Friday, 21 June 2013

How Do You Make Money?

A recent meeting with a financial professional has led me to analyse how – and, disturbingly, how much – money flows in and out of my business.
Or, “how little”, as said professional would no doubt point out.
Or, “trickles”, as said professional would no doubt point out.
(“No one will believe these figures. You could make that much on the dole…”
He did like the name “The Glorious New Regime”, and commented on the fact. 
He also said I “seemed genuine” about the apparently hard-to-believe amount of money I earn, so I felt we developed something of a rapport.)

So.  I make money in two main ways: Performances and sales.

Who Buys The Music?

People who have seen me play live:  Of course, live gigs are the best way to sell CDs.  Once people have heard the music, they are more likely to buy it; this is an extremely gratifying fact of commercial transaction.

People who have somehow heard the music (perhaps by some sort of osmosis), but can’t get to the gigs, because I’ve never played in their town, or their country, or even their continent (Countries where I’ve sold CDs and downloads but never performed include: Ireland, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, Israel and New Zealand.)

People who know me and will insist on paying for the product. 
This is as rare as it is awkward as it is welcome.

Who Goes To The Gigs?

It’s like having a house party: you can be sure that not everyone who says they will come will actually turn up. 
You can be equally sure that some people who were not invited will turn up.
With gigs, the ratios are similar, but different.

Here’s how it breaks down:
0-5% of my friends will come.
[Up to 3% of whom will not have responded to invitations]
1% of people who get an e-mail about the gig will come.
1% of people who get a text about the gig will come
[30% of the people who respond to a text or e-mail to ask for details (almost always, “What time are you on?”, even when it’s stated in the text/e-mail) will come.]
10% of people who click “Going” on the facebook event page will come.
15% of people who click “Going” and then comment on the event page will come.
40% of people who say (to my face, my very face) that they are coming, using the
words “definitely”, “totally” or “absolutely” will come.
0-100% of my parents will come.
0-100% of my siblings will come.
Anywhere between 3 and 50 people I don’t know (and have no idea how they know me, the music, or the details of the gig) will come.  (This is gratifying and confusing)

So, We (The Glorious New Regime) are developing a new business model where We (The Glorious New Regime) will tell absolutely no one about any gigs or releases, set up a secret website (password-restricted access) that gives limited information about gigs and releases, and maybe even tell people I’m no longer making music. 
We could even put out a press release denying the existence of any secret website, or the existence of any such organisation as “The Glorious New Regime”, and sign it “The Estate of The Artist Formerly Known As Clayton Blizzard”

THEN people will pay attention, won’t they?  (Maybe the secret site will be hacked and the details leaked to “the press”, whoever they are.)

Or at least I’ll never have to fill in an embarrassingly-low-income-revealing tax return…

Incidentally, how did anyone know anything about anything before the internet?
(I was alive then, I just can’t remember.)

Clayton Blizzard

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