Promoting Your Music
After you have perfected your real world sound, learned the basics of Second Life and have properly outfitted your avatar, and learned to stream up to a streaming server - you are ready to finally promote yourself. You need to promote yourself with two key groups - Venue Owners and Fans. Both are essential to your success as a musician in Second Life. Here are some basic steps you can take to promote yourself inworld.
Update Your Profile
This should be painfully obvious, but make sure that your Second Life profile is current and up-to-date. Make sure if you have a manager that they are mentioned. Use your picks to set up paragraphs that contain a bio, a link to a site where they can hear a sample of your music, and any regular gigs you may have. Have a current picture in your profile and if you have a real life musical career mention it on your RL tab. Use the web tab to point to your best online presence or a Google calendar if you maintain one.
Make a Promo Package to Give Out
Take the time to construct a promo package to give to venue owners to use to promote your show and learn more about you. The promo package should include:
- A Full Permissions Picture
- A Biography Notecard
- A Song List
- An Event Listing Writeup Notecard
- Gestures to Use at Your Show
It may not be possible from day one to have all of these things, but by keeping a folder handy with these items you will make it much easier for a venue owner to decide to book you.
The full permissions picture means a Second Life snapshot or texture that has copy, modify and transfer rights for the next owner. This means the venue owner can use it to make signs, etc. for your upcoming show.
The biography notecard doesn't need to start at birth, but should cover your musical career briefly. The song list should be songs you cover at your show. The event listing notecard should have something the venue owner can copy and paste into the event form on the Second Life website. And finally, the gestures should be simple but promote your websites that either have more of your music or allow avatars to buy after the show.
Put all of these items in a folder named after your Second Life name and the words "Promo Package". For example: "Catfish String Promo Package". This makes it easy for you to find, and hand out.
Get your music on the IndieSpectrum Radio Playlist
IndieSpectrum Radio (http://www.indiespectrum.com) has been playing ONLY Second Life musicians' original music 24/7 since Nov 2007. It accepts only any original music (or public domain recordings) from artists that perform live in Second Life. Your music will be heard by over 20,000 unique SL listeners per month and it will be heard at dozens of virtual live music venues and other public places. If you would like to have your music played on IndieSpectrum Radio simply go to: http://www.indiespectrum.com/artists.html. DO NOT SUBMIT OTHER PEOPLE'S COPYRIGHTED MUSIC!! you will be asked to sign a legal agreement to that effect.
A Group for Fans
At some point you'll want to create a group for your fans. A group allows you to send notices with landmarks to your shows attached. A performer with a really large group can also usually ask for more Linden for a performance as they can usually draw a bigger crowd. Groups have a lot of features and it would be a good idea to read the wiki on groups and learn more about them. When you develop relationships with people you can trust you can also assign them roles so they can send out notices on your behalf. As you go around, you will meet people who read your profile find you are a musician and want to hear you. Having a group for them to join (they can opt out anytime) will make it easy. If you don't have a group be sure and ask them to give you their calling card and put it in a folder. You can make an announcement to a folder of calling cards.
Look Like a Musician
This is kind of odd, but it works. If you are starting out in Second Life, wearing a guitar on your back will get more conversations started about music than you would think. If your avatar looks like every other avatar you may go unnoticed. If you are a pianist, it may be impractical to wear a piano on your head - so what the heck - wear a guitar or a violin. Modify your group tag so that it says you play. Make it hard to miss the fact that you are a musician.
Attend Open Mic Shows
To get started you will want to attend some open mics shows. Both as a spectator and participant. In the Open Mic shows you usually are playing for tips and sometimes there are prizes for the artist receiving the most votes. To find Open Mics just search "Events" -> "Live Music" and put "Open Mic" in the search criteria.
Learn more at Getting Started As A Second Life Performer