How to Book a Successful Tour: Tips from Former Booking Agent Sharyn Goldyn (Part 2)

ReverbNation CONNECT artist manager (and former booking agent with The Windish Agency) Sharyn Goldyn lays out the ways that emerging artists can make the most out of their first tours. Read on for advice that will make your next (or first) tour a success.

How does an up-and-coming artist get on a festival bill?

It’s super difficult. Every band in the world wants a festival slot and festivals book much earlier than you would think, sometimes almost a year out. The best way to get one is to have either a really, really good agent pushing for the act or a really strong buzz that has caught the attention of the promoter and made them a fan of the act.

What comes first: a record label or booking agent? Do booking agents work with artists who aren’t signed? 

I’m not going to lie: getting signed with a booking agency can be one of the hardest things for a band to do. It’s also a chicken or the egg situation…sometimes an artist has a label or manager first, sometimes an agent comes first. Occasionally, artists don’t have managers or labels, even after they are successful. Every act is different. Agents work with unsigned bands all that time.

More and more, booking agents are playing the role of A&R and artist development for super new acts. There can be a hidden factor behind the signing, though, like a trusted manager, producer, publicist, or label rep really championing the band. Maybe there’s lots of blog love or a viral song that makes the band more appealing. It’s a leap of faith for an agent to be the first person on your team, so they have to be really passionate about who they sign or results will fall flat. Small bands can be a lot more work than huge acts because of all the hustling you have to do to get the rest of the industry excited. If a band starts out with an agent first, then the agent plays an essential role in filling in the missing links for an act, i.e. showcasing and pitching them to managers, labels, radio, PR, etc.

What are some things that catch your eye/ear when checking out a new artist? 

Good music obviously stands out in an oversaturated market but that’s not always enough. Facebook is one big LinkedIn for the music industry. If I check out a band online, I can see who their “early adopters” are, like other agents, promoters or label folks who have “liked” the artist’s page already. Social numbers are important. If you have under 1,000 streams per song, very few Facebook fans and zero touring history, you probably aren’t ready for an agent yet.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve seen bands make with touring?

Wasting money. You don’t need a fancy van, multiple hotel rooms, sound engineer or a tour manager early on. Expect to be roughing it. Downsize the band and amount of equipment you need as much as possible. Sleep on couches and floors on the road. Bring merch. People actually buy CDs at shows and that will make a difference as to how you will pay for gas to the next city or not. Some bands don’t want to take a day off on the road or do too many dates overall and they will just run themselves ragged and get sick. Also, don’t be a pain in the ass or a diva, especially as a new band. Word spreads!

Missed part one? Check it out here .

Sharyn started at the Windish Agency in Chicago at the front desk.  Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 4.56.25 PMAfter a year, she became the president’s personal assistant then his booking assistant, eventually working her way up to a full-blown agent with her own roster. In her six years at the agency, she has worked on tours for dozens of artist including The xx, alt-J, Hot Chip, Gotye, The Knife, and M83. Prior to Windish, Sharyn worked as an assistant talent buyer for two small venues in Chicago and did PR for a few artists. She now works in artist development for ReverbNation Connect and manages artists.

SamHow to Book a Successful Tour: Tips from Former Booking Agent Sharyn Goldyn (Part 2)
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Hard Rock Rising 2016 — ROCK LOCAL/WIN GLOBAL

In 2015, thousands of bands from around the world went head-to-head for a spot on the main stage at Hard Rock Rising in Barcelona, Spain. After a fierce competition and countless stellar performances, a panel of judges (including ReverbNation’s own Chief Creative Officer, Simon Perry), selected Minneapolis, MN’s Enemy Planes as the global winner.

We’re excited to announce that submissions to the 2016 Hard Rock Rising competition are now open! Don’t miss your chance to be crowned Hard Rock’s Artist of the Year, which includes $50,000 USD and a trip to perform at the brand new Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza, Spain. 

For more details on submission and music from past year’s winners, check out our Hard Rock Rising 2016 Collection.

Just click the Submit Now button below to get started!

submit

 

SamHard Rock Rising 2016 — ROCK LOCAL/WIN GLOBAL
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How to Book a Successful Tour: Tips from Former Booking Agent Sharyn Goldyn (Part I)

ReverbNation CONNECT artist manager (and former booking agent with The Windish Agency) Sharyn Goldyn lays out the ways that emerging artists can make the most out of their first tours. Read on for advice that will make your next (or first) tour a success.

What is the best way to begin planning a tour? What elements does a band need to consider?

It really depends on how much is going on with the artist and how much money they have to spend. Everyone has to start somewhere but to get the most out of your time on the road, it’s helpful for there to be some sort of story behind the artist: a new release, a few good reviews on blogs, a decent social media following, some sort of buzz like significant streams on Spotify, etc.

In my opinion, it’s best to start in your hometown (or nearest major city). Become that strong local band that can sell out the best small venue in the market. Be the go-to band for promoters who need an awesome local to open a big sold out show. Get your local radio station and tastemakers on board. When routing your first tour, I feel it is best to anchor the date in the band’s nearest major market (or anchor it with a big show that the band has been offered) and do a small run of mostly major markets from there, routing your way to New York or Los Angeles to showcase for industry. Soft-ticketed shows (recurring events with a built-in audience) are always a huge plus to play.

How does a band make money on tour? Should an artist be willing to lose money for the sake of touring?

A young band will most likely lose money on tour. Realistically, if you’re direct support for a bigger act, you will make around $250 per show. That will barely cover gas, hotel, food, van rental, flights. It’s so, so important to tour, though. Opening for bigger acts will get you exposure and you can start building relationships with promoters, other musicians, and industry along the way. If you’re great live, easy to work with, and have a bit of a draw, people will remember you next time around.

At the end of the day, once you have reached a certain point in your career, live music and touring will be one of your main sources of income. As the way fans consume and purchase music continues to change, live music will always thrive. Nothing will ever compare to seeing your favorite artist perform on stage — it’s a special experience.

Whose responsibility is it to promote each show on tour? (The artist? The venue? The promoter?)

It’s everyone’s responsibility to maximize the success of the show. Everyone has their own email list, social media reach, etc. that should be utilized. It’s discouraging when I follow a band on social media and find out I missed their show because they didn’t post something on their Instagram or Facebook about being in town. Your band is a business — cover your bases and work to get paid.

What can a band do to promote an out-of-town show while on tour?

Be super pro-active:
• Pay attention to where your fans are and do targeted posts on social media
• Personally reach out to friends and fans in those cities
• Get on the phone with the promoter and brainstorm ideas to push the show.

Think outside of the box:
• Contests, unique ways to interact with fans, etc.
• Promoters often have media lists or contacts that bands can use to try and get a little press or raise awareness of your show if they don’t have a publicist.

Check out part two here!

Sharyn started at the Windish Agency in Chicago at the front desk. Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 4.56.25 PMAfter a year, she became the president’s personal assistant, then his booking assistant, eventually working her way up to a full-blown agent with her own roster. In her six years at the agency, she has worked on tours for dozens of artist including The xx, alt-J, Hot Chip, Gotye, The Knife, and M83. Prior to Windish, Sharyn worked as an assistant talent buyer for two small venues in Chicago and did PR for a few artists. She now works in artist development for ReverbNation Connect and manages artists.

 

SamHow to Book a Successful Tour: Tips from Former Booking Agent Sharyn Goldyn (Part I)
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Success Story Update

Throughout the week, our ReverbNation CONNECT team keeps track of industry news and artist successes. We’ve got your weekly recap of the top stories you’ve missed, including reviews and premieres from The New York Times, THUMP Magazine, and Red Bull Music Academy, and more.

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Singer-songwriter Max Jury

The Line of The Best Fit premiered singer/songwriter/pianist Max Jury’s new single, “Numb.” A Gospel-infused melancholic tale that the blog described as something that “could easily soundtrack the end credits of a boy-loses-girl coming of age flick, set somewhere in the upper midwest, perhaps.”

THUMP Magazine frequently looks to producer and ReverbNation Senior Curator Lauren Flax to weigh-in on the continuous relationship between musicians and their equipment in the series “Which Comes First in Contemporary Music Technology: The Musician or The Machine?”

The New York Times recently interviewed Mike Silver of CFCF, discussing both his GRAMMY®-nominated remix, the history of dance culture, what the Best Remixed category entails, and how remixing “Berlin by Overnight” posed some unusual challenges for him. The 58th Grammy Awards will take place Monday, February 15 at 8:00pm (EST) on CBS.

Ellie Herring shared some of her expert tips, advice,and insight on the art of crafting bass on Red Bull Music Academy’s series “Modern Approaches.”

Jaye

Jaye Bartell

Pitchfork announced singer-songwriter Kevin Morby’s upcoming tour, which will feature ReverbNation CONNECT’s Jaye Bartell as the opening support on close to 20 dates across the US.

The Deli Magazine featured Brooklyn indie-rock band Silverbird’s upbeat art-rock sound in “NYC Bands on The Rise.” The band’s self-released album Pureland (released in late 2015) was well-received by the likes of Brooklyn Magazine, XS Noize, and Vice, who noted how the band “tackle[s] nearly every place the genre can go, never better illustrated in their new video for “Running.”

Following the release of Cinema’s contagiously feel-good single, “Move On” (which premiered on TMRW Magazine and was featured by Indie Shuffle), the band is being featured by Wonderland, who called Cinema “one of the most musically dynamic and distinct bands that 2016 has to offer.”

New York-based musician Kyle Forester debuted the first single (“Won’t Go Crazy”) from his self-titled album on Stereogum.

PureVolume debuted Midnight Mob’s single “Ghost,” an anthemic high-powered jam off their upcoming Honest Brutal Glorious EP.

EarBuddy premiered synth pop duo Outsides’ intoxicating new single “Lost With You,” and they’re saying it’s “going to occupy all the space in your heart.”
SamSuccess Story Update
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6 Ways to Build Your Music Career with YouTube

We spoke to YouTube stars Maddie Wilson, Noah Guthrie, and Ali Brustofski about how they used YouTube to build their career. For this post, we've compiled their 6 most essential tips on how to build a devoted fanbase using one of the world's most popular websites.

Quality and consistency are the two most important factors

This was far and away the most popular piece of advice we heard. You have to establish a consistent schedule when posting content for your fans — the more they can come to expect a new video at a certain time each day or week, the more likely you are the draw them back in. And always keep upping the quality of your videos, whether through better equipment or higher production value.

If you’re posting covers, make sure they’re songs people want to hear

When choosing your next cover, make sure that you’re not spending time on something out-of-date or just flat-out wrong for your audience. And if the song doesn’t move you, don’t expect your performance of it to move your audience!

Build a buzz before posting any new material

Before you release a new video, make sure your fans know that it’s coming! Tease out short clips or drop hints for your fans in the days leading up to your release, and don’t forget to post about the video again after your first release it. You need to keep that song in your fans’ newsfeeds (and in their heads) for days.

Collaborate with artists similar to your size

Collaboration is one of the best ways we saw these artists growing their fanbase. By working on a song with another YouTuber, those artists were able to effectively double their fanbase and cross-promote each other. But don’t expect to be able to work with the highest-viewed artist when you’re first starting off. Try and find someone with a similar sized audience as you, and work up from there.

Find out what your audience wants to hear from time to time

While it’s important to select covers and perform originals that are true to your voice as an artist, it’s never a bad idea to get ideas from your fans. Ask them what their favorite song is, or what song they’d like to hear you cover next.

Make each song your own

Whether you’re restyling an entire song or just changing the tempo, make sure that any cover you perform is a version that represents you as an artist. And when you’re working on new original music, be true to your voice. Don’t push yourself into musical territories if they don’t feel natural for you.


Want to learn more about how Noah Guthrie, Maddie Wilson, and Ali Brustofksi got to where they are today? Check out our in-depth interviews with each of them below:

5 YouTube Tips For Musicians from GLEE’s Noah Guthrie
How Maddie Wilson Used YouTube To Build a Career in Music
6 YouTube Tips For Emerging Musicians from Ali Brustofski

 

Sam6 Ways to Build Your Music Career with YouTube
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5 Tips for Grabbing the Attention of Hip-Hop Bloggers

This post from hip-hop blogger and publicist Kayla Calloway will outline 5 simple and proven tips for getting the attention of hip-hop bloggers. These strategies are excerpted from the 2nd edition of Kayla's “The Essential Guide to Hip-Hop Publicity.”

When hip-hop artists reach out to media outlets, it’s pretty common for them to overthink things. And while a creative approach can make a lasting impression, you’re better off focusing on a professional and straightforward approach. In fact, former XXL Music Editor and hip-hop journalist Eric Diep says, “As far as hip-hop artists go, I’m old school. Just introduce yourself, hand me your tape, and keep it moving.” Taking a professional, persistent, and simple approach—letting your music speak for itself—is always the best practice, whether you’re online or in the real world.

So take note of these five tips — they are a great way to improve your response from bloggers and publicists in the hip-hop community.

1. Make It Easy On the Eyes

When sending emails to bloggers, skip the fancy fonts and different font sizes and avoid attachments of any sort. “Reading countless emails is hard enough on the eyes; nobody needs wacky fonts, different size text and several colors.  Set the size to the standard 12, the color to black, and the font to default (do not overthink things to try and get someone’s attention),” says Dj Z of DJBooth.net

2. Use the Subject Line to Get Creative

The email subject line is an opportunity to get creative and descriptive. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. Create a call-to-action by letting the blogger or writer know exactly what you’re sending in the subject line, whether it’s new music or a video. Here are a few examples:

YGTUT releases unique visual for new anthem “Preacher’s Son”
Wordsmith drops new mixtape exclusively on ReverbNation

3. Get to Know the Blogger

LinkedIn is a great way to learn a little more about the writer you’re reaching out to. For example, former XXL Online Editor and freelance writer Jaeki Cho’s LinkedIn profile states that his interests are Urban Music, Advertising, Marketing, Philanthropy, Buddhism, Asian Culture, and Literature. These type of details help you develop and cultivate relationships with bloggers, editors, and writers and get to know their work and learn about their interests.

4. Reciprocate

Engage with bloggers by actual following their work because you want them to follow yours. Follow their social media accounts and check out their posts. Sharing, liking, and commenting are great ways to begin building a professional relationship with the writer online.

5. Keep Your Eyes Open

Everyone vies to get featured on the same hip-hop blogs, but there are so many hip-hop blogs out there! Do some research and you’ll see that there are tons of opportunities for getting your music and videos featured, including submitting your music videos to YouTube channels that focus on new and indie hip-hop music. Here are a few hip-hop blogs to check out and get you started:

The Daily Dose
AllWeGotIsUs
Definition of Fresh
DeadEndHipHop
Earmilk.com
YetAnotherHipHopBlog
EveryoneLovesHipHop

Here are a few YouTube channels to check out that review indie hip-hop:

DeadEndHiphop
Luke James
Diyhiphopmarketing (an archive of my tips for marketing & PR)

I hope you have found these tips helpful, and remember — gaining the attention of hip-hop bloggers requires planning. Stay the course and hope to read about you soon!

Kayla Calloway is the author of the “Essential Guide to Hip-Hop Publicity”,2.3.16 Kayla Calloway a hip-hop expert, and a former hip-hop publicist and blogger who has worked with hip-hop artists including Chinx, Warren G, Chrisette Michele, and countless indie and upcoming hip-hop artists. She has secured media placements in XXL, Hiphopdx, Allhiphop, Hiphop Weekly, SLAM and many more. Additionally, Kayla previously ran a successful hip-hop marketing and PR advice blog. Reach her on Twitter @kvcalloway

 

Sam5 Tips for Grabbing the Attention of Hip-Hop Bloggers
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ReverbNation’s Big Game Showdown

Support your team by voting for your favorite Collection, featuring music from the hometowns of the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. The more you listen and share, the more votes your team will receive — so make sure you spread the word to family and friends. Be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page on Sunday, February 7th, where we'll announce the winner!

BigGameHeader

Vote for your favorite team or collection by listening below
Share the collection = 10 votes / Play a song = 1 vote

Share Denver on Facebook                                                  Share Charlotte on Facebook
Share Denver on Twitter                                                       Share Charlotte on Twitter

 

Or you can vote for your favorite collection (or team) below:

JordanReverbNation’s Big Game Showdown
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6 YouTube Tips For Emerging Musicians from Ali Brustofski

Learn how this YouTube star created a passionate audience using simple but effective techniques that any emerging artist can benefit from.

From a young age, Ali Brustofksi had a passion for music. She grew up watching her dad, a musical theater performer, and knew that she needed to be on a stage. After trying her hand at theater, she discovered that writing and sharing her own material was the path for her. She wanted to create her own voice, “instead of playing a character onstage.”

So when people like Justin Bieber and Esmee Denters began to break out on YouTube, she thought she’d try her hand at uploading a few cover songs of her own. Ali said she didn’t have a clear idea of how a successful YouTube channel was run at first, uploading “random choir videos and songs people weren’t searching for.”

She soon began fine-tuning her approach, realizing that using current hit songs that people were searching for was a great way to start getting her name out. She began pouring over iTunes, Billboard, and radio charts to find her next cover and plan her next post. Pretty soon, she had amassed a sizeable fanbase on YouTube, with more than 500,000 subscribers and 100 million total views to date.

Ali says that a successful YouTube presence is all about two things: quality and consistency. You should post as often as you can, but making sure to keep your videos high quality. It’s also helpful if you are posting covers of songs that you really love to sing: “People can totally see through it if you’re not into what you’re singing,” she says. 

But don’t neglect to promote and share your original work, either. For example, with Ali’s latest single (“When I Fall”), she gave her fans (affectionately dubbed Alinators) plenty of advance warning that a new song was coming. She builds a buzz before the song is released so that people are waiting for it to drop, rather than posting unannounced.

Like most successful YouTubers, Ali has also collaborated with several different artists through the site. “It’s a small community, so pretty much everyone knows each other at this point,” making it easier to find people to work with. If you’re looking to build your channel, find channels that are around the same size as yours, so that the collaboration will be mutually beneficial for both artists.

 

Above all, Ali knows that she has to stay connected with the Alinators who have helped her get where she is today. Without their support, she says, nothing would be possible. Ali often takes to her channel to ask what her fans want to here, which is a great way to establish a one-on-one connection with her audience. “YouTube gives you an amazing opportunity that a lot of mainstream acts don’t necessarily have, and I’m forever grateful for that.”

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re posting covers, make sure they’re songs people want to hear
  • Quality and consistency are the two most important factors when posting
  • Only post songs that you love singing
  • Build a buzz before posting any new original material
  • Collaborate with artists similar to your size
  • Find out what your audience wants to hear from time to time
Sam6 YouTube Tips For Emerging Musicians from Ali Brustofski
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