How to get people to come to your live shows

If you’re browsing Zimrii, we know you’re a music-lover. So we think it’s safe to say at some point, we’ve all had the dream of being whisked away in a champagne stretch-limo, supported by our art, leaving us hours of time to create our magnum opus. We bet you can’t wait to see people at your live shows!

Thing is, that doesn’t happen. Not anymore. In fact, it’s getting harder and harder to break into any kind of music without being born a young, rich person with parents who have some serious money. It takes courage, even if you’re a GarageBand guru or a DIY diamond. Also, at some point, people are going to want to see your show, and you’re going to have to get on stage.

So, how exactly do you connect to the hundreds of music-starved consumers, with open ears and open hearts, ready to make the musical connection of their lives?

Well, it’s a little bit of team work, a little bit of hope, a lot of self-belief, and a tiny bit of magic. Here are some of the ways we know that’ll help get people through those live show doors.

As for the magic, well, that’s up to you and whatever god you pray too…

Shameless self-promotion

We’re just going to come out and say it. If you ever want your music to reach your peeps then you have to self-promote. We know, we know, it’s a frowned upon phrase. Lucky for you, the faster that technology moves, the easier it becomes for your music to find your crowd.

If you’re producing anything you want others to hear, your first two essentials are SoundCloud and Bandcamp, that both focus on bringing social networking and music together. Your fans can stream tracks, click hashtags, buy downloads as well as merchandise and hard copies of CDs, all in one simple place. Bandcamp also offers you the option to list shows, creating an instant and simple link between your music as it is recorded, and your music as it is live.

The same is true then, of Facebook, so make sure your band has its own Facebook page (which, if you’ve all got accounts, you can all operate at once) and don’t do anything without creating a Facebook event.

Don’t forget Twitter, and the power of a celebrity retweet and Instagram, where you can literally show the band’s influences, and by the power of the hashtag, find fans who are also interested in the same things.

Start a mailing list for your band, and make sure you keep it at the merch desk at all times. People change their email address way less than they switch phone numbers or Facebook accounts, so it’ll provide your fans with the right info, in the right way, for longer. Some places offer an incentive on sign-up to boost their list even further, such as a download of an exclusive track.

Location, location

Getting the right gig in the right place is just as important as getting any gig at all.

Like it or not, venues have a reputation for certain types of music, and anything outside of that specific type of music will not go down well. Just think, a folk band would not gain any new fans from performing at a metal night, would they? All they’d probably get is a headache.

Before accepting any gigs, make sure you Google the venue.

If it’s not for your type of music, then it’s best to decline. Powerful, targeted-style gigs can increase your fans fast! It also builds your social connections with other musicians in the same scene, which is great if they ever end up sans support slot.

Go Public

So, you’ve done all of the above. Now, how possible is it that you’ll get your new fans to leave the house?

How many times would you go see a new band you just discovered?

Too many shows, and your fans will drop off. Too few, and they’ll move onto pastures new. The key to getting more fans through the door, is to combine your gigs with special events. Album launches, or tours will excite your new fan base, and increase footfall.

If you have a music journalist you particularly admire, message them and ask them if they want to come to the show on the guestlist. Most music journalists write in a freelance capacity, and if they feel strongly about how you perform, you might get a golden review.

Networking at shows is also important. Outward support for other bands in the same scene is a priceless promotional tool, so be nice to the rest of the bands on the bill. You never know, you might become a priceless pop power-couplet.

Live in the present

Most important, is to be there for your fans. If they invest in you, you should invest in them.

Science actually tells us that singing together in a group increases our sense of belonging, so if you can, add a foot stomping refrain to your reverie, cos it’ll actually help to bring you and your fans close.

If you’ve got the budget, try and create merch for one gig and one gig only – as this will help your fans to talk to each other about that previous gig, and create competitions for one-of-a-kind-items (we’re thinking broken drum sticks) to keep their attention.