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Old 21st November 2007
  #5
Founder CD Baby
 
Derek Sivers's Avatar
 

Smile big bang 3 times a year will do more for your career than a constant trickle

There's a great book called Life is a Contact Sport by Ken Kragen, the manager of many famous artists. (He also organized "We Are the World" in the 80's.)

He swore by a career strategy he called the Event Strategy, which says:
  • a career is a series of plateaus
  • you exist at one level of public-awareness for a while, then something PUSHES you up to the next level, usually all at once
  • you exist at that next level for a while, then something pushes you up to another level, etc.
  • to push up to the next level, you need to be "everywhere all at once"
  • do this deliberately by timing all of your events (album release, press coverage, concerts, media appearances, publicity stunts) so that they happen all at the same time.
If you think about artists you've heard of over the years, there's often this feeling of, "Ohmygod EVERYONE is talking about these guys, I have to at least check it out to find out why."

So, by this strategy, instead of doing concerts throughout the year, you could try doing a big bang of concerts all at once in 5 different venues over 10 days. Plan it months in advance, so you can get everything possible to happen during that 10 days : new collection of songs for sale, get websites to feature you that week, send out the new songs for review so that reviews are posted that week, perhaps even run an ad in the local calendar listings that week, update your site that week and email all past fans about it, put a new video on YouTube and email all fans about it a few days before, so that they tell their friends during that 10 days, etc.

It really helps artists go into antisocial mode when creating, then just turn on your extroverted side for 2 intense weeks.

Media outlets really appreciate this kind of planning, as well. You can confidently let them know that if they were to do something during that 10 day period, that you can send a much greater number of people to their website/magazine/webradio that week.

Doing this big bang 3 times a year will do more for your career than a constant trickle of no-big-deal activity. It's more fun, too.

Sometimes, by the way, the timing of the big bangs will be external : say if a TV show or movie is going to feature your song, then get the airing date in advance and schedule everything else to happen that same week. Focus all media mentions on it, etc.

Good luck!

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