Why a Facebook Event Isn’t Enough to Promote Your Gig

Whether you like it or not, a vital part of being a musician is actually self promotion. For some reason some musicians think they can get out of putting the work into this important area. ‘The music speaks for itself’ or ‘I don’t want to sell out’. The truth is though that putting your gig on a Facebook event  and inviting all your contacts is not the way to solve this.

Firstly, I’d just like to say that creating a Facebook event shouldn’t be avoided but built upon. It is more like a landing page than anything else, somewhere that you can send someone the details of your gig. The most important part in this whole process however is the way you connect with the people you want to invite.

Invite regulars first

Invite the people that you know already like the band and are likely to go anyway first. This is always easier than ‘pitching’ to someone who has never heard your band before. If they haven’t heard your band before you need to see it from their perspective and think ‘what would make me go see a band?’. People are very aware of how they spend their time and why shouldn’t they be, it’s a non refundable commodity.

Instead of saying ‘Hey man you should come see my band this Friday’ try a different tactic. If you know that some of their friends will be there then include that in the ‘pitch’. They will be much more likely to attend if they know that at least some friends will be there to socialise with in case they don’t enjoy the music.


Generate interest

Another way you can promote it is by generating interest in the band by stressing it’s unique points. Perhaps you tell your listener that you are trying something different, give them some hints but don’t give it away completely and get them curious about what you are doing. Drawing on the curiosity aspect works really well. This also works if you are playing at a new or unknown venue, people always like exploring new places.

The medium you use to talk about the gigs will also effect your attendance. Talking to people in person is usually much more effective as you have already got their attention and can be much more engaging. A phone call is likely the next best thing or perhaps even a video. The important thing though is that you have to be specific in how you talk about the gig. If you talk in blanket terms for everyone then it will be noted this way. If you take the time to make it personal then people see that and usually care more about what you are saying.

This is exactly why sending a blanket invite to a gig rarely works unless the person you sent it to already wanted to see your band in the first place.


Be interested in them first

One last thing I will say is that starting the conversation talking about the other persons interests or recent experiences will work much better for you than opening with your gig promotion. Perhaps ask the person what they did last weekend and if they have plans for next weekend (when your gig is). If they state they have nothing to do on the night of your gig then you can suggest that they come to a gig you are playing.

Have you noticed these techniques work for you? What are some others that you use to promote your shows, share them in the comments!

For a more in depth look at marketing and networking have a look at my course Musicpreneur!

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