How to Avoid Panic Promotion

Occasionally I get emails from house concert presenters who have an upcoming show with a shortage of RSVPs. They are looking for help or advice for a last minute promotional push to get their numbers up for a healthy turnout.

Note that these following suggestions are even MORE helpful if you don’t wait until a few days out.

Let’s make sure your emails are persuasive.

What makes this artist special? What do you love most? Have you communicated that in an email to your list?

A lot of hosts fall into the habit of “just the facts” when announcing their shows. I find it makes a difference to give them a sentence or two about why this show might be special.

Example: “Aaron’s CD has been the most played music in my car for the past six months. I think you’ll really appreciate the lyrical depth and musical groovy-ness of his music. It reminds me of Peter Gabriel.”

THEN give them the details and how to RSVP.

Brainstorm to get a few more names and emails on your list.

Not everyone picks up the habit of collecting email addresses and interest from people they meet. Is your dentist on your list? Who else have you met lately?

If you don’t have the habit of adding to your list each time you meet new folks, then schedule a regular brainstorm session every month or so. OR, wait til just before you get into panic mode on your concert with light RSVPs. 8^)

Personal calls and emails to key folks.

Remember that some of the people on your list are actual friends that you care (or used to care!) about. Maybe pick up the phone? “Hey I was about to invite you to this special concert I’m hosting, but I figured I’d give you a call and catch up first. How are you?” Re-kindle the friendship, THEN offer to send the invite email. You might even confirm the email address if they’ve been unresponsive in the past. “Is this your best email?”

Ask for help!

Your existing RSVPs can be nudged to invite some friends.

Don’t beg and plead (yet)… people actually like to be helpful. And NEVER be a downer about your numbers. You want to inspire people to attend, and you want them to look forward to future emails. If you establish a pattern of panic and sadness, people will start to tune you out.

So include a special note in your reminder email “we have a few open seats left for this show… is there someone you know that might enjoy joining you for this special concert?”

At Listening Room Network, we help venues and house concerts promote their events to each other, as well as our private community of fans. You can join us and list your events at www.ListeningRoomNetwork.com

What is some advice you’d give to a host who wants to add some last minute RSVPs? Send them to support@listeningroomnetwork.com and we’ll update this post.

And remember, don’t just announce… persuade!

“This concert is a special one because…”

 

Listening Room Festival 2020 Lineup Announced!

Last night, 60 music fans from the Tampa Bay area gathered at the Hideaway Cafe (St. Petersburg FL) to get the first glimpse of the #LRFest lineup for 2020. We booked 20 house concerts in one night for our festival next March.

Our 9th Annual Listening Room Festival takes place March 25-29, 2020.
We’re excited that more music fans make a music vacation out of our festival each year. Hosts from Canada, France, and all around the U.S. come to St. Petersburg FL to meet their tribe and experience an amazing week (or long weekend) of intimate and remarkable performances.
We’ll update the Listening Room Festival site with more info soon.

Here is the lineup for 2019!

Joy Ike
Kevin Daniel
The Young Novelists
Amy Bishop

Twin Kennedy

Please register at http://www.ListeningRoomFestival.com for more information, including hotel deals and more about the expanding festival schedule!

Your Cultural Legacy as a Music Fan

Did you just go to shows, or did it mean something? — Fran Snyder

You can be in the music business.
Best of all, you don’t have to pretend it’s your job.

What do I mean?

Until you make it to the top of the corporate music business ladder, you’re poor. You’re overworked. It’s a rough lifestyle.

The best way to be in the music business is as a hobby. It’s easy as

  1. Volunteer
  2. Play a limited role that you enjoy.
  3. Watch the impact that you make on the lives of your friends, and the careers of independent artists you admire.

You can make a difference as a fan, organizer, promoter, or house concert host. Stay at it long enough, and you create your own cultural legacy.

Let us show you how.

Join Us.

franrussfa2014
Russ (right) and his wife Julie have hosted 200+ shows in their home over the past 15 years. What a legacy!

Do House Concert Hosts get a Free CD?

Copy of _DSC1097
Photo by Jess Phillips. Listening Room Festival 2019.

A gratitude mindset has served me well over the years. One of the things that I’ve always found odd is that some artists get hung up about giving their house concert host a free CD.

Yes. An artist’s work has value and they shouldn’t be compelled by someone else to give it away for free. But the act of volunteering a gift to someone can often have a lovely effect.

Who should be grateful? The host who gets a personalized performance from a national touring artist in their home? Or the artist who’s been given a captive audience and a warm reception?

Of course, the answer is both.

Sometimes the host will take the lead and offer to buy a CD. Sometimes the artist can take the lead and offer a free keepsake or memento.

Here’s a scenario that’s played out for me (as an artist) many times after a house concert.

ME: (Presenting a signed CD.) I’d like you to have this. Thanks for putting this event together.

HOST: Oh. I want to pay for it.

ME: I’d like to give it to you.

HOST: No. I insist on paying for it. I always buy a CD from the artists. You need the money.

ME: Thank you. That’s very kind. (Taking the money, and presenting something else – another CD, a shirt, or something.) OK. Now you have to accept this gift from me.  8^)

Host then offers – come back and stay with us anytime you’re in this region… here’s some food for the road… marry my daughter… etc.

Lesson: If it’s a point of pride for the host to purchase something… let them. And THEN give them something else as a thank you. [hint: you should have more than one thing for sale.]

Gratitude. It’s so inexpensive in the long run.

 

 

LRN Artists, Musicians and Bitcoin

Subject: Artists, Musicians and Bitcoin

Hi Friends,

Over the past 25 years I have watched musicians lose financial ground. It’s not just the value of recorded music that is decreasing, but the very dollars that we earn are being devalued in order to prop up stock markets and the rest of the economy.

In the next ten years, there’s going to be a massive transfer of wealth due to the increasing pace of technological and social change.

I want to see artists on the upside of those changes.

I am NOT a financial advisor. That said, I want to make it fun and worthwhile for you to explore Bitcoin, and there’s a very strong chance that you will financially benefit from your newfound interest.

Here’s all you do.

  1. Download the CashApp from Square. Most musicians already trust Square, and won’t mind connecting a bank account to the CashApp. This is the absolute easiest way to buy Bitcoin.
  2. Fund your App with $50, and buy $50 of Bitcoin from the App.
  3. Reply to this email and tell me you did it – I’ll give you $50 off your next LRN renewal. (This offer is only for LRN artist members.)
Disclaimers: 
  • I’m only recommending a $50 purchase. Don’t neglect your important bills for this!
  • I don’t receive any direct benefit from  your purchase. I simply want to introduce people I care about (friends and customers) to a very important force. The value will go up and down… hold it for at least a year.
  • I’ve made small investments in Bitcoin since 2017 and it has introduced me to profound concepts and people. I hope it does for you too.
  • I cannot be your tech guy for this – if you are not good with phone apps… please ignore this entire message.  8^)
More Info on Bitcoin

 

5 LRFest Judges will win Prizes!

5 LRFest Judges will receive prizes this year’s Listening Room Festival.

We want a record-setting number of judges this year, so that LRFest can represent our whole community. So we’re offering prizes to 5 judges who participate. Yes, we want you to vote AND attend the festival!

Grand Prize:

2 VIP tickets* to LRFest Showcase ($200 value) AND $200 reimbursement of air travel to the Festival. ($200 if you fly in, if you drive in or are local, we’ll give you $50 spending cash instead.)

4 Runner-up Prizes:

2 VIP tickets* to LRFest Showcase ($200 value)

*VIP tickets include prime seats, free food and cash bar in the VIP lounge, and entrance to the after party. LRFest showcase event is Friday, March 27, 2020 in St. Petersburg FL. Stay a few extra days for house concerts! Prize winners will be announced in August.

Prizes are non-transferable and good only for LRFest 2020.

 

Fan Memberships – Message for LRN Artists

Photo by Jess Phillips.
A few months ago we created Fan Memberships for our network. Our existing reputation is for helping new hosts get started, and helping them find talent for their shows. However, the biggest challenge that hosts (and artists) face is developing a steady audience – one large enough to fulfill the expectations for each show.
Over the next few months you’ll see our ads on Facebook (the social media where most of our hosts and fans live) as well as a few other places. We want to inspire new people to attend shows and to get them hooked on our culture.  They’ll meet like-minded people and stay connected via their membership.
We also know that the best source of new hosts are people who have attended at least a few house concerts. They have clearer expectations, and often have ideas of what they’d like to do differently or better. Fan memberships will also encourage and inspire some of these new fans to host shows.
Fans are now a third and equal partner in our network. Their participation is vital for our success. We aim to increase turnout and make a deeper cultural change in the world. A change that serves the art and the people.
More on this subject soon.
Thanks for being part of it.