Promotion for Performers

Many performers (eg, guitarists) attempt to promote themselves, but their efforts vary widely in polish and (I suspect) effectiveness. I'm not a performer myself, just a guitar fan with no expertise in marketing. That said, here's my modest attempt at a checklist...

Performances, CDs, etc.

In this area (San Francisco and surrounds), there are a large number of guitar-friendly venues. Most of their events are informal (eg, collecting cash in a tip jar), so you won't get much money for your time. However, it's a way to let folks hear you, buy your CDs, etc.

Be sure to set your CDs out well before the start of the show. Put a sign near them, telling folks the price(s). Bring marking pens so that you can do autographs. Be sure to remind the audience (eg, at the start and end of your gig) that the discs are available for sale.

Some sort of cards or flyers can also be useful to hand out. For example, Shelley Doty hands out colorful 4x6 cards, showing her picture and listing upcoming gigs. Seems like a Good Idea.

Doug Young and Teja Gerken each host a series of "Acoustic Guitar Showcase" events. They invite other guitarists to appear with them, then perform in a round-robin fashion (with occasional jams). If there isn't anything like this in your area, find a friendly venue and set one up!

If you have an appearance coming up, make sure that it is listed in appropriate media. San Francisco Acoustic Guitar Events, for example, looks like a great place to list shows.

Web Pages

There are lots of free and relatively easy ways to get your name and story out on the web. You don't have to register a domain, set up a web server, etc.

  • Acoustic Guitar

    Acoustic Guitar provides free pages for events, member profiles, etc. This is a very focused way to get your message out to potential fans, as well as a way to connect with other performers.

  • AllMusic

    AllMusic indexes a wide range of albums, artists, etc. Make sure that you (and your CDs!) are accurately and thoroughly listed.

  • Wikipedia

    Wikipedia has pages for some well known performers. They are very stringent about citations, content, and style, but if you have a notable public history, you may be able to get your own page.

  • YouTube

    YouTube offers free hosting for videos, mechanisms for indexing them (eg, channels, keywords). This is a fabulous way to show off your mad guitar skillz. Take a look at this channel to see a great example.

Note: If you are putting content up on a public page, be sure to save a copy! That way, you can restore it, reuse it, etc.


This wiki page is maintained by Rich Morin, an independent consultant specializing in software design, development, and documentation. Please feel free to email comments, inquiries, suggestions, etc!

Topic revision: r5 - 07 Sep 2014, RichMorin
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