The first step to getting big is making it locally. This month, we'll hear from expert, Ari Herstand, on making a name for youself in your hometown.
If you're looking for a new audience to play to, you might want to check out our Marketplace. You can sell mp3s, cds, records, books, merch - anything you'd like!
FNO Newsletter Editor
Tips For Becoming A Local Star
By Ari Herstand
I've played over 500 shows in 40 states and have booked nearly every show myself (I'm still DIY). I started, though, in my (former) hometown of Minneapolis. Before ever leaving the state (of Minnesota for those struggling with geography) I had chalked up about 30 local shows.
From the moment I made the decision that a performing songwriting career was to be my life (mid-freshman-year of college after giving my dad a near heart attack) I began playing out as much as possible. I made a local goal: sell out the Varsity Theater.
The Varsity Theater is a 700 person capacity venue in Minneapolis just off the University of Minnesota campus. Nearly every band that has toured through Minneapolis has played it at some point. I lived a block from it when I decided to make music my life. I'd walk by it every day from the sub shop I worked at and salivated as I passed the 40 foot tall marquee with a hot touring act's name in lights.
In one year, I not only played the Varsity Theater, but filled it. And two years later I sold it out.
Before even thinking of touring you need to figure out how to conquer your local market. It sounds a little aggressive to say conquer, I suppose. Hipsters would say "simultaneously satiate the collective consciousness of the city." But I say conquer (because it's a true battle - and hipsters are assholes)
You have to figure out early on what your niche is going to be. Everyone has one. I started with the University of Minnesota (of 40,000 students). Hardly a small niche, but a niche nonetheless. I was part of that community so I understood the hot coffee shops, Greek houses, dorms, the grassy mall, the union, had friends at the newspaper and on the ultimate frisbee team and so forth. I took a blanket approach and plastered the campus with posters for every show - just to get my name out there and begin the conversation. I also started playing every possible venue on campus (in coffee shops, dorm lounges, bars, open mics, music venues, sorority lounges.. yup, frat houses.. bro, and.. elevators (that's another story). Eventually everyone started to take notice.
One person seeing a poster or a Facebook ad or a YouTube video won't get them out to your show. They have to be hit from multiple angles and from multiple people.
Read more here!
Let Us Pay You!
We will pay you $5 for every new paid member you send our way. You can make money by simply telling others about FNO. Refer two friends, get $10, refer four, get $20... Take the cash or apply your earnings toward next year's renewal! We have tons of widgets to choose from on our new Affiliate page, and have made it easier than ever to use.
You can also access this page in your account by clicking on My Account, then click on your listed affiliate number.
Word of mouth is the best form of
advertising, and we'd like to thank you for spreading the word about FNO. You could be earning
extra cash just by referring fellow vendors or festival participants to FNO.
Quick info about our affiliate program:
Be sure to hand people your business card or a custom FNO Affiliate Flyer
when you refer them to be sure you get credit when they join as a Pro Member. If you want to
learn more, go here - where you can print your own flyers to hand out.
- We pay $5 for each new pro member you send our way.
- We pay quarterly via Paypal.
- You may apply your affiliate credit towards next year's renewal.
- Referrals can come in via word of mouth or through special tracking links you use in
emails or online.
FNO Giving Tree: