Building your fanbase by playing for new audiences

photo-1455503521443-c39d5b861bc4I have noticed a theme recently, and that is I’m realizing that it might not be clear on how you can delegate or what to delegate to a Virtual Assistant as a musician. I get questions like, “How does this work?”, “What do I do?”, “What do you need, how do I give it to you?”. You see, I’ve been doing this for almost 5 years now and so it’s clear to me, but maybe not to my clients.

If this is something you struggle with you question, let me know! I’d like to know how many of you are sitting with that question so that maybe I can help.
Anyway, on to the real topic of today….:-)
I wanted to share with a strategy I’m carrying out with some of my clients who are looking for performing opportunities and connecting with venues as independent artists, i.e. with no manager or booking agent.
There are ways to play more shows in places and venues you want to be in (but maybe can’t get in with just your name/following) by connecting with other bands or artists like you that are either from the same town as you, or touring through your city. You can also connect with venues that present your type of music.
By building a relationship with these booking agents, bands and venues, you can also reach a larger audience to grow your own fanbase!
Here are a few ways to get started on building those opening opportunities:


  • Reach out to booking agents or management of artists that have a similar sound to you – try to connect with them on a personal level, let them know that you are interested in opening opportunities and what numbers you could pull. Be friendly!
  • Do the same with venues – let them know you’re local (if you are) and would love to be considered as an opener. Let them know about your pull in the area.
  • If you know the band is coming to your town, make it an even easier situation by telling the band what date / venues / city you want to open them for. You will be more likely to get a response. Even if they can’t accommodate, you’ve started the relationship!
  • Make sure to watch their tour schedule to see when they are coming to you. Check each month on their website and reach out when it makes sense.
  • You can also watch a venue’s schedule to see if any bands need opening. Submit your EPK to the booking agents when you email them – they’ll keep you in mind if there’s a slot they need to fill, even if it’s not the original one you inquire about!


All of these actions get your foot in the door to the venue, the band and the band’s management and touring companies. It’s about being proactive and creating some opportunities for you, so that you can start building your career. So, what are you waiting for?

Get close with your fans.

Good afternoon, friends.

imageI hope you are having a great week thus far. I feel like all anyone is talking about is how COLD it still is and how no one would complain if the sun came out and roasted us to 100 degrees. (I took that picture on the left that looks like Christmas morning this past Thursday, btw) brrrr.

So I’ll stop here and mum’s the word on the weather…let’s talk about what I came here for, shall we?

A few weeks ago, I assisted in helping my client launch her website, and with that, we coordinated an amazing live stream concert (via Concert Window) to celebrate her re-branding! She had 100’s of viewers tune in, great interaction and also earned a pretty penny (ahem, $400) for just spending 1 hour online!

With a fabulous team behind her and a plan, we pulled of a great show that any other musician, like you,  can do. I have spoken before about which live stream platform to use for these ‘living room’ gigs, but here’s some pointers for creating an effective and profitable live stream show.

This is the most important aspect of your upcoming living room gig. Give yourself at least a week to promote your event. Send an announcement to your email list, create a Facebook event, post, tweet, Instagram the event to your fans to get the word out!
imageSet the stage.
Yes, this concert might be in your living room. Yes, you could just sit on the couch, in your PJs, and be comfortable. However, this will come off as lazy to your viewers. These people are choosing to spend their time away from Facebook, from going out to see a movie, from washing their hair, to sit down and watch YOU. Take it seriously.

Consider this just as important as a regular show. Use your resources and make your livestream look like a pros.

  • Have a friend with a studio? Ask to use it for your livestream so you can set a professional set. Bring decorations, a backdrop, some props, like CD’s, flowers, etc. depending on what mood you want to convey during the show!
  • If you’re setting up in your home, do the same and be conscious of what’s behind you. You don’t want a boring white wall, or have too much going on behind you that it’s distracting.

imageGet interactive.
Take advantage of having your fans tuned in for this special livestream concert. Many streaming services include chat features. Between songs, take some moments to answer questions, take requests and say thank you to your fans. Have your assistant man the chatroom and feed you questions when you are ready. It makes the show even more intimate and exclusive for your fans – a feature they couldn’t necessarily find during a live show.
imageSound check, check, 1, 2, 3, check…
The look is important, but the sound is just as important for the show. What’s the point of performing your songs for this live stream or answer questions during a live q&a if no one can hear you? Take a few minutes to warm up and do a sound check just like you would for a live show. Make sure people will be able to hear you when playing and speaking.

This is where having an assistant is helpful, they can check on another computer for sound, or during the show, let you know when to adjust your volume in playing or speaking!
imageCover charge?
If you have an established following, you should charge cover for your show. Concert Window makes it easy for your viewers with a pay what you want cover charge ($1 minimum), so people can watch for the small amount of $1, but can also pay more if they’d like (bonus!). Plus, Concert Window processes payments to you within 24 hours after your show.

I believe live stream shows are a great addition to add to your streams of income as a musician – just read this success story from a pianist who starting using ConcertWindow!

So if you have an upcoming milestone, like a record release or tour, set it off with a livestream show! Even if you don’t have such a grand event, utilize a livestream concert to connect and sustain a great relationship with your fans. And that’s always a good idea.

Open the window to your fans.

I hope you are surviving the cold this new year has brought – at least if you are in the east coast. I’ve turned myself into a bear hibernating whenever I can. As a Texas girl, me and winter don’t play well!

I did muster enough courage and bundled up last night to go see the Broadway musical, “Once”. Wow, what a great show! The talent that is in the cast – simply amazing. All of them were singing, acting AND playing the wonderful music. Musicals aren’t something I always get to go to, so it was such a treat to take the time and see the spectacular show.
This got me thinking, how many fans want to see their favorite artists but can’t because they aren’t performing where they are? As a musician, you don’t really have complete control as to where you play, so there are always fans that miss out. What a treat it would be for my client who lives in New York be able to play for his fans in Chicago, in Canada, really anyone in the entire world! But, booking doesn’t always happen, funds aren’t always there and your time isn’t always available.

In today’s world, there are ways to make performances happen anywhere, simply by live streaming.

We all know there is nothing like a live concert, but branching out and doing live streaming makes your followers more aware of your show, your vibe and will get them more excited and more involved in what you are doing, making them an even bigger fan!

Also, if you throw in a Q&A, you nurture their need for immediate interaction, something very important in today’s social media society. Gone are the days of the ‘we’ll get back to you in 24-48 hours’.

Online tools and platforms, most of them being free, are out there making it very easy for your fans to tune in, and more importantly, very easy for you to set up and manage!

Imagine, opening up your laptop in your living room, grabbing your instrument and logging on to play 30 minutes of new tunes and to answer questions from your fans while earning a few extra bucks if you wanted…and you didn’t have to lug your equipment on a bus or plane or have to spend dollars on a hotel.

Interested? Here are my recommendations to get you started in the world of online live streaming your intimate shows. I only went for free companies and I’ve tested out each of these platforms so you are getting REAL reviews here! There’s some good info here you won’t find anywhere else, so check it out! (Too small? Click here)

My choice?

In testing and comparing, my choice for a live stream concert and Q&A platform would be Concert Window. I love the ease of use, it was built to stream concerts specifically and it’s all online so no downloading of programs on your computer. However, I know some musicians would find it hard to give up the fact that it doesn’t record and archive the video. I would have to say that I think it gives the event more of an exclusivity – giving more incentive for fans to watch. They won’t be able to see this at any other time (which is ah ha!, similar to a live concert experience!).

It’s such an intimate and exclusive performance that there’s not reason why your fans wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to see you play from anywhere in the world.

You can do anything you want with your set, so get creative!

– Host a live 30 minute Q&A (yes, you can charge for this).

– Preview some songs for a new album release.

– Play and then also teach fans to play one of your songs.

– Why not turn to your followers and ask them what they’d like to see for more ideas.

I highly recommend whichever platform you do use that you test it out in advance. If you are planning a huge event, like a launch, be sure to start testing out these platforms at least two weeks in advance. You want to be able to be comfortable with the technology so you can sit back and enjoy playing for your fans!

Cheers to opening your world to your fans!