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In this post, I'm going to share with you some tips and insights on how to promote your next gig and start getting the crowd your music deserves.
Running an event or putting together a show isn't easy. Not if you do it right anyway.
There's nothing worse than putting in hours upon hours of practice, getting your riffs down for your next big show, just for no one to turn up.
We all want to play to a sold-out crowd, and no doubt you will. It just takes a bit of work. So roll up your sleeves and find out how to promote your next gig.
1. Event Management
After booking the gig, meet with the venue owner and promoter to discuss the upcoming event. This way you can run through ideas you have for the upcoming show and make sure everyone is on board.
Topics to bring up
- What will they be doing to promote the gig if anything? (If they are, they might have channels that they use on a regular basis).
- Do they have a poster template they use all the time or do you have a poster you would like to use for the event? (If so the venue might want to add a few details or some small print).
Moreover, be prepared for they're more than likely going to ask you some questions.
- How many people do you think are gonna come to the show?
- Are you using your own sound engineer or do you want to use the house engineer?
You need to know the answers to these questions, so have your homework done before the meeting.
Pro Tip - Make sure you check out the house engineer before you book him.
2. Social Media
Social Media is a great way to promote any event.
For one, you can set up an events page and invite all your friends, family and followers along.
This way you can organise busses, add a location and let your followers know of any updates or changes to the gig.
In addition, an event is easily sharable, so your followers can share it with their followers and so on.
Just look at the recent planned Area 51 raid on September 20th 2019.
The event was set up by Matty Roberts on the 27th of June 2019 with the heading, 'Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us'.
More than 2 million people said they were going to the event and over 1.5 million said they were interested.
So you can see how powerful a tool it can be.
That said only about 150 people actually showed up for the event so take the numbers with a pinch of salt.
In saying that, it's still a fantastic promotional tool that will help you get people through the magic door 😉
How to create an event on Facebook.
- Log in to your Facebook account.
- Click on the "Events" tab.
- Click on the "Create Event" tab on the top right of the page.
- Choose the name of the event.
- Contribute more details about the event.
- Add the location of the event.
- Alter the date and time of the event.
- Choose which friends to invite.
- Set the privacy settings of the event.
- Press "Create" and you have created your event!
3. Countdown Timer
Another way to build up your event is to add a countdown timer to your website and Facebook account.
Additionally, for Facebook, there are plenty of tools you can use that provide this service.
POWr is a great free service that offers many cool features to add your Facebook Website.
How To Install Countdown Timer On Your Facebook Site:
- Create POWr account
- Create your Countdown Timer
- Add POWr Countdown Timer
- Choose Facebook Page
- Go to Live Page
- Open POWr Editor
- Import Countdown Timer
Like, Comment & share. It's as common as the cold.
These competitions are everywhere and for good reason. They work.
That said, don't limit yourself to tried and tested methods.
Come up with some of your own fun competitions to Increase awareness of your upcoming show and boost engagement across your social media channels.
For instance, sign up to our mailing list and be in with a chance of winning VIP tickets for you and your friends for the upcoming show.
Another thing would be to ask your followers questions.
Such as, what was the first gig we ever played? Write your answers in the comment section below to be in with a chance of winning.
Those who answer correctly will be put in a draw and the winner will be randomly selected.
You can use random name generators like this one from MiniWebTool.
Just enter all the names into the field and hit the 'Pick A Random Name' button and hey presto, you have a winner.
Can you think of any competitions ideas that will help you promote your next gig? Please leave a comment in the section below, I'd love to hear what you came up with.
People love free stuff!
The trick is to offer prizes that won't cost the band a packet. Stuff you already have lying around.
For example, signed merch, badges, t-shirts, picks, posters, EP's, drumsticks etc.
Just make sure you let them know, that you have to be there on the night to collect the prizes.
You don't want to be spending what little budget you have on postage and packaging 🙂
Using Spotify as an example, playlists are a great way to get more fans streaming and buying your tracks.
Create a playlist for the event with music similar to yours and have the engineer play it through the house PA at the start and end of your event.
If your event is a single launch add your new single to the playlist after the show and share it on your social media channels.
7. Live Stream Event
Live streaming is surprisingly underused in the independent scene.
In saying that nearly as many as (44%) said they watch less live TV as a result of live streaming. Source Livestream
So there's an obvious demand for it.
Yes, some fans will be documenting the gig themselves through their phones and what not which is great.
That said, a professional stream coming directly from your facebook page, for example, is a great way of advertising your live show and boosting engagement.
You're essentially promoting your next gig by showing them what they're missing out on at this one.
So if you impress, there's a great chance of increasing numbers through the door at your next gig.
So go on give it a go if you haven't already, it's easy 😉
8. Email Outreach
If you've been gathering emails at your previous gigs and have built up a mailing list, well done.
This is a great way to reach out to your fans about your upcoming show.
These are powerful tools that can help you get the most out of your mailing list.
Both have free and premium versions.
Hubspot offers all of its services for free for up to 2000 emails, whereas, MailChimp, on the other hand, offers a free forever service but with limited features.
What are the benefits of using these types of services?
For instance, you can see instantly who's been opening and responding to your emails.
This way you can find out who your best fans are and offer them a discount on upcoming events and shows.
Look after your fans and they'll look after you.
Furthermore, you can segment your mailing list and even set up automated responses for each segment.
For example, maybe you sent out an email a week before the upcoming show but on the day your still not sold out.
So you send out another email offering tickets at a higher discount than previous.
You don't want to send out an email to the contacts who've already purchased tickets, so you segment a group and send it out to the people who haven't.
This way everybody's happy 🙂
9. Local News Outlets
Don't just rely on the internet.
Local newspapers and radio stations are a great way to promote your next gig and get the town talking.
Just drop them an email or better yet if they have a number give them a call (that's still a thing).
Let them know who you are and what you want them to promote.
Moreover, be clear about why you're hosting an event or putting on a show, and what you hope to benefit from the night.
9 times out of 10 they'll promote local talent the best they can.
Likewise, invite them along.
If they can't make it personally, they'll usually send a photographer or someone to document the night, so they can do a piece on it for next weeks edition.
As always be professional and courteous in your approach.
10. Landing Page
A landing page is separate from your website. It is a single page created for one reason and one reason only. To sell tickets.
Its goal is to drive attendance.
A good landing page should have nothing to distract the buyer from purchasing tickets.
There are two main ingredients every landing page should consist of.
- A clear call-to-action
- Short sentences & paragraphs.
The icing on this marketing cake is to create a sense of urgency.
- Buy Now
- Register Now
- Get Them Before They're Gone
For the cherry on top, it's all about the design.
Eventbrite offers ready-made templates that are tried and tested in the act of converting potential customers.
- Keep it simple
- Make it easy to purchase.
Below is an example of how a landing page should look. ↓↓
As you can see there are no distractions as to defer the visitor from the end goal.
Eventbrite makes things easy for you with there built-in templates, and they also optimise your landing page for all known devices, which is even less work which is great.
Create your own hashtag for the gig.
That way you can track all the goings-on.
It makes it easier for people to share their videos and images of the show and for you to gather and edit fan footage later on.
Furthermore, a hashtag creates a sense of community and involvement. Add hashtags to bios and use as regularly as possible.
Just make sure you research your hashtag and that nobody else is using it. Keep it short and informative.
Just be careful, there have been many unsavoury incidents.
For example, #kidsexchange or should I say, kids exchange, a kids clothing company.
Another one is a recruitment company, I forget their name now, but it started with Rim, used the #rimjob to promote their services. That didn't go down to well, or maybe it did 🙂
And my personal favourite, #susanalbumparty, Susan Boyles Album party. Hillarious!
How did they not see the errors of their ways? I for one am glad they didn't.
12. Lead Generation
Lead generation basically translates into turning a stranger into a customer.
What a better place to develop some leads than at your gig.
Everybody at your gig is obviously a fan of the band.
If you do not have their email addresses already, acquire them at the gig. Have someone collecting emails at the merch stand and at the ticket booth.
Give them a reason to hand over their email addresses.
As an example, ask them would they like to receive exclusive backstage footage of the gig directly to their inbox the day after the show.
The majority will say yes. FOMO and all that jazz.
Give out free badges with every sign-up (if you can afford it).
I wore my friends' badge for a week after their show and the number of people that asked me about it was crazy (I should definitely change my clothes more often).
Definitely sent some traffic their way.
Let them know they can unsubscribe from the emails any time.
If they don't unsubscribe, send them out another email asking if they would like to receive future emails and make it simple for them to answer yes or no.
True fans will say yes! They're the ones you want on your mailing list. So don't be afraid to ask twice.
If they say no, you probably had little chance of converting them anyway, so it works in your favour. You're left with the real fans.
You can also use this group to create a lookalike audience to target your future ads
13. Get A Good Street Team
You can't run a good event without a good team.
Every band needs their friends and fans to chip in early on.
You have a gig to get ready for.
You need trusted people out there, in the ticket office, welcoming people in, setting up the merch stand, and helping set up the stage.
Cos let's face it, up and coming bands don't have the budget for all this.
We need our friends to help out and put up flyers and sell tickets.
Additionally, when everybody's working hard to make the night a success, don't hideaway in the green room for the night after the gig.
Go back, have a drink, get yourself together and come out and mingle and thank everybody for making the night a great success.
Without them, I assure you, the night wouldn't go as well.
Take it easy on the shots, cos the day after an event is just as important as the event itself.
For instance, ask fans to post their footage and images of the night on their social media channels using your hashtag.
Reply to comments and thank your fans for coming.
Ask them did they enjoy the show, what did they like about it, was there favourite part of the night etc..
Get the conversation going.
Remember all those emails that you collected?
Well, you need to add those emails to Hubspot or Mailchimp which we mentioned earlier and start sending out emails.
Thank everyone for coming to the event and add links to sharable images and videos of the show.
Showcasing your last gig is another great way to promote your next one 😉
Hopefully, you can use some of these tips to help promote your next gig.
A lot of work goes into making a great night for you and your fans, so enjoy the night, rock your socks and reap the rewards.
If you've tried some of these strategies in the past, I'd love to hear from you in the comment section below.
All the best,
Baz McAuley @badgrammrbaz.com
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