Wednesday, May 20, 2015

10 Steps to Sell Out Your Show

This was written by Ari Herstand and originally appeared on Ari’s Take.

There’s no point in playing a show if no one shows up. Just listing a show on your Facebook Page will not bring people. Bands sometimes think that all they need to do is go on tour and get their shows listed on the venue’s website and people will magically show up because they are a ‘touring band’ far away from home. You must understand that venues do not promote their shows. They can’t. They have just too many. It is the reason venues work with promoters or expect bands to bring 100% of the crowd.

So how do you get people out to your shows? How about selling out, say, a 500 cap venue? That takes a bit more effort. Let’s approach this locally first. Once you’ve mastered these techniques you can take them on the road.

1. Spread out your shows
Even if your favorite band played in your city every week you wouldn’t go see them. What makes you think your friends/passive fans will want to come see you every other weekend at various bars around town? They’ll just think “I’ll hit the next one. They play all the time!” So don’t play all the time. Try setting up a big show every 6-12 weeks locally and 4-6 months nationally.

2. Get a street team
The more people who work on the show the more people will be invested in its overall success. I used to get a street team of 10-20 people for all my big local shows to hit the town at night, in teams, with staple guns, tape, black winter caps and secret code words. II called my team “The Street Stand” (play off of Herstand) and sometimes provided pizza, or took them out to hot chocolate after a cold Minnesota postering evening. But they always got into the show for free and invited to the after party. In addition to postering, I gave them flyers to hand out at work, on campus, and at the bars. Some nights we had Facebooking parties where we all promoted the show video and event on all our friends’ walls.

3. Make a show video
Create a 1:00-2:00 video for one specific show. Include clips of music videos of the other bands on the bill (you can add annotations in YouTube to the actual music videos) and impressive (high quality) live clips. If bands don’t have high-quality video, then at the very least run a photo stream with each bands’ music. Make sure you showcase all the bands on the bill and work with each band to promote the video. Making a show-specific video legitimizes this specific show, transforming it into an event.

4. Title your show
Make each show unique. Giving the show a title automatically turns your show into an event worth talking about. Which offer sounds more appealing to you? “Want to go to The Unknown Order show” or “Pink Shoes are playing at Chop Suey on Thursday again. Want to go?”

5. Create a show poster
Get a graphic designer to create a special poster for this one show (with the show title, of course). Depending on your budget, you can screen print a limited number of posters and get all the bands to sign them. Then either sell them or get ticket holders to win them. Use this poster everywhere: Facebook Event, Instagram, Posters, Flyers, T-Shirts, Facebook Ads, etc. The more people who see the poster, the more they’ll talk about it, and the more likely they’ll get out to the show.

6. Sell tickets in advance
Whenever possible, try to sell tickets in advance. For one thing, getting people to purchase tickets in advance ensures they’ll actually come! There’s also a good chance they’ll encourage their friends to buy tickets so they can all go together. Offering advance tickets also legitimizes the show and makes people feel more comfortable coming out.

7. Run Contests
Run various contests to promote the show and advance ticket purchases. For one show, I gave advance ticket holders goodie bags containing a poster, stickers and other random, fun nick-nacks from each band. It might be a good idea to give the bags out after the show, though. The biggest complaint was that they had to hold onto the bag the entire night. Also, run contests on Facebook or Twitter to encourage people to share the Show Video and Show Poster. On the Facebook Event page you can explain the contest like “Share this Event (or Video) on your Timeline, invite all your friends to this Event and then write MISSION ACCOMPLISHED on this Event’s wall. Everyone who does this will be entered into a drawing to win a t-shirt and poster at the show.” Then announce the winner on-stage, at the show.

8. Include Other Buzzing Bands
Maybe you got 50 people out to your last show, Pink Shoes got 30 to their last show, White Grey got 70 and Tombcat got 25. If there’s no overlap, that’s 175 people that will most likely get out to this show. The local music scene will also love to see 4 buzzing bands on one bill together. Get bands together who are good and buzzing. If they aren’t buzzing yet, well, get bands who will work just as hard as you on promo. Don’t bring on a band unless they are willing to follow the promo necessities.

9. Contact local media
Because your show is now an event, you have the ammunition to get the local media’s attention. If none of the bands could get more than a mention in your local newspaper, bringing them together for this anticipated event will get the paper to write about it.

10. Get a sponsor
Find a local company, brand, newspaper, or radio station that will get behind your event. Consider it a partnership for the evening—where both sides win. Your sponsor gets to be associated with a hot event, and included in all promo. In return, you get anything from airtime, ad space in the newspaper, a writeup on their (high traffic) website, alcohol, cash, printing, the list goes on. The best partnerships deal in trade, not cash. We got a wine company to sponsor the Unknown Order show and they printed all of the full-color posters (some 400 posted around the city), donated a case of wine per band (which was nearly finished during the show – glad I didn’t perform last!), an ad in the weekly variety newspaper, some air time and other promo. This show sold out 10 minutes after the doors opened with 200 people turned away.

Once you sell out an established, well-respected venue in your hometown, everyone will start to take notice. Then, take your enterprise on the road!

Have you had success with your shows? Any unique promo techniques you’ve used? What worked and what didn’t? Share them in the comments! We’re here to hear you.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

We all know MTV does not play music anymore-that is well-worn territory-but there are thousands of blogs who do love to post videos everyday. A music video that is captivating, colorful, funny, interesting (the list goes on, but you get the idea) greatly helps with a press campaign. The video can be used in the initial pitch to blogs about your album to make for a stronger pitch.
Another thing you can do with a video is secure an exclusive premier of the video on one blog ahead of the album release date to start generating buzz. Or if you don’t have the video ready in time for the release, you can also drop it a month or two after the release date as a tool to continue to build awareness and draw attention back to the release.
You should have at least one official music video for an album to use in your press efforts, but you should plan on making videos for every song on the release. The idea is you want to build a fanbase and get as many people listening as possible and YouTube is where millions of people are going to listen to music. Many artists will upload the song’s audio to YouTube with a static image of the artist or album cover, but people are much more inclined to listen to your music if there are moving images. A slideshow video is one method or a better solution is to make lyric videos, here’s a great example from one of our clients, Ole Skool Kule- 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The 8 Essential Items You Need in Your Digital Press Kit

To make it easy for the media, industry, and your potential fans to find the information they need about you, the best thing to do is to create a Digital Press Kit section on your website. This kit will ensure you as a musician to have everything that anyone in the industry might need from you. For example, your fans might go to your website to read your latest blog post or download your latest song. With media and the industry, they’re probably visiting your site to find things such as your official bio, or some promo photos. The Digital Press Kit has all of these in one.

So what should you include in your Digital Press Kit? Here are 8 things that should be in every musician’s digital press kit:

  • Bio-The first element to have is your most current bio. Bookers and festivals often have different needs and word limits for bios, so it would also be a good idea to include a few different versions, including an elevator pitch.
  • Photos/images-The next element is a section with downloadable (professional) photos. Have a few different official photos, with vertical and horizontal options, as well as black & white versions available. Make sure some of them are hi-resolution in case the media person or festival programmer needs to use the image for print. You can also include the image for your most recent album cover, which can be especially helpful for reviewers.
  • Music-You’ll of course need to have your music available to listen to, including a few tracks available to download. If a media person wants to get a copy of your full album or EP for review, just put clear information on who they can contact to get a copy.
  • Video-Many blogs and media sites love to embed videos of the artists they’re covering, which helps make the article more visual and engaging. Embed a few of your best videos in your digital press kit to make it easy to find a quality video that best represents your band.
  • Press articles/reviews-It wouldn’t be a press kit without some press, so post links to a few of your best reviews and interviews. Don’t assume that people will click on each article and read them in full. Pull the best quote from each review and include it underneath the link.
  • Notable achievements-If you’ve been nominated for any awards, charted on radio, performed at noteworthy festivals or conferences, you should definitely include this information. Anything that can help to give positive context to your music and career should be in your digital press kit.
  •  Contact info-Although you should of course have a “Contact” section on your website, you should also have detailed contact information in your digital press kit to have everything in one place. Include an email address as well as a phone #, where a media person or booker can reach you if they need to speak to you in a hurry, they’re often working on tight deadlines.
  • Social media-And finally, include your social links on the page so that if the media person or booker wants to quickly check out your social media presence, they have all the links right there. You don’t have to overdo it, simply list the social media networks that you are most active on.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Usher's "All Falls Down" Featuring Chris Brown, Turn Your Track Into a Masterpiece

Video By
Did Usher and Chris Brown just collaborate on a new duet? The hot, new track by Usher featuring Chris Brown called “All Falls Down” might be a part of Usher’s upcoming album.

The track has an emotional, R&B tune to it where the two talented singers take part in singing about a relationship’s demise.

This isn't the first time the R&B superstars have collaborated. In 2014, Breezy teamed up with Usher on his hit “New Flame,” which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance.

The new record sounds like a masterpiece and has potential to head down the same path as Usher’s other hot records in the past.

How do you make sure your fresh, new track sounds like a masterpiece in order to reach the same potential as these award-winning artists? Pro Music Record’s audio engineer is here to help perfect your song by paying attention to every detail and making it sound legitimate. Pro Music Records is partnered with top of the line mixing engineers and has mixed music for Grammy-Nominated Artists. The music production department of Pro Music Records provides you with online mixing and mastering, vocal and instrument tracking, vocal tuning and audio editing.

So you already have an idea of how your songs will be played out. Now, you just have to make it sound amazing with a touch from professionals. Check out our music production department and contact us at and we’ll get started.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

#PMR Webisode - Pro Tips Episode 1 "Music Success In 9 Weeks"

Do you have an EP and/or album ready to be released but not sure where to get started? Pro Music Records and Media Entertainment is your best tool to market your EP/album in the most effective way. PMR is a one stop shop for all your entertainment needs that specializes in brand development. Our mission is to help create an image and brand identity for our clients as well as create buzz about their product or service.

Working with a PR company is a great way to help get your content out there in a timely manner. PMR has come up with a guide for you to follow in order to have a successful EP/Album release in 9 weeks. Check out the video and read our guidelines here:
  • Your press campaign starts 2 MONTHS before release.
  • You start with a single then blast SOCIAL MEDIA about it including your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc
  • Create HASHTAGS and send a NEWSLETTER out to your fans announcing your special project.
  • Now 1 MONTH before your release, announce pre-sales and merch bundles and blast social media with the news.
  • TWO WEEKS before your release, don’t let your fans forget about your release!
  • Hold a contest to win a copy of your album through social media.
  • IT’S RELEASE DAY! The day we have been working for-create posts about your release on all platforms of social media and newsletters.
  • Update your social media profiles with news of, “album out now” and a link to buy your album.
  • ONE MONTH after release, keep your fans excited with an official music video release.
  • Also get your friends and family involved, ask them to write reviews on iTunes and get the word out on social media-yes, reviews play a big part in album sales. 
      These are our tips for music success in 9 weeks. Here at Pro Music Records, we can help you turn your dreams into reality.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Inside The Music Industry From an Empire View

There’s a lot to like in the new Fox series, Empire, airing on Wednesday nights. From the entertainment to the authentic music veterans can’t get enough of, Empire is the new hit series you don’t want to miss out on.

Whether you love it or hate it, you will understand the show comes from a real perspective and that’s what gives the hit series credibility. Created and written by Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) and Danny Strong (The Butler, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1), the show is outlined based on real experiences combined with catchy music which is expertly directed by Timbaland. Strong tells The New York Post that the music talent was the most essential part that would either make or break the show.

Starring as Lucious Lyon, Terrance Howard plays a music mogul who is on mission to get Empire Records to the next level. His ex-wife, Cookie, played by Taraji P.Henson, comes back after 17 years of doing time in prison looking to continue her contribution to the music label. Lucious’ secret illness though, puts more pressure on establishing his business to where he wants it to be and so, he is in on the look-out for the next candidate to run his business. His top three choices: his three sons.  

First choice is his oldest son, the Ivy-league educated and business oriented, Andre (Trai Byers), whose wife, Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) is white. Although business savvy, Andre lacks one element that Lucious believes is vital for the head position of the label: musical talent. So that’s where Jamal comes in, who inherited his father’s musical skills. But he also faces a hurdle, something his father can’t seem to accept; he is gay. This storyline is probably the most watchful of the series. Going back to one of the most dramatic scenes already in the show, Lucious dumps Jamal into the garbage can when he sees his son wearing high-heels and has Cookie enraged by his cruelness. The scene had everyone talking but what makes it unique is it is based on Daniels’ own life experiences. Since Lucious’ two sons are not good enough for him based on their “flaws,” the music mogul looks at his youngest son, Hakeem (Bryshere Gray), the wild, aspiring rapper. According to Lucious, Hakeem reminds him of himself.

While on the hunt for the best candidate to take over the business, a battle for control transpires which highlights an identity issue; the oldest son is not “black enough,” the middle one is gay and the youngest is the most out there. Daniels’ duty is to capture these issues that take place in the music industry. As said before, some love the plot line and others might have a problem with it because of the controversial direction the creators are taking. However, the reality aspect of the show is what has people talking as Fox’s most vibrant drama in a while.

Does Empire inspire you to be a part of the music industry? Maybe you already are, but you are interested in becoming something bigger. Pro Music Records and Entertainment Media specializes in branding and marketing your career. If you have work you want to share and promote, submit it at and check out Pro Music Records Services for more info.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Unleash Your Creativity with Pro Music Records

“And we as musicians have to inspire people who go to work every day.”

Those were just some of the words, some of the most reasonable words, from Kanye’s rant at the E! After Party after once again, jumping on stage interrupting another artist’s speech for winning an award. 

This time it was Beck winning Album of the Year when Ye thought it should have been Beyoncé. The controversy here is “respecting the craft and smacking people in the face,” other contradictory words from Ye’s rant. When he made that statement, he didn’t realize he just went against his words earlier that night by smacking Beck in the face and not respecting his craft, basically saying he isn’t a “real artist.”

There has been a lot of buzz over the moment and by now we understand everyone has their own opinion about what “artistry” is. Art is expressed in different ways. Beyoncé, Kanye, and Beck are all artists in their own way. Kanye is just being, well, Kanye, and expressing his opinion which he has a right to do. He was probably speaking for a lot of people when Beck was announced as the winner of that category going against artists like Sam Smith and Beyoncé. But that didn’t give Kanye the right to disrespect Beck and interrupt his moment.

With that being said, musicians get to inspire people every day in different ways. There isn’t only one form of art. In fact, what makes it even more interesting are the various styles. If it touches you, then that musician’s job is done.

Do you have work that you think may inspire people going to work every day like Kanye stated? Well you’re at the right spot to express your creativity. Pro Music Records is open to all genres and fields of the music and entertainment industry. If you think you have what it takes, then submit your work at and check out Pro Music Records and Entertainment Media to take a look at what we can do to get you up to the level of credibility, yet, still express your own style.

Remember everyone has their own form of art and you never know who you might be inspiring. It might not be the same taste as Kanye’s, but that is still okay.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Why You Should Go Pro

The biggest frustration that can happen for an up and coming artist is to not be able to afford or get access to all the necessities they need to branch out. How do I make sure my song is quality music? Where do I get the equipment to make my music video? What if I can’t afford the equipment?

These are just some of the questions running through the head of an independent artist. It’s like college all over again. You go through this process with a goal to be successful and you end up defeating the purpose by paying your way through it and finishing with nothing. You win some, you lose some.

Well good thing, Pro Music Records & Entertainment Media is here to help. From music production to promotions and marketing, you can start your brand from scratch and receive the publicity it deserves. At Pro Music Records, we provide the assistance to market your brand. Our dedicated team of professionals can customize your promotional package and create you a music video representing your style. Check out our YouTube page for some of our work and video inspiration at

Also make sure to drop by at our marketing page to educate yourself on the steps on how to promote your brand! Start your transition as an up and coming artist here:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Video: Common & John Legend - "Glory"

Congrats to both Common and John Legend on their big Golden Globe win! Today they drop their new visuals for "Glory" from the new movie Selma in theaters now. 

Do you have a band?  Are you ready for a music video?
Pro Entertainment Media and our film and video production division, are pleased to serve you in the visual presentation of your select songs.  Allow our award-winning team to create a quality, unique, HD visual picture that will showcase your musical talents and fully personify you and your music.  How much your music video will ultimately cost depends on your production goals. Let us customize a package to meet your needs!  Call us at 818-971-9301 today for a quote!