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8 Smart Marketing Steps You Can Take at Live Shows (in 5 Minutes or Less)

This is an excerpt from Bob Baker’s new book, The Five-Minute Music Marketer: 151 Easy Music Promotion Activities That Take 5 Minutes or Less.

Marketing StrategyAs much as I love the Internet and all the potential it holds to connect with fans, nothing beats a live show. When it comes to making lasting connections with fans, seeing you perform in the flesh is the most powerful thing you can do. Hands down.

Here’s another truth: Throughout the entire process of taking Tom’s advice and delivering a great live show, there are countless opportunities to do a little extra marketing. And many of these activities can literally be done in five minutes or less.

Here are eight simple action steps you can take to promote your music during your live shows:

1) Thank fans from the stage.

You do truly appreciate the people who attend your live shows, right? Then don’t forget to express your sincere appreciation for their support. And do more than just say, “Hey, thanks for coming out tonight.” Go into a little more heart-felt detail.

Example: “I just wanna say how much I appreciate each of you taking the time to come out and be here tonight. As an independent artist, I rely on your support to keep me going. This wouldn’t be worth doing without having cool people like you to share my songs with. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

2) Deliver a peak-moment pitch.

This one takes 30 seconds or less, but it can be a powerful way to boost your album sales at live shows. At the end of your most powerful songs, as the last chord is ringing out, mention what album that song is available on. Point to the merch table and say, “If you want to take that song home with you, you’ll find it on the [title] album. Meet me over there after this set. I’ll be happy to sign it for you.”

Try it. I bet it will lead to a lot more sales at your next gig.

3) Take photos and videos from the stage.

This can be a fun way to show the audience how much you appreciate them too. Get out your smartphone and say something like, “Do you realize how good you guys look? Oh my, I just have to take a picture and show you off to all my friends.”

Then ask them to pose and smile, and snap a few quick shots. You can do this in between songs or in the middle of a song if you make it part of your mid-song banter with the audience.

4) Ask a fan or friend to take pics of you during your show.

I purposely listed the preceding tip, taking pictures of your fans from the stage, first for a reason. This marketing thing is really not all about you. The focus should always be on the people you serve: your fans.

But it’s also a good idea to get photos of you in action at your live performances. And it’s not always convenient or appropriate to take selfies in this case. So ask someone prior to the show to take photos and even video too. Capture the moment and have these files ready to use when you need them.

5) Encourage fans to take pictures of each other.

Yes, this picture taking thing works in all directions. At one or more points in your show, ask fans to snap a photo of themselves (selfies, group shots). Then – and here’s the cool part – ask them to post the pic to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or elsewhere online. Ask them to tag you or your band in it or use a certain hashtag.

The brilliant thing about this quick request is that you gain exposure to people who aren’t even in the room – in real time. When friends of the people who post their personal photos see them having fun, and they see that they are at your show … awareness grows and you increase the odds of a bigger crowd at your next show!

6) Ask fans and staff to pose for a quick picture with you.

So we’ve covered taking pics of your fans, having someone take pics of you performing, and asking fans to photograph themselves. Next up are photos of you posing with people at the venue. Between sets, or after the show, look for opportunities to snap pics of yourself hanging out with fans. Also pose with the manager, bartenders and wait staff. Give everyone some love and make them feel important.

7) Take a minute to thank the manager and staff.

Assuming you like the venue and want to get booked there again, be sure to show your appreciation for the people who work there. You can do this from the stage in the form of the classic “Be sure to tip your bartenders and servers.” Or you can be more creative and ask everyone to applaud the staff and express your gratitude to them.

Also, after each gig, before you leave, be sure to thank the staff personally. Shake their hands or give them a hug. This is smart marketing, as it increases the chances that they will want you back again.

8) Post select photos and videos you took during the show.

You didn’t take all those photo and videos so they could fall into the digital abyss. After the show or the next day, take a few minutes to sift through the photos, edit them if need be, and post the best ones to Facebook, Google+, Instagram, your artist website, and more. Write a brief description of each photo, where it was taken, who was in it, etc.

Remind people who were there of the good time they had. Let people who weren’t there know about the great experience they missed. They’ll be more likely to show up next time.

These are just some of the small, bite-size actions you can take to make more of an impact with your music. Don’t use a lack of time as an excuse not to do some simple promotion. There are many mini steps you can take on a daily basis that add up and can make a big difference over time.


To learn more about the The Five-Minute Music Marketer, visit http://bob-baker.com/buzz/five-minute-music-marketer/

Bob Baker is the author of three books in the “Guerrilla Music Marketing” series, along with many other books and promotion resources for DIY artists, managers and music biz pros.

You’ll find Bob’s free blog, podcast, video clips and articles at www.TheBuzzFactor.com.

Bob Baker

Bob Baker helps musicians, writers, visual artists, & other creative entrepreneurs use their talents and know-how to make a living and make a difference in the world. He is author of the highly acclaimed "Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook" & many other resources for independent songwriters, musicians & bands. Get a free copy of Bob's "Music Marketing Secrets" report at www.TheBuzzFactor.com.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. great advice

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