Have you recently played a gig or show that seemed to have more people on the stage than in the audience? Here are ten possible reasons why that might have happened:
1) Your Fans Didn’t Know About It
Reaching your existing fans is hard. Did you email your mailing list, create and promote a Facebook event, post and remind people on social media? Did you boost posts and run ads to ensure that your audience saw the details?
2) It Was Too Expensive
You have to provide value for a show, you have to be ‘worth’ what you’re asking. If the show is deemed too expensive, they won’t bother coming. You can increase the value of your show by putting on a great set that people will want to pay good money to see. You can also add value by establishing a relationship with your audience on social media.
3) It Was Free
Free sometimes puts off people from attending. Some people might think that if the show is free it can’t be any good otherwise you’d be asking money for it. Secondly, if it’s free if something else comes up which clashes with your show, people will be happy to bail on you because they won’t lose any money. Tip: sometimes charging a nominal amount is better than free.
4) You Have No Fanbase In That Area
You can’t expect to play a show out of town and expect people who have never heard of you to show up. Does part of your marketing strategy include creating awareness for your music in key locations?
5) You Haven’t Educated People Enough
It’s not enough that people know you, they have to like your music enough and know what they’re going to get before they will come to see you. You have to educate your audience and show them what you are like live. Continually posting performance videos on social media and YouTube is the easiest way to do that.
6) It’s Too Soon From Last One
If you only played in that town or venue a couple of weeks prior, few people are going to want to see you again so soon. Space out your shows to allow time to pass and create a natural demand to come see you live again.
7) It Was The Wrong Venue
Sometimes the venue is a deciding factor. Some people might not like the venue because of high beer prices, it could be in a ‘tough’ area, it could have poor public transport links, the security staff might be ‘difficult’, the floor might be sticky and the toilets unsanitary, the PA might be painful to the ears. In addition, the venue might do very little to push the show. Try and get the venue right.
8) It Was The Wrong Day/Time
Are you playing at 11pm on a Tuesday night? That’s probably not going to help, especially with an older crowd who are at work in the morning.
9) Not Enough Lead Up Time
The longer lead up time, the more opportunities you will have to promote the show and the more chances that people will get to hear about it. If you drop a last minute show people also have difficulty getting their logistics together: Who is coming? Do I need to buy tickets for Jane? How can I get there? Do I need to book a babysitter? Give people plenty time to sort this stuff out.
10) It Clashed With Something Else
Your show could have clashed with a local or national sporting event. It could have clashed with another show with a bigger artist in your genre and they have stolen your crowd. This is hard to plan for, but it’s often worth checking other venues in that location to see what else might be running that night before booking a show.
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?