Posted: Jul 10, 2017
Category: Tips & Tricks
**Guest post written by Jonathan Sexton, CEO of Bandposters.
"It’s hard to stay on top of all the things you have to do to break your band and make a living. Contrary to popular belief, being in a band is hard work! To keep ahead of the game, time management is key. So we’ve put together a weekly calendar for you, with some helpful things you can do early in the week to help sell out your shows on the weekends. Feel free to tweak it the way that works best for you – it’s only a small sample! – and we think you’ll be playing to bigger crowds in no time.
Document attendance from the last weekend’s shows. This is really important data to have and you want to write it down. Put it in a spreadsheet, or a notebook, or whatever you prefer, but make sure you have this information somewhere that you can easily share it. You can use this data to help you book your next show, prove that you can bring people out to your concerts, and even help you land a booking agent.
Revisit social media/ ad performance. You are checking your performance, right? Go back over the past week’s social posts and see which posts drove the most tickets, RSVPs, or activity.
Checkin on existing social media/ad performance. Set up some new posts, and be sure to update anything that might be outdated. Got some new posters? Share ‘em! Did any fans post great photos from the shows last weekend? Share those out! Remember, social content lives and dies in a very short time, so keep your fans well fed.
Enter Emails Collected from last week’s shows. Of course you took a clipboard around at your gigs last week and collected the emails of your fans, we know you did because you work hard and want to be successful. Email marketing is #1 way to stay engaged with new people. For all the attention “social media” gets, it is a second class citizen to the power of email. Email is a direct line to people who signed up on purpose for a direct line of communication. The sad part is, you have to type those emails in one at a time, but trust me – it’s worth it!
Send an email out to your list. Now it’s time to put those emails to good use. Send an update, and be sure to geo target your emails to fans in your upcoming tour markets so that you aren’t bombarding them with too much information. Occasionally, just send them a new song or something too!
Get started on future booking. When I was booking my band to the tune of 100+ gigs per year, I learned that most clubs have “a day” that they sit down to look at the calendar and book shows. I also learned that, by and large, most clubs do that on Tuesdays. It is a slow day in the bar/restaurant industry and therefore a great time to get ahold of the concert manager at the venues. Need help on the best way to do this? Our 30-day crash course has the exact emails I used to book gigs in it, so go sign up!
Reach out to press about upcoming shows. First make sure you’ve got a good press list from the promoters. Then start hitting up local newspapers, weeklies, radio, and TV to help you promote. At the very least, make sure you’re on their concert calendars. BTW, you can start this task early, as it sometimes takes a while to get their attention.
Send posters. We’re biased, but we’ll just keep saying it: posters are one of the very best ways to promote your concerts. We recommend you start sending posters at least 30 days ahead of your shows.
Start some ad campaigns. It’s easier than you think to create really great, highly targeted social advertising to help drive people to your tickets and info links. Again, we recommend you plan ahead, but we find the week before show time to be one of the best timeframes to run your ads.
Advance the weekend shows. Wednesday is a great day to call ahead, make sure you know when to load in, where to park the van, who to ask for when you show up, make sure they got the posters, ask for the sound guys name etc. etc. etc. This will make your life SO much easier, and it looks good to the venue when you do this. You are trying to find every way you can to stand out so that the venue will want to have you again and again. Part of that is drawing a crowd, but just as much of it is being a professional.
Throw a Hail Mary. Ever heard of the 80-20 rule? It means that 80% of your results come from 20% of your work. The idea is to figure out what 20% of your effort is the most effective and repeat it. However, I tweaked this rule and I still live by it. I think that 80% of the time you need to be grinding it out doing the things in blogs like this. Hand to Hand combat that moves you forward, but it’s also important to dream big, think big, and DO big. So throw a hail mary. Want to play Coachella? Email them, want to go on tour with your favorite artist? Find out who their agent is and email them. Think big and go after it (then go back it up with all the hard work that all the other artists don’t want to do. Outwork the competition."
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