Gig Promotion: Best Ideas to Help Sell Out a Show
Every singer’s dream is to sell out a gig. Performing in front of an audience is exhilarating and the bigger the crowd the better. Gig promotion is so important, but it can be a long process before an artist sells out a concert and you may start out with smaller, more intimate gigs. Here’s what you can do to pack out your future venues.
Gig promotion involves legwork and organisation, and you’ll have to do a lot of this yourself. Good marketing will help, and be sure to promote your venue too. It won’t happen overnight, but our guide will show you how to sell out a gig.
Whether you perform in front of a big or small crowd, or even if this is your first proper gig, promotion is important. Selling out a show will take time, but these ideas will guarantee a captivated audience no matter the size at your next event.
How to sell out a gig
- Build up your social media following
- Create a mailing list
- Put up posters and flyers
- Plan ahead
- Do your market research
- Get the word out
- Put together promo materials
- Get journalists to write about you
- Promote the venue
- Build up the hype
- Make a guest
- Use social media insights
- Perform and enjoy
Selling out a gig won’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t aim for it in the future. There are several effective ways to drum up interest in your concert.
Your fans are the ones who will help you on your way to a sold-out concert, so interact with them at all opportunities. Use social media or your website as a platform to get in touch with your followers and post reminders about your upcoming event to raise the hype.
Concert promotion ideas
#1 Build up your social media following
When you’re finding your feet as an artist, you have to be prepared to do a lot of the marketing legwork yourself. This means you’ll have to take a lead role in the promotion of your gigs.
There are lots of really simple but effective ways you can market your gig. Digital marketing is perhaps one of the easiest and effective ways to promote your concert. Keep growing your social media accounts and invite your followers to any event or gig you’re involved in. This will keep fans engaged and hopefully get them to turn up to your shows.
Digital marketing can be a competitive field, and your post can become lost amongst competition if you don’t handle it right. To be an effective marketer, you need a good digital strategy. This is as simple as doing some research into the trends of your followers and discovering the best time to post online.
#2 Create a mailing list
Email marketing is one of the most effective tools to help you sell out a show. Create a section on your website where fans can leave their email address to receive updates and alerts about what you’re up to. When your gig is approaching, send some alerts out to your mailing list to get everyone to attend.
You don’t have to build your mailing list online; you can get out there and do it in person, too. At the end of your concert, create a stand where your fans can leave their email addresses to be added to your mailing list. This will start building the crowd for your next concert.
#3 Put up posters and flyers
Marketing doesn’t have to be done purely online. You can also produce some material to distribute physically to reach out to your fans.
Posters and flyers are one of the oldest but greatest ways to advertise your concert. Get creative and design some templates, finding the best images and colours to suit the tone and persona of your act. The page should be mostly visual but include some text that established key details like prices and dates. These can be distributed in the area local to where your gig is being hosted.
Considering where to distribute your posters and flyers is important. You don’t want to waste resources handing them out to the wrong demographic.
Think about what type of artist you are, and who your fanbase will be. Are you targeting a pop, punk or rock audience? Once you establish this, work out where these people might be found. The window of local indie clothing stores might work better for a pop fan while putting posters up near a skate park might be better suited for a punk rock audience. Finding the right place to put your promotion will really boost your marketing success.
Another way to market your gig is to offer a meet and greet with fans after the concert. This will help establish a relationship with your followers and show the artist behind the voice. You can also do ticket giveaways to increase attendance and excitement.
Promoting your gig
#4 Plan ahead
As a singer, the date of your concert probably can’t come soon enough. But hosting a show requires planning and organisation, so make sure you allow enough time to get things done. It’s probably wise to give yourself at least four weeks before the date of your concert. Following a tight promotion timeline like this will help make the process less stressful:
Create an action plan and a work schedule as soon as the date and venue for your gig is confirmed. You need to establish who your audience is and decide what promotional materials you’ll need. Draft some dates for when you need to have things done by to keep yourself on track. It’s definitely worth calculating your budget early on and sticking to it..
#5 Do your market research
It’s worth doing some market research in good time before your show. Familiarise yourself with all the local media outlets and resellers that you can get in touch with. Knowing who to contact will be especially helpful when it comes to promoting concerts, but having contacts is always useful as an artist.
With these details, create a database of media contacts. Make note of their names, addresses, fax and email details to use later. It is also useful to have a note of publication dates for local newspapers, so you can get any material sent to them on time.
With all your promotional materials ready, the next step is to get them out there. Contact the local media ahead of your gig and see if they’d be interested in providing some promotion for the event.
#6 Get the word out
Once you’ve got your promo kit together, it’s time to get it out there and seen by people. Put up posters, hand out flyers and get the word out online.
#7 Put together promo materials
You can promote your show in many different ways. Before you get started, get some good promo material ready. Write a singer bio and take some photos that can be used in your promotion. Put together promo CD’s that can be distributed ahead of the event to stir interest.
Press releases are also a good part of your promo kit, as they will establish all the key details about your upcoming gig. A press release should include important information like the date, location and time of your gig. They might also give a small amount of information about you as an artist, to draw the reader in.
These will be sent to newspapers and magazines and be the basis that they write their articles upon. Having some press releases ready and on hand will be a valuable way to kickstart your promotion.
#8 Get journalists to write about you
As the date gets closer, keep lines of communication open and call up journalists to see if they’d be interested in writing about your music or about your show.
It’s great publicity if a journalist writes an article promoting your concert. Or they may want to attend your concert and write up a review afterwards instead.
This may not be published in time to promote your current show, but any type of promotion is good as it will intrigue fans for next time. Gaining big crowds is a slow and steady process and you should see every concert as a stepping stone towards the next.
#9 Promote the venue
Your concert would be nothing without your venue, so it would be worthwhile to put some time into promoting the location of your gig.
Once you know where you’ll be performing, do some background research into the venue. See whether they have an existing website or if they’re active on social media. They might also have profiles on Google or on YouTube.
Tie everything together and link your venue’s profiles into any digital promotion you do for your show. If you make a tweet or Facebook post, tag the venue in it. This will make it easy for your audience to find out more information about where you’ll be performing. It’ll provide some good coverage for your venue too.
If there are attractions nearby to your venue, be sure to mention these when promoting your concert. Other things to see and do like notable landmarks, popular restaurants and bars will make your audience more willing to travel to the area.
#10 Build up the hype
Ten days before your concert, start a virtual countdown that ends with the day of your gig. Offer something to excite fans on each day of the countdown, like a “see you there” video message or a live webinar on your social media.
#11 Make a guest list
Another way to sell out a show is to create a guest list. Getting a “VIP” entry will pique people’s interest in attending. You can offer these exclusive spots to journalists and resellers to get them to attend your concert. This will provide valuable coverage of your event and get the numbers up too.
Sell out your concert
#12 Use social media insights
Social media sites allow you to access data about your exposure. Looking at these statistics means you can make sure your post is hitting the most amount of people at the best time.
To access this data on Facebook, click on the Insights tab at the time of your page. This will bring up a Page Insights dashboard, where you can access useful statistics about your follower’s trends.
From here, you can select from multiple options on the left-hand side toolbar. The Posts option will allow you to view a detailed breakdown of when your followers are most active on Facebook. If you time your post to correspond with this, you can guarantee the biggest audience for your gig promotion.
#13 Perform and enjoy
When the night of your show finally arrives, get out on stage and enjoy all your hard work!
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Who can help me with my gig promotion?
You can enlist the help of your friends and family to help you put up posters and flyers, and get them to invite their social media friends to your online event.
You can also team up with other bands on the bill for the night of your performance. Ask if they wouldn’t mind tagging you in any promotion they put out and offer them the same in return.
- How can I continue promoting my music once my gig is over?
You can use content from your gig to promote your work and future shows. Ask family and friends to photograph and record your performance and upload this footage online to keep the excitement going.
- How do I budget for my gig promotion?
Make a list of all the expenses involved in your promotion, like how much it’ll cost to make posters and flyers. This way, you’ll know how many costs you have to cover. Once you’ve calculated your expenses, price your tickets accordingly to make your money back.
Sell out future gigs
Be prepared for any hurdles that might crop up along the way. Things might not go exactly how you planned but don’t be disheartened. Be willing to adapt and make the most of your situation. Your early gigs will be a valuable learning opportunity that you can learn from next time.
Performing a gig is a huge milestone in your singing career. Every show should be treated as a massive achievement, regardless of the crowd size. But that doesn’t mean you can’t aim to sell out a gig, because having ambition is crucial in the music industry.
Selling out a concert won’t happen overnight, but it’s possible if you work hard and nail your promotional campaign.
Have you got any gigs lined up? Let us know how you’re promoting any gigs in the comments!