This post concerns two things I do that I wasn’t previously sure were actually doing me any good at all.
Firstly, when out busking since the start of this year, I’ve had a sign* in my case with a strapline, my email address and the web address of this site. From the way some people come up to look at it and then look disappointed and walk away again, I suspect they may expect it to read something along the lines of either ‘raising money for cancer research’ or ‘need £18 for 2 weeks in the night shelter’. Sorry folks, I rent a flat (shared with my partner) and all the money is effectively going to that …
(*I say a sign. Technically a piece of b+w printed A4 paper, reinforced by being Sellotaped to a piece of card of the same size that used to be the front cover of a pad of manuscript paper, inside a clear plastic wallet. Does the job while keeping that shabby (chic) busker vibe. Honest.)
Secondly, maintaining a comprehensive (OK, besides busking), even if it then seems decidedly heterogeneous, list of public performances on the home page of my website. All right, it evidently makes anyone arriving at the site feel I must be an active working professional or there wouldn’t be items on the list (and I always send the link with applications, so I hope at least some potential clients follow it!); but I wasn’t sure it actually led to anyone showing up that wouldn’t have done otherwise, let alone paying money and so indirectly furthering my career.
Those uncertainties rather changed towards the end of a freezing cold 2 hours busking in Victoria station yesterday.
A tall, middle-aged man I didn’t consciously recognise (though it appears I should have done if I had a photographic memory) approached me and said between numbers ‘We’re coming to see you at the Exchange.’ Besides the level of background noise on a station concourse, it was so out of context for me that it took another few lines of conversation for me to realise the exact significance. He had seen me busking previously, been impressed and made a note of the web address (perhaps photographed the sign – this is very common as a substitute for taking a business card, though I have those out when busking too). I was clearly memorable enough that he actually looked up the site afterwards too; found the gig list; and went through it looking for one on a free date and at a plausible location for him (and whoever else constitutes ‘we’) to show up. That he’s prepared to pay £8 for the privilege only makes the story all the more flattering!
The gig in question is Kindred Spirit‘s on Friday 23rd March at the (still very new) Exchange cultural centre in Twickenham (just over the bridge from the Cabbage Patch!). It will be a full evening (well, as full as local noise curfews will permit) of our full-band original music, including several tracks from the forthcoming new album. The performance space holds 300 and tickets can be bought and seats reserved online here, so don’t be backward in coming forward (and please get seats near the front so we can actually see you!).
And more generally, clearly marketing across different audiences works. So if you’re a regular blog reader, why not look at the gig list and see if there’s anything you’d like to come to? Or, if it’s all just too far away, consider buying the Filthy Spectacula album, or pledging to buy the next Kindred Spirit one? Either way hope to see you somewhere slightly unexpected soon!