How to Promote a Musical Performance With a Small Budget

February 24, 2018

 

While building upon the reputation of a band or performer, it can be difficult to sell tickets to a performance when people haven't heard their music yet. There are a menagerie of factors that need to line up perfectly -- weather, location, cost, timing. Even when all of these factors line up perfectly, it's hard to convince people to change out of their sweatpants, turn off Netflix, pay money and go out to hear live music.

 

Even with a small budget, and a performance date that falls on a Tuesday night at 10 p.m. in a venue with poor sound quality, there are still easy and inexpensive ways to help spread the word. 

 

Create a Facebook Event

A Facebook event is an essential landing page for any concert or musical performance. By "co-hosting" an event with a venue, an event listing will appear on both your page and the venue's Facebook page and notify active followers. Those involved with the performance can share the event on their personal page and start that chain reaction. 

 

Facebook users can also find the listing by browsing for events in their area, attracting audience members who might not have known about the show otherwise. 


While Facebook events are free to post, they perform best when boosted. Paying even the minimum of a $1 per day, your event listing will reach more people. Use Facebook analytics to help target the listing to likely suspects in the right area. 

 

Something to keep in mind is Facebook RSVP’s are a maybe at best, so don’t count on everyone who RSVP’s to be there. Engage with the people who have hit "attending" or "interested" by posting in within the event page. Ask what songs people want to hear, hold a poll, or post a link to a video performance. DIY Musician has other helpful tips when creating a Facebook event page for a show.

 

Add online calendar listings to local newspapers and news stations

Newspapers and TV news stations often have a spot on their website to write an event listing for free. Newspapers sometimes run the listings in print and post on their website calendar. News stations sometimes look to their community calendar for stories. If you perform at the same venue or in the same town/city frequently, create a spreadsheet with links to the calendar section of the local papers and news stations. Create a word document with the performance details and copy and paste into each site. 

 

Make it easy and clear for people to buy tickets

Something as simple as a link malfunction or a complicated interface can be enough to make a potential concert-goer to say “never mind.” Before including a ticket link to an events page, make sure it works and make sure the buying process is streamlined.

 

While it’s not always up to the PR professional to choose the ticket interface, advise against a site that makes patrons create an account. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for people to punch in their credit card information and retrieve their tickets.

 

If including a ticket link in printed material, make sure the URL is easy to type. Something like musician.com/tours is easy for people to copy. If the link is impossibly long and hard to remember, consider using a link condensing app like bitly.com or a QR code. Also, include a phone number to the ticket office. 

 

Create posters and flyers

Hanging posters and leaving out flyers in the community is a way to broaden your audience outside of the online realm. Canva.com is a free and easy design platform to create graphics. Make sure to keep the posters clean and easy to read with only necessary information. Send people to the band's website to learn more. Consider color printing to make your posters more eye-catching. 

 

Next, disperse the flyers around the neighborhood or town where the performance will take place. Some local stores have community bulletin boards where flyers are welcome. Be sure to bring your own tape and thumb tacks.

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