Photo via: Castaway in Scotland
Summer concerts are one of the best parts of the season. People are more carefree and want to spend time listening to good music at their nearest bar or venue. There’s more daylight, which encourages people to stay up later and indulge in things they might not during the drearier, winter months.
If you’ve not seen the numbers you’ve wanted to lately at your shows, there are ways to increase your audience headcount. Even though the music itself is artistry, there is still a marketing aspect that is instrumental (pun intended) to a band’s success.
If you’re getting ready to kick off your tour dates, go in with a lot of enthusiasm and a few helpful tips to increase your show numbers. Make each show a little bit different. Sure, there is a certain playlist to follow since you’ve rehearsed it that way for months, but get a feel for the crowd and town you’re in and don’t be afraid to try something new. Schedule a meet and greet backstage for a select number of fans. Rehearse to play a few acoustic covers. Or, make it more intimate and share a few anecdotes about life on the road. It’s not just about playing good music, but also making a connection with the audience as well.
Keep up-to-date and involved on your social media with tour dates, promo flyers, or album covers to get people excited about your performance. This pumps up your current fans and creates a buzz for those not yet followers of your music. Social media promotion of any and all kinds is so important. Don’t rely on one method alone to get the word out. Identify your audience and cater your message specifically to them. If your audience is mostly on Twitter, make sure that you amp up your tweets and keep the conversation going with those who want to connect with you. Instagram is also a popular way to make announcements, take fans on virtual scavenger hunts, or just make them feel like they are part of your community.
Promote, promote, promote. Many radio stations like to support local music. Reach out to radio deejays or their promotions department and ask if they’ll play one of your songs, while also mentioning the date, time, and location of your next show. Consider changing up your logo to something more unique and eye-catching. If you don’t have a set logo or two, consider hiring a designer to knock that out for you. Treat your band name and logo like it’s a business. Make it interesting and memorable! Try to think outside the box and go where no one has gone before. This is easier said than done, but this is why hiring a designer could be helpful.
You can also use eSigns coupon codes to go old school and get signs made cheaply, and then you can post them all over your city. Passing out flyers as part of guerilla marketing is still an effective, yet feasible, strategy that goes hand-in-hand with good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth. Yes, the fans will need to be fans of your music, but in order to make them loyal, they’ll need to be fans of you, too. Again, this is where having a creative design comes into play. A boring sign or flyer with just a picture and words on it won’t do you any good. Be creative with it; sometimes it’s useful to take a humorous or nostalgic approach. Here is a good example of how one band has done this.
Make your show fun. Depending on your style of music you can adjust the mood accordingly, but even if it’s a low-key style, make sure that it’s still engaging and that people feel like part of event. Select different opening acts to travel on different legs of your tour to keep the concert experience fresh and unique for anyone who’s catching a show. Constantly engage with your audience during your performance. Stage presence goes a long way. Sure, most people are there for the music; but if you are constantly interacting with the crowd, they will enjoy it that much more. Show them that you’re humble and treat each show like you’re playing for a big group of close friends.
It may be disheartening if few people are showing up for your performances, but make sure that whoever shows up gets the full effect of what you have to offer. Make sure you do a reality check. You might need a little fine tuning, so to speak. Are you a rough around the edges on certain songs? Is there a part of the show that could use some polishing? Consider investing in some new equipment, like guitar pedals, to create a more unique sound. When you are performing, this is your shot to show the audience who you are and what you’re about. People will forgive mistakes if things don’t go perfectly, but if you’re not prepared, they won’t be happy about it and won’t be afraid to share it with anyone who will listen.
It’s a perfect time of year to capitalize on the feeling people get whenever summertime rolls around. Take advantage of the energy around you and feed off of it to give the best performances you can and put all your efforts into promoting your music. Get in touch with local bars that have outdoor areas and that are popular. It is also important to engage with the local music community in whatever town/city you are in. Find the popular local bands that are similar to your genre and request to open for them. Chances are, if there are already fans of that other band/musician and your genre is similar, they might become fans of you as well.
No matter the audience size, do your best every single time. You never know who’s watching and waiting to discover the next big thing.