2TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTION ONE: INTRODUCTIONMission Statement Current Industry – The Facts Conquer Products and Services Description and Pricing Service Description Conquer Rewards How It Works How To Choose and Use Each Service SECTION TWO: BRAND AND IMAGEGoal Statements SWOT Analysis Building a Brand Image Finding your “Signature Style” Developing Your “Theme” Logo/Site Design and “Matching” Branding Examples Developing A Marketing Plan Mission Statement Background Purpose and Objectives Environmental Analysis Political Analysis Economic Analysis
3Technological Analysis Market Analysis Competition Analysis Marketing Mix Strategies Video Street Team Touring Additional Opportunities Proposed Budget SECTION THREE: CREATING YOUR PRODUCT Developing A “Single” Developing An “EP/LP/Album” Using the services Songwriting Demoing Recording Album Artwork Physical vs. Online Distribution Planning An “Album/EP” Release Party SECTION FOUR: TEAMWORK Establishing A Team Team Roles Contracts/Agreements Manager/Artist Touring – Contracts & Riders Other Contracts
4SECTION FIVE: PERFORM AND PROMOTE Promotion/Marketing/Networking New Material Networking/Marketing Yourself/Your “Brand” Which social site is best for your personality Press Kits Traditional Press Kits E‐Kits (Electronic Press Kits) One Page Press Kits Press Kit Examples Performing Conquer Touring System How It Works Outline of Standard Showcase/Event Opening For A Show Headlining A Show Getting Paid For The Show After The Show Planning Your Own Tour Stage Plot/Input List Using The UnLabel Admin Tour Section Getting On An Existing Tour Paying For The Tour How To Get A Booking Agent Finding Transportation Tour Managers Job Hiring A Publicist Marketing/Promoting The Tour Selling The Right Merchandise Planning An International Tour Rules/Regulations Contracts Itinerary Scheduling
5Following Up With Venues SECTION SIX: FAN INTERACTION Growing Your Fan Base Developing A Solid Street Team Designing a special logo Picking a captain Assigning tasks Rewarding members Designing a special section on website Special merchandise SECTION SEVEN: SUSTAIN AND SUPPORT Conquer Training Program In Person Meetings One‐to‐one Meetings Webinars Audios Powerpoints Maintaining Your Successful UnLabel Conquer Recording Levels Conquer Simple Seven Steps Conclusion
6Introduction Welcome to Conquer Entertainment ‐ your personal key to the entertainment world! Your decision to become an UnLabel owner puts the power of your career in your hands. Record label operations are at a steady decline as independent labels rise, and the UnLabel system provides you with the recipe for success without the headaches and expensive costs of the traditional label model. Instead of giving out large sums of money and putting you in debt, Conquer Entertainment gives you the services you most need to build and establish your career; wherever you may be in it! The information in this manual will teach you everything you could possibly need to know to run and maintain a thriving independent label. With the Conquer Entertainment UnLabel opportunity, you will learn how to build your own unique “artist brand”, make the connections you need to get to the next step, organize and promote your own tour, establish a unique and personal relationship with your fans, choose your right business partners, what services to use at your specific point in your career, how to promote your music to its full potential, and everything that comes with the ever‐changing entertainment industry. It is highly suggested and encouraged for you to read all of the information in this manual to better achieve success and wealth with your UnLabel business. The services that Conquer Entertainment provides to you allow you to build your career as fast or as slow as you wish. Whether you are recording your first song, or have a song already on the radio, (as you will learn) Conquer will always have what you need to get to the next step. Not only do we offer services, but we also supply you with trainings on each aspect of your business to help you further reach your musical goals. You will soon read about building your specific plan, and exactly what you need to do each day, week and month to get from an amateur to a superstar in the industry. These sections will also outline your UnLabel responsibilities and suggestions as to how to build your UnLabel for unlimited success and income. So enough talking about it, lets get into the steps you need to create a long‐lasting career!
7 MISSION STATEMENT Conquer Entertainment is a turn‐key solution for an artist or their team to open, own, and successfully operate an independent label for the purpose of creating music, branding artists, building a music career, and generating income CURRENT INDUSTRY – THE FACTS • Recording industry in world‐wide CRISIS! Music sales continue to drop; 20‐30% in 2009. • Music downloads are taking over the industry (and becoming more accessible each day). • 90% of an independent artists income comes from 10% of their fans. • 360 deals are deterring artists from signing to labels. • Record labels no longer offer Artist Development. HOW WE (& YOU) ARE REVOLUTIONIZING THE INDUSTRY... Conquers main goal is to integrate a new system that will dominate (and hopefully replace) the current record industry model. By becoming an UnLabel owner, you have technically become a part of history. No other company offers artists the financial freedom, creativity, quality services, and necessary training; giving you the best independent option for artists today. Conquer Entertainment is a predominantly online company – meaning we mainly focus our business and concept to the online market and industry. Therefore, we are ever‐changing, updating and finding new ways to stay up to speed with the fast moving music industry. As an UnLabel owner, you officially own an online label that you can do whatever you want with. Conquer Entertainment doesnt take any part of your musical creativity; giving you complete musical freedom. Since Conquer is such a revolutionary new concept, the UnLabel Admin may take some time to adjust to and navigate comfortably. For this reason, I have listed step‐by‐step instructions on how to get around each section of your online administration tool.
8 USING THE CONQUER ONLINE ADMIN (include screenshots for each step in each section) How to Sign Up (For ULO Package) Must know a Conquer Certified Artist Developer (CAD) to sign up How to Sign Into Admin Signing Into Your Account Getting Into Your UnLabel Admin CONQUER PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Conquer Entertainment is a “dynamic” company – which, in short, means we are always evolving. The products and services available to you by Conquer are designed to help you build and maintain your business, and always keep you current and connecting with your fans and customers. Conquer Entertainments main goal is to make YOU a success by giving you access to industry‐quality partnerships for all of your developing needs. You have the following services at your disposal: UnLabel Subscription Package: Conquers UnLabel package is designed to give the artists the services needed to build and sustain a career. The UnLabel service also allows for the artist to build a solid and successful independent label by duplicating their own efforts and following the UnLabel development system. Price Breakdown: $15/month admin fee
9ULO Services: Recording Music Production Mixing/Mastering Photography Video Production Graphic/Web Design Legal Below is a breakdown of each: Recording Quality music recording – The recording service is for UnLabel owners who need to record a “single”, “EP”, or “LP”s worth of material. The recording facilities that Conquer Entertainment are state‐of‐the‐art and have a solid reputation in their selected genres. As an artist, you can take advantage of this service in several hour‐blocks if you wished. Production Industry Producer Beats ‐ The producer beat database is for UnLabel owners in need of an instrumental song to write lyrics to. The exclusive producers whom Conquer Entertainment have partnered with are very frequently used in the entertainment industry and have been on national radio. They are very talented, creative and in demand musicians. The producer beat database showcases the various genres and colors of today’s most popular music, and also gives detailed information on the producer, so you know the person whom you are getting music from.
10Engineering Mixing/Mastering ‐ The mixing and mastering services are for UnLabel owners who have demo songs recorded and need a professional to properly mix the recording. The mixing engineers that Conquer Entertainment uses are well known in the industry, mostly Grammy‐nominated, and excellent at their craft. The engineers have done work for such artists as Jay‐Z, No Doubt, Beyonce, and Kanye West to name a few. All songs that go through Conquer Entertainment’s artist download platform must meet Conquers standards and qualifications. How To Use The “Engineering” Service: Mixing/Mastering – whats the difference? Mixing is the adjustments of volume levels, FX, room sound, and panning to make the song sound well‐rounded and complete. Mastering is the adjustment and modification of a “mixed down”, or fully mixed song. This process involves tweaking and equalizing specific parts of the entire track as a whole, as opposed to several tracks in mixing. How to use both... Mixing should be done for every song you plan to release. Although not every song needs mastering, every song needs a professionally mixed version. If youre planning on having your song played by club DJs and club promoters, then it must be mixed at least. Mastering adds “clarity” and “sparkle” to the mix, and really makes it stand out. When you give your material to radio Djs, venues, or your fans, you want to have your song(s) mastered. The better it sounds, the more people will talk about it! Video The basic video service is for UnLabel owners who want to make a basic music video, film small live performances, or make promotional videos.
11Photography The basic photography package is for UnLabel owners who want candid photos for a press kit or other promotional material. Graphic/Web Design The graphic and web designers with Conquer Entertainment have years of experience in developing and designing websites involving Flash, video and picture embedding, custom template building, and custom widget integration (for YouTube videos, Twitter and Facebook feeds, music players, etc.). Logo Design – Getting a logo designed by the graphic design team with Conquer is a three‐step process. Before contacting the design team, be sure to have an idea of what you want the logo to look like. Purchasing through your UnLabel Admin Step One: Submit design ideas to Conquer design team Step Two: Choose a design from the three samples given (make modifications during this step) Step Three: Choose a final design that perfectly represents you and your “brand”. Note: You get a total of three (3) sample logo designs and two (2) re‐designs. Promo Flier/Poster Design For Show This is used for promotion of an upcoming show or event that you are performing. This flier should include: • Date • Venue Name and Address • Time (for Doors) • Cover
12• Age Limit (All, 18 +, 21 +) • Headlining Band/Artist Name (and picture if able) • Other Acts Names Merchandising Service The providers for your “brand/artist merch” offer quality screen printed products in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs. Use yourConquer Reward Ponts to select the perfect amount for whatever show or event you are doing. Choose from items such as: Apparel (T‐Shirts, Hoodies, Tanktops, V‐Necks) The quantity amount that Conquer’s merch providers offer can accommodate the smallest show to the national tour. The amounts are as small as 25 to as large as 1,000 or more. 2.2 Conquer Rewards Conquer Rewards can be thought of as the “lifeline” of your UnLabel career. They give you access to Conquer Entertainment’s services in exchange for a set reward point (CR) amount. Conquer Reward Accrual There are several ways that you can earn Conquer Rewards with your UnLabel: 1. Music Download Purchases (.25 CR) 3. ULO Custom Merchandise Purchases (CR points vary per product) As A ULO, it is important that you understand how to use the CR points & services to build your career. The first step would be to determine where you are in your career and analyze your current situation as an artist. To start off, fill out the following section:
13 Established Brand/Image (main “style”):______________________________________ Album/Single/Demo Sales:________________________________ Number of Fans Combined (Myspace, Facebook, Mailing List, etc.):__________________________ “Single” Video/Promo views (Youtube, Ustream, etc.):_________________________________ Number of Performances (for audiences 10‐100):_______________________ Number of “Big” acts opened for:______________________________________ Current Venue “Draw” (amount of fans you can get to a show):_____________________________ Now that you have an idea of where you are, you can read the following sections to determine what to do to get you where you want to be. The next few sections will break down your career as an artist from “start‐to‐established”, and giving you pointers and fill‐in‐the‐blanks along the way to help you better build an established and successful UnLabel. Stage One: No music recorded If you have no music recorded, the best use of your Conquer Rewards would be to record a song or two. Dont pick just any song! Work with your manager and/or CAD to choose the best song that works for you and the image you want to project. Use the following services to get yourself started: Production Mixing Recording MARKETING PLAN
14You may also want to establish an online presence once your image is defined. Stage Two: No Internet presence If you already have music recorded, the best use of your Conquer Rewards would be to get it mixed/mastered if not already, and establish an online presence. You can do this by: Creating a Facebook/Twitter/Youtube or other Social Networking account Developing a press kit (using Photography Service) Uploading mixed/mastered music to your UnLabel Stage Three: No Promotion If you already have your music mixed and mastered, and have a significant following on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, its time to start promoting yourself heavily. Some ways to accomplish this are: Uploading mixed/mastered music to your UnLabel Touring locally/nationally (using Conquer Touring System) Establish a unique and memorable performance ideas/acts Make merchandise/use promotional tools (using Merchandising Service) Start advertising & promoting your “artist brand/image” Getting Started: Starting Your UnLabel Career If you are a “new artist”, or consider yourself new to the industry, then the first thing you would need to do is brand yourself as a person and artist. ASK YOURSELF: How do you want the world to know you? Who do you want them to see? What do you want them to think when they think of
15you? What are your fans like? The answers to these questions determine the path your career will take as well as measure the level success you would like to reach. One of the most important areas that a new artist must establish is their "image". An image defines your music before it is even heard. Someone should be able to get a feel for your music just by looking at you. So how do you start developing an image? The first step to a memorable image is a goal statement. You have to know where you are going before you actually get there! The next few sections will describe how to correctly develop and adjust a goal statement for your musical career. 1.1 Goal Statements Where do you see yourself in ten years? In five years? Next month? Goals are a great way to pinpoint where you are and where you want to go in your career. They are especially important when developing a career in the entertainment world. To get started, you should first get to know you as an artist. Ask yourself these questions (honestly): What do you want to achieve in your musical career? How many fans do you see yourself having? What types of magazines do you see yourself in? What countries do you see yourself being biggest? How many awards do you see yourself winning? How do you see your legacy and career being remembered? After you have reached an answer, ask yourself:
16 Where am I now? Set dates (estimated) Determine smaller goals (set realistic dates for each) Breaking down your big goals into smaller goals makes it easier to set deadlines for your success. Constructing a SWOT analysis can also contribute to further defining your goals. A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in a particular project or business endeavor. To create a SWOT analysis for yourself and your career, answer these questions as honest and detailed as possible: Strengths What are your best qualities? What sets you apart from other artists? What do you do differently in your talent that puts above your competition? What sets you apart from others as a performer? Weaknesses What aspects of your career can you improve? Opportunities What performances have you done to help you further your career? What are your connections in the industry and who do they know that you could build a relationship with? What are you doing for social networking (online and one‐to‐one) to get your name and music to the world? Threats What specific industry changes can have an impact on your career? What are the personal threats that could affect your career? What are you doing in your career to prepare for those changes? How?
17 Once you have narrowed down your goals into specific categories, you want to break them down further into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to help you better develop a clear path to follow and make routine. Finally, ask yourself: What do I have to do to give up or overcome to get myself to the next level of success? This answer should be clear and concise, and, if you answered the previous questions honestly, it should be easy to pinpoint exactly what you need to work on to achieve your goal. The next step towards becoming a successful artist is believing you already are one. Take a moment to write down answers to the following questions (honestly): Stage Name:___________________________________________ Genre(s) of Music:____________________________________________ Location:_____________________________________________ Describe your music in one word:_____________ Whats your target demographic?:___________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ Target Radio Station(s):___________________________________________________
18Some of your inspiration(s):_______________________________________________ What is it about your inspirations that makes you like them so much? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (NOTE: The following information was taken from the book, "The Rockstar In You", by John Battaglia, Jr.) WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE A “ROCKSTAR”: ROCKSTARS generally have the following characteristics: 1. An incredible sense of self expression. 2. Love what they do. 3. Have a "signature" style. 4. Their own greatness. They put it out there, no holds barred. 5. Have built their image. 6. Seem fearless. Make no mistake: Rockstars have fear like everybody else. but the difference is they dont let it hold them back 7. Live passionately. What thing about you makes you unique and successful? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
19 How do others view you? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ After you have figured out the answer to these questions, you need to make it a reality. An image is the fullest, most intelligently packaged, outward expression of your inner gifts. It is the doorway that people use to get an impression of you. People dont get an impression from you. They get an impression from the image you project. Therefore, lets work on your image now that we have down what you honestly think about yourself and the image you project to others. What would you consider your "signature style"? Everyone successful has a "style" or charisma about them. Whats yours? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Ask yourself: Is your look telling a story and conveying a distinct point of view? If so, were halfway there to perfecting it! If not, were halfway there to finding what does! Creating your "signature" isnt like defusing a bomb! It’s a simple thing to accomplish. All that is needed is some time to flip through magazines, find
20what grabs your attention, and use that to work on an image for yourself. Style is formed when you consistently put forth one clear, compelling direction. There are three simple steps to getting your "style": 1. Educate yourself ‐ the first step is to start noticing what youre drawn to. The key is to all of this is to educate yourself so that you can dictate your own style. 2. Create your direction by uncovering your imaging themes. 3. Illustrate your "style direction" Spend time identifying the defining characteristics in the rockstars you most admire. Dig deep within yourself and find what makes you unique. What themes best define the celebrities you admire?_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ What are some themes that best define you? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
21_____________________________ When youve decided upon some themes for yourself, circle your top three and build your image around them. Whatever themes you wrote down that best fit how you view yourself and how others view you, match the theme with a look. A simple way to do this is to go through some styles in magazines and pick out what you think best conveys one (or all three) of your themes. Getting used to understanding what you are attracted to and the look you like makes it easier to change your image throughout your career. If you pick honestly, your image will always represent you. Your edge is what people will remember. Another tip that will help you further develop an image for yourself is to create a "book of looks". This simply means going through magazines or window shopping for looks that describe one of your themes ‐ and then separating the cut outs into sections. For example, have a section for: Shirts Pants Hairstyles make up Facial hair, etc. Pick only what is true to you and the image/theme you are going for. By doing this, you will always have choices in terms of imaging and will be able to "reinvent" yourself whenever you feel is right.
22LOGO/BRANDING/SITE “MATCHING” When developing a logo for yourself, consider your branding “themes”, “signature style” and “look” that you are going for. All of those play a factor in developing the perfect logo to represent YOU, so it is important to have a clear picture of your “brand” before you start designing. You can use the “Graphic/Web Design” service to get started designing your “image” into a “unique logo”. They will design three different logo styles, and all you have to do is pick the one that matches you best, and tweak and modify from there. Once you have decided on a logo, you must MAKE EVERYTHING MATCH! Whatever colors, style, and/or energy your logo represents, your social sites, website, merchandise, and persona MUST MATCH as well! This is the only way you will stay consistently current and easily found. Establishing a brand and logo that is perfect and true to you also allows you to evolve and change depending on the “theme” or “look” you want.
23Some branding examples: ARTIST FROM TO 50 Cent (Rapper) Brand: “Street” to “Business” Justin Timberlake (Singer/Performer) Brand: “Boyband Pop” to “Stylish R&B/Pop”
24 Christina Aguilera (Singer/Performer) Brand: “Cute/Innocent” to “Sexy/Dominating”
25Gwen Stefani (No Doubt) Brand: “Punk Pop” to “Hip Hop/Dynamic” Madonna (Singer/Performer) Brand: “Sexy/Innocent” to “Sexy/Relevant”
27 With each BRAND EXAMPLE, you can see the evolution from one “theme” to the next, especially with Madonna and Gwen Stefani. Keep in mind when building your brand to make your “theme” instantly recognizable. With each of the previous examples, you immediately get a sense of what the artist sounds like just from the album art and promotional photos surrounding it. The key to being a successful artist lies in your “true” brand and youre ability to stay current and still true to you and your “brand image”. DEVELOPING A MARKETING PLAN Parts to an established Marketing Plan Now we will get into developing a full marketing plan for you as an artist. We already got the hard part out of the way (which was developing an brand and image, and listing your detailed short term and long term goals), so now it’s just a matter of placing them in the right areas. After you’ve narrowed down your brand and “style”, you have to create a mission statement that fully encompasses your vision and impression you will make in the music world. MISSION STATEMENT Your mission statement should include some “themes” that you used to describe yourself (and why), your music genre(s), what makes you unique in your “style”, and your ultimate goal for yourself and your musical career. BACKGROUND This section should give a detailed biography of how you as an artist (or band) started your musical career, highlighting any achievements (if any) made along the way. This section should also give the reader a sense that they understand fully where you came from, what you have accomplished so far, and where you plan on going. If you have been on any local events or
28festivals, it would be good to mention them here. Purpose and Objectives This section should list your “short term” goals and what you are doing in your career each day, week or month to reach the goals you set. A simple paragraph will do (since you will be going through each goal in detail throughout the rest of the plan). You also want to explain why you need to reach these goals and how they will affect your “big picture”. Environmental Analysis External analysis This section should go over the current society and culture that you live in. There are external factors that you may not realize that would have an impact on your success. (i.e.: . This type of fact would go in the “Technology” Section: The US recording industry is currently on a decline as downloads rise and are quickly replacing CDs. Their resistance to “change with the times” is actually a benefit for other independent artists trying to make it on their own since there is a bigger gap of opportunity that didn’t exist before.) Business Technology Overall Economics Macro Environment This section focuses in on more specific advances or changes within your environment that can have an impact on your career (i.e. technology advancements, social networking “boom”) and how you plan on combating them and turning them into successes. Explain current trends: Cultural Social Internet Music
29 Demographics – Social and cultural This section should describe your existing fan base in detail (location, age, gender, etc). This information can be found using Google Analytics, Yahoo Analytics, or Facebook Analytics. It should also be easy to determine if you are in constant interaction with your fans. Checking your “stats” on sites such as Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, etc. will give you a clear picture of your fans’ location (and specific state/city if applicable), age, gender, and possibly even hobbies. Political Analysis This section should go over the political factors that could have an effect on your musical career – i.e. piracy, industry changes in royalty percentages, licensing changes, etc), and how you plan on dealing with them. Also include organizations or associations that support independent musicians. Economic Analysis This section should go over the current music industry’s changes (i.e. online downloads, high ticket prices, music recording industry drastically changing), as well as cosmetics, film, and other industries. Technological Analysis This section should go over the technology trends and advancements that would impact you (i.e. mobile media, ring‐tones, blogs, online distribution, wallpapers, online labels, etc.) Market Analysis For this section, you need to define your target market and percentage of people that account for your genre. You should include the age of your customer base, as well as distribution (in store), and concert trends and sales (i.e. ticket prices).
30Competition Analysis This should highlight artists similar to your “style” and “genre”, and what makes you thrive over your existing competition Management and Staff This should give specific roles and names of your current “team” and their background in the industry or their field. This sections should also describe team members you are lacking, and what your current team members are doing to help further your career. Break down your team’s specific roles: Producer Engineer Manager Lawyer* Booking Agent Video PR Marketing Mix Strategies Product and Price This section should highlight what makes your “brand” special. This should also answer the questions: What albums have you released? What was/is the price? What reviews have been done? o Magazines, blogs, etc. What online “singles” are available? o Where and for how much? Merchandise o Physical and digital – specifics (i.e. shirts, hats, desktop, wallpapers, etc.) Videos o Director/Budget spent
31 Distribution and Retail This section should describe where your distribution and retail focus will be, and should also address if it will be digital or physical, as well as where and how it will be distributed (i.e. online, in store, exact names and locations). This should also explain other means of distribution for the following: One to One (where and how) Mobile o Applications/ringtones/distribution Street Team o What role will they play in the distribution process (for physical and online)? o What promotional merchandise will they receive? Publicity This section will explain where your press kit will be distributed and how it will be used. It should also explain what particular press (magazines, local papers, websites, blogs, “targeted” markets) will be given the press kit, and go over the key messages and objectives for your specific media targets. A social calendar of events should also be kept to track upcoming events and press opportunities. To better define your specific target press, you should create a target media outreach list. This includes the outlet and/or magazine name, metric value (how many people reached) and genre (music, lifestyle, teen, women, etc.). If you don’t know the metric value of the magazines you are “targeting”, you can call the magazine directly and ask for their rate card or circulation numbers. Also included in this section would be any current and/or past press and publicity, detailing: Magazine Name, article, and issue date Any articles (interviews/blog mentions/links) Media events attended Future/Planned events
32Video This will outline how your video will be/is used for promotional purposes (i.e. media outlets/targets) Street Team This will describe the detailed efforts to create a street team. If one already exists (locally), then outline duties that street team captains and promo efforts for promoting poster target areas, how to use CDs for promo, how to use flyers, merch, passes to promote artist and upcoming shows. Online/Viral This section should highlight the promotional plan for all of your online sites that help increase your fan base, merch sales, and shows. Social sites include: Myspace Reverb Nation YouTube Facebook Blogger Chatterbox Google Ranking Radio This section should explain your radio promotion plan for local, internet, terrestrial, college, and/or satellite radio stations. Your target stations should include genre as well as locations (Philly, LA, etc.). Next, you should list the specific action plan for each radio station. Tour This section goes over your touring plans to create more shows and local buzz for yourself. Details should include geographic area(s), show amount, and acquiring a booking agent (if needed).
33Promotional Merchandise This section should go over the current merchandise “inventory” and promo materials (such as flyers, posters, widgets, downloadable materials, etc.) used to promote shows and other events and/or appearances. Additional Opportunities This section should explain future performances, press opportunities, or other events that you have planned that will play a role in creating more promotion for your “brand” and career. ESTABLISHING A TEAM: After youve completed your detailed marketing plan, the next step would be to organize a team of partners (manager, booking agent, lawyer, music producer (optional)) whom you trust and share the same goal of success. Below is a list of common jobs and tasks expected of the following industry “team” personnel. MANAGER • Assist in song selection • Assist in studio etiquette • Advise and counsel talent • Assist in decision making • Brand/Image assistance • Website/Graphic/Logo assistance ◦ Accurately representing artist • Finding a Publicist/PR ◦ Assist/organize Promotion/Marketing campaigns • Handling Money and Finances • Assist in finding producers, writers, etc.
34• Assist in Street Team Development ◦ Help develop a fan base • Develop Press Kits ◦ E‐Kits, traditional paper press kits, one sheets • Assist in merchandising decisions ◦ Stickers, clothing promo material • Assist in song or CD release dates • Obtain a publishing deal (ASCAP/BMI/SESAC) • Find a photographer for photo shoots ◦ Candid/press/live • Find music distributors (online and/or in‐store) • Paid on commission (10‐20% normally) PRODUCER • Compose and arrange music for artist • Hire musicians and engineers for session (if needed) • Assist in song choices to record • Monitor the recording budget • Understand recording/production process • Proficient in DAW program of choice (Pro Tools, Logic, Fruity Loops, etc.) • Control day‐to‐day recording
35operations • Work with and captain musicians • Book studio time (optional) • Listen to and fine tune recorded music • Choose song order of album • Charge per song/project ◦ Occasionally get a percentage of artist record sales (if in contract) PUBLICIST/PR • Get positive press for artist • Create and maintain relationships ◦ with Journalists, taste‐makers, bloggers, etc. • Write and send out press releases • Arrange appearances • Create media opportunities • Handle interview requests for artist • Organize press tours • Network with journalists and other media personnel • Create press kit ◦ Write bio, select pictures, help organize performance resume, assist in cover letter • Paid flat fee LAWYER • Create and negotiate contracts • Paid hourly or by commission (5‐10%)
36BOOKING AGENT • Researches the potential venues for your act • Negotiates with venue to get performances with a “draw” (amount of fans coming to a given show) • Contract negotiation • Show scheduling • Paid on commission (5‐10% of each performance gross and/or percentage of merchandise sales) CONTRACTS/AGREEMENTS Manager/Artist contracts commonly list: • Commission negotiation (10‐20% of overall income) Percentage of artist income to manager • Plans/Deadlines for high priority goals Decisions reached mutually by both Artist and Manager • Duration of contract agreement (i.e. expires in 1 year, 6 months, etc.) Tour Contracts (outside of Conquer) commonly list: • Date of Agreement ‐ "An agreement between x and y” • Date and Time agreed to perform show • Description of services supplied • What’s already provided by the venue in terms of equipment, crew, etc.) • Venue and show date • Venue Name and scheduled date and time of performance • Capacity
37• Venue’s Audience Limit • Ticket Price • Agreed ticket price for patrons and split percentages • Fee Payment Schedule • Agreed fee to be paid for performance • Production Requirements • What’s required from Artist for Venue to have successful event Tour Riders (Breakdown of specific details of tour) • Expenses of the Tour Promoter • Ticket selling policies (including complimentary tickets and how they will be handled) • Billing rights for Headline (signs and publicity) • Equipment breakdown (what will be rented by promoter compared to whats being brought by band) • Breakdown of local crew needed to be assigned/hired • Dressing rooms, security, travel, and catering • Cancellation policies Standard Contract agreements commonly list: • Date of agreement • Description of “events” or “contractual agreement terms” • Split percentage (if any) and/or other monetary amounts agreed upon • Signature from BOTH PARTIES • Duration of contract (i.e. expiration/renewal date) DEVELOPING A “SINGLE” Using the “Recording” service If you want to take your career a song at a time, use the “Recording Service” to get your songs from “demo” to “downloadable”. You can record, mix and
38master your material with your Conquer Reward points. Using the “Production” service If you don’t want to produce your material, or simply want to add diversity to your music and “brand”, you can use the “Production Service” to select a song perfect for your musical direction. Just choose a beat and start writing! Choosing a “Single Theme”/Using “Graphic Design” Once you’ve completed your song and have a finished, mastered product, you can begin designing a “theme” to surround the “feel” of your song “single”. If you focus on the song’s subject in some way, you can easily decide an image and feel that matches the artwork. DEVELOPING A “EP/LP/ALBUM” Songwriting There are many advantages to writing your own music as an artist. You have complete control over the melody, harmony, structure, and instrumentation, as well as a product that you can call your own once its finished. As an UnLabel owner, technically all you have to worry about is the lyrics. With the Music Production Service, you can utilize the producer database to find the perfect style” to match your song. Demoing songs Once you have your song and/or idea finished, you can record a rough demo with a four track recorder, phone recorder, or utilize the “recording” service to get a structure down. This can give you an idea of where the song is, if it needs more production (or something else), and whether or not to continue to work on it. Its important to keep in mind that some songs sound great on paper, but not so much once its recorded. You want to be careful not to waste too many of your reward points on “recording” unless you have complete song ideas, and you really believe the song has potential.
39Picking songs to record After youve established some songs you feel really good about and want to further produce, use the “recording” service to get them professionally recorded. You can also use the “production” service to put a finished beat behind the song, and then go and get the vocals recorded over it. Organizing a tracklist This is typically an engineers job, but you are more than welcome to take part in it as well. This process involves organizing the songs in a way that they “flow” from one track to the next, and keep the listener engaged and entertained from start to finish. Theres no “true” method to it, however, the most common procedures are: • The album/EPs “single” song is placed within the first 3 to 5 tracks • “Exciting/Energetic” songs start and end the album/EP Picking a “single” The album/EPs “single” should be a song that not only YOU feel good about, but your FANS and FRIENDS feel good about as well. Not all “singles” need to be catchy, poppy, or even memorable, but they all need to be liked by your “audience” in order to truly succeed. Album “Theme” & Artwork Your album “theme” should match your “brand image” associated with your look and style, online sites, and logo. If you want to have a presence, everything you do as an artist must match your “brand” that you built for yourself. Physical vs. Online distribution Although digital downloads are all the rage, physical mediums such as vinyl and CDs are still favored by some people. This is not to say that these formats will make a “comeback”, but it is good to cater to that audience if it suits your genre and style. Many major and independent artists still print some 7” records for their fans to collect as memorabilia. Typically, they
40dont print over one or two thousand simply because there wouldnt be a demand for more than that amount. As an UnLabel owner, your fanbase, customers, and business partners are your “distribution” as well through the most powerful form of promotion and distribution ever – word of mouth. PLANNING AN “ALBUM/EP” RELEASE PARTY Choosing a venue There are many avenues to take when choosing where to have your album release party. You can host it at a friends house, local restaurant/bar/club, or perform the album live at a venue. The most common method is to host it at a club, but live is also favored (for the fans). Wherever you choose, make sure its a comfortable place for you and your guests. Who to invite After youve completed a finished product you are happy with, the next step would be to plan an album “release date” and a simultaneous album “release” party. These normally go hand‐in‐hand, and features the artists closest friends, business partners, and tons of press and publicists. Some artists also invite select fans and/or street team members as a thank you for supporting their music. Industry personnel should also be invited, such as: • Local “taste‐makers” • Popular Bloggers • Music Reviewers • Magazine /E‐zine Interviewers/Press (appropriate for your genre) • Local Music NewsPapers/Magazines What to perform Without question, you should perform your album/EPs “single” and two others you feel strongly about. Another option could be to perform your entire release and give guests a sneak‐peek to your new material. Some artists have guests perform at their parties as well. Again, whatever you decide, make sure it will be liked by your guests as well as yourself. The last thing you want is bad press for material that hasnt even been officially
41released yet! Promotion and Marketing Use e‐flyers, fans, existing press relationships, social networks, promotional material (such as CDs, mini‐posters, exclusive merchandise) to promote the upcoming party, giving the following details: • Album CD Cover • DJ/Host of Event • Time • Location • RSVP (if necessary) PROMOTION/MARKETING/NETWORKING NEW MATERIAL 4 Ps Of Music Marketing Product “Products” for an artist can come in many forms; music, merchandise, and your “brand image”. Once youve picked a “single” that you want to share with the world, (and are excited about it most importantly), you have to make the marketing campaign around it match your “brand image”. After picking a “single”, you have to build merchandise to support the “brand image” surrounding the “single”. Some examples are:
42 ARTIST LATEST“SINGLE”/CD RELEASE MERCHANDISE EXAMPLE Hanson Pop/Rock band Shout It Out Lady GaGa Pop Singer/Songwriter The Fame
43Eminem Rapper Recovery Adam Lambert Pop/Glam‐Rock Singer For Your Entertainment After youve appropriately matched your “merchandise” with your “brand image, you have three products you can sell to your fans, customers, and whoever else you want! Price/Quantity • After youve designed the right merchandise “brand” for your marketing campaign, you have to decide on a quantity amount depending on the CR amount of your order. (see Section Two) Place Next, after you have priced your merchandise fairly and competitively, you
44have to find places to sell your merchandise at. Some good locations to start would be: • Weekly show • Online store • On tour via merch table • Links/banners to “online store” on Social sites These are just a few examples of places to get started selling, but itd be best to use your own imagination and come up with a solid marketing plan and campaign to get the most out of your “single” release. Promotion One‐to‐one marketing is the most powerful form of marketing and promotion; especially in an artists business. Start making new fans by carrying your “single” around everywhere (whether it be a CD or mp3 on your phone) – or carry stickers promoting your website or social networking sites to hand out as an alternative. Ask your “potential fans” to check out your music and play it from your device, and follow up with a sticker and an email if you can (for your mailing list). This is a good way to get to know and update your fan base and establish a personal connection. Another way to promote your “single” is through existing social networks. Promote your link to your Conquer Artist page, on your Facebook, Myspace, Reverb Nation, Twitter, etc and share it with all your friends on your lists. To further capitalize on your fan base, you can obtain emails from them by encouraging them to join your mailing list (if they havent already) and send out emails asking opinions on your latest “single”, website revamp, upcoming shows, shows theyve seen, etc. Keep them involved in your world – theyll love you for it! Also, being that Conquer Entertainment is partnered with a promotion powerhouse ‐ Market America ‐ promotion is the easiest part! UnFranchise
45owners are a network of people that promote (daily) Market America products and services that they take a liking to. Since Market America is Conquer Entertainment’s primary source of distribution and promotion, you have access to the network of 180,000 plus distributors all over the globe to help promote the sales of your music. Since your music is considered a "product" within Market Americas "Mall Without Walls", any music you upload to Conquer, Market America distributors and their customers will promote for you if you generate enough interest and demand. There are literally thousands of people waiting to hear your music and promote it to others ‐ so why not talk about it? Use the following MA and Conquer Sites to promote: MATV Conquer YouTube MA Blog Conquer Blog MA Newsline MA Powerline NETWORKING/MARKETING The key to being successful at networking is simple ‐ do it a lot! The more you talk to people, the less nervous you become and more confidence you build. Starting a conversation ‐ especially about something you love comes easier the more you do it. Next time youre out, simply start a conversation with a stranger. A simple "Hello" can go a long way! Another way to successfully network is through the internet. Sign yourself up for every activity you think is interesting. The more you update your page, the more people will take notice. The social media outlets that exist today are:
46 Blogging/Micro Blogging Podcasting Video Blogging Message Board Photo Sharing A good way to see what networking activity is for you is to figure out what best categorizes your personality. Out of the four categories below, pick the best one that fits you. Interactive Easy Going/Relaxed Talkative Shy/Timid Once youve established which category you best fit, its time to take a look at what social networking activities might fit you best. Interactive If you consider yourself to be "interactive", then social networking and possibly video sharing is the best route for you. Sites like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are of the best benefit. With these sites you can: Choose a username/URL (make it "sticky" and unique) Upload pictures (pick a recent one) Update "status" (what youre doing at that moment)
47 Chat with "friends" (either by instant message or e‐mail) Change profile "theme" (make it customized to YOU) Download/play applications/games (to make more friends) Get daily updates when someone views, friends, messages, or comments on your profile Easy Going/Relaxed If you consider yourself to be "easy going", then social messaging such as micro‐blogging may be the best route for you. Sites like Twitter allow you to: Post a few words to a sentence on your "daily news" to the internet world Post pictures and music to share with your "followers" "Follow", or add people to your list to get their recent updates Make and check "status updates" from literally anywhere ‐ there are hundreds of "twitter friendly" applications for various mediums (mobile, computer, web) Talkative If you consider yourself to be "talkative", then various types of blogging may be the best route for you. Sites like Blogger, LiveJournal, and YouTube allow you to: Share your ideas, stories, and recent happenings with the world Update weekly, monthly, or daily ‐ whatever works for you Choose a template or layout that works for you and your "topics" Have "subscribers" who view your site regularly or whenever you update it
48 Shy/Timid If you consider yourself to be "shy", then photo sharing may be the best route for you. Sites like Flickr, Instagram, and Photobucket allow you to: Upload photos or images from your computer to the site Share with friends on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Post image on website or social networking site (code is provided) Separate your pictures into categories Whatever you decide to go with, make sure you are consistent. No one wants to visit a blog that hasnt been updated in months Do your fans a favor and keep whatever social media outlet you choose updated. Post your personal "URL" for your sites along with your website on merchandise and hand it to everyone you see. It comes in handy later on when you want to get booking for shows. YOUR FRIEND AMOUNT AND PROFILE VIEWS MATTER! Press Kits The first part of organizing a successful tour is to have a professionally done press kit to present to booking agents and potential venues. A traditional, industry‐standard press kit has the following table of contents (at minimum): Cover and cover letter Brief biography One 8x10 headshot Performance resume
49 Contact page Cover and Cover Letter This section should be very brief (one to three paragraphs) explaining you as an artist, highlight your current achievements, and your ultimate reason as to why you are giving them your press kit; whether it’s to get booked for a show, played on the radio, or promoted or sponsored by a company. The cover letter is usually written by the artist’s manager or consultant, but artists themselves can write it too. An example of a cover letter would be: UnLabeled Entertainment 1234 East 23rd Street, Suite 232 New York, NY 10101 Phone/Fax: 212‐111‐1111 Jane Doe Lightning Records 4321 Treble Place Los Angeles, CA 01234 July 12, 20XX Dear Jane: As the personal manager of the New York‐based rock band, ULO, I have enclosed a complete press package and demo for your perusal. The band is currently drawing about 200 people per show locally and is being played on WXET and WWFV in New York.
50 I feel their songs are well‐constructed and radio ready and value your professional input. Ill give you a call in a few days to be sure this package arrived. Please dont hesitate to contact me should you need further information. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Aye Bee‐Cee ULO Manager Note: It is plagiarism to copy this word‐for‐word, so write something like it; NOT EXACT! After you have created a cover letter that includes all of the above, then you have to make a biography (also called a “one‐sheet”) describing your past, present and future quickly and simply. You want the reader to listen to your music ‐ not read your life story! Biography A brief biography usually includes an introduction to you as an artist and where you are headed in your career, highlights the accomplishments you have made so far as an artist and the name you have made (or are making) for yourself. Your bio should answer all the immediate questions that people would have about you from first glance. What kind of music do you do? Where are you from? What makes you unique? An example of a one‐sheet would be: [Past] Rebellious. Personal. Edgy. All words to describe alternative rock band
51CALIBUR. Formed in 1994, CALIBUR is the perfect blend of edgy, grunge rock and roll and raspy classic blues. Starting out in dive bars playing to crowds of twenty people, CALIBUR quickly established a name for themselves after their song “Love Me Here” created a buzz. [Present] CALIBUR has recently played at such events as 2009 Talent Fest, a local festival of 2500 people, and is looking to expand to greater audiences and opportunities. CALIBUR also has plans to release their new single “Catch Me” late fall of 2009 exclusively through their record label, IN ZANE, as well as do a mini‐tour to support the release. [Contact/Upcoming] Currently, CALIBUR can be contacted via their website at www.caliburonline.com, as well as these other sites: Facebook.com/calibur machatterbox.com/calibur Conquerentertainment.com/calibur Photos The standard size for an appropriate press kit photo is 8X10. The photo that you include in your press kit should be the perfect visual expression of you and your image. Include two to four other photos showcasing your various artistic styles. Your photo goal should be to try to look like the music you are ‐ separate yourself from the rest of the press kits the person may have seen earlier that week (or even day)! If you have press clippings, articles, or mentions, here would be a great place to display them. Performance Resume This is one of the most important sections because it illustrates what you have done and accomplished as an artist so far. If you don’t have any performances yet, it would be wise to use the event service and start
52booking yourself shows! The more exposure you can get, the better! If you do have performances, they should be listed in this format: DATE = first to most recent TYPE/NAME OF EVENT LOCATION CROWD SIZE (if applicable) EX: 09/09/2009 ‐ Barney’s Rock Show, Buffalo, NY ‐ 250 people 09/23/2009 ‐ 2009 Talent Festival, Albany, NY ‐ 2,500 people Contact Page This section should include your manager’s contact information, or yourself if you do not have a manager. Be sure to only give information that is checked on a regular basis. The last thing you want is to have given someone the wrong information and them not being able to contact you! An example of a good contact information page would be: Harvey Doe CALIBUR Manager Office: 423‐234‐9999 Email: email@example.com Website: www.harveydoe.com www.calibur.com
53 If you consider yourself to be more of an "internet" artist, you can create a one‐page "e‐kit" and a custom domain/".com" for your press kit for people to go to ‐ or to promote yourself more easily instead of worrying about getting copies professionally printed. A one page "e‐kit" would include the following information: *Bio (1‐2 paragraphs) *3 tracks (Minimum) that users can click *Photo Gallery (4 photos MAX‐ mix live and candid shots) *Social networking links *Performance Resume/Upcoming Events *Press/Media links (example)
54 Traditional Press Kit Electronic Press Kit One Sheet Press Kit
56 Choosing the right press kit “template” Each press kit design has a particular purpose. A traditional press kit, for example, is better used for getting gigs and venues and publicity, where are a “one page” press kit is better used for radioplay and club‐like venues. An EPK (electronic press kit) can serve for both purposes that the traditional and one page kit do, as well as show your “audience” samples of your music, social networking sites, blogs, and so on. Whatever template you decide to use, make sure it matches the “theme” and “brand image” you have throughout your websites, social sites, artwork, and photo shoots. Making everything “match” consistently theme‐wise is essential to solidifying an unique “brand” for yourself and your music. Once you have a professionally worded and designed press kit, it’s time to start promoting yourself! The best way to do that would be to start touring! PERFORMING To further build your fan base and obtain new fans is to start touring. However, before setting foot on stage, you need to have a clear picture as to what songs you will be performing (and in what order), what you will be wearing, and who you will be performing for. To start, if you are an inexperienced performer, the first step would be to invest in a vertical mirror to perfect your stage presence. By looking at yourself in the mirror while you rehearse your songs, you are seeing yourself as the audience would see you. This is great practice to get yourself comfortable with expressing your true self and image as an artist before you actually start performing in front of a crowd. Next, you want to make sure you are interacting with your "audience" by getting them to join in during appropriate parts of the song or in between song breaks. Doing this will make the audience become more involved and attentive to your music and (most importantly) YOU. However, DONT say TOO much! A simple 30 second intro between songs and a “Clap with me” here, “Sing with me” there is fine. Dont OVERDO it and tell your life story! Unless youre a
57superstar and your fans hang on your every word, they will lose interest quick. Also, make it a point to let the audience know where your merchandise table is, and promote your website, getConquer URL, and/or social networking sites while youre at it. Next, you have established a set‐list and an understanding of what you will be saying to engage the audience, next you want to practice your act in front of friends and family (who will be honest in critiquing you). This will get you more comfortable with performing in front of a live audience, and also will give you an idea of how to handle constructive criticism. Finally, sign yourself up for local Conquer events (by connecting with your local promoter) and participate in local talent shows, open mic events, and other showcases that will further promote your music and get you experience in performing in front of audiences. CONQUER TOURING SYSTEM The Conquer Touring System is designed to get you performing to an audience whenever you want; growing your confidence and fan base as you do it. The best income producing activity an artist can do is tour. It is a great way to get to know your fans and connect, promote your music and online links, and make an income. The most important part of touring is your performance. To start practicing in front of a “live” audience, one way is to participate in the Conquer Touring System set up for “new” and “established” artists. The Conquer shows happen regionally (based on demand) and on a bi‐weekly (or weekly) basis depending on your area. How it works: 1. Artist contacts requests to join a tour via ConquerCads.com. 2. Conquer Events Liaison reviews acts already on bill, or type of show, and matches artist to show. (i.e. “jazz” style – jazz, soft blues, r&b artists; “rock” style – classic, hard, and pop rock artists)
583. Artist is notified via email and getConquer artist admin whether they are approved or denied for the show. 4. Conquer Events Liaison informs “approved” artist the date, time of load‐in/soundcheck, time for doors, and ticket price. 5. Conquer Events Liaison informs “denied” artist of the next show for their “genre” and when to sign‐up by. 6. DAY OF SHOW: Artist goes to soundcheck/load‐in (best to be ten to fifteen mins. early) 7. AFTER PERFORMANCE: Artist greets fans, signs tickets, promotes social sites and getConquer URL to audience. 8. IF HAVING A FOLLOW UP PERFORMANCE: Inform audience of next show and encourage to come out (and collect emails to create mailing list). Each weekly Conquer Showcase/Concert varies in artists, genre, and venue (unless Conquer Events Planner has set up a “home” venue – a venue that they use weekly). The Conquer Touring system is available wherever you are ‐ as long as there is a demand! The current cities that Conquer has organized events are: • Philadelphia, PA • Seattle, WA (and North California) • Boston, MA • Nashville, TN • New York, NY/Rochester, NY • Chicago, IL • More are constantly being added… AFTER THE SHOW Once youve performed your show, put those emails you obtained to work by adding them to a database (with fans name, full email, and location), search their emails on your social sites (Twitter, Chatterbox, Facebook, and Myspace all allow for email look‐up), send out mass mail about recent
59“happenings” ‐ upcoming shows, release parties, single release, EP/album release, website updates, blog or vlog (video blog) posts, etc. Use your creativity and come up with other ways to get the most out of your “new fans”. Build a personal, interactive relationship! Get them sold on YOU (not just your music)! PLANNING YOUR OWN TOUR Going on tour (no matter how short or long) is vital to any artists career and success, and it all comes down to one word – PREPERATION! Several steps go into planning and executing a successful tour – starting with YOU. You as an artist must have your performance and stage presence down to a science in order to get anything out of the performance (i.e. repeat performances, new fans, devoted fans, etc.). Next, you have two options – hire a booking agent or book the shows yourself. Hiring a booking agent means you have a dedicated person researching the right venues for your act and fan base, and sealing the deal with the venue. They also do scheduling for each show (and in between/days off ‐ “days without shows”) and make sure the artist has ample time to get to each venue on time and ready. You as the artist, with a hired booking agent, are responsible for transportation, wardrobe, merchandise, and sometimes promotion. When working with a booking agent, it is important to know that they work on a commission basis – usually 5 to 10% of the bands show earnings (as well as merchandise sold for some gigs). Booking agents, however, DO NOT get a portion of song sales, songwriting or publishing. If you dont have or want a booking agent, you have the option to do‐it‐yourself, but keep in mind YOU will be responsible for booking the venues, making the right connections, and getting the good turnout, in addition to performing and transportation, etc. STAGE PLOT (where band members are on stage, number of mics, what equipment bringing) INPUT LIST (what cables go where, what typical channel numbers for each, what type of equipment being used, monitor mix levels, stage position
60(stage left, stage right, upstage left, upstage right, etc.) PAYING FOR THE TOUR Touring can be a VERY profitable area for you and/or your band. You just have to know HOW to make money and WHEN and WHERE to invest your money. Like any business, you want to make a profit at the end of the day – not end up in debt. Its all about thinking smarter and logically about where your money is going. If you dip into the “band fund” every week to get some food, then you are not thinking SMARTER! An UnLabel owner can make a ton of money without going on tour – from merchandise sales, music download sales, and music subscription sales. The key is SAVING the money received from all these different outlets so youre starting out in good standings. Other ways that an artist can pay for a tour is through
61company sponsorships (instrument, gear). For example, if you are a drummer and all you use is Vic Firth sticks, contact them about sponsoring your band in exchange for “Vic Firth” promotion that you will do while on tour – whether its throwing your sticks out into the crowd or simply thanking “Vic Firth” for their sponsorship during the show. Bottom line is SAVE! It may be difficult, but itll be well worth it in the end! While on tour, save all of your receipts and keep them in an envelope or folder. At the end of the tour, contact an accountant and have them log all of your receipts – theyre considered a “write off” and can end up getting you money back in “tax season” so you can go on tour again in the future. HOW TO GET A BOOKING AGENT Obtaining a booking agent at the early stages of your career isnt impossible, but its not easy either. Booking agents look at several aspects of your music career before considering, such as amount of tickets you can sell for a show in a particular area, whether or not you have a marketing plan for your act (which youve completed), press, online and/or radio “buzz”, whether or not you can buy tickets for each market you plan on playing a show for, and your “live performance” (if you can fill the room with people – or have a dedicated Street team for each area). Very few booking agents pick up “starting” bands, but since youre an UnLabel owner, youre technically signed (by yourself) and that is to be admired by some. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to build your own independent label and a successful music career, and some booking agents can appreciate it. There are also small, independent talent agencies that might be interested in looking at local talent because its easier to book (the relationship has already been developed with the venue). FINDING TRANSPORTATION Whether youre going on a two‐month tour or a two‐week tour, how you get there is essential! A lot of factors go into what type of vehicle (if any) you should use to get to each city; type of act (band or solo artist), whether you are an “opener” (show starter) or “headliner” (show ender),whether the venue has a “backline” (equipment you can use– i.e. drum kit with few or no
62cymbals, guitar/bass amplifiers), among others. Depending on these factors, you can calculate whether it would be smarter to fly to the next city, or take a van or RV instead. The most cost‐effective way would be to fly, but you have to take into consideration baggage claim, flight delays, and transportation to and from the airport. If youre a solo act then it should between $300‐500 per flight,however for a band to travel it is more expensive (more bodies, more equipment, potentially more headaches). You also have to look at hotel expenses (how many rooms, how much per room, length of stay in each hotel). Again, for a solo act it may be more cost effective than for a band. The typical travel method for a band is an RV (Recreation vehicle), tour bus, or industrial/commercial van with a trailer attached. Although this method is more cost effective, its also more of a grueling experience. A tour bus is the most expensive of these “road” options, costing between $400‐500 per day, but it comes with a driver and individual “bunkers” to sleep 8‐16 people. A less comfortable but still working option is an RV or van, which sleeps about 8 people (half of that of a tour bus), but costs around $300 a day instead of $500. These prices dont include gas or tolls along the way, so you would have to factor in these costs as well. Most times, an RV or van option dont include a driver, so look to friends to help take on the job. You DONT want to end up being the driver – its very exhausting to spend hours driving to a show and be expected to put on a great performance. While touring, you must also consider insurance and possible emergencies (flat tires, engine or transmission problems, etc.) and make sure you have the monies to get them taken care of. A “Triple A (AAA)” membership is very useful for this purpose. Often, certain insurance companies offer roadside assistance, so check with them to make sure before you go on tour. It may take a few hours to get assistance, but its worth it! Lastly, you need to consider how you are getting your equipment there (guitars, drum sets, amplifiers, etc.). The most “popular” option would be to rent a trailer big enough to fit all of your equipment and be able to take a physically tolling ride. It would be good to check with the venue beforehand as well to see if they have a “backline”. If a venue has a “backline”, it makes your life easier because you dont have to bring as much equipment along. Find out specifically what equipment they
63have and what you need to bring, so you dont have any surprises when you arrive. Most importantly, arrive at least two hours before soundcheck so you can better prepare yourself for a great show! TOUR MANAGER The main job of a tour manager is to make sure each show goes smoothly and is set up correctly. Normally, tour managers have certain “crews” of people to do particular tasks – audio, lights, backline, and caterers (optional) to name a few. If you are touring with a successful band or artist (at any level), it is important to contact their tour manager at least 48 hours (2 days) in advance to give them information about your act. Typically, they need to know: • Amount of “party” ‐ including driver • What each member in your “party” does • Contact number • Input list (list of equipment), stage plan (where everyone will be while performing), and any other “props” for stage – banners, backdrops, fog machine, etc. HIRE A PUBLICIST (see pg. 19‐20, “team chart”) While on tour, the publicists main job is to get promotion for your event in the form of radio/press/online interviews and other opportunities that make your time in that city worth while and establish a good fan base for next time you come there. MARKETING/PROMOTING TOUR Once you have the shows booked, you have to start promotion for them to fill the rooms. Keep in mind the maximum capacity of the venue, so you know how many seats you need to fill. Its o.k. to be slightly overcapacity, but not under! The easiest option would be to tackle your online market first – social networking sites, websites, blogs, etc. ‐ with promotional flyers, e‐flyers, and online press kits. If you have an established street team, offer incentives in exchange for promotion – such as meet and greets, exclusive
64question and answer sessions, special merchandise, exclusive demos, hang out after show. You can also use the Market America distributors to help promote your event – and it would increase your chances of getting a bigger audience. Remember: Market America is based on word‐of‐mouth, so tell a friend to tell a friend to tell a friend! You can also utilize your street team to do guerrilla marketing and hang up posters, hand out flyers, give out stickers, and get people to your show. However, dont force it! Make your street team want to do it because its you performing – develop a close relationship with your fans and theyll do anything for you! They LOVE to feel and be a part of your career....so let them! It would also be wise to research your local “scene” for your music and cater to those people in that area. To get more promotion, give in advance promo materials such as flyers and posters to the actual venue you are performing at and (most of the time) they will hang it up and promote. They want a filled room just as much as you do! PICKING THE RIGHT MERCHANDISE No matter what type of tour (mini/local, multi‐state, or national), you want to get the most out of each show and get each person to at least purchase one item or sign your mailing list. Some items you should ALWAYS have in your inventory are t‐shirts and stickers at the very least (and if you are going on a mini/local tour, that may be all you need – in addition to your latest CD/demo/EP). For multi‐state or national tours, you want to have t‐shirts, stickers, hats, pins, and hoodies if possible. Basically ‐ all items that a person can wear so they can promote even when youre not in town and grow your fan base there. If you put on a great show, and have really cool merchandise (especially for your particular demographic), they would have no reason NOT to promote you! If youre going on a national or international tour, you should have the proper funding for the tour and allow money in your budget for unique, limited edition merchandise that fans and concert‐goers can purchase such as socks, undergarments, necklaces, cups, etc. USE YOUR IMAGINATION – but make it UNIQUE! Naming certain items “Limited Edition” get the fans more interested in purchasing it because its only for a LIMITED time.
65 GOING INTERNATIONAL In order to plan an international tour, you need to plan at least 6 months to a year in advance. Touring internationally is dramatically different from touring in the USA. You need to first make sure you have an up‐to‐date passport. Next, you have to make sure you have the demand. You dont want to travel to Europe to play an empty show! Make sure your music is already exposed to the “international” market through as much online promotion as possible. If you can get online press from your target international market, thats even better! The more press you can get internationally, the better it can help you fill those venues when you go to that country. This press could be in the form of: • Blog/Vlog posts from “tastemakers” in the target areas • Magazine interviews (online, local and national, music related) • Radio/Podcast phone interviews (from local, online, and national stations) • Reports from YouTube “tastemakers” (latest music, latest press, online updates, etc). • Regular/Daily Radio requests for your latest single from your fan base/street team at multiple stations • Company sponsorships (from instrument/gear companies) • Featured artist/band on notable websites (YouTube, Fuse, ReverbNation, MTV, VH1, etc.) If you can say you have press in 5 out of 7 of these options, then you should feel comfortable going on an international tour. In order to start planning, you need to first put together a team of people who will handle each section of your tour: Accounting Itinerary Hotel Travel Merchandise
66 Roadies Venues Each of these “team leaders” need to be extremely detailed and specific in their field so you know what to expect from each area and you arent surprised along the way! Keep in mind, touring internationally is VERY expensive, so you want to make sure youre prepared to take on the cost and exhausting lifestyle of going on tour. Since you are planning to tour internationally, it is assumed that you have enough money to cover the entire project, and are staying abroad for some time – at least 3 months. An example of what to include in an itinerary are: *courtesy of about.com Date and City ‐ At the top of the page, put the date and the city you will be in for that day. • Venue Name, Address and Phone Number • Promoter/Venue Contact Person ‐ Who is promoting the show? Include name, phone number and email address • Contacts for Other Acts ‐ If you can, include contacts for other acts on the bill. • Press Obligations ‐ Are you expected for any interviews/radio sessions? Are there any phone interviews planned? Include time, location, and contacts. • Show Details ‐ Load‐in, soundcheck, doors, stage and finish times. Also include what position you are in on the bill and the name of the other acts. • Fee for The Show ‐ What is the agreed fee for the show? Who made the agreement? Is there a contract? • Accommodation Info ‐ Where will you be staying? Include name, address, phone number, and reservation number (assuming youre not couch crashing!). Also include directions from the venue, room rate, number of rooms and/or info on whether the room was provided by the promoter. • Additional Info ‐ Here, put any special details specific to this show. Are
67you sharing a drum kit with the openers? Is the promoter providing a meal? Is there a venue fee for selling merch? How many guest lists spots do you have? Any important people expect to be at the show? Make sure all of these relevant little details go here. • Whats Up Next? ‐ Where are you heading tomorrow? How long will it take to get there and what time does everyone need to be in the van? Dont forget to account for any press obligations you need to roll into town early for. After youve developed a detailed plan and itinerary for each area and venue, the next step would be to make sure you have up‐to‐date passports (for yourself and your crew), and are able to cover the taxes that come with leaving one country and entering another. Chances are you will be flying from one destination to the next (frequently), and you dont want to get caught up in legal issues in another country – no matter how much they “love” you! You also want to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the country youre in, to make sure you know whats considered ok and whats not! Little laws like this could make or break your stay in that country, so do your research before going there! Next, you want to contact different touring companies to help you plan out the tour further. They would need a copy of your itinerary to be sure there are no “snags” in it, and so they can notify the proper people that you are planning a tour in their particular area. They may also assist in funding the tour and seeking out “sight‐seeing” locations for you and your crew to view while in their country. Finally, you want to make sure that you have copies of the contracts you have with either the venues, supporting acts, etc. You may need them to get into the country as proof that youre just there to perform. Of course, there are many other factors that go into planning a tour of this magnitude, so be sure to do as much research as possible. You can also check out the following reading material for more ideas:
68The Tour Book: How To Get Your Music On The Road by Andy Reynolds How To Be Your Own Booking Agent: THE Musicians & Performing Artists Guide To Successful Touring by Jeri Goldstein GROWING YOUR FAN BASE Touring is a great way to expand your fan base and make new relationships. Make it a point to get everyone in the room to sign your mailing list – first and foremost! Mailing lists give you demographic and geographic information so you can target specific shows and “band happenings” to a particular audience. They also allow you to develop that personal relationship by being able to send emails about recent news, album or “single” releases, website updates, etc. and keep your fan base in‐the‐know. Personally making an appearance at your merchandise table after your set can also gain you fans. They want that personal connection with you – if they are sold on YOU, then you have a greater chance of creating a “lifetime” fan (someone who appreciates your music, attends all your shows, and is devoted to your music career). Another way to develop that one‐to‐one connection with your fans is to schedule time to do meet and greets before or after the show, and sign merchandise for fans that purchase a CD or a t‐shirt (that could come with a free CD). You can also research the local “hangouts” in the area you are touring to maximize your promotion. Go to local coffee shops, college campuses, music or instrument stores, and promote your show beforehand by hanging up flyers, giving out stickers, and making friendly conversation. The key is to get your fans to like YOU, not just the music you make. Note: 90% of an artists income comes from 10% of their fan‐base. DEVELOPING A SOLID STREET TEAM Having a solid street team is an essential part of building your career as a musician. You dont want to just get them to hand out fliers here and there, you want them to be productive! You want to build a street team that lasts by having a personal, one‐to‐one connection with your fans. Start by writing
69down a list of goals you want your street team to accomplish. Make sure this also goes hand‐in‐hand with your marketing plan. • Promoting your latest single “online” • Posting up posters in local area • Create and manage “street team” pages After you have a list of general goals, next you want to break them into specific sections. The more detailed you get, the better picture you have to build it! Suggestions for “sections” are”: • Online (social “artist street team” sites – ST Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) ◦ Promote your latest “single” or upcoming local show, cool merchandise you have out, band pictures, etc.) • Online (blogs/vlogs) ◦ Promote your latest “single” or upcoming local show, cool merchandise, latest “artist blog” on your blog site, interviews/articles about your band, radio play experience, etc. • Street/Clubs/Bars ◦ Promote latest “single” or EP, hand out stickers and fliers, hang up posters for upcoming shows, talk to “regulars” and promote show • Fan‐to‐fan ◦ Promote music to other music fans they know, hand out stickers that promote social sites, use word‐of‐mouth to promote latest “single” and request on local stations (online or terrestrial) You might want to also come up with a catchy street team name and logo for your street team members. This will make them feel even more involved and a part of your bands success. Some examples are:
70For rock band, “Train” For rapper, SOOP For rock band, “Burning Brides” A cool way rock band, “The Maine” thanked their street team!
71Once you have a good list of goals and “sections”, the next step is to apply them! Start by personally being at the merchandise table during your shows and ask whomever you get to sign your mailing list if they would be interested. The only two answers could be YES or NO, so why not take the risk? At least one of the people out of the entire show would be interested – guaranteed! When you have a good amount of “interest”, you want to offer these people exclusive merchandise (with “band street team” or even better, “band street team name”). Street team members love to feel exclusive, so they should be the first to get the latest “single” promo or upcoming tour posters. You can also give them merchandise samples to test out and talk to about to their friends. Theyll naturally talk about it because theyre the first to get the latest band/artist gear and promo items. Thats important and special to them! The more you can make the street team feel wanted and a part of your overall success, the more theyll help you with your goal and get you promotion and publicity. Next, you want to pick out of a list of people who will be your “local captain” for that area. Think of the “street team captain” as a “promo manager” for your act. They should have a talkative, outgoing personality, and be one of your most loyal fans. Their job would be to recruit other “team members” into the “local street team/fan club”, and assign specific tasks to each person to complete. For example: Street Team CAPTAIN: • Recruit 3 to 5 members into fan club (give special “Street team” merchandise) • Assign people for online, one‐to‐one, and show promotion Team Member #1: Online • Post “single” link on SN sites • Get blogs/vlogs to review “single” • Request “single” on online stations • Write blogs about recent shows, “single” release, video posted, etc. As an artist, you can do activities like add a “members only” section to your
72webpage just for your street team. Feature special blog posts, jam sessions, Ustream access, question and answer sessions, anything thats interactive! Thats key to developing a solid fan base – the level of interaction with your fans. If you wait for your fans to come to you, youll be there forever! You need to initiate that connection and interact, make them feel like a part of your success (because in actuality...they are). Conquer Training Program Conquer Entertainments training system provides education for starting, building, and maintaining a stable and profitable UnLabel. There are several trainings available for the new UnLabel Owner that explain Conquer Entertainment as a whole, as well as training on branding yourself and the history of the music industry. All UnLabel owners are encouraged to attend the Conquer Entertainment trainings to get an understanding of the responsibilities and opportunities you have by being an UnLabel Owner. Trainings are constantly being created and added, so its best to check your UnLabel Admin periodically for new updates. NOTE: There are also various Market America trainings available for those building UnFranchise business. Please connect with your CAD for more details. Maintaining Your Successful UnLabel Conquer Simple Six Steps To keep a thriving and money‐producing UnLabel, there are six basic steps you can follow.
73 • Brand and Image • Create Your Product • Teamwork • Perform and Promote • Interact With Fans • Sustain and Support Brand and Image This is the first step for a reason. In order to succeed in anything in life, you must have the attitude that you will succeed before you do; especially when concerning the music business. Your image is just as important as your attitude. It is very imperative that you establish an image that represents you or your UnLabel and distinguishes you from the rest. What strong characteristic do you or your UnLabel team possess that makes you stand out? What is so special about your music and art? These are questions you must answer truthfully and sincerely. Make sure your image is one to remember; one that sticks out in people’s minds. Developing a secure logo and name for yourself is one of the most challenging obstacles for new artists and UnLabel owners to overcome. Once you’ve developed your image, however, the rest is easy! Put your logo and UnLabel name everywhere it makes sense ‐ online, coffee shops, strangers on the street. Market yourself and your image to the local area you live in; they are the ones who will understand you most! Create Your Product What do you want your introduction to the entertainment world to be like? What song do you see yourself singing? What feeling do you picture people getting when they think of you and your music? What and who are you selling to people? Every business model has a product they intend to use to represent and market their company ‐ this is no different. Envision your ideal audience. If you already have a picture of your audience, it will be
74easier to create your product. When creating your product ‐ song, merchandise, etc, ‐ it is good practice to keep your audience in mind as well. Teamwork Your relationship with your other team members is essential for owning an UnLabel. Not only is your team your business partners, but they’re also your best friends. One cannot function perfectly without the other. The relationship between the artist and manager is much different from the relationship between the artist and producer, but both are the same in terms of friendly bond. Communication between the UnLabel team is also important to a successful UnLabel. You and your team should be able to communicate your feelings openly and free of fear, plan beneficial career moves together, share goals with one another and understand one another’s views as best as possible. As UnLabel owners, you need to lead by example and work towards success positively and proudly. Perform and Promote Going on tour is one of the fundamental parts of being an artist. All of your songs, lyrics, performance, and music come into one place ‐ the stage. As a musician, nothing can replace or duplicate the feeling of performing in front of a live audience. Touring is the best place to connect with fans through your music. Although touring can be difficult at times, it is a very rewarding experience. Even short, six‐day long tours can be invigorating to the artist’s soul. One of the most fast and fun ways to get yourself known is through performing ‐ ALOT! Performing in front of an audience gets you exposure, gets you fans, and gets you experience all at the same time. Conquer offers an artist and UnLabel owner many avenues to start performing if you are not comfortable yet; local events, training events, internet (MATV), and Conquer Entertainment official events can all be used to practice.
75One of the best way to get new fans and gain more respect from current fans is to put on a performance they will never forget! The more emphasis you put on “entertaining”, the better results you will get! People go to concerts for one reason ‐ to see a live show! Why not give them what they paid for? Make it unique and full of fun every second. The more you engage the audience during the performance, the more they’ll keep coming back. This is what made acts like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and U2 so spectacular ‐ they put on a performance! Every song, outfit and set is different from the last and the energy is always high. They turn their show into a memorable concert and they have loyal fans because of it. Interact with Fans Fans are the heartbeat of your musical journey. Without fans, you wouldn’t have listeners, promoters, and people who are just as passionate about your music as you are. Not only do fans support you musically, they support you financially ‐ by attending your concerts, purchasing merchandise, and telling friends about you. Street teams and word‐of‐mouth advertising are one of the most effective methods of promotion around today. Fans are also the most essential piece to your UnLabel business. They are the driving force behind music sales, merchandise sales, and getting you new fans. Street teams are some of the most loyal people you will encounter in your musical journey. Developing and keeping up with your street team will ensure growth in your UnLabel. Giving back to your fans also breeds more success. By doing simple activities like meet and greets, autograph signings, and designing exclusive street team merchandise, you will keep your fans you have for longer and gain more fans in the process. Sustain and Support If you know your UnLabel business in and out, then sustaining it and supporting your business partners should be second nature. Every musician,
76manager, fan that you meet is a potential UnLabel partner. Touring is one of the best ways to prospect and bring on interested persons and build as you go. By performing, promoting, and marketing yourself with the UnLabel business, you are exposing the business to everyone that you run into. Checking your admin for your UnLabel frequently is another way you can maintain and control your business, as well as updating your Conquer artist/entertainment web portal. Conclusion The information you read in this handbook isnt any good unless implemented. The trainings provided by Conquer Entertainment are also of great use to you as an UnLabel owner. They are the fuel for your UnLabel engine, and the more you go, the more you know. The income opportunities are endless with Conquer Entertainment, and I congratulate you for taking initiate and starting a career that is sure to give you lots of joy, income, and success. SUCCESS IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK!