As I’ve said before, when a host is trying to decide who they want to volunteer to host (volunteer = work for no pay), they need to be impressed, comforted, and confident about their choice. The number one place they seek that is the first video in your CIYH profile (or wherever you send them.)
I thought I would ask our community of hosts directly… what is the first thing you look for/at when an artist sends an email about playing your series? Have a look at the responses — two thirds go “straight to video.”
Recently, one of our member artists inquired if I could give her ideas about why she wasn’t connecting with hosts on our site. What do you think I did?
I went to her profile and looked at her first video. She’s talented, and the video is well-shot, but it’s not her best song and the groove just feels off. More importantly, it’s not her best video, but it’s the one she has used since she joined. She has never experimented or updated her profile to see if she might get different results.
Are you using YOUR favorite video, or the one that impresses OTHER people? Experiment, try something new, see what happens. Artists need to grow and try new things… but none of that matters if you don’t share it.
Choosing the right video, one that you might already have, can make a huge difference in your booking results. Imagine 10% more gigs… that could be thousands of dollars in a year’s time.
Thousands of dollars. It’s worth trying and testing something new.
One of our hosts suffered a tragic loss this week – the loss of a child. Attending the funeral reminded me of some important things. First, that we (CIYH & LRN) are a community. Though we may not all share the same time and space, we are connected by our love of music.
I was reminded with hugs, with the selection of music, and with passionate words that music can be the thread that holds when it feels like our lives are unraveling. Carrie, the host, was unable to enjoy music for several days after the loss of her son. Then Woody Russell called, and reminded her that music is people, that music is love, and music is healing. They met because of house concerts. Then Carrie deliberately chose a song from Leslie Ellis to play during the service, because of the message, the memories, and the feelings from the house concert in June.
The funeral service was attended by a full room of friends and family. Many of these friendships were initiated or strengthened by the sharing of music in Carrie’s home. It was something to see and feel.
Music cannot replace what we lose. Music though, can hold us firmly in it’s rhythm, it can carry us with it’s sweet melodies, and it can anchor the words we hold most precious. Music will not be lost.
Thank you Carrie for letting me share this story, and for being part of our community.
“Up or Out” is a phrase that Bob Hillman uses in this story, to describe the potential philosophy of paying openers poorly. “Move up or move out” means that you aren’t supposed to make a living wage as an opener… get better, get lucky, or get out of the business. It’s both brutal and practical.
And then there are the romantic stories (thanks Shawn Mullins) of acts like the Indigo Girls who pay openers a living wage, share their massive audience with them, and treat them like family. Maybe that’s all part of moving up… to better opening slots.
It is possible make a music living without drawing a size-able audience in multiple markets. House concerts certainly enable that, and many more acts achieve it by becoming more entertainer (playing whatever, however) than artist.
We all create our own story, but I found Bob’s enlightening. I recommend reading the rest of it here.