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How Promoting Your Next Live Show Can Show You Some Of The Problems You Have With Your Music Career - by Tim Sweeney
Once the happiness of booking an upcoming show fades, reality begins to creep into your thoughts. How many people will be there? How do you get new people to the next show? Will it be the same old people who always come? How do you get the media to come or write about the show? How do you sell more CDs at this show?

Sorry. I know these are the issues that always come up and the list could go on and on. However, the way you promote your next show can tell you a lot about you, your band members or the people supporting or working with you!

For example, I have been preaching for the last 20 years to first give out sample tapes or cassettes, until they died out and then sample CDs. One of the constant issues that artists call me about is the following. They will say, “I have been following the strategies in TIM SWEENEY’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFULLY PLAYING LIVE and seeing some good results but I want my music, shows and CD sales to get bigger.

The first thing I will ask them to do is describe how and where they are handing out their sample CDs (as well as what’s on the disc. Very important). Usually I hear pretty much the same story including the main problem they are not recognizing.

They will identify which places in their target markets they are going, how many samplers they gave out and then start to talk about how they are the only one in their group doing it or how they have a tough time talking to new people.

This is the critical point that will show you how successful you will be at getting more people to your shows and selling more CDs.

If you are in a group of 4 people and you are the only one handing out CD samplers, it says a lot about the commitment and interest of the other band members. What are they doing to get new fans? If one of them wants to focus on getting media attention for the show, that’s fine, they still need to hit the streets! Their lack of interest in finding new fans can be and usually is a sign of someone who doesn’t want the project to grow any further. Ironically they always seem to be the ones to complain about CD sales when they don’t get off the stage and try to sell any. They insist they have to break down their gear, which ironically they could pay someone to do out of the CD sales they could generate in a few minutes after the last song. After all, you are playing shows to sell more CDs.

The big question to ask yourself is, are you doing the same thing?

Are finding reasons not to meet new people and get them to come to your shows? Just emailing your mailing list of people who aren’t going to come except for the same 25-50 family and friends who already own your CD?

Do you avoid going right into the crowd after the last song to sell CDs? Is it more important to break down your gear than to make more money?

Human nature can limit you or stop you from moving forward. Your initial challenge to ourself, your band members and those working with you is to push forward and stop listening to the little self doubting voice in your head that keeps you from trying anything new. Step past your doubts to show people who you are as an artist and talk with them about what you are trying to communicate.

Where do you learn this new philosophy? In your living room listening to a copy of TIM SWEENEY’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFULLY PLAYING LIVE. Contact me at
If you are serious about moving forward with your career, I have 4 different books at my site that guide you to your definition of success. You can preview them and order them at

If you are serious and want my personal help getting on the right path, email me through my website,

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