turnout.  It’s also great to know about other events to see how you can use them to your advantage.  During the fall, in certain cities like Pittsburgh, it’s a terrible idea to have a gig on a Sunday afternoon/evening because that’s designated to football 🙂   On the flipside, it an excellent idea to book a show in any venue on Penn Ave on the first Friday of the month…b/c that’s the monthly Unblurred gallery crawl.

And don’t forget simple things like mentioning that the venue has a full kitchen and serves food/drinks.  Food always brings more people out. 

Who You Are
Don’t tell people you’re completely different and sound like nothing they’ve ever heard before. That’s probably a lie. Everyone sounds like someone to a certain extent. There’s nothing new under the sun. And if you don’t give people something tangeable, they’re not likely to do the extra digging to learn more about you down the line. If you have a sultry voice, campare yourself to Norah Jones.  If you’ve got biting lyrics and  catchy tunes, compare yourself to Connor Oberst. You get the point. Read this post for more thoughts on the matter: The Things You’ll Hate To Do…But Should Do Anyways #2

Think of it this way: If you’re having a conversation with someone who wants to know what you do, you need to have a real answer.  This won’t fly

I’m actually a musician. I play the guitar and a few other instruments and my sound is very original. I’m currently working on my website so I don’t have any tunes up just yet, but if you check back in 2 weeks I will.  I’m also working on booking some gigs.

I’ve overheard statements like this so many times.

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