This Saturday my band will be playing a theatre show to 700 people. Wow that’s a big achievement for a DIY artist with little to no media profile. I thought it would be useful to give you a ground report as to this has been achieved and some of the steps that have been put in place to make that happen.
Building A Long Term Fanbase
We’ve been playing this town for eleven years gradually increasing our fanbase over that time. At our first show in 2007 we probably played to 120-140 people. Every time we’ve played, we’ve put on a great show and people have returned. Perfect your craft, give people a great show and not only will they return they will bring their friends. DIY music careers are a marathon not a sprint.
Most bands don’t appreciate that sometimes the right venue is important to the success of a night. Event promotion is about placing the right artist in the right venue at the right time. This theatre is a great place to visit so the customer experience is second to none. Ever been to a gig where the beer was warm and overpriced, your feet was sticking to the floor and the staff were rude? You probably won’t want to return, so customer experience is key. In addition, the venue promotes its shows well on social media and has been using the videos I’ve been passing them. A lot of the venues we play won’t ever post about the show on social media!
Ultimately, the success of a show can be down to the quality of the venue, the customer experience and how well they market the event. Last year we weren’t able to secure this theatre due to scheduling issues and we had to use another nearby venue and that resulted in only 500 tickets sold. The location matters!
Our band mailing list and the show promoter’s mailing list has been used to tell people of the show. Facebook events have been created (I also posted in last years Facebook event for this town which is neat trick), posters and flyers were used as well as custom signage at the front of the theatre for a short period before show date. The show featured in the theatre spring-summer programme and on electronic signage in the theatre bars. A number of differing Facebook ads have also been employed with a high ad spend though the band’s Facebook page. We’ve been showing these ads mostly to existing page fans and a warm audience (people who have viewed our videos but are not yet fans).
I’ve also been showing these to also to a cold audience as well. Whilst I wouldn’t normally recommend running ads to a cold audience I’m experimenting with a small budget one week to show date to see if our modest profile in the area can be leveraged.
And that’s just some of the things that have contributed to the ticket sales for the event. As you can see there are a LOT of steps to put into place. Are you putting the same amount of effort into promoting YOUR shows?
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?