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FAI Tip - Turning Bloodsuckers into Blood Donors
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1/21/2016 at 11:33:46 PM GMT
Posts: 16
FAI Tip - Turning Bloodsuckers into Blood Donors

Paul Barker, host of Barker's House Concerts, wrote an exemplar essay for the first-timer attending a music conference like Folk Alliance:

Read here: NERFA - For the First Timers

I love this motto: "Take the pledge: I am not here to book gigs. I am here to build relationships and the gigs will follow," says Barker.

Obviously, we hope to gain some monetary value from attending a conference, but it's easy to lose sight of the forest of songwriters--the community--from the trees of venue hosts and radio DJs.

You are here to connect to people. The gigs will follow if you follow this mantra. So take that pledge, first timers!

One point of advice in Barker's essay doesn't hold up for me, but maybe that's because it's 2016 (IE: Apple Music, Spotify); not 2010 when his essay was written, as CD sales were at the start of declining.

Barker advices to conserve your CDs and promo packs--which is sound advice--but he goes a step further about people who don't represent venue that take free CDs:

"These bloodsuckers go from table to table collecting 'free' CDs for their personal collections. It’s very unprofessional, but they think they deserve it for their 'support' of folk music."

I applaud any chance to use the word "bloodsuckers"; however, I think we need to take a step back here, especially in a world where scarcity left music long ago, and the enemy of a new artist is being unknown.

If someone is interested in your music, why would you want to withhold them from getting hooked by your songs?

Instead of seeing these freeloaders as bloodsuckers, I think it's important to see them as potential fans.

That doesn't mean you need to give them a professional CD for free, but this is standard advice for all merch tables: You should always have something cheap or free to give away. You should be enticing potential true fans to sign up for your email lists.

Maybe give away a CDR. A cheaper alternative, a download code. Even better,  have an iPad on a stand with a Noisetrade widget on the screen, so someone can type in their email address for a free download! 

Either way, have a plan to turn them bloodsuckers into future blood donors!

* * * * * 
Author Bio:
Mike Vial is a songwriter from Ann Arbor. He has performed close to 1000+ gigs, including shows at the Ark in Ann Arbor, The Flint Institute of Arts, Six String Concerts in Columbus, Rockwood Music Hall, and State Theater in South Bend. He has been an official showcase artist at SERFA and FARMette, and he is attending his first FAI conference this February. You can hear his newest single, "Burning Bright" and read the feature by American Songwriter Magazine here

 


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11/28/2017 at 8:08:03 AM GMT
Posts: 5
Thanks! This is helpful :)

Erin O'Dowd
Tulsa, OK
(918) 812-9989
erinodowd@gmail.com


11/28/2017 at 8:08:09 AM GMT
Posts: 5
Thanks! This is helpful :)

Erin O'Dowd
Tulsa, OK
(918) 812-9989
erinodowd@gmail.com


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