Your Live Show Can Keep Making You Money Long After You Leave Town

A live show is the culmination of years of practice, grind, networking, and connecting with fans. It’s… a big deal. Now imagine posting photos from every show on your website. Photos of playing, with fans, load in, sound check. Then post the link on all your socials.

Remember – your website can have links to… your store. Where you have things for sale.

Imagine driving 1000+ people to your site every night, and then selling a few shirts. Or a record or two?

You do realize all the websites that cover shows are making money off you, right? They get on social media, “hey, check out our photos of so and so from last nights show in NYC!” They drive traffic to their website where they have banner ads, and prominent links to their Patreon site.

That could be you. You could be getting those eyeballs, turning casual listeners into rabid fans. Rabid fans buy merch.

The “content” you’re making sits on your socials. Yes, it looks pretty, but it could be working for you long after you leave the 3rd stop on your tour. Sell $100 per night through your website over 20 nights, thats $2000. Instead of just getting 2000 likes.

And here’s the thing – you don’t even have to do this yourself.

Since you’ll still be posting your thoughts and photos and all that to socials, you could have someone build those posts every night, without a lot of input. Let them curate the band’s photos, and maybe some social media posts from those in attendance.

Post the link on socials the next day, and drive a few hundred people to your site.

Hire someone (like me) to manage and build that. Make some money. Or, fuck, take this idea and do it yourself!

Just stop shoveling all of your life work onto social media for the likes, and the engagement, thinking the algorithm will magically make you go viral and somehow you’ll sell a shirt.

Note: this post started off as an off the cuff Twitter rant (here), which I then copied and pasted into WordPress. This post can now be updated, linked to, and read for years to come. Turn your social media posts into evergreen bits of magic on your own site!

We Got The Moves

Summer is winding down, but this has become my summer anthem.

Usually I’m not a fan of the “harsh vocals” switching the “clean vocals” and all that stuff that “the kids” seem to like so much, but this just works for me. I mean, the visuals do it, too. Such attention to vibe and style and wit and sass. I love it so much.

You Can Hit 399

Via @tankcrimes

Post your Bandcamp link maybe more than once during the lead up to the release of your album. Selling 400 is possible!

But what do a lot of bands post?

“Spotify rates are awful,” and also, “listen to our new single on Spotify.”

Neither message will help you sell a fucking album.

I absolutely don’t believe in “no one buys albums” anymore. People are buying albums. They just ain’t buying your album.

1. Don’t ask, don’t get. If you don’t include a link and make it stupid simple to order, you’re not gonna make the sale.

2. Don’t treat it like a commodity. You’re not just selling MP3 files and vinyl records.

3. Supply / demand. There’s a lot of copy cat, generic bands out there. What are YOU doing to set yourself apart?

4. Are you “engaging” your fans? You’re not Radiohead. Take a minute and reply to some of the people who already buy your music and come to your shows. Unpaid interns can hit the Retweet button, which makes it worthless. Take a minute and reply and make someone’s day.

Just my thoughts, as no one has all the answers, or else they’d be a zillionaire. But give yourself a chance: make it as easy as possible for fans to support you.

WEEKLY LOOP for SEPTEMBER 12, 2021

Everything is a loop, it seems. We keep making the same mistakes, the same choices, the same levels of misery. Happy Sunday!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CTlLe7iDHbv/

LIKES

  • “I just cannot accept that my dad’s life or anyone else’s is a fair price to pay for our “back to normal,” @Amber_Coffman
  • “9/11 hits different riding up on 700k deaths no one cares about,” @Mollyissilly
https://www.instagram.com/p/CTplApgIznu/

WORK LIKES

  • “Now when I feel overwhelmed by work I take 2 deep breaths and say, “this is what you dreamed of. That’s what this work is for. And if this specific job isn’t it, we won’t say yes to this again,” @aundrelarrow
  • “The next big recruiting platform in tech is the 32 hour work week,” @gabe_g2i
https://www.instagram.com/p/CSt-iGELsCY

MUSIC LIKES

  • “*wakes up, puts on old school metal tee* man I love this band. wonder if their singer thinks the Moderna vaccine is a plot to inject microcomputers into the bloodstream,” @mountain_goats
  • “The label I work at had ITS BUSIEST YEAR EVER in 2020 and that momentum has carried,” @turnbullet666
  • “If you’re an artist, you will be an artist no matter what. I don’t think you have a choice,” Jasamine White-Gluz via @HandDrawnDrac
  • “When you focus on building your own shit, all the doors that were once closed start opening organically,” @Breezyb215
  • “You’d be surprised how many people are willing to pay $10 for an album when given the opportunity,” @BigSto

I moved Metal Bandcamp Gift Club back to it’s old school, Yahoo style layout. If you have a birthday and love giving gifts (and sometimes getting gifts), you should check it out.

stopped using Whoop after just five months. There was nothing wrong with it, but my head needs less numbers and things to feel guilty about these days.

May your week be filled with good food, and cool evenings on porches.

We Love Anniversaries

So you didn’t release a seminal record 20 years ago like Converge did with ‘Jane Doe,’ huh?

Notice all the articles written about that? All the buzzzzz from people chiming in on social media, expressing how time flies, and all that?

People love anniversaries. People remember bad anniversaries (deaths, divorce, etc). For whatever reasons our brains are wired to appreciate them a bit more, which is why they do so well on social media.

“Hey! This album turned 10 years old today!”
“Today is when we started our first European tour!”
“Our drummer has a birthday today!”

It’s free and easy, and it doesn’t feel like click bait because it’s just 100% true. Putting out an album five years ago, or releasing a video during a pandemic – that’s hard.

https://allfather1.bandcamp.com/album/century-sessions-vol-1

So document all your big moments – those first out of state shows, the first demo, the first print review, your singers birthday, the first guitar you bought (or the most recent one). I mean, be cool about it – don’t go overboard, but you can use this to mix things up a bit.

Bonus idea: write a post about the notable anniversary on your site. Write a paragraph about that first album, that first show, whatever. And of course, be sure to include photos, video, and a bit of text. Get everyone from the band to write a little bit. Hell, do a Zoom call or a podcast, and put that in there.

Then, when you post the anniversary to social media, include a link back to this new post!

Magazines and websites write big posts like this because they work. I mean, it helps if you’re Converge or Slipknot, sure. But start where you are – neither of those bands became who they are overnight. They did it one fan at a time, and that’s exactly what this helps with.

One Turntable Loop Pedal Wizardry

I have a hard enough time trying to grasp making mixes with two sound sources for Goodnight, Metal Friend. But this?

This is bananas.

Start at about the 6:00 minute mark.

Here, Cut Chemist samples a bass line at the 6:44 minute mark, and loops it.

Then he perfectly cuts in a drum loop from a completely different record, and loops that at the 7:00 minute mark.

That just blows my mind.

This set was in support of DJ Mat The Alien, who suffered a really bad injury while mountain biking in October of 2020. The fundraiser (here) topped $200K, and he’s back to making music.

Inheritance, Existence

Via @simonwilliam, Deputy Music Editor at Rolling Stone

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry passed away this weekend, and above you can see two things in action. Two bold truths in the universe we live in now:

First, “I inherit words, songs, and power.” As an artist, a musician, a photographer – you’ve got the skill. The mindset. The talent. That doesn’t mean riches, or a payday, or even a career. But look at the list of artists paying tribute and respect to Perry in this piece by Rolling Stone; Mike D of The Beastie Boys, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.

Second, “the publication that ran that interview is no longer existent.” I’m able to listen to the music of Perry because music is forever. It’s on YouTube, streaming services, it’s in used CDs bins in music shops around the world.

When a URL expires, it’s gone. Yes, there’s the WayBack machine, but for all intents and purposes, it’s gone. Vanished, without a trace (sans the screen shot above).

Do the thing that is your legacy endlessly. Cover your walls in prints, in art, in CDs filled with demos from 2001-2002. Leave pieces of yourself everywhere in whatever medium you can, as often as you can.

Yes, even online. Just make sure you re-up your domain name every year.