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What are You Doing to Build Momentum?

Tom and Amy work with band at BootcampIn this new year, we want to help you build momentum in your career.

So much of an artist’s career comes back to what you do onstage. Want more bookings? Have a great show. Want to make a bigger impact on your audience with your message? Have a great show. Want a record company or management to invest in you? Have a great show.

Want to guess the component that’s more essential than any other in an artists’ career?

Your live show produces most of the revenue you’ll generate in your career. And a great show will create more bookings, sell more merch, build your fan base, get you noticed by labels, etc.

That’s why my associates and I focus completely on the live show. We believe that’s where you’ll develop the momentum you can’t get anywhere else!

Momentum: The Build Should Never Stop

I’ve just spent numerous weeks in the last few months helping an artist who tours all over the US (in fact, they’ve been on the largest tour in the world for the 1st quarter the last 4 or 5 years).

They have momentum already… but they continually work to keep the momentum going.

I honestly don’t think they sell more than 50,000 CDs in a year any more. If they had to rely on the record company and sales, they’d be screwed. But I’ve worked with them for over 20 years, and they continue to want to learn and get better with the live show — they know that’ where they make their living.

But Is There Money in Touring?

I’m a little tired of hearing how there’s no money in touring. In fact, I don’t know if you saw it, but there was an article going around the internet a few weeks ago about a band (fairly well known) who lost $11K on their recent tour of 28 days (averaging over 500 people a date).

I want you to know touring does work! It’s just that there’s not a lot of great shows out there. That’s why there’s “no money in touring.”

There are thousands of tight bands who are good, even great, players. But they have no idea how to create moments in their shows. I am not talking about goofy crap onstage… I am talking about moments that emotionally connect with your audience.  Moments that drive people to the merch table, cause them to sign up for your email list, and attract sponsors for your tour.

Unfortunately most people who read these kind of blogs are musicians who think their shows rock. Honestly, it doesn’t! It might be good — but it’s not memorable for those in the audience.

Speaking the Language

Your show may be great for musicians and you and your band (what I call “musical masturbation”), but you don’t really speak from stage in a language your audience understands.

I am not saying for a second you should change who you are!

And of course there are nights when it is magical. But if you are being honest, when those nights happen, you don’t know why. My recommendation? Learn why.

You may think I am just an idiot or hater, that I don’t have a clue. But I am tired of hearing about why “touring doesn’t make money” and knowing that the artists who honestly want to learn to do a great show can learn how.

Time and Dedication

I have been a part of this process for over 20 years and have watched merch sales for bands and artists jump as much as 600% (no BS). I’ve helped artists acquire over $100 million from sponsors. Yes some are stars… but the majority are indies.

If you want a quick fix it ain’t gonna happen. If you take the time to learn, just like anything it takes time and dedication. When you make it a priority, there is a payoff.

You probably can’t take weeks or months on your own show (like the band I’ve been working with) — but you can get started. If you come to Nashville and have my associate, Amy Wolter, work with you for a day, you’ll spend around $2-3K, but you’ll have 4 or 5 awesome moments that will capture and engage, create fans, and get more bookings.

Or you could simply begin by investing slowly. Whether it’s our books, DVDs, Backstage Pass, Bootcamp… get started building your momentum right now.

Tom Jackson

Tom is uniquely talented and skilled at transforming an artist's live show into a magical experience for the audience; helping artists at every level create a live show that is engaging and memorable, teaching them to exceed their audiences' expectations and to create fans for life. Tom has taught indie and major artists of every genre. He has worked with Taylor Swift, Le Crae, Home Free, The Tenors, Shawn Mendes, The Band Perry, Francesca Battistelli, Jars of Clay, & many more. Tom also teaches at colleges, conferences and events worldwide.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. Tony Meade says:

    Tom, you’ve written a lot of great articles before, but this is my favorite. Thanks!

  2. i don’t totally agree with the statement “there’s not a lot of good acts out there”. My reality is i only have so much money to spend as a music fan myself without having to pay bils and put money back into my own act. I am sure it’s same with others…we can’t afford to see everyone we want to whether they are a hot live band or not so hot. Life is about choices: putting bread on the table or going to a concert…quite a few people do face that type of extreme.

  3. Another great one Tom. Thanks. I think its the first time I have seen you talk about momentum. I like it.

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