Singer: Hey, I got some tickets for you to sell for the House of Blues gig. How many do you want?
Guitarist: Uh, I dunno, maybe 5.
Singer: Are you sure? We may need to sell way more to get more heads in the door.
Guitarist: Maybe a couple more then.
Singer: Are you sure???
Singer: Alright, then.
Sound familiar to you?
The biggest marketing mistake your band is making.
Maybe you were the guitarist or the singer in this example. The point is: the reason why you’re not getting more heads to your gig or making any cash, is you’re not utilizing or you’re trying to utilize your band members to help promote the gig. But what happens? Nobody’s really willing to help promote, sell tickets or merchandise.
Why is that?
It could be that he’s just the drummer and all he does is drum. He’s not the salesman, marketer or promoter. He’s just the drummer
I get it. There was a point in time where I myself had not a clue or didn’t think it wasn’t necessary to promote or sell tickets. “I’m just the bass player and all I do is bass, get someone else to do that.”
Yes, I did have a poor understanding of team work. Many moons later now that I’m a serial musicpreneur, I can see that my attitude sucked. I’ve learned that team work is a key component for future revenues. You can’t do it alone, even Jesus needed his 12 disciples to spread the word.
Music can’t sell itself. Writing some tunes, record, mix and master a CD or an EP doesn’t mean people are gonna run to you pull out their hard earned cash and give it to you.
You’ve got to create value by marketing and selling and utilizing your team to get the job done.
Advancing technologies to sell your music is just incredible, but nothing will replace the live show experience. If you’re not selling merchandise at shows, you’re leaving potential rmoney on the table. Even better, you have a great chance to really connect and build rapport with your fans. When fans like and trust you and your music they’ll run over to your merchandise table and pick up a CD.
Once you’re good at connecting and promoting to fans you can turn “losing” gigs to profitable ones and you’re musicians can still get paid. Many times your band will end up performing free gigs just to get exposure. It doesn’t have to be a loss all you have to do is promote and sell merchandise and it’s a win, win.
Here’s a few ways to sell merchandise.
- Announce it during the show: If people don’t know you’re selling CD’s than their money is gonna stay in their wallets.
- Giveaway: During the show give away a free CD or t-shirt.
- Combos: CD/DVD combo for $20, T-Shirt/cap $15.
- Upselling: Buy 2 CD’s and get the T-shirt half off.
- Email list: The money is in the email list.
- Get your band members to sell: Some members might be shy like I was, but it’s a good chance to build confidence and make some sales.
If you’re not sure what type of merchandise to sell. Read my other blog to get a list of ideas.
Before the gig it’s important to market on social media. Facebook can be a huge game changer if used correctly, but it must be used. You have a Facebook profile and fan page you can cross promote on both. But here’s the kicker, you band can also promote on their personal profile.
Many times the band would promote their show on their fan page but not on every band members profile. That’s prime real estate to bring people to your shows. The average Facebook profile user has about 300 friends. 300 friends x 5 band members = 1500 targeted Facebook friends. Plus if you promote on your fan page which could have 1000 “likes” if used properly it can draw a good crowd.
- Use your team to help market.
- You can’t do it alone.
- If you’re not selling at shows you’re leaving money on the table.
- Market on social media.
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