At my last job, agents would regularly ask us (the promoter) for our marketing plan.
They wanted to see if the budget was being allocated in a way that made sense for their artist.
They wanted to make sure that we were covering all of our bases.
And – it would give them a sense of what to look for when the promotion started rolling out.
From time to time, we would get feedback from these agents. Suggestions on what to change. Advisories on where to spend more money.
And those tips were super valuable because when you’re a promotions company that’s doing 1200 shows a year, there are bound to be a handful of artists that you don’t know like the back of your hand. Surprise, we’re human.
So having that feedback from the agent (who knows their artists forward and backward) is helpful – especially when you’re spending a bunch of cash to make sure that the show is a success.
Of course, if you’re not doing shows at that scale, promoting should be a lot easier, that is, of course, if you have the right tools and mindset.
If you’re booking shows, here are a couple of key tips to set you up for success in this arena:
1. Make the plan.
If you don’t know where to start, make sure to grab your copy of Ticket Moving Marketing. It’s a template that you can use again and again for marketing your live shows.
Sit down and have a brainstorming session for all possible promotion. Then, once you have a great list, you can start to prioritize.
It also makes things a whole lot easier when you know your budget upfront, so that you can allocate money where it really matters.
And while the announce of your show is important, I don’t recommend that you blow all of the money upfront. You’re going to want to save a good chunk for those last 7-10 days of promo, when people are most likely to buy.
2. Go where the performer’s audience is.
Point blank – your promotions won’t matter if they aren’t in front of the right people.
It’s important to study the culture that the artist is immersed in.
Where do the artist’s fans hang out?
What are their habits?
What times of day are they active online?
There are a ton of different factors to consider when you’re trying to reach a specific audience. Study the artist, their music, and their culture, and you’ll find the right people.
3. Become stats-focused.
Notice that I said focused, and not obsessed.
While checking on your stats regularly is recommended for smart marketing, checking them every 5 minutes will just drive you mad.
Not to mention, a lot of paid ad platforms are longer game spends. You need to wait until the ads finish “baking” before you tweak anything.
Otherwise, you’ll wind up with skewed data, which is almost as bad as no data.
Shift the business decisions that you are making toward what the stats are telling you.
You might think you have the best show in the world, but if your audience doesn’t care, and the tickets aren’t moving, you’re going to lose money.
4. Persistence & Trust the Process.
I read this great quote today that I think a lot of industry folks need to hear:
“Trust that things scale with time and effort. It’s almost always a grind at the beginning.”
I think this is a really important point that some people forget in today’s society of instant gratification.
In order to push forward, you MUST stop getting distracted by shiny objects.
Try to break down your promotions tasks into smaller pieces and accomplish a few of those tasks every day.
Marketing can absolutely be the make or break of a booking. Having a strong plan in place will help guide you to success.
Onward & upward,