7 Ways To Get More Fans To Shows (50+ fans)
Promoters put a lot of pressure on artists and bands to pack the house at their venues, for one very important reason; it’s their job to run a successful business, so if you can’t draw a crowd to their venue, they can’t sustain their business. It’s nothing personal, so do yourself a favor and check your ego at the door right now. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to create a win-win scenario, ensure that you draw a great crowd, and set the stage for a successful performance with every gig you book. Some venue promoters even require a 50 person minimum just to get a booking these days, so here are 7 promotional power tips that will help you get more fans to shows (50+ fans):
1. Hustle. Promoting your show might seem to be the most obvious answer here, but its amazing how seldomly artists and bands work to promote their own gigs. If you think the venue is going to do all the promotion for you, think again. Booking the gig is just the beginning. Fortunately, there are plenty of online and offline resources you can utilize to make the most of your performances. A little effort goes a long way, so commit yourself to promoting the hell out of your shows once they are set in stone.
2. Promote online. From Facebook to Instagram – there are plenty of social media outlets to alert your fans about upcoming shows. They all have different rules, platforms, and etiquette, so use them respectfully and you won’t annoy your followers. A good rule of thumb is to promote in advance with event listings and invitations to plant the seed in people’s minds at first. If you then continue to promote irregularly through occasional reminders, you won’t be a bother to your fans. Save the aggressive reminders for the the day before and the day of the performance. Last-minute reminders are particularly helpful for folks who are bombarded by information overload on a daily basis from social media sites like these!
3. Promote offline. There are still plenty of people who are resisting joining Facebook with all of their might, and even more people who still don’t know how to use a computer. Make sure you’re reaching folks at every angle, and consider where else folks might be looking for information. Create general “appearing at” posters and fliers that can be easily filled in with performance details, and spread them all over town at places like music stores, grocery stores, and on community bulletin boards. Get creative!
4. Create contests. Get creative with social media outlets and launch a location-targeted contest, encouraging fans in the surrounding area to attend your upcoming performance. Whoever brings the biggest posse can win prizes like free admission to the show, free merch, or song requests dedicated in their honor. Contests like this can be promoted through every social media channel you’re on and through your mailing list. With any luck, you’ll have doubled – or even tripled – your audience size from your contest alone.
5. Mailing lists. Email is still king, so make sure you have an ongoing mailing list you are building and maintaining. This is often an afterthought for many musicians, but generating fans with active email addresses is at the heart of gaining exposure. No matter what social media channel was popular last year, your fans will continue to check their email faithfully. Keep your email lists updated, your email updates relevant and consistent, and your email contacts organized by city and state if you can help it. No one in New Jersey needs to hear from you when you are promoting a show in San Francisco! There are some great services on the market for musicians with built in email list management like Bandzoogle.com, HostBaby.com, TopSpin, and ReverbNation.com. Other great email list services that are nonspecific to music include ConstantContact.com and my personal favorite, Aweber.com.
6. Text campaigns. Email and social media have their fair share of spam, but text messaging is still a pretty safe way to send and receive relevant information from trusted sources. Be sure to generate mobile numbers and names of cell phone carriers from your fans at shows, along with their email addresses. If a fan chooses to give you their number, rest assured they want to hear from you. Send them two text messages for each show you book in their area – one in advance, and one last-minute reminder. No one likes spam – especially when it comes to their personal cell phones – so respect your fans privacy and they won’t unsubscribe from your list! Check out text campaign resources like Bandzoogle.com, Topspin, or Tatango.com.
7. Put on a stellar show. Perhaps this one is the most obvious – but if you are consistently putting on an irresistable show that people just can’t get enough of, that’s leverage in itself to draw a great crowd! Try playing each show like it is your last, and give 100% to every one of your performances – no matter what. Regardless of how large or small of an audience you’re performing to – you will be remembered by the quality of your performance, so play like you’re headlining Coachella every single time!
You’re a rock star.
Here’s to your creative genius!
-Gregory Douglass, The Creative Advisor
P.S. Want more power tips like this to help fast-track your music career? Sign up below for more free training and creative advice I only share through email…