J.P. Kallio’s Musician Quick Tips Pt. 3
by J.P. Kallio
In my nearly two decades as a full time musician I have learned a thing or two about this business. I also have become very fast at assessing what works and what does not when it comes to promoting, recording and performing your music.
These quick tips are simple actions that you can put to use straight away..
Here’s something you can do today to promote your music on Twitter.
If you have a new video, new song on Soundcloud, or a concert coming up. Tweet the link with message with a call to action (check out my new video, share) to go with it. Then pin the tweet on the top of your Twitter page. If on desktop or laptop, go to your page and clock on the tweet you want to pin. Now under the Tweet you can find the usual options, comment, retweet and like. Beside these there is three small dots. If you click this, a drop down menu opens up. Here you have an option to “pin to your profile page”.
By doing this your pinned post will stay on top of your Twitter page and anyone who visits your page will see this Tweet first. YouTube videos and Soundcloud links work great here as they will embed an image to it as well, which makes it stand out even more.
Pick the Right Venue
You have new album coming out and you want to do an album launch show in your home town, or you just haven’t done show in your local scene for a while. So you are thinking to book a venue and organise your own show. Every band should do this once in a while to know what it really takes to bring in a crowd to a show. You’ll have new-found respect for concert promoters after it.
But here’s a small thing to keep in mind. We all want to play in the top venue in town. But can you fill it? In the short-term it is much better for you to play in a small venue that you can sell out. Trust me on this one, it looks much better to turn away people from a sold out gig, than fill even three-quarters of your favourite venue. People who got in will feel they were part of something special and exclusive, and the people who did not make it in, they will be much more likely to buy tickets in advance the next time. Also promoters talk, and by selling out venues is how you start making a name for your self.
Facebook pt. 2
So if you followed my last Facebook quick tip, you should have at least one video uploaded to your Facebook page (not profile, but page). Now here’s a small thing you can do to make it easier for people to find.
Once the video is uploaded, go to the video tab on your Facebook page. Here you have an option to make the video a featured video (this also is an option under the video, if it is posted on your timeline). This will make the video to appear on your Facebook page as a part of the info box under your profile picture, so anybody who visits your page can see it straight away. Try it out.
This is quite effective little trick you can do to put text on your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook photos. Download an app called InstaQuote. There is a free version that leaves a small watermark on the picture, or paid version ( well worth it in my books) that has some extra features and has no watermark.
I used it to come up with some nice wisdom’s, or motivational thoughts that has had quite a lot of engagement on all of the platforms. But I think particularly in Instagram it helps to get your mission statement across. Surely you have a mission statement by now?
We all dream about being a support act for some big acts. We feel this would be our big break. Too often the reality is something very different. Remember that scene in “Crazy Heart” (great movie, that portrays the life of a musician in a very realistic way) where Jeff Bridges is about to play support slot? Where the sound man is trying to make him sound not as good as the main act? That happens a lot.
I remember many years a go, I was supposed to be playing a show with Sliotar at a festival. In the last-minute the venue had to be changed as there was a big touring band whose contract said their stage setup could not be changed after the sound check. It was a silly rule to have, especially at the European festival circuit, and let’s just say they will not be booked for that festival again. We ended up having a great show at a smaller stage, and been asked back nine times.
Bands like to portray themselves as the big thing, even when sometimes they are not. And due to this thing try to find nice support act, but still someone who make them look good. Now here’s my view. How about you actually try to provide value for your audience? Instead of looking for an OK support act, look for a great one. If you do this time and time again, soon your followers will remember your nights being a great nights of music where they get to see you and also discover new music.
J.P. Kallio is a singer-songwriter