Friday, July 29, 2011

If you've got great web presence, you've got too much time on your hands...

OR you've got someone helping you, OR your a great writer, OR posting, tweeting, and blogging comes second nature to you.

This blog is supposed to be about balancing a music career, marriage and family.  Although we haven't had enough time to bring the blog full circle to touch on all the points.  But this is the problem, it seems that since we've started this blog, we've been everything but balanced.  I would say we're extremely unbalanced.  If we're not able to do what we're writing, then we shouldn't be writing about it.

I (Misty) have been spending countless hours trying to come up with blog posts.  My mind does not stop.  Everything that happens or has happened during Chubby's career, I put on my list of posts (that's longer than my leg).  Chubby and I haven't been talking about regular day-to-day stuff like usual.  We've been discussing blog posts!  He tells me his ideas, I tell him mine.  Instead of "Hi, honey! How was your day?"  its "Hi, honey!  I've got a great idea for a blog post."  Come on now....Maya is ready to throw my computer out the window.   I've also been searching the web looking for informative ideas for musicians.  That could take the rest of my life!

I wanted to give musicians a one-stop shop to get all the help they needed in the music business.  I wanted to create an organized, simplified method for obtaining the information.  I find that the amount of information on the web is completely overwhelming.  You can start by researching one item and end up having 20 extra items on your to-do list.  The links alone overwhelm me, and I lose my focus.  Usually I can't remember what I started looking for because I've covered 101 topics.  One of my goals (out of too many to count) was to organize the information by topic with an action plan.

That brings me to my next point, MY goals.  What are my goals?  What was I put on this earth to do?  What is my calling and purpose?  Is it to be a blogger?  Is it to be a social media superstar?  I think not.

We've been blessed that Chubby has an awesome following every where he goes.  He's been at this a long time and people already know him.  Not to say that it isn't important to connect on social networks, but Chubby is great at face-to-face.  He's also great on the phone. He's a great friend.
So I've had to re-evaluate my goals.  I know in my "knower" that I'm supposed to be a wife and mother.  That's what God put me on this earth for.  So I have to go back to the original plan.  The goal that will mean the most when I come to the end of this life.  That I served God, my husband, and my daughter well.  If I continue at this pace, I will fail miserably.

If you are a blogging, gig-booking, managing, publicity getting, social media superstar traveling musician (or wife of) that still has time for your home, spouse, kids, friends AND you get sleep, I want to read your blog.  NO! I want to meet you and shake your hand.   My hat's off to you.

Not to say that we won't post anything ever again, perhaps we'll take a different approach.  You know a blog is a work in progress, it evolves.  But right now I'm not planning on anything.

I hope you've enjoyed the previous posts and gained some knowledge.  Hope to see you at a gig!

5 Important Tips to Make More Money at Gigs

Ah, yes!  Wives working at the gig while the husband is working the crowd.  It's easy to get lost in the shuffle.  But you know what?  My job is just as important as Chubby's.   I think I multi-task more at a gig than anywhere else. I, too, am a singer, so I sing back-ups, fetch water, dance to get the crowd going, sell merchandise, obtain email addresses, take care of backstage issues, hand out flyers and postcards, answer questions and watch our daughter.

We look at selling merchandise as a second income, so I hustle to make as many sales as possible.  Now, I know what you’re saying, “Really? Selling merchandise, how hard is that?”  I know, it’s boring, but I have a couple of tips. I increase our merchandise sales with these two helpful hints.
  1. I don’t wait for the sale to come to me.  I set up a merchandise table and display our goodies, but I don’t stay there for the entire show. I have a shoulder bag filled with CD’s, a couple of shirts, a money bag, business cards, and my iPhone.  When Chubby makes the announcement that I have merchandise, I start making my way through the crowd.  I sell more merchandise going to them, then waiting for them to come to me.  You want it?  Go get it! 
  2. Get a Square Card Reader.  It’s a cool little tool that allows us to accept debit or credit card payments through my iPhone.  I enter the amount, swipe the card, give description, have them sign, email receipt, and hand them their merch.  Bidda bang, badda boom!  How many people really keep cash on hand anymore?  I know I don’t.

Another handy tool that allows us to stay in touch with customers is Constant Contact.  We use two of their features to get more people on our list.  
  1. Constant Contact has an iPhone app that allows us to add email addresses directly into our email list.  No more trying to read illegible handwriting, just let the fan type it in.  
  2. We've also utilized their "text to join" feature where Chubby makes an announcement to text "chubby" to our short code and that allows them to enter their email directly to our list
By focusing on gaining more email addresses, we have an opportunity to follow up, possibly make sales and hopefully earn a lifetime fan.

One more thought.  When an interested person approaches me about hiring the band, I always have business cards handy, but I ask for their contact information as well.  Once again, I don’t wait for the sale to come to me, Chubby follows up with these potential clients within the next day or two.

Is this helpful?  Can you use these ideas at your next gig?  What other tips do you have along these lines that you're willing to share?