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Tactical: Gig and Music Release Protocol Check List

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Tactical: Gig and Music Release Protocol Check List

Over the past month, I've been engaging in deep critical thinking, and I've gained significant clarity on my own brand. For the past year, I've primarily focused on a few business products: Sample Packs, Mentoring & Lessons, and Gigging & Touring. In doing so, I put my own music on the back burner to help others and sell more producer tools. This decision was driven by the lack of visible ROI from my music, both in my mind and on paper.

However, after this period of introspection, I realized I could create 17 different products from just one piece of music. These are just the beginning of my ideas. I now have a roadmap and blueprint that clearly outline how I can attract thousands of fans and generate significant revenue from a single music release.

Here are some of my protocols. As I developed these protocols for my brand, I thought about my students and their journey in music and entrepreneurship. You'll need to adapt these to fit your own branding and products. My brand is centered around drums, so if drums are also your brand, many of these may apply directly to you. Otherwise, adjust the narrative to suit your brand identity.

Remember this: Marketing is the most important and valuable skill you can acquire. Marketing involves promoting and selling your products and services, attracting customers, fans, and clients, retaining them, and delivering on your promises. This applies to everyone you meet, including fans, promoters, agents, music collaborators, business collaborators, customers, clients, and even friends.

With the definition and value of marketing in mind, the purpose of a gig or show is to showcase and deliver your product or talent to your fans and customers. You tell your story through your showmanship and songs, taking your marketing and product out from under the dark studio and into the spotlight. Show your audience why they bought that ticket to see you. Deliver on that promise so effectively that they beg for more and tell their friends. Own that room!

Ultimately, you are showcasing your undeniable talent. If you aren't ready to showcase it, keep perfecting your skills until you are. Then, go out and make a name for yourself. Rinse and repeat.


Here's a rundown of my approach:

One-off Gigs, Shows & Tours Plan

1. Gig Offer / Venue Booking:

  • Confirm date set

2. Logistics:

  • Book flights
  • Send and get approval for Tech Rider & Hospitality Rider

3. Preparation:

  • Design the set and schedule rehearsals
  • Prepare Show VJ video content
  • Develop promo assets

4. Promotion:

  • Update BandsInTown, SongKick, and other show marketing databases
  • Create a marketing plan including social posts and ads, in collaboration with promoters
  • Organize free ticket giveaways, ticket contests, and local social media buzz
  • Assemble a street team to distribute physical fliers, posters, and other items
  • Network and contact friends and collaborators in the area

5. Fan Engagement:

  • Develop a game to engage fans, such as hidden merch items at the venue or a social media game driving people to sign up for the mailing list and get tickets to the show
  • Focus on fan acquisition and building the mailing list

6. Merchandise:

  • Plan and bring merchandise to sell at the show

7. Pre-Show Activities:

  • Organize a meet & greet
  • Offer a Drum & Ableton clinic or local lessons

8. Documentation:

  • Arrange for video documentation and show photos during the event
  • Plan a recap promo and marketing strategy using the captured content
  • Distribute an email sign-up list to add new fans (still highly relevant and valuable)


Songs and Associated Products

  1. Main Tune Asset:
    • Single, EP, or Album
  2. Variations and Remixes:
    • VIP Mix
    • Remixes
    • Drumless Mix
  3. Expansion Packs:
    • Expansion Pack or Patch for drum modules
    • Mini Sample Pack
  4. Merchandise:
    • CD, Vinyl, Poster, Art Piece, Wall Art
    • Digital Download, T-shirt, WAV files
    • Pins, Bracelets, Hoodies, Bandana, Sweatbands
    • Laptop sleeves, iPhone case
  5. Mixes and Videos:
    • DJ Mix with extended intro and outro
    • Main music video
    • Behind-the-scenes video: The making of, in the studio, drumming, producing
  6. Educational Content:
    • Track Walkthrough: Ableton Lesson
    • Full Session & Stem Package
    • MIDI Fighter Player Rack Pack
  7. Engagement and Competitions:
    • Remix Competition / Producer Contest
    • Drum-Over Video
    • Lyric Video
    • Drummer Song Contest: Drumming video contest

Promotion, Marketing & Sales

  • Website and Distribution:
    • Create a dedicated webpage and banners
    • Add products to the website and upload for distribution on Spotify, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, etc.
    • Handle copyright and SoundScan registrations
  • Curate and Promote:
    • Curate Spotify playlists and push content/ads to these playlists
    • Continue promoting the biggest songs and playlists

Reflection and Advice

I've done all these things before, but I lost sight of my past successes. I needed to create time within my schedule for deep thinking and clarity, focusing on critical thinking, turning off external input, and generating meaningful output.

If you are an aspiring musician, DJ, producer, or music performer, I hope you find value in this plan. Even if it adds just one more thing to your growing list of products, it's worth it.

For music fans: Would you like to see artists put out these items? Have you seen artists do these things, and which items have you enjoyed or participated in?