Musicians of Toronto, have you heard of this new opportunity to perform for the TTC?

Hey guys!

A pretty cool opportunity for musicians has come up and it involved performing for the TTC – Toronto Transit Commission. They are looking for new musicians to perform on TTC grounds. On top of having a great opportunity to perform, get paid tips, sell cds/merch, and hand out business cards – you also have a chance to apply to have a song recorded for free! Check it out…

TTC

Here’s an except from the article explaining everything on the TTC’s website:

“There are 90 three-year licenses up for grabs for the subway musicians program, now known as Underground Sounds. And through the TTC’s partnership with Universal Music Canada, one grand prize winner will get to record their song and have it featured in an exclusive Apple Music ‘Tracks on Tracks’ playlist, available at applemusic.com/rushhour or applemusic.com/hushhour.”

There whole article can be found here:

https://www.ttc.ca/News/2018/March/03_21_18NR_musicians_auditions.jsp

You’ll need to submit an audition online, be 18 years of age, live in the GTA and NOT be an employee of either the TTC or Universal Music Canada, damn conflicts on interest! 🙁

That’s it though, if you learned about this on the TME webpage then please comment below and let us all know if you applied, how it went, and if you were accepted to take part!

Best of luck everyone, for more info check out the www.undergroundsounds.ca webpage, cheers!

Brad

Subway Musicians_Hea

How-to achieve a higher SEO ranking with Yoast for WordPress.

The Learning NEVER ends!

Hey guys! As you know, being an entrepreneur (a Music Entrepreneur, wink) means you are constantly learning about new ways to improve your business. Behind every newly learned lesson are a dozen new questions about something you’ve maybe never even heard of. This is both the exciting and the tedious nature of being your own boss. One area entrepreneurs will eventually need to focus is SEO – or Search Engine Optimization.

This article is about improving your SEO skills, specifically if you build your website through WordPress. I’ve recently just learned this and am in the process of optimizing my site for this. Here’s how:

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is pretty cool stuff. If you clicked to this link then I’ll assume you have some idea of what SEO is and how it works. I won’t drone on about it. I’ve embedded a short video below for anyone who isn’t so familiar with SEO. If you’re just learning about this stuff then I highly recommend viewing the video to gain a bit of context. This will help you understand how Yoast for WordPress can help you take advantage of how SEO works to rank your website higher.

Main takeaway from the above video:

The words and titles you use when creating online content are very important in helping you to get your website ranking high on search engines. It’s not the be-all and end-all but it’s a big part of it. The best part is that with the Yoast plugin (for WordPress) you can do a few things to help Google to recognize your website as more “legit” thus giving you a better ranking.

Using the Yoast Plugin for WordPress:

Using Yoast is pretty easy to do if you know what you’re looking for. I’ll go a step further, because I’m a huge nerd, and admit that I actually have fun retooling my SEO settings on Yoast (I need more friends). I love when it tells me that my SEO settings go from “N/A” (or “Bad”, lol) to “Good”.

I’m going to share a few screen shots below and point out some key places where you’ll need to tweak a couple of things to improve your SEO settings using the Yoast wordpress plugin.

This is my WordPress Dashboard (I clicked on posts to display blogs I’ve written):

GS exp1.png

If these pictures are small you can zoom in!

As you can see above, the Blue Arrows indicate the column where both the Readability Score and the SEO Score are displayed. These scores tell you how your posts hits the readers eyes and how it ranks in search engines. You want your blogs, song lyrics, biography, etc to have a good score in both of these areas (and be green).

The first article, with the Green Arrow, has both a good Readability and SEO score. That’s why the little circles to the right are green.

The fourth article on this page, the article with the Red Arrow, has no Readability/SEO score. I’m going to want to improve that so that my readers enjoy reading my blog post and so that Google can find it.

My third article (“How to play gigs…“) actually has a red circle over the Readability Score area. That’s bad and I need to fix that.

How to access and use Yoast for WordPress

You need to add and install the Yoast plugin. Once that’s done it will become a part of your blog post edit page. Select the post you want to work on in your dashboard (or wherever you edit your posts). I’m going to use the example of my “The Etiquette of Listening to Live Music” blog post.

GS 2.png

Now this is one of my best performing blog articles. It actually has the most reads of anything I’ve written. I’m not doing it a justice by not improving the readability or SEO attributes, so let’s change that (Nice, I’m getting two birds stoned at once! Right!?).

I’ll click on the link and scroll down the page to here:

GS3.png

I’ll stay on the SEO tab and improve the “Problems” Yoast is telling me I have, in Red. Most of these are pretty self explanatory. Don’t forget to clic “Edit Snippet”, which let’s you change a few very important things:

Edit Snippet

GS5.png

This section controls how people browsing Google will see the title and description of your link. You have TOTAL control over this. Remember to use the focus keyword! You definitely want a clean looking SEO title (in green) such as:

“10 things friends do for one another | The Friendly Blogger”

It just looks clean and tidy. The slug (in blue) also shows up, keep it short and avoid stop words for better ranking.

The description (in Black) is the paragraph people will read. Make this to the point and informative about what the post contains.

Now you’re ready to improve your posts Readability:

Readability:

GS4.png

Follow the steps as indicated by Yoast in the “Problems” and “Improvements” sections and you will make your articles flow better and be more enjoyable to read, like for instance, having really really long sentences with strange, punctuation definitely won’t help, you get the point! Also, don’t forget to create and add your posts to categories. Finally, click your image(s) to edit the details such as alt-text, etc. “Alt-text” is what the picture will be saved under for people to see when they google a word and select “images”.

Let’s see how I did:

GS7.png

So now I can go back to my “Posts” page and admire my work.

GS8.png

As you see, the article name has changed from what it was before. Yoast told me I needed a focus keyword so I added one. It then told me the other places I had to make sure I put my focus keyword. One of these places was the title. My focus keyword had to appear in my article a few times so I chose something that worked well as a title and could be used throughout the article. These are just some examples of how Yoast helped me improve this article.

So there you have it

Yoast is a great tool if you use WordPress for your website. Whether you have a blog on your page, or write your lyrics online for your fans to read, or whatever. You want control over these behind-the-scenes features/attributes and Yoast is your gateway to getting this done. There’s a lot more to SEO than this but this will get you pointed in the right direction (Upward, on Google!).

Excuse me while I head over to improve the readibility and SEO attributes of this article! (Always giving myself more work!).

Cheers!

Brad

In The 21st Century, To Be A Musician Is To Be An Entrepreneur (Forbes Article)

A quick “pre-read” word:

Here’s an article I found on Forbes.com. The article uses an example (Kolar) to show us a bit about looking at music as a business. One statement from the article I personally disagree with is:

“At this point, don’t bother being a band if you aren’t willing to tour, and by tour I mean minimum 50% of the year,” says Kolar.

It’s great that it’s worked for Kolar, and it’s good advice but it’s not the only way. The point is this:

Nobody can define your music business but you. Being a music entrepreneur is about creating situations where you can use music to succeed. It’s about growing and diversifying what you do.

I’m glad to see articles using the term “Music Entrepreneur”. We are a very entrepreneurial generation and this extends to the arts. It’s not enough to call yourself a musician. Even if all you want to do is play music, you could be:

  1. Touring
  2. Selling your music and merch
  3. Start a Patreon account
  4. Etc. etc. etc.

There’s SO MUCH you can be doing with music. By thinking: “I’m an Entrepreneur” you can unlock more of your potential (which is the whole point of the TME Website!). Up next, the article:

 

In The 21st Century, To Be A Musician Is To Be An Entrepreneur

, Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Technology has been a great enabler of entrepreneurship across many industry sectors; one of the latest to feel its disruptive impact is the music industry.

Where previously an artist would have to find a record label in order to gain access to the market, today, with the help of digital technology, business savvy musical creatives all over the world are doing it for themselves.

Paul Pacifico, CEO of the Association of Independent Music (AIM), says: “Artists today are pretty much by definition music entrepreneurs and owner-operated companies, building their businesses and their brands. For them, technology has been the principle driver, reducing the barriers to entry in terms of lower costs and the democratisation of industry supply chain resources, such as production equipment and support services.”

What many music entrepreneurs don’t have is access to funding, and in fact the under capitalisation of music companies is evident at almost every level of the industry, but that could be also be about to change.

“The reality for any startup, in any sector, is working smart, boxing clever, and making best use of available resources,” says Pacifico. “What’s encouraging is that in Europe we are seeing the green shoots of an independent capital market in the music industry, with strong interest from one or two of the larger European investment funds whose expertise is in IP investment. They haven’t historically done music, but want to start that conversation of ‘what if?’”

Until then, music entrepreneurs are boxing clever and seeing results, KOLARS, a California-based band comprising husband and wife team Rob Kolar who writes, sings and produces the material – music spanning multiple genres – and Lauren Brown, the band’s tap dancing drummer.

Having spent his teenage years begging space from the local authorities for weekend gigs in exchange for a small cut, making flyers to pass round school and getting a friend to collect five dollars at the door, Kolar was well seasoned in the DIY approach.

“What we’re doing now holds many of the same principles but on a larger scale,” he says. “Basically, don’t wait for anyone to show up with the carriage, take the reins and drive it yourself.”

Several years – and bands – a few failures and some successes later, the pair launched their current project, KOLARS. They needed capital to build their band into a successful business model, but did not want to be at the mercy of a record label, music publisher or outside investor. In 2014, their decision to bootstrap received an unexpected boost in the shape of an unsolicited email from Hollywood producer Steve Pink asking Rob to score a new TV pilot.

“Lauren thought it was too good to be true and asked me if it was spam,” he recalls. “I said ‘Well I’m glad you have that much faith in me’, but it was real and after jumping through a few hoops, TBS picked up the show, ‘The Detour’, which became a big success for the network and one of the top cable comedies on TV.”

The income the work generated provided a financial catalyst for the Kolars’ plans. “A band needs tour support, a producer, a mixer, they need to press records, produce merchandise, advertise, buy instruments; it is very expensive,” says Brown. “We decided to build the business from the ground up and use our own income to make it happen. We became our own investors, while our growing fan base becomes our emerging investors, as we put the money they spend on us back into the growth of the business.”

Kolar has also invested in crypto currency, in his view, the future of money. He says: “I believe that one day it will be used by the whole world as a means of transaction, and bands and artists who invest in the right coins now will have the ability to fund their art as the market grows.”

Success in the music business is predicated on the relationship between artists and their fans. While the digital space provides multiple ways for music entrepreneurs to promote themselves to a highly engaged fan base, the key to building that engagement is touring.

“At this point, don’t bother being a band if you aren’t willing to tour, and by tour I mean minimum 50% of the year,” says Kolar. “It’s the most authentic way to connect with fans, make new ones, and share an experience that can be fun, profound and meaningful.”

 

Succeeding as a music entrepreneur requires creative talent and commercial awareness, and for many, developing the business acumen is a steep learning curve.

“You make a lot of mistakes,” says Kolar. “We still have merchandise sitting in our garage from previous projects that didn’t last. But I’ve shifted my perspective, and where I used to see those things as signs of failure, I now see them as signs of progress and a reminder of how far we’ve come.”

As technology continues to turn industry tradition on its head and create new pathways to market for a new generation of music entrepreneurs, Paul Pacifico is upbeat about the future. He says: “We are moving away from old world, top down, supply side economics, and music entrepreneurs in the 21st century are using technology to work much more dynamically and creatively than artists in the previous century were ever able to do.”

Follow Alison on Twitter @alisonbcoleman and https://plus.google.com/+AlisonColeman/posts

Source Link

Perform for a Toronto based wedding band. A colleague is looking for talented musicians…This could be you!

Hi there!

A gig opportunity has just come across my desk. A colleague of mine is looking for musicians to work in a very reputable wedding/events band. I love hooking you guys up with opportunities so if any of you are looking for work in an events band this post is for you. This opportunity is legit and I wish you all the best of luck if you decide to apply as a candidate.

What they are looking for:

My colleague is looking to staff out a band for events that are already booked as of summer 2018, onward. He needs pros with the following skills:

  1. Vocals
  2. Guitar
  3. Bass
  4. Keys
  5. Drums or
  6. Horns
Requirements:

To be considered for this opportunity you must have:

  1. Considerable experience
  2. Links to videos (Place in comments section below to apply)
  3. A music degree is preferred but isn’t mandatory
  4. If you have references they would love to see them
  5. A professional attitude. This is a professional band with many bookings already and more to come.
  6. Experience playing in wedding/event bands
  7. Ability to sight read charts
  8. Versatility
  9. Time for 1 to 2 rehearsals per month
  10. A considerable repertoire of songs (including jazz, top 40 pop, classic rock, and classic soul)
Benefits:
  1. Great pay
  2. Steady reliable work
  3. Being a part of a reputable brand
  4. The opportunity to work with an organized and professional team that understands the needs and interests of it’s musicians
  5. This company is very in demand. Be a part of it
  6. Enjoyable work and environement
  7. It’s another way to be a music entrepreneur 😉
How to Apply:

Post a link to your website or some video footage of you performing in the comments section below. A rep from the company will be in touch shortly!

My advice to you:

By compiling everything pertaining to the “requirements” section it will speed up the process and give you a better chance to be considered for this position. Whatever the outcome, it’s good to have all of this info compiled in one easy-to-share place to help you apply for any other opportunities of this type. I’m really happy to be able to bring this opportunity to you guys.

If you’re looking for a great work opportunity then this one can definitely pan out for you. I know the guy looking for artists and have heard of the company and they are big players in the Toronto events scene.

As you apply you will be given all the pertinent information.

GOOD LUCK!

(While you’re here why don’t you take a look around. My articles are basically free tips and tricks for making money with music. Enjoy guys!)

Brad

 

Overcoming the crippling fears and anxieties about being a pro musician – Why you HAVE to believe in yourself and focus on your strengths!

Hi Fam!! Today is all about being inspired and overcoming fear.

I want to talk to you if you have doubts that are holding you back. A slight shifting of your attitude could dramatically improve your situation as a pro musician. Please remember to share this article so that we can help as many people as possible…and so that I can become incredibly, massively huge!  😛

First off…try to assess yourself honestly but positively.

I am not the best singer. I am not the best guitarist, either! I’m definitely not a marketing guru. I don’t have to be all these things to be successful with music! I’m friendly, professional, reliable, have a decent voice, am pretty proficient on the guitar, and I know how to “read a room”. I know what is working for me. Mostly though, I don’t get bogged down by my “shortcomings”. How you look at your situation will have a huge impact on your success moving forward. This is as true about a career in music as it is for anything in life.

Find your strengths and focus on them:

I’ve listed some of what I’d call my shortcomings at the start of this article. It’s good to look at yourself objectively and know the areas of your game that need the most work and improvement. That doesn’t mean to dwell on them or to let them own you. You are bigger than your self-perceived flaws. They are just one part of what makes you who you are. Remember, we all have flaws. The same is true about your strengths. They are another part of what makes you unique. We ALL have strengths!

For example;

Say you feel super self conscious because you don’t like your voice. That’s a pretty daunting obstacle to overcome, I agree with you! Somewhere in your arsenal of strengths however is the key to overcoming this situation. Perhaps you can play some mean guitar and are a social butterfly. You could partner up with a singer – maybe someone you know, someone you met at open mic, a singer from craigslist or the local Facebook musicians’ page. Put together a great setlist and start booking gigs (click to learn how to book gigs).

You are still learning, remember that!

We can’t ignore our shortcomings the way an ostrich “sticks it’s head in the sand” – as the expression goes. That being said our deficiencies can’t be the goggles through which we experience our world!

While focussing on the good things that make you the person and musician that you are, remember that you are still here, learning. Time is a gift that allows you to improve at whatever you dedicate yourself to. If you feel you aren’t a good musician then spend some time in the woodshed (aka practicing…any Charlie Parker fans out there?). If you don’t like your voice you can hire a vocal coach or a singer. If you don’t know how to market yourself watch YouTube vids and reach out to people. If you aren’t making enough money gigging then try teaching as well (Click to learn how to find music students). Nobody knows it allIt takes time to learn. If you are serious about wanting to be a pro musician then keep learning and improving. With this attitude your shortcomings will becomes strengths! (so be patient and you’ll get there).

You’ll get there! Start taking action today and you will see results!

If you think you aren’t ready, keep working. If you think you have too many flaws, keep finding your strengths. If you think you aren’t good enough, know that most of us feel (or have felt) that way! It’s funny how the same situation can appear totally different and have a way better outcome by shifting your focus and taking baby steps to rectify the situation.

Knowing your faults can be useful but being crippled by them is very detrimental to both your progress and your mental health.

Please remember to;

  1. Focus on your strengths and what makes you unique (while acknowledging areas you need improvement),
  2. Spend time improving,
  3. Know you can do it, and have fun with it!

Life’s too short to focus on the scary stuff. There’s definitely a lot of freaky things involved with being a pro musician. Will I make enough money? Will I enjoy it? Will I be crippled by stage fright? These are all valid questions. If you work at it though, it will improve! (And you won’t need 5/6 pints to find the bravery to get up on that stage and kick ass every day at work!). Don’t forget to check out the other blogs articles I’ve written to help you find success. If you need more inspiration, check out this awesome video I had made on August 8th, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

You got this!

Sweat

Time waits for no one. Live your dream. Be a Music Entrepreneur!

Eventspot.ca – The future of event bookings (A new way for Artistic Professionals to be hired for services)

I’d like to introduce you all to Eventspot.

I’m very excited to talk about Eventspot – a great new service which provides artistic professionals with work opportunities. Eventspot is a free-to-use web-based service that streamlines event bookings and services. What does this mean?

EventSpot

It means that anyone looking to put on an event (maybe an engagement dinner, a wedding, retirement party, or kids birthday…you name it!) can go to one place to find the professionals they need. You can find a magician, caterer, decorator, photographer, and a great band. All in one place. For free! (and it’s easy).

Eventspot also allows people to book local venues for their events. This is the first time I’ve seen an all-in-one place where people can book event professionals as well as the venues themselves, again, all in one place.

This place is www.eventspot.ca 

IMG_5334This is Fidel Gastro’s Lisa Marie Gastropub, located on Queen Street West.

Eventspot is the future of event bookings. Gone are the days of trying to call venue to venue, chasing down event coordinators, and spending hours, days, or WEEKS looking for the perfect pros for your event’s needs. That is very exciting. It is everything you need for your event bookings, and for music entrepreneurs (and all event professionals) it is so much more. It is a way for us to make a better living.

How this helps Musicians (and all other event Professionals)

When it comes to ways for artistic individuals to find income we can never have too many revenue streams. We are self employed freelancers (for the most part) and diversifying our services (and how we offer them) is crucial to success as artists. This is why I am super pumped about Eventspot.

Signing up and making a profile is completely free. I’ve signed myself up and have gotten many musician friends onboard as well. When you create a profile with Eventspot, potential clients can browse and select services based on their individual needs. This means that by signing up, you are planting a seed that will create new potential revenue for you down the road.

IMG_6412Smash Ping Pong Lounge venue rental now available on Eventspot!

My Candid Opinion

Eventspot is doing some great things that I’ve never seen before. I truly believe that they are going to change the way events are booked. On top of the amazing service they provide, they are creating jobs for us artistic types. I’ve met the team behind Eventspot and I only see one direction for this company, and that’s up. I see a huge upside in being a part of this movement, and have even reached out to them so that I can be a part of their team. I’m partnering with them to provide information and assist any of you with registering for this opportunity.

Eventspot is currently based in Toronto, Canada but the plan is expansion. If you are interested in growing your own business then please visit:

www.eventspot.ca

If you are in the Toronto Area you can sign up as a vendor and take part in reaching new customers right away. For those of you located in other major cities (in the United States and Canada) Eventspot is working to bring these opportunities to your area ASAP. Feel free to get in touch with me and let me know where you are and what you do, so I can make sure you are kept in the loop. Spreading news about opportunities like this is why I started this blog in the first place.

Basically, Eventspot is a game changer if you’re :

  1. offering a service,
  2. have a venue to rent out,
  3. or are looking to hire any of the above.

For any assistance signing up as a venue or vendor on Eventspot please feel free to reach out to me at:

brad@eventspot.ca

Good luck, I hope this opportunity can impact your life and help you gain new customers. As artists there are so many paths to success and I hope that Eventspot can be a helpful step in your journey!

DaiLo.jpgA sample of the delicious foods available at DaiLo

November Announcements

Hello, I hope your having a great week so far.

I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out and let you know of some exciting things that are going on with myself, the Music Entrepreneur Blog, and by extension, yourself!

First off, as of this week I am creating and sticking to a schedule that will see new articles released twice a week.

1. Scheduling:

On Tuesdays: On Tuesdays I will be releasing informative articles such as the content you have become used to seeing on the TME Blog. This means more information and content about succeeding as a professional musician.

On Fridays: Every Friday I will be featuring a new Artist (Starting with the talented Delon Om, featuring this Friday). I love finding artists that are working hard to succeed with music. There are so many different ways of doing things and it is by opening our minds and learning new things that we can truly be inspired and expand our horizons. On top of celebrating these individuals I will be highlighting specific strategies and strengths exemplified by my featured artists so that we can all learn from what has made them successful in their own ways.

Consistency is key and so I am committing myself to this schedule to ensure the greatest amount of growth possible for all TME followers.

2. New (powerful) Content:

I’ve been hard at work playing gigs and settling back into life at home in Canada. I would have to say that my main area of focus has to this point been to teach you how to find performance gigs and students to teach. Being a music entrepreneur is SO much more than that though.

Since arriving home I’ve begun new partnerships co-writing and recording with several artists, am playing bigger and better gigs, and am partnering up with several companies to increase the range of content I am qualified to provide you with. The whole concept of being a “Music Entrepreneur” is evolving as I go and is growing to include many more opportunities that I did not see happening during TME’s first year. This includes me working with Long and McQuade music store to give in-store seminars about succeeding with music. It also includes me doing all kinds of other random things such as partnering with Uber to find success as a full-time musician. The sky really is the limit for us and the content coming in the next few months will truly help you step up your game and live the life of an artist. You will be your own boss! I can’t wait.

3. The YouTube Channel timeline:

The TME YouTube Channel which I have been discussing for some time now is almost ready to launch. I am currently filming so that I can have a decent amount of content to browse so we can hit the ground running. You can expect to see this content being uploaded as early as January.

So…

TME is stepping up its game with consistent releases, great new content that will make life as a music entrepreneur more achievable, and a YouTube Channel to compliment the blog portion of TME. I would love your feedback. If there are any challenges you are facing as a musician then please reach out to me. I’d love to incorporate your feedback into an upcoming article and answer your questions. Feel free to comment down below or on the TME Community page.

The future is exciting..keep working hard you are on your way!

Brad

 

This useful trick can help you to book gigs in your city! Take the “back way” in!

Getting a shoe in the door, as a musician, is a very challenging part of what we do. There are so many musicians trying to gain a spot on the rosters of venues everywhere. When it comes to how to find gigs it’s super important to be persistent and to not quit.

How to find gigs: 

[…”I’ve discovered a way to approach venues and be useful to them before even asking for a gig (and as always my knowledge is your knowledge!)…”]

Getting a shoe in the door, as a musician, is a very challenging part of what we do. There are so many musicians trying to gain a spot on the rosters of venues everywhere. When it comes to how to find gigs it’s super important to be persistent and to not quit. “Who we know” (so our connections) is often one of the best ways to be hired at a venue. But what if there’s a venue that you want to play in that you have no connections to? I’ve discovered a way to approach venues and be useful to them before even asking for a gig. As always my knowledge is your knowledge! I figured this out while living and playing music in Scotland.

Now 99.99% of the time I perform gigs that pay X amount of dollars for a determined amount of time. Exposure doesn’t cut it when you are trying to pay your bills with music. After finding a bunch of good gigs in Edinburgh I started trying something else.

 

The Precursor to “how to find gigs” this method


The farmers markets did not pay me to perform, but they offered me a spot to play where I knew there was a ton of foot traffic. The manager explained that they can’t pay me but that I can leave my guitar case open and that musicians usually make a lot of tips. The farmers markets happened during the daytime where I usually didn’t have any bookings. I figured, “Alright, I’ll give this a try and see if I like it”.

I loved it. The marketplace was vibrant, full of people enjoying their weekends, eating delicious foods, drinking aromatic coffees, trying vegan specialty items, etc. There was so much going on and it was great getting to know the vendors. I ended up making pretty decent money (usually between £80-100.00 which I would not have made if I had decided to simply stay home). On top of this I was handing out business cards and was able to book a few private parties for both vendors and guests of the market.

Another hidden perk of playing the market

The merchants would also give me free foods like cheeses, breads, salads, meats, sweets, etc. I can’t say enough good things about playing the market. The downside was that it rained a lot in Scotland and it would be pretty slow at the market on a rainy day. But as I was pretty busy with actual paying gigs I didn’t mind taking that chance most times. As you can see by my performance schedule I still busk at marketplaces (and love it)!

So how does this equal learning how to find gigs?

This brings me to when I found this “back way” in to perform at venues. From “busking” at the market I had a bunch of change, £80-200 a week sometimes. I wanted to use the money I made but didn’t want to pay in coins. On my way to the bank to deposit the coins I passed by a local pub. I wanted to perform at this pub and never really had an “in”. They weren’t too busy because it was the early afternoon. I decided I’d ask the pub if they wanted to trade my change for paper notes.

The manager behind the bar was delighted to have the change since bars always need change and I saved her a trip to the bank. As we counted my coins we chatted. I knew they had live music in there very frequently so I mentioned “ya, I made this money playing music at the market on the weekend, these were my tips”.

Providing value changes the playing field

I was able to introduce myself as a musician while offering something of value to the pub. It’s great to go to a venue and ask for a gig. You might get a good response or you may get shot down. Using this trick really gotten me a shoe in the door though. Offering something of value to the venue’s manager allowed me to establish a great rapport. It wasn’t long before she booked me in to perform. She also spoke about me with some of her friends who were managers at other pubs. I was booked in to play paid gigs there as well.

Maybe this method can help you!

That’s how I discovered this method. I’m not saying you can only do this if you busk, that’s just how it worked out for me having that link to the market. I’m not really a busker, as I’ve mentioned, but I was able to use the change I made busking to legitimize myself to a venue. This resulted in me being hired in as a performer. Whether you get change by busking, or from tips at paid gigs, or by saving change, it’s all the same.

I applied this trick to a couple of other bars and it worked every time. It even worked in places where live music wasn’t really a thing. the manager/staff would recommend other places I could go looking for work. They even put in a good word for me.

Providing something of value sets you apart from the competition who is going in “asking for something”. If you go in “giving something” you stand a chance to have that “giving” reciprocated.

I hope this articles has helped you to learn how to book gigs new places as well as forge some new relationships in your city’s music scene. Good luck!

Additional Resources about how to find gigs

Click here: to Lean how to book gigs in bars/pubs

To Learn how to book gigs in non pub settings

For inspiration to be a pro musician

-Brad

How to get paid tips while playing gigs

“…Flat out asking for tips can be a little tacky (in my opinion) and I try to avoid doing that. I’ve heard some guys and gals that are really good at doing just that. Unfortunately for me though, I’m not a natural salesman. That’s why I really love this method…” (excerpt from this very article 😉

What If I told you that you could be making more consistent tips at gigs WHILE also beefing up your social media following? 

I’m really excited to be sharing this with you today. It isn’t hard to do and you can start right away.

Playing live shows is a great way to make money as a musician, (One of the best if you ask me. For sure there are entry barriers when you begin. You have to be good enough that people will enjoy what you do. You have to have a good set list. You need to have a good professional attitude. These are all things you learn as you go though. You’ll never know it all from the onset so the most important thing is to just GET GOING WITH IT!

Now that you are performing gigs (Click here to learn how to find gigs:  PART 1   PART 2) here are a couple of easy tips that I know will seriously enhance this part of your game. Every little bit helps in this day in age where prices seem to be rising on everything. If this article is useful to you then I invite you to please like and share it. If you have something to add please comment down below...wayyyy down there!

So HOW do you inspire people to be generous and give you a few bucks as a tip?

When people make song requests they will sometimes tip. It’s hit and miss really. Sometimes the most demanding person whom you spend the most amount of time catering to will stand up and leave without dropping you a thanks, let alone a tip. Lest they lose a pretty shekel, but I digress. It kinda sucks, in a perfect world they would really appreciate your efforts and make it rain, but this isn’t a perfect world. This just means you have to;

  1. Tamper your expectations, while
  2. Using some strategies that will make people more likely to tip.
  3. It’s good to think of tips as a bonus and not something that you use to measure your own worth.
  4. Most importantly, find a way to make people request songs more frequently, and  find a way to make sure you will know the songs they ask for. As I’m about to show you it isn’t that hard.

 

This very specific trick worked like a charm in both Scotland and Canada:

As some people will leave a tip when they request a song, let’s use that to our advantage. You need to make a song book. A song book is great because it let’s people chose requests from a list you’ve pre made. I think it has an edge on simply telling people, “Hey folks, feel free to make requests”. In my way people feel more in charge, it’s interactive (so…it’s fun), and you avoid awkwardly telling people “Sorry, I don’t know that song…(Crickets)”.

Try this:

  1. Get a binder and some plastic sheet covers.
  2. In a word processor, make a list of all the songs you know how to play. I recommend alphabetizing this by artists (See the Example of a Song Book down below). Save the file, people will hold your book upside down and you will lose pages to trampling and wet floors from time to time.
  3. Print off your song list and place the pages into the clear sheet covers.
  4. Make a “Title/Social Media Page”, whatever you wanna call it. On this title page you can say a little about yourself (fight the urge to write a novel, lol it’s tough I know) Include your social media links. Put a little message on there inviting people to take a picture of the page so that they have all of your links saved in their phone (Instagram, Facebook, website, etc.). This is where you can increase your social media following easily and effortlessly while providing people with some info about you, followed by your song list. See below (under the “Example of the Song List” for my “Example of Title/Social Media Page”.
  5. You now have a Song Book…look at you!
  6. So now you are at a gig with your Song Book. You have your Intro/Social Media Page followed by the pages that make up your Song List. Now you need a tip jar. If you are unsure, ask the manager if it’s alright to put out a tip jar. You can have your own (with cool artwork on it) or you can just ask the bartender for a clear glass where tips will hopefully go. If you use one of their glasses then make sure to make a little sign saying something like “Band tips, Thank you!!!”. Lean that up against the tip jar and you’re in business. Next is where the magic happens…
  7. I like to start the night off with a 2-3 song medley of tunes that I know people will respond well to. “Sitting on the Dock (at the bay)” is a great song to start with, for example. When you see people smiling, singing a long, or tapping their feet then you know it’s working. Starting with a medley has the psychological effect of taking pressure off of the audience. It’s not like they have to clap for your right off the bat. After a 2-3 song medley you will have proved yourself to the crowd more, and given them a better value start, without require anyone to be the “first to clap” right away. You may be laughing but there is definitely a crowd psychology that exists in a venue full of people watching an artist perform.
  8. Warmly introduce yourself and let everyone know that it’s “great to be here to lay down the soundtrack of your evening. Please folks, feel free to help out by making requests from my Song Book over here”. Point out your song book which you’ve strategically placed RIGHT BESIDE your tip jar. People may not take you up on it right away. That’s the crowd psychology at work again. Once one person decides to have a peak in your book, others will follow. You can even pass the book to someone close (establishing a rapport with a nearby table of people while setting up helps break that ice, but make sure it’s appropriate. This doesn’t always fly, especially in ritsy venues).
  9. Throughout the night, reference your song book. As your audience gets more drunk they will be more bold and will be more likely to come make a request. People will be more likely to tip you as the tip jar is sitting right beside your song book. You will never have to tell people “I’m sorry, but I don’t know that song…(more crickets). Once one person tips…well you get it, crowd psychology comes into play once more.
  10. Before your last song give this a try… Let everyone know “This is my last song folks. It’s been so great playing for you tonight, and thank you so much for all of your generosity, I really appreciate that. My name’s Bradly Mitchell and you can follow me on social media. I hope to see you around again, have a great night” and then launch into your last song. That kind of references the tips/tippers and let’s people know that this is their last chance to tip if they were considering it.

Flat out asking for tips can be a little tacky (in my opinion) and I try to avoid doing that. I’ve heard some guys and gals that are really good at doing just that. Unfortunately for me though, I’m not a natural salesman. That’s why I really love this method. It is more organic and has led to countless great nights where I have built a great rapport with my audience. I’ve made tons of tips as well as increased my social media following.

There’s one thing I didn’t mention yet. I either know the songs of my songbook by heart or have the lyrics and/or chords in my iPad. You should see how quick I bring up the chords or lyrics to the next request while I’m still playing. That kills dead time between songs and is a generally good practice anyways. Dead time isn’t fun for anyone. Using an iPad for chords or lyrics has another advantage of helping you rapidly grow your song list. Every once in a while you are going to want to update your song list.

Give it a try and please let me know how it is working for you. Check out the two examples below

 

Example of a Song List:

Abba:                                                                                                              Dancing Queen

Mamma Mia

Beatles:                                                                                                           In My Life

Billy Joel:                                                                                                       New York State of Mind

Piano Man

Chris Cornell:                                                                                                Doesn’t Remind Me

 

(and so on, and so forth)

 

Example of a Title/Media Page:

Hi! My name is Bradly Mitchell

 

I’m a singer/songwriter from Toronto. I play shows in all kinds of venues for a living. Tough life…I know 😉 It’s great to be here playing for you tonight! Have fun choosing songs from this list for me to play.

Below are my Social Media Links. It would be really friggin’ awesome if you would follow me online and perhaps come out to see me again sometime! Feel free to take a picture so that you have all the links in one place.

Instagram: @themusicentrepreneur

Facebook:   the music entrepreneur

Twitter:       @ domusicforlife

Website:       www.bradlymitchell.com   and

                        www.themusicentrepreneur.com (It’s a blog for musicians I do, it rocks!)

Any tip donations are very much appreciated. Most importantly, I hope you have a killer night tonight and that I see you again soon!

Cheers!

Bradly

So that’s it! Please smash the like and share using the buttons below to spread the good gospel to our musician friends around the world! This was a fun article to write and I sincerely hope it really helps you to do great work and make some extra dough. Getting tipped is super flattering too! Keep up the great work.

-Brad