January 6, 2012

The Business Side of Second Life Music - Promotions

When it comes to my own live events in Second Life, I would say that about an hour in total is spent promoting each one of my regular shows in Second Life. Of course the bigger the event, the earlier promotions need to be started and the more time is spent on marketing and PR. The combined time Brandy / Kalli Birman and I spend on marketing goes into Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Second Friends, Second Life event listings, Second Life notices, creation of a promo poster for the venue to set out, etc.

Contrarily, I would offer that only about half of the venues that hold live music shows or events of other sorts actually do any more promotions than sending a few SL notices and maybe a blog post. This is what I want to post about on this section of "The Business Side of Second Life Music" series.

I will post about my own personal experience and how I do things. Venue owners who are interested in booking me for a live show are given a constantly updated notecard, either from Brandy or myself, complete with bio information, links to my websites, blog, YouTube and other places they can check me out. I used to do this exact same thing with Real Life venues but we called it a Media Kit and Demo. It included a CD and a typed up bio about me or the band I was in, offering information about each of the members, accomplishments, accolades, some of the more well known places we were able to "brag" about having played there, etc. All of my real life material is still presented to SL venues, only it is in digital form... in Second Life form... but it's all still there. The point is that we are showing these venues that we have something to promote for them, including their own business.free, free, music, marketing, blog, free, free, free, music, pr, baby, son, kid, child, love, seo,blog,free,free,free,free,free, live music, make money, money, free money, gift, gifts, seth regan, mankind tracer, secondlife, second life, sl, facebook, twitter, social, alexa rank

One other thing that we mention in speaking with venues is a very important part of the entire equation. As I see it, coming from owning businesses pretty much my entire adult life, a venue wants to have their name, brand, etc. in front of as many people as they can. Budweiser wants that too. Apple. Microsoft. And especially the small startup. I would place SL venues in this category. They are a small business trying to compete in the world of other businesses, with our world of course being, Second Life. When we promote, we probably reach 350,000 pairs of yes for each vent we do and probably about half a million on larger events.

Why then is it that a venue relies solely on the artists to promote the event? This isn't true for all venues as I've stated earlier, but in my own experience a good number of venues don't understand that they are in business and for that matter, don't really understand business. A venue should have a professional logo. A venue should have a website... a fully functioning business website. A venue should WANT to post in as many places as they can get their hands on. Why? It will drive traffic to their location. Isn't that what they are after?

If you own a venue in Second Life, then you have gone into business ownership. If you've never owned a business before opening your SL venue, let me suggest doing a bit of research on running a real life business. Predominantly, the marketing aspect. You've invested money and obviously, you'd like a return. Some might say they do it just "for the love of it" and they're happy to pay the bill out of their own pockets to keep the venue running. To these people I say hat's off and thank you. To the others, the vast majority, I would go on the assumption that they are in business to hopefully earn a few $L from the business. All the time, I see artists posting their shows all over Facebook mentioning the venue, over and over, but only a handful of venue owners' posts are there. For the sake of your business, share the load with the artists you book, offer some of your own promotions and I can assure you, you will see the results given the right circumstances.

Brandy and I happen to own the Tracer|Birman Agency which deals with this business from professional graphic and website design all the way through marketing, PR, SEO and so forth. We don't spend time promoting our own company, thats not what companies hire us for. In all honesty, we prefer to keep a low profile and deal with companies one on one, not catering to the masses. This gives a more personal approach and more focus on each and every project. I'm not mentioning this as a shameless self promotion, but only to make you aware, as the business owner, there ARE companies out there that can help you grow your company. You might not be aware of them, but there are some amazing professionals, right in Second Life even!

For the record, I happen to be very lucky to have Brandy working with me as she knows a lot about marketing and happens to be very good at it, plus we're on the same page with many things when it comes to marketing. And I would suggest that any venue, artists... ANY business for that matter, consider hiring someone who knows how to market, promote and handle PR. 

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