Promoting a show and who should be doing it

Girl guitaristI just show up and play the gig, right?

Part 3 of 3

So, as we have already learnt, the agent and the promoter are unlikely to make any income from The Band when they start out. In fact, they will likely lose money at the beginning. For them, at this stage, The Band is an investment. On top of that, The Band isn’t a very good investment, most bands don’t become successful.

Nevertheless, the music industry is fascinating, and promoters and agents love to take a risk. They can hedge their bets by understanding what makes good music and what makes success more likely. The problem is there is a lot of good music out there, so they tend to focus on other measures of success.

So as well as having a few memorable songs, an interesting voice and powerful delivery, they consider further factors such as…

  • Popularity – has The Band got a buzzing social profile, a decent number of Spotify streams and do they attract a decent number of people to their shows.
  • The Wider Team – Who else is involved? Is there a manager, a publisher or a label on-board? There may not be – but if there is, it’s gonna help.
  • The Image – does The Band look good – is it of the moment?
  • A Great Video – do they have at least one really well directed, storyboarded and high-quality video. (very important for marketing for agents)

If they have some of these, chances are they are good at promoting themselves – and that’s a good job, because that job is mostly theirs.

For a live show you might think that is the job of the promoter, whilst there is some truth in this, it is less and less the case. The promoter’s job is to put the show on sale and make sure it runs smoothly. Although the promoter may buy some social ads, print a few venue posters and list the show in a venue flyer, the budget for marketing is slim, so not much will happen here.

A national promoter won’t do much else – they’ve done enough just by taking the punt.

(This is another reason why at the very beginning, it will be better to use local promoters who have a local mailing list and a strong “word-of-mouth” vibe regarding their promotions – Oh and by the way you should stick with that promoter as the band grows – until they can’t add value any more – they deserve it)

At this point spending money on PR isn’t really the clever option, The Band are skint, and don’t want to release music just yet. PR may make sense when they have recorded music to push, but PR needs to be prolonged to make any significant difference. This requires investment which The Band don’t have just yet…

The hard truth is, more than any other factor, the show needs to be pushed by The Band themselves.

The Band in this blog are great at self-promotion. In-fact that is a major reason why they have a fan base and why their agent took a punt and signed them. The agent played the songs to the promoter who like what she heard, that’s why she took a punt. She was interested by the number of tickets The Band sold for local promoters and wanted to get on board near the beginning. She was attracted to the band because they were good at self-promoting. She presumed that if they could do it in one city, then there was a good chance they could do it for her in another.

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