In part 2 of this post we look at 10 more ways you can get 10 more people to come to your gigs. If you do all of them successfully you’ll soon see attendance at your live shows rise. Don’t forget to list your gigs on Live Unsigned and on social media before you do anything else. Here are some more ideas:
- Charge the right price (not always the cheapest) – Free can be good but some people may think it also means it is not very good. Is an £8 gig better than a free one or a £50 gig better than a £8 gig? It depends who is playing, but deciding on the correct amount to charge is crucial. What would you pay for a great gig?
- Do a house concert or busk in the area of the gig – House concerts (where you literally go to the home of a fan and play) are a brilliant way of connecting with a few fans in areas where you only have a small audience, then next time you play a gig at a local venue you have more chance of those people coming. Busking in the local area and handing out fliers might just get a few more people there, especially if you start talking to the people in the audience. When busking be careful, it is illegal in some places and competition for pitches can be fierce.
- Don’t play in the same area too often – If you play the same place/town/venue too often your audience will get bored, space your gigs out and make them special events. Better to do a couple of sold out gigs than 10 half empty ones.
- Make a promo video – If it is a really special gig make a promo video for it that fans can share across Twitter and other social media. If you can get testimonial videos from excited fans saying your live show is amazing that will really add authenticity. If you can do something funny or weird or remarkable in your video you will get more results. Here is a great one by Bill Bailey for his upcoming Sonisphere gig with Metallica.
- Give yourself plenty of time to prepare – Don’t book a gig for tomorrow unless you have a really keen and loyal fan base (and they are all following you on Twitter). Plan your gig promotion well ahead of the actual gig itself. Create events on social media, blog about it, get your Live Unsigned listing in, tweet about it and build momentum. In your blog tease fans by talking about possible covers or what you might wear and about how generally excited you are about the gig. Send information off to supportive local radio, bloggers and podcasters. This will take weeks if not months, build the anticipation if you want things to happen.
- Start with friends and family – The people most likely to support you are your friends and family, in the early stages of your career you need to call in some favours and get people to come and see you. Remind them via social media, make then feel part of what you are doing and don’t forget to say thank you.
- Make it an event. Ask if there are any drinks promotions you can do or make it a toga party gig or an indie rock foam party or a spray everything silver gig. A once in a lifetime event. What if you theme a gig around the music of a famous band and you get every band on the bill to cover one of their songs perhaps a Damned, Public Enemy or Slipknot night? It is much easier to get people talking about something that is a bit different.
- Create a press release and send it to the local press, bloggers and podcasters. If you can ask a local podcaster or blogger to DJ at your event that will help. Make sure you focus on getting these people on board, many people in the local media have national and international connections. More information on press releases here.
- Play gigs at club nights – Club nights are a great way to pick up an audience, often becoming friendly with the DJ is a good way of making connections and angling for a gig. Even if you can’t get a gig hang out at club nights that play music similar to your own, its a good way to meet potential fans and contacts.
- Get a tribute band to headline – Not cool, but often getting a tribute band to headline gets an audience in. Then if you have your original, interesting band supporting you get to play to the same crowd of fans.
If you complete all of the items on the list you will have more of a chance of getting people to your gigs. Remember audiences are made up of individuals, spending time with people and making friends will often lead to people coming to see you live. You build your audience one person at a time.