New to the conversation? Check out my greatest hits!


Everything That Went Right At The Granada

I saw Sage Francis on his last tour at The Granada in Dallas and I was once again reminded why I love that place. There's a reason they're the best music venue in Dallas for three years running; they know how to do the business side of music without ruining the music itself.

On the back of a cocktail napkin I wrote down everything I saw that The Granada did right that night.
-Whenever the bands are loading onto the stage, three giant projector screens display upcoming shows in a genre similar to the artist on stage, music videos for those artists, and various ads for local eateries. I'm especially fond of the music videos aspect, as it takes a captive audience and exposes them to new music they're likely to enjoy. Brilliant!

-At the door when you get your ID checked, the staff urges you to sign up for the email list for this show to get free pictures of the event emailed to you the next day.

-There are separate email lists for indie, hip hop, country, etc. You only sign up for the genre you're interested in.

-It was a smaller show so they roped off the balcony. It might not seem like much, but having a smaller packed venue is more important than a larger sparse venue.

-In the lobby area they serve super-greasy bar food, ideal to capture the post-concert drunk-munchies before any other restaurant gets their cash money.

-The patio / smoking area is giant and open, which encourages fans to "hang out" there before and after shows. This helps both to build social proof and place the Granada in the fan's mind as "a place to hang out". Many venues don't have "chill" areas like this that enable it to become a "scene", so to speak.

-They give away earplugs at every one of the bars. That makes me smile. DON'T GET TINNITUS, IT IS NOT FUN. WEAR EARPLUGS.

-When Sage Francis walked off stage to greet everyone after the last song, the venue was cool with it. They turned up the house lights so everyone could see, no bouncers hustling people out of the doors at all. It seems simple, but events like this a fan will remember. It doesn't matter that it made the venue close down much later than it would have; you've just attached your name to a powerful fan memory. 

I really, really dig this venue both for business and music purposes.


A Change of Direction

So I'm cutting the "Influence" articles idea. My number one priority is to not waste your time. After reading through the book again I realized that for music, many of these truths are a little obvious and I've already harped on them a million times before (social proof, I'm looking at you).

Sometimes a song isn't good. Simple as that. Go write a new one.

Back to business.


Influence Applied to Music: Reciprocity (Part 1 of 6)

Reciprocity: People tend to return favors.

Simple. Profound.
The best way to get help is to give it first.

When you play a show for a new promoter, print up fliers with your own money and pass them around, making sure that the promoter knows you were the one who did it. Then talk to them after the show and ask "Hey, can you guys put us on with the next national act that comes though?" Not only does the promoter know you'll help them do their job and thus make more money, there's the social obligation to pay back those who help you. Don't underestimate this effect.


A Shotgun of Persuasion

Robert Cialdini is the man when it comes to persuasion. This short video is a shotgun blast of information on how to be a more effective communicator. (For a more in-depth view of these arguments, read his book.)

Watch this video, and in the following weeks I'll explain how you can apply this knowledge to your music.