Meet Troy Dowding!
He plays with a bunch of awesome bands in Toronto and has a steady stream of paying gigs throughout the year.
Troy is not one of those trumpet players who "feels lucky to get paid". He doesn't leave the house for less than $400. And even that is a little on the low end.
And there is one thing that he does that ALWAYS leads to a call from someone ready to hire him. And it's so simple that anyone can do it.
What is it?
He posts videos of himself playing on Instagram.
He said that Instagram is the only way for musicians to market themselves (being a email person... I beg to differ... but then again, he does get more gigs than I do).
After he posted his most recent video he got a call from someone in the Toronto jazz scene who wanted him to play a jazz gig. It was a corporate event that paid $400 so he accepted.
He said, "Every video I post I get a gig. Every single one."
Not too shabby.
He prefers to work at corporate events because the pay is a lot higher. And using Instagram makes it easier to attract more of the his favorite types of clients.
For example, when he was at a high paying corporate gig he took a video of himself in action. And lo and behold, the next day he got a call from another band that does corporate gigs that wanted to hire him.
Now, obviously you have to sound good in your videos to make this work. Plus, I hear that Troy has some mean dance moves... and I'm sure that doesn't hurt.
So I of course had a few questions... because this all started with him asking me why the heck I don't make better use of Instagram.
My first question was, how does he make the videos? Does he get a friend to help... or use a tripod?
So far he has used his iPhone to make most of his videos. He has a little clip called an iClip that he uses to clamp the phone to a stand or another surface. Sometimes he records a straight video and posts it. Sometimes he records the audio and the video separately and uses Garage Band to mash them together. And he is going to up his game by going in to the recording studio to make some more videos.
The point being you can be as fancy as you want, but you can also get started using just your phone.
Another thing worth mentioning. The use of hash tags is
He said, "Hash tags on Instagram are how you get placed in the algorithm. People search hash tags on Instagram. You are allowed to use 30 hash tags on each post. Most people use 2 or 3 or NONE. But then you reach no one! Meaning no one will see your videos."
Troy uses hash tags that will be seen by his potential clients as well as by other trumpet players.
To find out how he uses Instagram to be one of the busiest trumpet players in Toronto, check him out @tdblows.
And while you're there, follow Trumpet Dynamics @trumpetdynamics. Troy is adding a ton of content as we speak.