Shannon Curtis - How to Earn Over $50k in 4 Months Playing House Concerts - An Innovative Approach to Building a Fulfilling Music Career

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Sometimes I bring guests on the show that are successful entrepreneurs, marketers, and content creators outside of the music business, and relate their lessons and insight to artists and students of the music business. Shannon Curtis has a completely unique approach to her music career, from which people in ALL industries can learn her lessons on community and creating genuine deep relationships.  Shannon Curtis is an independent songwriter, singer, performer, recording artist, speaker, and author, based in Los Angeles. Her fourth full-length record, entitled Creationism, was released on June 17, 2016, and debuted on Nielsen's Top New Artists Albums chart.

Shannon Curtis is a fearless innovator of the music business taking her career completely in her own hands. In 2011, she performed her first house concert and was hooked on the art of building a community around house concerts. Shortly after she grossed over $25K and wrote a book about her experience called “No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender, How I made $25K on a 2-Month House Concert Tour (And How you can too)” Today, she’s performing over 70 house shows in less than four months every Summer grossing over $50K. In this episode she shares how she discovered house concerts, how she was able to build her own community through her supporters without relying on other networks or middle people. Shannon shares her beautiful philosophy on focusing on building community, not fans. We also talk about her new album, and all the projects she works on during her time off road, which also includes writing personal songs for people.

Curtis’s music has been featured prominently in independent film & in TV shows such as ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, MTV’s The Hills, and ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Curtis lives in Los Angeles with her husband, record producer Jamie Hill.  This was an incredibly inspiring episode for me. I meet so many artists and students of the music business every day trying to navigate their way through the business. I try to push and force them to think outside of the box, and figure out a way to stand out and be completely different form the norm and following the “formula.” Shannon Curtis is not only completely creative with her art, but had a complete creative and genuine approach to entrepreneurship that builds deep connections with people in her community.

Get a Copy of Shannon's Book:


Highlights from this Episode
Breakdown of Shannon’s house concert tour (04:40)
How to describe Shannon’s music (06:55)
What lit the fire for the music industry (7:50)
Four years of being an up and coming artist (12:30)
Story of the first house concert (15:05)
How Shannon occupies her time while she’s not on the road (21:55)
First concert and first album bought (25:50)
Who comes to mind when Shannon thinks “Successful” (27:12)
Advice for artists attempting a house concert tour (27:50)
DIY venue experiences (32:55)
Most effective way to run a house concert, beginning to end (36:15)
Asking process to the host of the house concert (43:00)
How Shannon does ice breakers (49:35)
Worst concert and what was learned (51:35)
Shannon explains fans vs community philosophy (56:25)
Advice for successful social media use (1:01:05)
What to expect for Shannon’s new work (1:04:40)
Crowdfunding done differently (1:07:55)
 Shannon’s creative process (1:09:00)
Rapid Fire Questions (1:10:00)
Making It (1:15:40)

Quotes from Shannon Curtis
“We intentionally sound artful. They aren’t intended to sound like anything you’d hear on the radio.”
“You make decent money playing in colleges.”
“I don’t equate success success with money.”
“If you allow yourself to engage with those people as a human then maybe people will respond.”
“Once you give yourself the permission to step outside that and be brave, and you let yourself be seen a little more nakedly; honestly I feel like that is the moment people start responding.”
“The minute I stepped outside was the minute I started experiencing more connection.”
“They’re not people who host house concerts. They are people who know me.”
“We’re reaching new markets of people because we see new people.”
“They are other ways to do so much better for yourself.”
“If you can plan out the way you see the event happening, you can maximize you income.”
“The more you can make a connection. The more they will give in donations.”
“The people who love you the most want to see you achieve”
“You call them fans, I call them community.”
“They are likely to say yes if they have the ability to.”
“What I want to do is bring value into this world.”
“I’m make the conversation about getting to know them.”
“We learned that we needed to be a lot more specific.”
“You and I are made in the same life.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Amy Grant

Places & Things
No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender
I Am Not Your Negro

Get in Touch with Shannon Curtis

Support Shannon and Jamie’s Patreon Campaign:

Shannon Curtis’ Definition of Making It
“I’m making it. I’m making music and I can pay my bills.”

Shannon Curtis at TEXxArlington

After Shannon shared the link of her official bio, I noticed she did this beautiful TED Talk on her experience of house concerts, and the deep connections she's built with her community. Inspiring!!