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Promoting Shows

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Shimmi, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. Fliers

    0 vote(s)
  2. Facebook event

    7 vote(s)
  3. W.O.M.

    1 vote(s)
  4. other (please comment)

    4 vote(s)
  1. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    I know its best to use all methods, but personally what works best for you? ** btw W.O.M. = Word of Mouth
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  2. Oddly

    Oddly Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    It took me 10 minutes hard thinking and a double espresso to work out what WOM meant.
    I hate people using initials like that!!!:bored:

    Now, on to the question...
    As you say using everything you can think of is best.
    FB has worked well for me, assuming you've a target market that uses it. I like the 'old-school vibe' of fliers too...and have got good results from using local community radio or newspapers( both are always on the lookout for material)
    Bicycle147 and Shimmi like this.
  3. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    Shimmi likes this.
  4. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    promoting has become harder than ever. EVERYONE promotes on FB so much that people largely ignore the postings and the fliers there - simply too many of them. The only promotion I know of that really works is becoming a very good band and building a following. that's about it these days in my city - and in the cover band arena.
    Cazman, Bicycle147 and Shimmi like this.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Best promotion for me is figuring out how to get into clubs where promotion isn't necessary.

    I hate to admit to this, but with the tons of promotion I've done over the decades and the amount of people that actually showed up because of that promotion - I'm starting to think it was all for naught.

    The one type of promotion that I feel did work for my band was in the 90s, with The Nerve, because we were nuts enough to do it. Just about every weekend, whether we were playing for not, we posted flyers around all the happening clubs in NYC. Our logo took up a third of the page of those flyers, so "The Nerve!" was unavoidable. After doing that for about 2 years just about anyone who ever asked the name of our band would respond with, "I heard of you guys!" We handed out thousands and thousands of postcard sized flyers too.

    One time we were doing a few shows in Florida. Singer and I went to the beach just to go to the beach, but had flyers on us as we always did. There was a pretty girl sunning herself a few feet away who my singer wanted to solicit too (I'm not great with that kind of thing), so he got her attention and said, "Excuse me... If you're not doing anything tonight, we have a band from NY that's playing, yada, yada..." The girl started laughing and said, "I have one of your flyers on my night-table back in NY. You gave me one on the train for a show there about a week ago!" She was vacationing too :).
  6. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    All of the above. You can't do "too much" promoting. Some shows are just geared to fliers. I do gigs in my community clubhouse and fliers and banners all over the property work pretty well. FB is a total waste of time in this case. Another gig we do at a restaurant about 50 miles away seems to favor FB. WOM is good for another gig in the next town. I try to do everything I can. Working to up my email game in 2018-seems like the best thing to do for me/us...YMMV.
    Shimmi likes this.
  7. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I like What Joe Nerve said. Promotion is hard. Really hard. People don't come out in droves like they used to, and its gotten worse in recent years.

    My answer is like Joe's -- try to find gigs where you don't have to promote.

    If I do have to promote, I like to tap into someone else's following and get them there. Last month we packed a restaurant by holding our keyboard player's piano recital at the restaurant. Then the band played afterwards. We filled the place and I did nothing to promote.

    There have been times I've gotten about 5 tables of people at events, and the bar owner tells us the evening was a flop. Or gets all demanding on me about getting more people there. For $100 I've got better things to do. Like pick fuzz out of my navel. Occasionally, we fill the place, totally...

    It's time for a different revenue model for live music in clubs and bars. In my town, and with jazz, the model where you get paid and fill the restaurant is too much work and stress for the money paid. No more for me.

    I considered pricing it with promotion and without promotion. But haven't bothered to figure that out...just an idea at this point. I have a feeling that if I price it without promotion the bar owner will expect us to play for free.

    I do use postcards, though. And I do use social media, and more. But you will burn out your following if you get a weekly gig -- I won't even go to see a famous person, like Stanley Clark more than once a year.
    Shimmi and RiffwRiter like this.
  8. RiffwRiter


    Aug 23, 2016
    Memphis, TN
    Local radio hour, weekly entertainment newspaper, fliers, some kind of gimmick for the shows, FB/IG blitz ... none of this has produced great resuts yet but we keep doing it...
    Shimmi likes this.
  9. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    Post cards work excellent! I tried them for a few events basically a take home flyer
  10. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    I don't like FB much but they've essentially become a necessary evil. It actually does add some bar patrons each time we play.

    Also it helps if the bar has large signs. You'd think this would be a no brainer for a lot them but it's not.
    Shimmi likes this.
  11. Honesty you already said it. Have to have an all of the above approach to promoting to be successful. One of the biggest downfalls I see with a lot of local bands I’ve talked to is a negative attitude. Cant tell you how many times I’ve heard “We tried that and it didn’t work” really has to be all of the above approach. Make a FB event and Send invites for it. Participate in apps like bands in town. advertise on all forms of social media. Not only make flyers but post pictures of flyers on FB and instagram and do so on the band pages and each band members personal pages. Tag the your regular fans when you do it. Setup a group text or group Fb message to notify fans of shows. Show appreciation for those who’ve do come out and support. Every show I buy at least one fan a drink, and I try to talk to people and get to know them and after every show i make sure to thank as many people as possible by name for supporting. For bigger shows we even advertise on local rock radio. Which probably doesn’t help that much but it has its benefits because the bands who spend advertising money on radio ads are the ones that get picked to play when the radio station sets up a big show.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  12. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
  13. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    However you do it, you'd better promote. Things are getting kinda crazy where we are. One of our favorite (and admittedly kind of a wingnut) clubowners kicked a band out when they showed up for a scheduled gig. He accused them of not doing any promotion and sent them home. This is yet another club where we're the only band left standing, because we promote rigorously--facebook, posters, flyers, etc. Redhead has been a sure-fire draw for almost three years, and even we are feeling vulnerable.
    RiffwRiter and Shimmi like this.

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