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3 Non Digital Ways To Promote Your Next Show

3 Non Digital Ways To Promote Your Next Show

Kevin Kevin
3 minute read

Congratulations! You finally have some finished tracks under your belt, a small burgeoning online following, and a few features on [insert your favorite music blog here]. So, what’s next? It’s no mystery that you’ll have to learn and get comfortable performing live to sustain a livelihood as an artist. Over the past 15 years, the live music industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar business, surpassing recorded music sales and music licensing by quite a hefty margin. The jury is out - the money nowadays is in shows, concerts, and festivals. There's a lot that goes into setting up your first gig (which we'll post about next month!) but let's skip ahead and talk about how to promote your next show.

Getting on stage and playing in front of a live audience is key to building a fanbase. Most artists begin by playing in spaces with a built-in audience (think bars, cafes, weddings, etc.) but to establish your name, brand, and presence, you'll need to get in front of people who are primed and ready to listen. Digital promotion and marketing are the name of the game these days but don't rule out the old school just yet. You'll need to leverage every tool and resource at your disposal to get that first 10, 50, or 100 people in the door for your next gig. Here are some non-digital tips.


1. Network, Network, and Network


It takes a lot of work to produce music that you’re proud of but it takes even more effort to get people to notice your music and brand. It's easy enough to network online with the advent of social media but chances are no one is going to pay attention if they don't know your music. Get some friends together and build a street team (this can be done virtually as well!) to promote your next gig. Distribute flyers, posters, and comp tickets to your closest buds, and tell them to spread the word.


2. Local Support

Unless you have 100-200 friends who will show up to your next gig on demand, you will need some support. Finding the right opening acts can help set the tone and build an electric atmosphere. The last thing any headliner wants is to perform in front of a cold, disconnected audience. However, it's important to remember that they're part of the show too. Make sure to include them in any artwork and don't cheap out on reserving a sizeable chunk of the guest list or comp tickets for them and their friends. The more the merrier!


3. Print Media Is Your Friend

Print media ain’t dead. Every show needs some killer artwork to capture people’s attention. Distributing it digitally is a must but that alone isn’t going to draw an audience. Get some show posters up in your favorite local hangs (i.e., coffee shops, record stores, tattoo shops, food trucks, etc.) and distribute some flyers to friends, friends of friends, family, and your favorite barista. This is also a great way to promote to an audience that may not know you but are keen to check out new, local music. And, at the very least, you'll have some cool mementos as a reminder of your early gigs!

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