It seems obvious that, if you're going to be offering your services as a muso, the most important thing to be able to do is play your instruments well. Well, whilst this is vital, I reckon, having set up the basics to promote my work to a wider audience (and not just relying on word of mouth!), it is just as important to get your head round the mysteries of the business side of things too - maybe something we're not familiar with.
I've done a lot of reading and a lot of learning in the past few months and, although I thought I knew stuff about creating a website (as I've done two in the past relating to sailing and a house I owned), I didn't (and still don't, before you mention it!!) quite appreciate the steps needed to get it throbbing on Google!
It's an interesting exercise to make a list of things you think you're going to need to do, which I've got on my studio desk, and then watch it balloon as you realise you're going to have to link it to here, there and everywhere that mentions you on the web. It really could go on forever.
You have to understand that the music (or anything else you're going to sell really) will speak for itself. If you're a mediocre player, you won't get asked a second time - thankfully, I have been asked second times! It's about getting asked the first time.
I knew about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - see para 2 above - and how it gets you closer to the Google front page but the ways it happens are like wizardry indeed. How do people contact you? Do I set up a separate email address? What font? What passwords? No pictures to use - DOH! Do I need business cards?
You see, nothing to do with a pentatonic scale or Dorian Mode!
I'm now, 2 weeks after creating and publishing a website, pleased to say I've had views all over the world - in non English-speaking countries as well as Europe and the US - so something is working. The result? I've had enquiries from songwriters in the UK that I am really pleased with but that are local to me, within about 30 miles actually - I could have bought a loud-hailer and got the same result haha!
How do I feel about that? If I'm honest, pretty good. I've played 2 gigs so far this week and had a great time with different groups of amazing musicians, and done some teaching too. Life is good!
There are plenty of people out there offering services like mine and I knew this was not going to make me the go-to guitar solution anytime quickly so I'll stick around and keep plugging away. If you're reading this, it means someone is out there looking so, thanks a lot. I think it's time I went and got my guitar now...until next time.