For a very long time the Compact Disk (CD) has been the best way for an musician to get their music into the hands of potential fans at shows, at a meeting or music conference. This isn’t a bad idea considering you want to give someone your music if you want them to hear you, right?
Sure, that’s if they ask for it… but let’s be honest, nothing hurts a struggling musicians pride more than finding their CDs they invested their hard earned money on left on the table, scattered across the floor or even worse in the trash can.. and you haven’t even left the venue yet. No telling how many are left in hotel rooms, in the back seat of the car or bus and never even made it to CD player at all.
Face it the CD is becoming a dying medium altogether as the digital age is taking over. No longer do you find huge CD cases of all your favorite albums and mixtapes tucked under the seat, now we simply pull out our phones that happen to be glued to our hands, pass over the aux cable, connect via bluetooth or plug in a USB drive directly.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should start showing up to these events empty handed. Here are a few tips on what to do in this digital age when you find the opportunity to introduce yourself, hand them something physical, and have them give your precious music the chance it deserves.
No matter what field of business you are in carrying a few business cards on you at all times is always a good idea. As a musician you want to make sure you include more than just the basics of your name, phone number and email and add links to all of your social media platforms or if your @USERNAME is consistent simply add the social media icons next to your name.
Discover creative ways to get them to visit your media sources whether its YouTube, SoundCloud, or your DatPiff page. E.g, purchase a easy to remember web address such as www.yourbrand.com that links them to all of your sources from a single page giving them the option to choose the platform most comfortable for them.
Small and compact but much more convenient and effective than a CD. If you have ever contemplated the idea of investing a bit of money to have your albums/mixtapes printed out and planned on giving them out for free then USB drives with your brand and info on them should also be considered.
These things are especially handy because you can add all types of media content inside for your potential fan to see all your material right in front of them. So once they plug one into a computer they can see your music videos, photos, press release, and bio as they listen to the art you crafted. Best of all no one is going to trash a perfectly good USB drive because it has value in itself, so if you choose the sell these your chances are much higher than getting a sale from a CD alone.
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Send follow up emails
If you’re networking and meeting people at these events and shows – as you should be – and happen to had shown up empty handed for some reason with no business cards or USB drives ready, it’s never a bad idea to ask for their business cards or contact info.
Once you have their info jotted down, stored in your phone, or even saved directly to your mailing list (Mailchimp has an app for this), be sure to send them your music. DO NOT send them attachments unless they specifically requested for the files. Send links to your SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, or anywhere your music can be streamed for free. Remember they don’t know if you’re worth the investment yet.
Play your music on the spot (if they ask)
This is not something i would recommend doing every time you meet someone interested in hearing your music but if the timing and situation are right, better now than never! Grab a pair of headphone or portable speaker out your bag and pull up your best song on your phone or laptop.
You DO NOT want to be caught in front of the person that could possibly change your life and not have your own music to showcase – that is not a good look at all. Always be ready you never know when and where you could meet someone, you want to have all your ducks in a row. Remember this is only if they ask you, don’t come off as pushy or over conceited.
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