I had the BEST day yesterday, and it's only because I had the guts to ask a question. (You may or may not know this, but I'm not very good at asking for things...I can't even order Chinese food over the phone.) So I'm hoping that this entry inspires all of you to ask a question, or make a move that you've been holding back on. It will be worth it! To start from the beginning...I have been reading a lot of blogs lately and listening to a bunch of podcasts on different ways to promote your own music. Every time I listen to a new episode or read the latest update I'm usually led to another helpful site or turned on to another smart person. A few months ago that exact thing happened. I was reading an update from Derek Sivers (founder of CD Baby...check him out at: www.dereksivers.org) and he turned me on to marketing guru, Seth Godin. Well, I subscribed to Seth's blog, read a few of his books, watched some videos on youtube, and got tons of cool ideas! He's smart, funny, and non-boring (my biggest fear when it comes to 'business'), so when I found out that he was going to be speaking in New York I immediately clicked on the link to see how much the ticket prices were.
Umm...they were $880. I do not have $880. If I did, I could have bought a ticket, and it would probably mean that I actually have more than $880, so I could spend the rest of it immediately on recording my new song (which I'll be playing this weekend...11/20 at The Funky Monkey in Cheshire, CT, and 11/21 at The Falcon in Marlboro, NY). So I decided to take a chance and send this e-mail:
My name is Kristen Graves and I'm a folk/pop singer and songwriter living in Connecticut. I was turned onto your blog a few weeks ago by Derek Sivers of CD Baby, and have enjoyed reading your thoughts.
I was looking at the details for your November Sessions, and though I can't afford to go at this point in my career, I'll get to one of your sessions eventually! With that said, if you're looking to add an 11th person to the table discussion or have someone sit on the floor at the Helen Mills Theatre - I'm there. And if someone cancels at the last minute you can give me a call and I'll gladly fill in so that you don't have one empty seat staring back at you - I would gladly sacrifice my day to do that.
Have a great day, and enjoy a good laugh over the girl who tried to get into your seminars for free...
Take care, Kristen Graves
PS...if you'd like to check out my music, please visit: www.sonicbids.com/kristengraves
Guess what happened? He said yes! No only that, but he said that in order to pay for my ticket I could bring my guitar and play a few songs during the breaks! I freaked out.
So yesterday morning I went down to Manhattan and listened to Seth Godin at the Helen Mills Theater (by the way, you should visit his website and subscribe to his blog as well...www.sethgodin.com...I guarantee you'll learn something).
During the first break, Seth introduced me to everyone, and had me play a song. I chose to play "Time" because I've been playing that song forever and I was feeling a little nervous, but when I was done, not only did people clap, they cheered and whistled! I was so flattered. I came prepared, and had made enough demos to pass out to the entire room, but Seth played a little trick on everyone and made it seem like there were only a few available. After the cheering stopped (seriously, I could not stop smiling) Seth asked if anyone would like a CD of me. HANDS SHOT UP! The CD's that he passed out were gone so fast.
So at the next break, people were asking me for my card and asking for my iTunes link, so when I came out with more CDs (surprise!) to pass out, people all came around and were asking for one. Then when I had a few of my full albums in my hand people started buying them! (It was Seth's suggestion to bring them to sell...I would have just been happy to give away the demo CDs, but he was right - told you he was smart - and people wanted to buy them.) One lady bought four copies!
The rest of the day was reserved for questions, and everyone had tons of questions, but Seth answers questions with a lot of analogies and stories, and in a way that helped everyone apply the answer - so again, non-boring. I even asked a question about promoting next summer's tour...which by the way, is going to be awesome, but I'll have more info on that later. And because I was brave, and asked a question, I was awarded a Seth Godin action figure.
So...it was the best day...I got Seth Godin to sign my book (I signed a CD for him too), we took a picture together on my cell phone which I accidentally deleted, and at the end of the day I got to chat a little bit with the guy who hooked me up in the first place, Derek Sivers of CD Baby fame.
I'm the luckiest girl! And I'm so glad that I was feeling brave enough a month ago to ask a little question.
By the way...how cute is my awesome partner in crime, Bryan. Look at the 'congratulations on a great day' present he got me. Cookies are, after all, my favorite food.
Have a GREAT day, everyone!