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How To Get Better Gigs With Help From Dave Ruch

dave ruch get gigs education libraries schools

Music educator and gigging specialist Dave Ruch

Every musician wants to get more gigs, book better venues and be able to perform regularly. Performing for some artists is one of the main methods for profiting from the business of being a musician.

However, getting gigs is getting harder and harder. Fortunately for all of us, there’s Dave Ruch.

Dave Ruch Is Great At Getting Paid Gets

Dave is a seasoned musician with a history of performing and creating new opportunities to perform.

One thing that sets him a part from most musicians, is the types of gigs he gets. Instead of competing with every cover band in the coffee shop/bar-type venue, he’s found a truly uncommon method of getting PAID gigs.

Yeah, you read that right.

One of the best places for musicians to get in front of a captivated (and paying) audience is to go to places that thrive on educational opportunities.

Schools and libraries are two of the best places where both education and supportive audiences await you.

If only you know how to book at their locations.

How To Book Gigs That Give You More Time With Friends & Family

That’s the specialty of Dave Ruch’s blog, a thorough resource for musicians of all walks to find ways to perform in places that keep you active in the daytime so that you can spend time with your family or friends in the evening.

How many of you have families (spouse and kids or grand kids) that you don’t see as much because you’re always on the road or playing late night gigs?

Dave’s method of performing allows him to work during the daytime and be home in the evenings/nights with his wife and kids.

Even if you’re in your 20s or 30s and haven’t settled down with a family, the rewarding nature of being a part of children and youth’s future by providing an educational and entertaining presentation during their school day is a great opportunity.

Helping others is the mark of truly influential and powerful people. In these ways, Dave shows us how to get better at helping others through booking a different kind of gig.

diy artist route podcast cover musician entrepreneur audience growthMake The Most Of Your Opportunities

Dave says, “Most public libraries have missions of entertain and educate audiences.” This is a natural fit for a musician to make new connections.

As a musician and creative entrepreneur, your main job is to build relationships with people and give them something powerful to experience.

This method of booking a different kind of venue opens up new ways for you to grow.  It gives another avenue to take the method of The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook and apply them to a new group of people to create success opportunities for you.

In a way similar to the past several DIY Artist Route guests (like Jeremy Young, Chandler Coyle, & Andrew Apanov) education in this music space is much more than a classroom experience. We all learn from each other.

Sometimes we have opportunities to take our art into new places to positively change the lives of others. In Dave’s method, you can get paid to do that too.

Quotes To Key In On

“What happens in the present is more important than being known in the end.” -Dave Ruch

“We’re all looking for hard, fast wins in the digital world. But few people are taking the time to build real relationships. When we miss building the relationship, we miss the chance to get real gold out of the exchange.” -D Grant Smith

“The wider you cast your net the busier you will be. Leaving your town gives you more work.” -Dave Ruch

Podcast Notes:

A big thanks to Bandzoogle for their continued support of The DIY Artist Route. They have 1 killer deal for musicians to get your own custom domain with a ton of built in features.

Use the promo code “DIYPOD” to get an additional 15% off of any order.

Education is a big part of what I do as a coach and mentor for musicians. I’m going to be hosting a series of free Webinars to show you how to build better connections, and more specifically make better contact with media for submissions. Click here to sign up to join me.

You can also set up a free session with me to talk about how to build your audience, grow your fan base, and more by filling out the form below.

 

Core Audience Growth For You

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Before you reach 1,000,000 fans, you have to reach 1,000.
To get 1,000 fans, you need a core audience.
Do you know who your core audience is?

If you go to the gym and lift only for your arms or legs, there’s a good chance you’ll injure your core muscle group. At the very least, you’ll offset your growth potential in the long run. The same is true with your audience/customer base. While fast growth may seem like a win, without a strong core it’s more difficult to build on your victories.

Your core audience is essential to your short-term and long-term growth.

 

Let’s talk about how to identify and engage with your core audience by having a short conversation about your music and your fan base.
Click Here.

See you soon!

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How Strengthening Your Core Audience Creates Real Success

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One of my favorite lines from Michael Scott (played by Steve Carrel) of the NBC TV Show The Office is when he’s trying to explain to Oscar why he spent $1200 on a piece of fitness equipment. It’s a Core Blaster Extreme. Scott says:

“That is by far, the best way to strengthen your core. This machine… You sit on a stabilizer ball, you put your feet into the power stirrups, you reach up and you grab onto the super-rod, and you twist, and you twist, and you twist. It strengthens your entire core. Your back core, your arm core, your… The Marine Corps actually uses it. I think that’s how they got ‘core.'”

The extended comedy in this is that we often confuse what core actually means, and don’t apply ourselves to understanding one of the (pardon the pun) core principles of strengthening anything.

The Core is the center, the location where the most energy is and output comes from. Merriam-Webster says it’s:

a central and often foundational part usually distinct from the enveloping part by a difference in nature <the core of the city>; the central part of a celestial body (as the earth or sun) usually having different physical properties from the surrounding parts ; a basic, essential, or enduring part (as of an individual, a class, or an entity) <the staff had a core of experts> <the core of her beliefs>; the essential meaning :  gist <the core of the argument>; the inmost or most intimate part <honest to the core>

All of these are properties that define the essence of who we should be wanting to reach with our creations, be that art, music, innovation, products or services. Our core audience is the central part of our following, the key individuals who are impacted the most by what we do.

In our media-crazed world where, if we’re really honest, our attention span is mere nanoseconds due to the tsumani of information, images, videos, and everything else that is blasted at us online (be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) we often lose our perspective of core in favor of everything else, or everyone else.

To promote our work and reach our goals, we convince ourselves that we have to make our content go Viral, so millions and millions of people will see it. Then we’ll be successful.

Viral is a pipe dream for most people, especially marketers. Many so-called marketing experts have tried to sell a platform that “makes your social media posts/videos go viral overnight.” I’ve seen 3 this morning alone. But at the end of the day, how many people who will see your “viral” video but not engage in your content or care about what you really have to offer?

That’s the problem with viral, there’s no loyalty or love in it. It’s a fad, a bandwagon, a tsunami and blows through but doesn’t stop and interact. It misleads you into thinking that all these people who viewed your content will come back and engage again. Some might, but often once the tsunami blows through those same people won’t be back. You’ll need a new piece of content to go viral to bring the masses back, but they will be a different set of masses, and the need to truly connect will still be there.

Your core audience is not the tsunami. Your core audience are the rescue workers, the giving and caring people who nurture, heal, bless and contribute to things that hit them in their heart in a way that nothing else does. Your core audience connects with people, ideas, products, and services that connect with the core of who they are. Your core audience are the people who naturally are attracted to you and what you do. You know some of them, and others you might not know well. Your core audience are the uncommon people you should make your focus.

Common people in the world of media and promotions are those who see and hear but do nothing to engage or interact. They’re too busy, too pre-occupied, too hungry for something else to see and entertain them for 8 seconds. They’re people who see a great headline to an article or blog and share it on their Facebook or Twitter page, but never actually read the article. They’ve essentially endorsed and promoted something that has no real value to them because they have had absolutely no engagement with it.

It’s all too common to Like and even Share something we don’t actually have any engagement with. Because Likes and Shares only require a click of a button, but no click of the heart.

Your core audience clicks with their heart. And they click with their keys and words when they leave a comment, send you a message or add a line on a Share about how you’ve made a difference in their lives. Your core audience promotes the WHY behind what you do because they know it and love it. They engage with your offering because it’s valuable to them. Your why hits them at their core.

But who is your core audience? Do you know where to find them and how to interact with them? In the pursuit for creating the viral content, it’s easy to lose sight of the people in the middle because everyone on the outside is where the target is aimed.

MeByAbbeyRoadSignI hope you’ll take the binoculars off and reset your focus towards the center, to the people in your proximity who you have the best opportunity to really engage with, the people are are already appreciative of who you are and what you do, the people who don’t need the marketing messages to reach. Here’s why:

I spent 13 years working in public media, i.e. public radio/public broadcasting (think NPR). The business model is a non-profit, fundraising based model where local contributors are the lifeblood of stability for the organization. The years when stability and contributions were highest were years where we had achieved at being very closely connected to our local community and the individuals who most strongly supported the core of the organization. Those loyal, dedicated, and passionate individuals, business leaders, and innovators continuously went above and beyond the call “to give” because they believed whole-heartedly in the mission of what we did for the community.

These experiences showed me time and again that the people who continuously support you are the crown jewels of your outreach. And they are at the center of your customer base. The old adage that it’s 300% more difficult and expensive to attract a new client than to get a past client to repeat business with you applies in the nonprofit realm, in music, in small business, and in any entrepreneurial endeavor. Satisfied people who support you, your product, your company, or your endeavor with their money will return again and again. Little to no marketing required.

What is required is continued connection and engagement. This is where we often lose track on what to do and how to do it because our focus is on growth by reaching outside people, the common folk roaming around out there.

What if the common folk could be attracted and brought in by your core audience? Isn’t this how recruiting for the military, many churches, and peer-to-peer selling works? You go out to 5-10 people you know and bring them into the fold. Some will like it, others won’t, some will stay, others will leave. Those who stay may become part of the core over time and connection, relationship and interaction. Then they can go out and do the same thing, only multiplied because the core has now grown.

If you don’t ask anything of your core other than buying your new release or new product, it’s difficult to experience the growth you want. So you allow yourself to be drawn to the so-called marketing experts who promise that they can take your work and get a million people interested in it who don’t know anything about you. Does that seem a little more far-fetched now, in light of seeing how interest from passionate people who know you and have experience with you works?

There are two main center-pieces to everything I do. One is to be an uncommon person who follows an uncommon path. Your path and my path have similarities but they’re not the exact same road. Common people blend into the background. They’re the myriad of people in all the Where’s Waldo pictures. You’re not scanning to find the common people. You’re looking for Waldo. Waldo is Uncommon.

I believe people who have something that makes other people’s lives better, brings them happiness, and solves problems are uncommon people. Common people want to blend in the background, or they want to be famous for doing nothing of any significance, but to be famous and popular. There’s no value in that. You are an uncommon person for reading this post, because I’m not telling you how to be more popular, or what to do to go viral. As a fellow Uncommoner, I welcome and appreciate you.

The other center-piece is focus on core audience for real growth and success. It’s uncommon to talk about this, but that’s why I’m not a marketing expert. I’m a relationship growth person. It’s how I took an offering in a small town and grew it to be heard and loved across the country. It’s how I’ve been able to not only meet and talk with artists, business leaders, innovators, and influential people around the world by also building relationships with them.

The essence of core audience building is relationship dynamics and communication.

I want to share with you my “secrets” to building a solid core audience and how to use social media in ways that the experts and gurus don’t know (or do know but aren’t promoting). Join me for a Free Webinar this week that will cover 2 very simple, yet very practical things you can do each day that will strengthen your core audience connection, and create new success for you.

 

Keys To Building A Focused Audience

Image by  Dimitris Kalogeropoylos

Image by Dimitris Kalogeropoylos

Get Insights On Focused Fan Growth: Sign Up For The Free Webinar Here

I wrote previously about the difference between trying to gain 100,000 Twitter followers (or simply a giant group of music fans online) and focusing your time, energy and money on a specific group of people. Numbers are a big sales point that most people are looking to increase, but when your focus is on the wrong number for the wrong reason, you don’t win as much as you want to. Here’s why:

You need to grow your audience to be able to keep making more music. That’s a bottom-line reality every musician and small business faces. And yes, you are a small business once money enters the equation. A focused group of fans is much more powerful than a giant number.

The confusion between real, prosperous success and fame (or what is considered “success” in young markets) is an obsession with the wrong kind of number.

Let’s say you have 10,000 Likes on Facebook. For some artists, that’s a small number, for others it’s a goal they’re still trying to reach. In either case, how would you view a band who has 500 Likes on Facebook or 600 Twitter followers? You might consider them to be rookies, newbies, or not very good musicians because the number of followers is small. But what potency does the 10,000 have that the 500 doesn’t other than sheer volume alone? You don’t know, because all you see is a number of followers.

Image by Dave Catchpole

Image by Dave Catchpole

This obsession with the high number without knowing much about WHO is in either group is what’s wrong with musicians and bands trying only to grow the number-base of their audience without trying to grow a specific group of people who are prime fans for their work.

You can buy Likes and followers on any social platform. You can purchase enough “followers” to make it seem you have a substantial fan base when reality tells a different tale. So how powerful is that giant number now, or better stated how real is it?

What the number metric misses is Potency, or strength. This factor is key to success in the short and long term of your music career. Potency is driven by real connection with a focused group of people who are passionate about the unique aspects of your music. Artists and bands with incredible potency include KISS, Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Shins. Their fans go out of their way to showcase how much they love these bands including costumes, fan made documentaries, and traveling large distances to see shows.

Think about it in terms of two very popular and potent brands: Apple and Microsoft. Chances are you are using one of these brands right now in some capacity. Mac users are hardcore, passionate and extremely brand loyal. Most PC (Microsoft) users will go with whatever maker or brand they feel like who runs the software they’re used to, be it HP, Sony, Dell, etc. Yes both are powerful brands. But where Apple’s user base may be smaller in size compared to Microsoft, it’s more than compensated with user (customer) potency.

Can you say the same thing for your fan base?

If 10% of your fan base shares your content with their friends (be it online social posts or old fashioned word of mouth promotion), you have a really strong connection with your fans. That’s a high conversion rate for most bands and small businesses. What if only 1% of your fan base is an evangelist for your music? That’s still a good portion. But when a fraction of a fraction of 1% is talking about you, that big number of your fan base that you brag about isn’t as powerful. Actually, that’s more indicative of what your true fan impact is.

Focus on connecting with a specific group of people, a targeted section of folks who make up your Ideal or Super-Fan group. This is the potent, focused group of fans who will increase your music success a lot more powerfully than an arbitrary number of followers online.

How can you grow your connection with a targeted group of people? The strategies and tactics for doing that are outlined in an upcoming webinar. Sign up here.