[Dixielandjazz] Trying Again - Web Sites

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Wed Nov 19 01:26:07 PST 2003

Hello Doug: and all:

There are hundreds if not thousands of such sites already up and running 
allegedly to promote bands and musicians etc.

The unfortunate truth is that most of them are worthless since they do not 
get any traffic and are almost never findable unless you know exactly how to get 

I have had my bands listed on many of them for the past three years and I 
have yet to get One single Inquiry from any one of them much less a gig 

A lot of well meaning folks are hosting web pages that nobody looks at except 
the members of the band that are paying to have it up there.

Any band can do exactly the same thing for free, and get approximately the 
same results.

The Internet folks is simply not what it is believed to be or even near what 
it was promised to be.  

Why do you think you keep seeing Television adds telling you to go to WWW. so 
and so, and every radio station in the country is advertising websites as 

Unless you are willing to do the same thing you are basically wasting your 
time and money.

If your web site is not in the top five to ten on every search engine out 
there it means next to nothing.   

95 to 98% of the hits I get on my business website are coming directly from 
my own advertising and solicitation to talent buyers to go there to see my acts 
that are available for them.

Even then the number one request is that we send them a promotional package 
with CDs and videos.  You must also understand that most of the major jazz 
festivals receive at least fifteen hundred promo packages every year from groups 
wanting to get booked there for one performance.   I have over three thousand 
such festivals in my data base.  I mail out at least three hundred promo 
packages a year at a cost of approximately $25.00 each, which is expensive but a 
nominal cost for the bookings  and the fees that I get for my show.  It is all 
relevant.   You can't sell Rolls Royce's with a Volkswagen advertising budget or 
approach, ya gotta spend money to make money and go where the money is.

Therefore your package better look professional and have some real credits in 
it, and your CDs must be professionally manufactured and be commercially 
competitive to even be considered.

The Entertainment business is a very expensive business to be in if you are 
going to do it professionally and be successful.   

Work you fanny off for about fifteen years and keep submitting all those 
packages and sooner or later someone will actually listen to your stuff and read 
the promo and maybe hire you and next thing you know you will be an over night 

Many of you folks hear constantly about marketing your band and your music 
from me and Steve Barbone, and you know that we work more than likely more 
festival dates a year than most bands.  Why because we work more hours every week 
promoting our bands than we usually do performing once we get booked.  You guys 
will also notice that we are not working the so called Dixieland Band Jazz 
Festival circuit in the USA or even abroad.

I can't speak for Steve, but I can assure you that I get the International 
tours that I get because I spend about $20,000.00 a year promoting my band which 
is probably more than some OKOM bands make all year.  I spend at least 
$2000.00 a year just to update my data base of talent buyers worldwide, and keep 
them informed about their best chances to book my shows.

Well, a simple rule is to think about how much money you want to make every 
year to operate your business successfully, then take about 20% of that money 
and invest it into promoting and advertising your band to the people who 
actually buy bands.

Keep at least that much money off the top of all your gigs and put it right 
back into the next advertising and promotion campaign, expanding it every year 
until it starts to pay off in higher returns and be consistent.  Once that 
happens you might be able to back off slightly once you have gained a good 
reputation and proven that you are actually worth the money you are asking for in 
ticket sales.

Important thing to remember is that you are sending your promotion to the 
same festivals that are hiring and promoting the biggest Jazz acts in the 
business.  If you want to go there with them you have to act like you deserve to be 
there, talk like you deserve to be there, walk like you deserve to be there, 
look like you deserve to be there, and then if you get there you better deliver 
one Hell of a Show.    If you expect to ever get asked to come back, or be 
asked to go to any other major Jazz festival.

You are only as good as the last gig you played folks, now if you can leave 
them wanting more your doing something right and have a future in the game, but 
even then it ain't no cake walk.  Ya gotta work your arse off to stay where 
you get if you are lucky enough to get there in the first place.

We cannot all be Elvis, or the Beatles, or ODJB, but if we are persistent and 
have a good show and treat this business like a business it will indeed treat 
you like one.


Tom Wiggins
Saint Gabriel's Celestial Brass Band

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