Once you’ve figured out how to get your music on iTunes, you’re probably going to want to book a few gigs to share music with your fans (and get them to buy it). However, lots of indie musicians struggle with filling up shows, especially when they’re just starting out. These five tips will help you make sure every performance is a sold out success.
Where you have your show will affect how many people show up. Our suggestion? Don’t book the biggest venue in town. If you’re a musician starting out, you probably will get stuck with a horrible time slot, or the show will only be half full. If you go for a smaller, more specific venues, the shows will feel fuller, the atmosphere will be infinitely improved, and your show will get much better reviews – leading to more sell outs in the future.
Tailor it to the locals
Gig swapping is an indie musician’s best friend. You surely have friends in bands in other towns, or friends of friends, or even people you only know through social media. Perform a gig with them in their town and benefit from their local following, and then return the favor when they come to your area.
You can also use targeted advertising to reach local people where you are performing. Do a little research to see what is popular in that area, and tailor your marketing to different preferences.
Use a “promotion team”
This doesn’t mean hiring an expensive PR team or spending a ton of money on advertising. Simply recruit your friends, family, and loyal fans to promote your gig for you. They can do this by handing out fliers to friends, posting about your event on social media, and just telling lots of people about it. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth! If people who are just as passionate as you tell others about your music, they’ll generate buzz and convince people to go have fun at your concert.
Use social media wisely
Sending out a mass Facebook invite is not going to work, ever. Social media efforts need to be interesting, engaging, and specific. Send out a teaser for the show, share a cool picture or video from former shows, or do a contest offering fans the chance to win a backstage pass. You can even use polls to ask people what they want to see at your show. If you get people excited about your gig and engaged with your music before the concert, you will get a much better turnout than a simple invite or announcement would.
Have a great show, every time
Every show is important. Don’t go into a small gig unprepared and sloppy then expect people to show up for the next one. Every time you perform, you have a chance to make lifelong fans. Interact with the audience, be energetic, and treat every gig like it is your next big break. Good reviews mean more people at your shows – it’s that simple.
Whether your show was a huge success or a giant flop, always reach out to the venue and the fans afterwards. Try to do something for them, and thank them for everything they did for you. Even if a show didn’t go exactly the way you wanted it to, being professional and gracious will keep you on everyone’s good side, and invited back for more gigs with more fans.
Hopefully, these tips help you make each gig a packed, rocking success. To learn more about indie music and how to get your music on iTunes, follow the SongCast blog!