Airplay 101 - Investors, Part 2 of 3
We now look at how to find investors, with an angle towards using the money for radio. Finding money is an inherently difficult thing for most artists to do, since most artists dislike business people, and also hate marketing (much less, marketing to FIND business people,) But, it must be done in order to pay for serious commercial regular rotation (and charting) campaigns... which for most beginning bands would be between $10K and $100K, but can go to $500K.
The first place too look is obvious... your gigs. Using your mailing list that you gather, send a note to them (along with your regular gig info) mentioning that you are "making plans" for your next phase. That's all you need to say; business folks will know what you mean by "making plans" (although your fans might not.) Never ask for investment directly in mailing lists to fans.
Speaking of gigs, setting some up at lawyer / investment / banking seminars and conventions will do you well since most of these pay, and, since most of your competition will avoid them. Allow most of your free time there to talk with the audience, one-to-one. You will have to market yourself to these groups in order to get these gigs, since they do not actively seek out indie acts for live entertainment. Approach a hundred of these, and you will get two or three gigs (some with thousands of attendees, and all with money.)
Next up are your local business papers or "business journals" found in larger news stands and libraries. In these papers, you will have no competition from other artists. Just run a simple ad stating "Music Investment Sought", along with your voice mail number or email. When they contact you, be sure to put them on the list to your next show, and send them a package.
On the more-intense marketing side of things, your next step would be to direct-market yourself to a contact list of well-appointed individuals in your town. This process is beyond many musicians, since is requires intense phone work, but here is how to do it...
Start by purchasing a list of doctors or lawyers or "high income" individuals. One big supplier of such lists is www.infoUSA.com . What you are looking for is a select list of 500 to 1,000 prospects in your home town.
Your next step is to email / mail / fax them a brief letter telling them the style of music you do, and that you are seeking investors. (It's OK to ask directly for investors here, since you are not under the guise of your music mailing list.) Give them a link to your music, and offer to send them a CD, and a gig invite.
Out of 1,000 contacts, maybe 40 will ask for the freebie CD. To activate the remaining 960 prospects, you have to get on the phone. Start my making contacts or by leaving messages with every one of the 960 names. The best way is to stagger the job over 10 weeks...doing 100 per week. You should also call the original 40 and make sure they know the date of your next gig.
The 960 calls will probably result in you leaving about 500 messages; you might talk to 200 who are "not interested", and get 60 hang-ups, 100 "check back later" responses, and about 100 "send us a CD" calls. Note that it is not necessarily the "send a CD" group that is the best... they may just be music collectors. But do go ahead and send them. Regardless, all 1,000 should be re-contacted two months later and invited to another gig. At this point, you should have created a hot list of 15 to 20 people who are really interested, and your remaining time should be spent with them. Out of these, you are looking for a few offers of $20,000 to $100,000 each.
And yes, the large number of contacts is really necessary, in order to obtain an extremely elusive item... a high income person willing to place at least $10,000 into your radio campaign, with no guarantee of return (or, with no DESIRE of return, since they may just be investing in building your awareness.)
Next topic: Investors, part 3 of 3
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