It’s almost green beer day (St Paddy’s Day)! I’ve been fairly occupied creating content for this blog as well as doing a lot of food deliveries with Uber. When I got a call from the venue I used to perform for weekly I realized that a great opportunity almost slipped right on by. They asked me if I would record a video of me playing Irish songs. They want to offer guests a little something extra this Paddy’s Day. Where I’m located, in Ontario Canada, restaurants have recently reopened. There is a max capacity of 10 dine-in guests at restaurants but they want to do something special this St Patrick’s Day. Today I’ll be recording and editing a 2-hour St Paddy’s Day show to share with them. The restaurant will be showing the video on their TVs for diners.
This made me think about you. I realized that special days, like St Paddy’s Day, give us an opportunity to flex our entrepreneur muscles! This article is about using holidays to create specialized video content. This is how to get it out to the world so that you can make some real money from it!
Take Advantage Of A St Paddy’s Day Opportunity
The venue contacted me about this yesterday evening, 2 days before St Paddy’s Day. Needless to say it’s not a huuuge amount of time to prep. That said, I’m very happy they thought of me and reached out. If you don’t know, St Patrick’s Day is like Christmas for musicians, during normal times. Demand for live music peaks on March 17, and our rates go up. Not only that, we also get booked to play 2 or 3 shows, starting as early as 11 A.M. This year, just like 2020, that is not the case.
This got me thinking that perhaps I can record this video and offer it to others that may be interested. This is the whole “entrepreneur” part of being a musician. When opportunities come our way, we always want to think of ways outside the box to maximise our potential. Today I’ll be filming and editing my video. After that I’ll spend a few hours calling around/visiting nearby venues to offer my video to be aired elsewhere. I also realized that this is something you can and should do for all the special days of the year, starting TODAY.
The St Paddy’s Day Challenge
I am challenging YOU to create content for St Paddy’s Day, which is tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. An hour-long video of you playing some Irish songs will do! Get in touch with venues (if guests are permitted) and offer your video as a special treat to their guests. You can also sell your video online! Having your own website helps with this (Check out the benefits of having your own music website) I know this isn’t a lot of time (that’s why it’s a challenge!), but you can do it! I’ll be doing it today too. I’ll post the video for free as a new blog post tomorrow, as a special treat. Call it a thank you for being a reader. I’ll post my progress on my Instagram stories today as I go (make sure to follow me: @themusicentrepreneur.)
Here are some tips for getting the job done:
How To Film Your St Paddy’s Day Video
You don’t have to have crazy production to be able to pull this off. Most smartphones or tablets are very capable of filming great video. I have an iPhone & iPad so that’s what I’ll use. MAKE SURE that you film your St Paddy’s Day video in landscape mode (and not portrait mode). If you film in portrait mode your video will have black borders to the left and right. Filming in landscape mode will give you a full screen movie image, and that’s what you want. Some phones allow you to select your frame rate. Certain frame rates excel for different reasons, here’s an article chatting about that.
For my video I won’t even be getting too crazy with sound. I have to finish today so I’m going for a minimalist setup. I’ll use my phone of iPad (in landscape mode) for both my video and my audio. Ideally, I would plug everything into my (USB) Audio Interface. That way I can have vocals and guitar on different tracks that I could then mix down to get the sound I want. Today, there’s no time for that. I gotta get this thing out there! I will plug my mic and guitar into my Loudbox combo speaker (120W) – this will give my sound a plugged-in feel as well as give a boost to my vocals. My speaker also has built-in reverb which I’ll use as I like a bit of reverb, especially on my vocals.
I will place my iPad on my mic stand and will put my speaker just below that. This way the speaker will pick everything up nicely and my video will sound nice and full.
Simplicity Is Key!
This is very simple, the focus here is on making something nice, simple, and enjoyable. If you don’t have anything green to wear you can check out a local dollar store. That’s where I’m headed when I finish writing this article. They have good cheap decorations for most holidays. I’ll grab a couple of things to spruce up the visual aspect of my video. After than I’ll come back home to set up my speaker, mic, and iPad. I’ll make sure I’m nice and centered and begin filming.
My video will likely begin with some Irish music that I’ll import into my video to have as an intro. I’ll say a few words “Happy Paddy’s Day everybody” type of thing. I’m doing a 2-hour long video so every half hour I’ll stop and restart recording. I will do this so that the files don’t take forever to upload. I’ve actually recorded entire hour-long videos and then realized something went wrong and I wasn’t even filming. After you record yourself doing your thing import it to whatever video editing software you use. Write your titles in and insert transitions between cuts (and trust me, there will be many cuts).
Get Your St Paddy’s Day Video Out To The World
I’m not sure what your website or social media situation is. You will want to focus on the places you are the most active to get the word out of your St Patrick’s Day music video. You can announce that you’re making a special St Paddy’s Day video to spread some happiness. Uploading some video as you go as stories is a great way to tease your upcoming content release and generate some buzz. You can do whatever you want with your content. You can give it up free or try to make a bit of an income with it. The gig industry has been ravaged by COVID and people may be happy to help you by buying your video to spruce of their Paddy’s Day.
Where To Sell Your Video:
Bars and Restaurants:
Get in touch or visit in person and speak with the manager. Let them know you created a St Paddy’s Day music video. Offer your video for whatever sum of money you both think is fair. I’ve been offered $200 for my video but that doesn’t mean I can charge that everywhere. My video is being made by special request. I spoke with another bar and they wouldn’t pay over $50, but hey, I may as well lower my rate for them. It’s better than not making $50 to simply share the video to their Dropbox.
It’s also great because it gets your performance in front of the public, which is always a good thing. This also give you a chance to perform in these venues once the pandemic has cooled and live performances are back on. I’ll be uploading my video to the bars Dropbox and they will play my video to their TVs via a laptop (probable through HDMI). They can choose how they want to show it really, that’s not really my concern.
Contact senior homes. Ask to speak with the Director Of Recreation and make your pitch to them. If you have no idea what to charge I don’t think you can go wrong in the $50-100 range. Many nursing homes/retirement communities have a budget for entertainment and they may love to hear from you. If they aren’t interested you can ask what rate would make it work and then make your decision based on that. Always inquire about what format works best for them. I suggest uploading the video to your website or to YouTube, that way you can simply share the link to anyone that buys your video.
Your Website/Social Media:
This a very DIY approach, which I love by the way! If you have a website on a platform such as BandZoogle (that’s my affiliate link. If you’re looking for a great music website BandZoogle truly is the best! They offer commission free sales right in your website) you can drive traffic there. Take a look at what I was able to set up in about 5 minutes on my BandZoogle Website:
I created a test product (this isn’t my actual video, yet!) which in this case is a downloadable file. The price of $2.99 is a very small/fair fee indeed. I added the video to my store and it’s ready to be downloaded. Payment all happens through PayPal, nice n easy! Now I can spread the word about it, drive traffic to my website to sell my video! Anyone that wants to support me AND get a great set of live music on St Paddy’s Day can opt-in. All proceeds go directly to the artist (you!) so this is a great way for people to help and support you. Don’t be shy in telling people that. We need to tell people what to do sometimes when it comes to our business!
What To Expect
Look, I don’t have a million social media followers (far from it) but I do have a lot of followers that found out about me at my live performances. In the early days of the pandemic I was streaming A LOT (like every musician). These people were some of my biggest supporters and I bet many would opt-in to watch my video, especially at such a low price. It is something fun for them to do as most people are still stuck at home. You don’t know how well your video will succeed but creating content is so important! Since it is last minute many people may miss out of your release. That’s ok! If you build it up as something cool that you’re doing you can hit the ground running with your next holiday special.
The point is, if you don’t try you’ll never know what you could have done! You’ll also never know what you will learn in this process. Maybe you find out that making music performance videos is easier than you thought! Maybe you learned that there’s a market for sending music videos to senior homes during the pandemic. This challenge is meant to help you beyond St Patrick’s Day so embrace it and take the plunge! Easter and Mother’s Day are around the corner. I bet you can apply what this challenge taught you to put some great content together and further grow your brand. Being a Music Entrepreneur is all about finding cool ways to try new things, create buzz and make content.
Good luck with this challenge! Comment below to let me know how everything is going or if you have any questions! Subscribe to this blog to stay involved with us all here & don’t forget to follow our Instagram Page HERE to follow how I’m doing with my challenge! I’m in this with you, let’s go!