100 Tips and Ideas For Indie Artists

10 Ways To Utilize Your Street Team:

  1. Recruit people to come to your shows
  2. Pass out or hang fliers
  3. Request your songs on radio (within reason)
  4. Help man the door at shows
  5. Help man your merch table
  6. Promote your music to their friends
  7. Promote you on their social networks (Facebook, MySpace etc.)
  8. Run your fan club
  9. Get the crowd going at your shows (applauding, dancing etc)
  10. Scout for venues (clubs, house concerts, fairs etc)

10 Ways To Loosen Up Your Audience:

  1. Tell a joke or 2 (only if you’re good at it)
  2. Play a comedy song
  3. Play a fun song that people love to sing along to (not a kid’s song)
  4. Play a song that makes people want to clap along
  5. Banter with one specific member of the audience in a fun way
  6. Play a strong dance song (in a dance room, of course)
  7. Use props, if appropriate
  8. Ask for requests instead of just guessing what they might want to hear
  9. Tell a good short story – such as telling why you wrote the next song you’re going to play
  10. Before your show or set, introduce yourself to some of the audience members. Then call on them or introduce them by name from stage.

10 Big Mistakes Artists Make When Performing Live:

  1. Ignoring the audience – audiences want to be engaged
  2. Ignoring each other – no interaction among the band members makes it look like they’re not having fun
  3. Take extra long solos that bore the audience
  4. Not playing what the audience wants to hear
  5. Playing too loudly
  6. Having a poor mix – vocals drowned out, guitar too loud etc, not EQed for the room
  7. Drinking too much or getting high
  8. Playing out of tune and/or singing off pitch
  9. Fighting/arguing with an audience member
  10. Fighting/arguing with, or hitting on someone from the venue (waitress, manager etc.)

10 People (or Groups of People) You Should Build A Strong Relationship With:

  1. An Accountant/Financial Advisor
  2. A Mentor – someone who is or has been where you want to be
  3. An Entertainment Attorney
  4. A Manager (even if he/she isn’t your manager, just to get some advice)
  5. Your Raving Fans – those fans who follow you everywhere, buy your music as soon as it comes out etc.
  6. A good Videographer/Photographer
  7. A Producer who ‘gets you’ and can deliver the sound you want
  8. Someone to help manage your fan list or fan club
  9. Other musicians – you never know when you’re going to need a fill-in, or when they might need you to fill in.
  10. Networking organizations, both in and outside of the business

10 Ways To Increase What You Charge For A Gig:

  1. Prove that you draw fans to your gigs
  2. Show that you know how to keep audiences from leaving
  3. Be professional – start and break on time, dress properly etc.
  4. Show that you can win any crowd
  5. Show that you can sell more food or drinks (whatever the establishment sells)
  6. Be willing to be flexible with your playing time, sleeping rooms, rehearsal times
  7. Go the extra mile – play longer if the audience wants you to and the venue says it is OK
  8. Create a demand for your act
  9. Stick around after shows until every audience member who wants to speak with you has had the chance
  10. Do your own promotion instead of relying on the venue to promote you.

10 Things Your EPK or Press Kit Needs To Have:

  1. Color picture
  2. Black and white picture
  3. Live recording
  4. Live video
  5. Contact information
  6. Bio
  7. Schedule/Calendar
  8. Endorsements, reviews etc.
  9. References
  10. Song list (especially if you play covers)

10 Ways To Save Money On The Road:

  1. Bring a portable microwave or hot plate and cook in your room.
  2. Bring an electric coffee pot.
  3. Stay with fans instead of in hotels.
  4. Use www.BetterThanTheVan.com to find free places to stay.
  5. Join your local the YMCA/YWCA if you like to swim or workout. Your membership is good almost everywhere.
  6. Find discount restaurant coupons online as soon as you get to town.
  7. You’ll find all kinds of coupons in ‘The Entertainment Book’ (www.entertainment.com). Buy 1 for any region you’ll be in a while or will be returning to in the course of a year.
  8. Trade out performing a fan house concert for a place to stay and maybe some meals (still sell CDs and merchandise).
  9. Take advantage of free happy hour snacks (but don’t get drunk doing it).
  10. Avoid driving during stop-and-go rush hour traffic.

10 Things To Have With You At All Gigs (if applicable):

  1. Guitar: strings, picks and a strap
  2. Extra fuses and tubes, if your amp uses them
  3. Drummer: drum sticks and drum heads
  4. Extra batteries – every kind that you need to complete a gig
  5. A flashlight and small toolkit
  6. Extension cords
  7. Extra cords – carry at least one spare of everything you use, including power cords.
  8. Backup computer battery
  9. A duplicate of any tracks, sequences etc. that you use for the gig.
  10. Backup microphone

10 Ways To Establish A Great Rapport With An Entertainment Buyer:

  1. Confirm the gig 1-2 weeks before the scheduled date
  2. Confirm the start and end times as well as the break times
  3. Be on time for set-up, sound check, the first set and every set all night long
  4. End on time so the staff can go home, unless the audience wants you to stay longer and you OK it with the buyer/manager
  5. Ask the buyer what his or her expectations are for the night before the gig, then do everything you can to help meet them
  6. Stay clean and sober during the gig
  7. Deliver a knockout performance every night no matter how many people are in the room
  8. Be everything that your promotional materials say you are and more
  9. Offer to help in any way that you can outside of your job description as the entertainer
  10. Cater to the audience 100%

10 Forms of Merchandise You Might Want To Sell:

  1. T-shirts
  2. Sweatshirts and/or sweaters (heavy and bulky)
  3. Caps
  4. Jewelry with your logo
  5. Bumper Stickers
  6. Photos / posters
  7. Key chain
  8. A book of your lyrics, drawings and/or photos
  9. Bandana
  10. Cool socks