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Don’t Just Play in Your Garage: How Bands Can Get More Gigs

career paths

career pathsBe honest, how often do you sing in the shower or serenade your hairbrush? Most of us have dreams of becoming a rock star — even if we don’t want to admit it.

54% of people even play an instrument, according to reports from Gallup.

But while there’s something fun about jamming in your garage with your buddies, it won’t help you get to where you want to be.

Are you looking to get more gigs for your band? Here’s a quick rundown on how to book shows and make a living playing the music you love.

Immerse Yourself in the Local Music Scene

At the end of the day, playing in a band is a lot like running a business. You need to have your finger on the pulse of your market to make sure you have a product worth selling.

One great way to take the cultural temperature is by engaging with your local music scene.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your town is, there’s a high likelihood that your area has independent bands and venues nearby. And if your local scene is truly non-existent, start it up yourself.

Connecting with your fellow musicians isn’t just a great way to strike some new friendships (or friendly rivalries). It’s also a fantastic way to make more contacts within your area.

No one else understands the struggle of being in a band quite like another band, after all. Solidifying friendships can help you land future gigs and open up an avenue for cross promotion.

Show Them What You’re Made Of

Let’s go back to high school physics for a moment. Newton’s Law states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Though he wasn’t talking about booking shows, his findings are quite applicable.

The tricky thing about booking shows is that it’s largely based on momentum. Once your band books a gig, you’re more likely to book another gig and another one and so on and so forth.

Unfortunately, this means that you’ll have to play a ton of low-paying gigs at first or play some nontraditional shows. Many shows may not even take place at a traditional venue! Plenty of local shows occur at someone’s house, for instance, though audiences are just as eager to hear great music.

These gigs won’t be the most glorious shows you’ll play, to say the least. But as long as you have fun and make some good contacts, they’re a great way to build up some clout.

Keep Track of Everything

Playing shows is wonderful, but promoters need to see that hard evidence that you can sell tickets.

As good as your word may be, you’ll need to keep track of attendance.

Get sales figures from the venue and keep them in a safe location. You can use these numbers to secure a better rate in the future.

If you can, film your performances. Not only will the videos make great promotional tools, but you can watch them back and study them to improve your future performances.

Make Friends With Your Local Venues

You’ve mastered the art of the house show. Now it’s time to move onto bigger things.

As you begin to generate buzz around your band, reach out to local venue staff. Introduce yourself, send a clip of a performance or link to a track, and let them know that you’re accepting bookings.

Most bands wait for promoters to make the first move, which isn’t a great idea. In an age where any band can put their stuff up on Spotify or YouTube, a promoter’s time is more valuable than ever.

The day to day life of a venue owner is hectic enough as it is. From booking talent to securing food and beverage licenses to dealing with venue staff, promoters simply don’t have the time to reach out to your band. Reaching out saves everyone time.

Design a Digital Portfolio

In the age of social media, it may seem like building a website for your band is a waste of time and resources. On the contrary, a great-looking website is more helpful than you’d think.

While social media is great for connecting with fans and posting about upcoming shows, it’s hard to get in-depth with your marketing.

But a website allows for more elaborate biographies, contact information, and links to your social profiles as well as music streaming services.

Aside from that, a great website is the first step toward boosting your digital presence. Using search engine optimization, you can make sure your band is the first result when a promoter is looking for talent in your area.

Get Social

Social media is a fantastic resource for bands looking to grow an audience and book shows.

What makes it such a powerful tool? It’s right in the name: It’s social.

Social media allows for bands to connect with their fans anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, a ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ is every bit as good as the traditional word of mouth advertising.

Add Your Band to a Directory

The downside to social media profiles and websites is that they take time to have an effect. Most bands don’t instantly notice a difference in their bookings.

But if you’re tired of waiting, why not go to the source?

Adding your band to a directory is a great way to help those looking to hire entertainment learn about your group. And they’re more than a massive list of band names.

Plenty of sites, like Alive Network, which you can view here, allow bands to specify what types of events they’d like to play, giving you more control over your bookings.

Get More Gigs: How to Book Shows Like a Pro

With this guide on how to book shows, the only thing you have to worry about is rocking the house. So remember what you’ve learned today.

Don’t underestimate the power of your local music scene, and never be afraid to make contact, be it with a promoter, fan on social media, or client on a directory.

If you’re interested in more ways to get eyes on your band, be sure to check out our guide on creative marketing ideas.

Management

4 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating in the Workplace

food

foodA healthier workforce is a more engaged and productive one. A lot of people overlook the impact eating habits can have on cognitive functions, mood, and concentration. But by making a few adjustments to your workplace and company culture, you could help your employees make healthier food choices.

Here are a few simple ways you could encourage healthy eating in the workplace.

Use Snack Services

There are plenty of snack services out there that will allow you to provide snacks to your employees for cheap. They allow you to buy various snacks in bulk so you can save on total costs. They’re also a great way to show that you actually care about your employees’ wellbeing.

However, not all of them are created equal and some might be healthier than others. While an office snack service like Naturebox will be focused mainly on providing healthy office snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and low-calorie options, others won’t have as wide a selection and will offer your usual run-of-the-mill snacks with a few “healthy” options. If you want to know more about snack services and which one would be best for you, Bevi has a great article about them. Bevi also supplies beverages for the office, including water dispensers.

Incentivize your Employees

There are plenty of ways you could make things easier for your employees and incentivize healthy eating. Some companies, for instance, will have free fruit around the office or will allow their employees to have access to mineral water. If you have vending machines, make sure that you stock them up with healthy foods as well as the usual snacks. And make sure that healthy options are much cheaper as well.

Do not Neglect Break Time

You have to institute a culture in your business where your employees feel free to enjoy a full lunch break and sufficient screen break time as well. This will encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress as well. Make sure that they don’t eat at their desk and consider giving flexible break hours so they can get out and stretch their legs. A lunch hour should be long enough to let them go out and enjoy a healthy meal if they want to. Enjoying fresh air will also leave them invigorated for the second half of the day.

Make Sure that it’s a Clear Part of your Company Culture

If you want your employees to truly dedicate themselves to healthy eating, it has to be part of your company’s mission and put down in writing. Make sure that your commitment to healthy eating and overall health is part of the staff handbook. You should also make it clear to your staff that your mission will translate into actual policy. Let them know that healthy eating options will be subsidized or completely free of charge. Also, make sure that you consider adopting a corporate food plan if you have a cafeteria.

Conclusion

Making sure that your employees adopt healthy eating habits is not only an investment in their well-being but in your business as well. If you want to enjoy a happier and healthier workforce that will run on all cylinders, make sure to make healthy eating a must in your workplace.

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Management

How to Make Money from Home as a Freelance Writer

self publish a book

how to overcome writer's blockIf you have ever considered becoming a freelance writer your first and biggest question is probably “how do I begin making money as a freelance writer”? Knowing where and how to look for jobs is the first step in your freelance writing career.

There are plenty of ways to get paid but in this article, we give you 5 of the best methods for getting work as a beginner freelance writer.

Enter Writing Contests

Writing contests are a great option for freelance writers of any experience level because they do not differentiate between beginner writers and established professionals. Winning of these would be a great achievement for any resume and are sure to spruce up portfolios.

There are many competitions open to the public so do your research and see what opportunities are available to you. Prizes range from small cash payments to publications of your written works. Many of these competitions are free to enter so take the opportunity and submit your works today.

Job Boards

There are many ways for freelancers to make money online, you can find out more here. However, a common beginning point for freelance writers looking to get their first clients is to pitch for jobs on job boards. It is as simple as registering for an account and filling out applications or bidding on jobs. There are a ton of wiring jobs available on these boards and the clients are looking for people with a base level writing ability and a strong work ethic.

Start a Blog

Every writer needs a blog and these days bloggers are monetizing their blog through affiliate marketing. Running a blog can benefit you as a writer in many ways including contributing to your portfolio, creating lead generation, build up your credibility and give you confidence as a writer. Your blog will help you develop your style and target audience. The goal to successfully monetizing your blog is to pick a successful niche and developing a strong social media presence.

Guest Post

As a writer you should be following and supporting other bloggers and their sites. Consider pitching a guest post to your favorite authors. Most blogs accept guest posts and a lot of them are willing to pay for quality content from their guests. Before you send your pitch make sure you take the time to research the blog extensively. What is the style of writing? What is the niche? Develop a pitch that fits in nicely with site you are hoping to guest post for.

Self-Publish your Own Books

Amazon Direct Publishing has made it easy for writers of all experience levels to self-publish paperbacks and ebooks. The best part is that it is free to publish through KDP. Al you have to do is upload your book and wait for people to start purchasing it. Write about your book in your blog and post it all over your social media accounts to help gain some traffic and awareness. With KDP you can earn up to 70% in royalties, keep control of the rights, set your own prices and make changes to the book at any time.

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Management

4 Tools That Will Help You Keep Focus in Meetings

stress ball

stress ball

Keeping everybody focused on any kind of meeting can be quite a challenge. People are easily distracted and they get bored, especially in long meetings that drone on. However, there are some tools that can help keep focus during a meeting.

Did you know that whiteboards are a critical part of meetings nowadays? It’s one of the focus tools we will look at today.

Visuals

One big help when it comes to the meeting is anything visual. There is a reason why people use tools like PowerPoint, graphs, images, and other types of visuals in meetings – because they help keep focus much better than words alone.

Have you ever been in a meeting, or maybe listening to a school presentation, where a person drones on? It can get boring if a person relies solely on words to get a point across. It can become boring and hard to focus on.

However, when you add snazzy visuals and colorful graphs into the mix, it helps to catch the eyes of those watching and listening. It also helps provide a minor break from word-only presentations that are hard to focus on.

Visuals always help with presentations, not to mention that they are great for getting across points and hammering them home, points out that words alone have trouble getting across.

Recording Device

One of the tools that can be used to help keep focus in meetings is a recording device of sorts. This could be anything; as long as it allows you to record a meeting, it should work fine. This could be an old-school tape recorder, a phone, tablet, or anything else that can record voice.

The point here is that during meetings, people often try and jot down notes and write down what the speaker is saying.

However, this actually distracts from the task at hand, because when people are writing notes, they are n’t listening or taking in additional information. It is actually pretty hard to take a new point in when you are also writing the last point down.

Therefore, a recording device to record all things said in a meeting can come in handy.

Instead of having people write down notes and lightning speed and not absorb information; people can actually listen to what is being said. Then, instead of referring to notes for reference, they can simply listen to the recording.

Stress Ball

This might seem like an odd tool when it comes to helping people keep focus in meetings, but it does work. Some people probably wouldn’t qualify stress balls as being tools, but in reality, they are.

Stress balls are those little softballs which people have in their hands and squeeze to relieve stress. They might be stress relief tools, but this is exactly why they can help people focus.

People don’t listen well when they are stressed out, and a stress ball helps to combat this. Furthermore, many people have to be doing something with their hands, which is why they invented those fidget spinners that were a big deal last year. It’s hard to focus on a meeting when you are constantly looking for something for your hands to do.

A stress ball in your hands can solve both of these problems quite adequately. Make sure you don’t get a noisy one, or else everybody else in the meeting room will not be happy with you.

Whiteboard

When it comes down to it, one of the most useful tools to help keep people focused during a meeting is undoubtedly the whiteboard. This has to do with our first point – that visuals help to keep attention.

Whiteboards are pretty big, they have great contrast between the surface and the colored markers, and they allow for great organization.

Whoever is leading the meeting can use various colors of markers to jot down the most important ideas, which are easy for everybody to see.

Whiteboards are also highly portable, so they can be moved from one meeting room to another. If you did not already know, whiteboards are becoming a staple of every meeting room and classroom out there today.

Conclusion

These 4 items or tools that we have discussed here today are fantastic for helping you and others keep their focus during meetings. It can be hard to keep focus, especially in a long meeting and in a room full of people. Hopefully, you can put these items to good use to increase focus and productivity.

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