3/15/2012 1:38 PM
I hit a great panel today called "Hometown to National: How to Grow Your Band-where veteran managers, booking agents and talent buyers from major clubs and agencies shared tips to help take your act to the next level. This one'll be short and sweet; I'll just cut to the chase here, because I know you want to go out and get started on these right now. Right?
HOW TO GET MORE FANS AT YOUR GIG:
1) Spread out your shows over time. Put distance between them; make your show an event.
2) Clubs are there for the bands, but at the same time, they are businesses; they need people. be honest and up-front. Realize when you're in a growth phases. (Insider tip: Clubs will see you on other club calendars, and they'll call their friends at the venue to see how many people you actually drew...be truthful!)
3) Work PR in tandem with the club and its resources. Find out how they advertise the show. Do they have a publicist? Supplement their work with yours-always have a good bio and press release on hand. Have your PR materials online. And we are not talking Facebook here; if you want to be taken seriously, you need to cough up the change to build a basic website. As one panelist put it to eloquently: "I know we all like to play with our friends-this isn't a sandbox! Get out of your comfort zone."
4) Go see other bands play. Connect, make friends, get on their gigs.
5) Give music away. Your strongest, catchiest song.
6) Work your own merch table. What better way to engage fans? Do the meet and greet, sign autographs. Plus, you'll sell stuff.
7) Get to know the DJs at the local college radio stations. Do not underestimate the reach of their shows!
8) Leave your hometown as soon as you are able to get a gig in another city. Meet other bands, get to know them, maybe even get on their gigs in their city, or even trade shows.
See? Simple. There's nothing stopping you from trying these tips right now. We'd love to hear from you! How do you boost your draw? Tell us in the comments. And if you're here at SXSW, let us know! We'd love to help you boost your draw : )