Ways to Promote Live Show & Selling Merch
So, considering all of that let's talk about another angle, the mailing list, the mailing list is something that is much more valuable to have when you have a live show, because you have a reason to regularly communicate with your fan base much more so than if you were going to do any kind of other activity. If you're just releasing albums once in a while, I can see why you wouldn't want to bother mailing list they're kind of hard to maintain they tend to cost money, and they're difficult to dio we used ours much more often when we were playing life fairly often. And so to that extent, let's, think about the the mailing list and how to actually maximize using it. Ok, so here's a technique it works surprisingly well, you set aside album emerged that you're not selling for giveaways and you make mailing list entry forms that air these little slips of paper rather than having it all one page you have everybody put it into some kind of bucket or a hat or something that you pass around and ...
you raffle it off the end of the show. Now, why do we suggest not giving away something that you're selling? We benefit from it, really? I mean, you can, but you won't make any money, I mean, you get more exposure. More exposure it's true that you're not you're losing out on an item that you're giving away that's like one less that you could sell there's another even more compelling reason not to use something you're selling people would be less encouraged to buy, and they'd be more encouraged to get involved. The raffle perfect. Exactly. So what we're saying here is that put you again? We keep this is the theme he putting yourself in the head of the fans that you have and I'm going into show and it's like, oh, I put my name on a raffle thing I can win the album that they keep saying is available for sale of the back of the stage why would I buy it? Why wouldn't I just wait to the end and then it's like I lost and the show is over, I'm going home and now they're not buying your album anymore. Damn it, now you want to catch that sale is an impulse buy, so what you want to do is give away promotional items, give away the one off items like we're talking about remember we talked about what on demand merchandise, how you could do that, give away anything you can think of this extra left over from something from before, but just don't give away anything they're actually selling that's how it works, okay? Radio and media promotion is mohr within your range than you think, even if you're just starting out, you're starting to book some gigs, and even if you're just in your local town, what you do is you seek out local college radio stations they love love having artists in to do in person interviews and especially in person performances, and we've had a blast doing these every time we've done them it's just been a hell of a lot of fun the get the actual host has been fun taking the time out to go to a little studio and trying to find a way to play an eight person band until like four of us writers with available with no drummer and just my very sacks and a couple guys, because usually the studios are very small, but you have to get creative and how you do that and they usually around one microphone, but they love it because it's it's an event there it's like adam's, not bits it's an event you're unique uh you're in town on lee for that show they can promote the show they do have usually with college radio can't promote any other there's some rules on well depending on what kind of station they are yes, there may be rules where they say you cannot actually sell anything yeah, they may actually have that rule in which case considering that free is a price you can't even promote a free so you could never say a price is the way they told us which I think I inadvertently did what I was violated that one but it's always hard to remember this kind of stuff that said it was actually a very good way for you to be able to promote the show to get the music out last number according from the thing that we did so we got a few new live demo that's everything's so we talked about last yesterday about having enough content and then like you end up getting the you mean the performance live that you've played there that's something that you can use and give away and or sell or whatever but on top of it they do do these interviews as well because they are interested in you is a band and as an artist and uh, you know, that's kind of that's always kind of nice to be able to talk about okay? This is what we're doing is we're touring this is what we do this what we're all about so it's really neat and it is within your arms reach to actually uh make that stuff happen and not only that when you tour pretty much every single place where you play on care how small the town is probably within range of a college radio station at minimum so this is more effective than you would think you really should plan your tour if you did it really, really good, you'd have like the house concerts up and down everywhere that you would even play a house concert, you would actually even find a local radio station that you could try and do a little appearance at and just try and bounce this thing all over the place and really get promotion up and down everything on all these interviews actually a good content we've posted him sometimes like when we've been on the radio, so not just the performance, but the actual interview and the more interviews you have and the more media appearances you have, the more likely it is that you can use that to get other media interested in you covering you that's another thing about the media got a promotion and that where do you draw the line between like making a pitch for a show or just kind of explaining you have a show available like the demonstration, marketing a show and just kind of being making your audience aware of it? That's a very good question. The good news is that the hosts will take you right through that once you're in the radio station, they'll say, ok, this is whatever your artist name is this a big make turtle? And they're going to be playing tonight at martyrs and they're here to give us a performance and to talk about it and so usually the hosts will do it if they don't they'll give you a spaces like when is your show again and you'll say it but mostly time it'll be about you and it will be about your music and your process or whatever if they're really good interviewers they'll really aimed directly at you so it works out really well in fact this is another one of those times where we use what I was talking about earlier the agents strategy to having somebody else promote you so that you're really not doing that you know I'm just the artist I'm just here talking about my stuff and my sensitive music or whatever it is that you create you know what I mean you could be yourself you could actually we are always joking around and most of these things and making fun of each other on the air oh yeah you usually want to make him lively like at one point that we should bring in that's a call back to listen for where we actually there's a resource and I think it's yana were something that actually lists all the college radio station so if you're looking for were okay I like this idea go back to that lesson and look it up on yahoo instead there are resource is out there that will list of the college and university stations um so you can actually make that happen so it's kind of funny for those of you are tuning in online if you hear rustling from time to time because everybody's like taking notes like every oh that's a good idea I should do that kind of thing like we ended up doing the same thing it's it's just you you're getting it all at once because we had to build the stuff of her time I think our first in life radio performances like many years in after we've been playing for its when they invented radio it was him and I don't think it was that far back, but it took us time to understand this what we're trying to do is give you the whole sequence and just set it up ahead of time first time you do it, you'll actually have a really together show and we have more foe about this kind of stuff in the indie band survival guy we actually talk of a little bit more about how radio works, but we'll be giving you more media stuff in the very last session actually, yes, we've been talking a lot about where did too and kind of how to promote your tour, but when you think is the appropriate time to decide to go out on tour oh that's a very good question when you're ready I think it's the right he's not kidding way spend a lot of time just rehearsing our first, then the first thing we played was this crappy little place like penny lane, wasn't it? I don't think it's a fantastic one wonderful, absolutely wonderful place, uh, getting to your question familiar and isn't worried gets a nice guy in may. Uh uh, when they look at you in a band uh, right now, I'm doing freelance for other bands, okay? So like that's one consideration? Like, when is everybody available to tour? Can they get the time off? They have day gigs? Oh, are they free to go at any time? You want to have something maybe to promote and you want to have all your merch and you're your albums and stuff ready ahead of touring because you're touring in support of something so that you can make money, you'll make money touring, of course, through ticket sales and stuff, but you'll make money by selling your latest album or your merch. Um uh, you want to tour when you are ready and you have the show designed, we're going talk a little bit about like tom jackson stuff, but how to make a very memorable show and you should rehearse to make your show very memorable e on going to borrow from the future here, but it's like one of the things it we're very good at is like spending a lot of time making that perfect song, so the three minute track or the former intern, whatever that song is way spent a lot of time working on that and then we go, ok, guys, let's go on tour now. All right, let's, just go play and you don't spend nearly enough time on the live show and that's one of things we're going to talk about here in a few slides, but you want to go when you already for that as well. Ok, so it sounds like you want your branding set up and know where your market is. Yeah, it's it you could say it leads me to another question, sure, how do you what's a good way to track your online market and know where your market is available? There's been a couple, we will be talking about that in the market tomorrow, okay? We'll talk me where to get those statistics where they're located demographics is all that stuff out there and within your reach it's crazy, but like we talked about eventful that's like a one night of it where you can actually start to understand what he's played in orderto because you're going to promote yourself online before you tour all over the place almost inevitably ok, yes, yeah, we'll follow a soaring question so tacoma musician wants to know if you have any advice or tips about touring in other countries I know once you are touring, when do you know to take the next leap to you? You always hear about van saying we go, this band is big in japan or in russia or something like that how do you know if your band could be profitable in other countries? So I think again that's where, like this, like this eventful thing actually can be a big help because you get that demand which it out there and then if you do have fans in japan and it's the number keeps scaling up, then it kind of sends this message to you that like, ok, I should communicate with tendency like, is this something that actually would be viable if I went over there? Let me text that the end of that before you make your next point, which is one of the things that we talked to on some musicians which they planted two without knowing that with the fact that you're an out of town musician generates immediate interest, right? Yeah. So it is good to be big in japan, especially when you come back to the u s because anything they were big in japan and I think that's a lot of help major labels work they will send um their bands that they've signed maybe they're not ready yet to hit this the u s market which is very big and lucrative market they'll send him around tio like it's almost like the minor leagues I guess not that you remember any of that is the minor leagues but it's like ok go out there and perfect your show to see you know test out your songs, test out your presence and stuff and get those hours under your belt and then you can come back and little well you guys up? Um the thing about that's how you could find out if I like using eventful in these type of tools that are out there that's how you can find out like if you should go to those countries now going to those countries a whole different matter and we could go down that big deep hole rabbit hole but it's like you have to, you know, to earn money since it's about making money with music to earn money in those countries you need to have the right to work in those countries and that means you need a visa uh not just a tourist visa which allows you to say, I'll just go to germany and he show up on germany's door and they say, ok, you could say for ninety days but they don't want you to actually make a lot of money andre, you're not there to make to do a business. You're there to actually spend your money and see their their country. We do know a musician was a polo. Yeah, one of my favorite recent musicians. So this will be a story that's, a reverse and somebody who I think is australia. He's australian coming to the us from perth they believe in he he came out he's come out here before I saw him live he's really big on the internet on youtube. He's got these fantastic videos he's most famous for doing a mash up his first one was of alice the disney movie. But then he turned it into something that was unique by chopping it up into pieces. And then he ended up doing that for more and more movies and just has this incredible show that includes the multimedia element. And I was so excited to see him a second time. I've seen it the first time I didn't even know who he was. I got his music love his stuff he's going to come back and then all of a sudden, like he went silent, and then we start to hear from people around him that he was in jail in the u s his immigration had basically arrested him because he had the wrong type of visa. Yeah, so let's, back up, you miss the sunset that he booked the tour, you have bought tickets to his show did, and then also it was canceled. It was canceled because he missed this important point, that countries have their own laws didn't mean that there's somebody that I know, as we found out later, based on what he said is he used a company to try and help him do this thing, and they got him a tourist visa instead of the working visa. Yeah, ok, so somebody missed the ball somewhere, and so and this is something you need to keep in mind. You know, if you're going to do it, you're going to go to another country needs to be a working visa, but there was another tip, and that was based on george. Yeah, ok, so let's say you are touring, right? And you are going to one of these countries, and you're going to japan or something. We've gotten a lot of tips from artists like like this is from georgia, rob who's, a fantastic, fantastic broadcaster, but he was talking about merchandise, so one of the things that you don't think about is like, especially if you want to make money, is, well, how do you get your merchandise over there that you'd be selling and all your albums that's what you usually when you go to a country you're going to hit lots of places and it means that you're going to hit a lot of venues and that means you're going to try to sell a lot of stuff well you know I don't know about you but like these airlines they don't want you to carry on a lot of stuff they charge you you know you could basically eat all your profits by that extra baggage charge yes so how do you get around that right so a lot of musicians will just go I'll just put it in my luggage and they will show up but the fact the matter is the tips are used the postal service there used the fedex and ups that you send your merchandise ahead of time and if you do have a lot of merchandise that's bulky t shirts actually weigh a lot uh you know this is a good method to at least get it too ahead of you the destination I think he did that through to get to australia and he had some stuff sent at one part of the tour and then maybe something something else sent as the reinforcements for the other part of the tour is he was making his way around I don't know all the details but so that is another there's so much if you you know leave your local area and you start touring to where the fans there then you're talking about now going international there's a lot of moving parts that you got to consider and think through and there are books on the subject and we do talk about some of this stuff so right okay, we'll leave that unanswered questions excellent bush yeah so let's talk about how you make more money from the people who actually come to your show in the first place this is going to answer some of the questions that were asked earlier which was regarding basically how do you get around it when you're actually selling stuff from the stage how do you kind of not come off is that you're just there to sell stuff kind of cheesy don't sell from the stage if he could possibly help it there's multiple problems with it one of the biggest issues and it should be obvious is that you can't so when you're playing or in my case it would be like this because of a very sex player primarily or even singing I guess you could but it would be can I get some change uh you know it's not gonna work out too well you've got to try and put this stuff together so you want to make the table noticeable this is where you can dig out the christmas lights or as I heard it said in one place lights that you put under the runner of a car cheaper than you think. If you just attach it, you could just put that on the table and suddenly people are noticing your table is it's more interesting. Little typically dark it's all you need a little bit of light if you're going to do some translation certainly make sure you have enough stock to make things work. And then it comes to some of the things we talked about earlier, right payment options. You take credit cards. Do you have change for cash ahead of time? Is something we think about actually, before we go to our ship now we do know now they're not in the beginning. No. Will you made that lets people hand you were twenty and it's like, uh, she's who? Thanks for the twenty. Exactly twenty dollars, alvin the student. And this is why we talk about like, how do you take payments in person with credit cards and all that kind of stuff? Because we have found and this might be our audience, and it might not be yours that they spend all their money on beer. But if they have a credit card, they actually will also buy an album or something so that's, why you want to get into them that's? Why we talked about it in the last lesson right it allow people to sign up on your mailing lists at the store and of course if you want to go with the earlier idea you could make one of those little slips of paper so that they could be part of the raffle and now you see even mohr why you don't want to be selling something that you're giving away because there's right there at the table and putting it all together and then once you have all this stuff put together you want to use the stage toe ask for the sale your first sight you know, scientists throwing a poster you get this all kinds of things you could do from here you want to mention though that there's merch available like hey, that was from our third album called whatever santa doesn't like you which is at the back of the table that's what we mean by selling from the stage there you should sell that use it is a pulpit and should be incorporated in your um and you're live show and how you actually you should build it into your rehearse it actually but you don't want to be physically selling from the stage which is one of the questions that we got earlier today yeah, you don't want to do that and that's natural because people want to know when you sing a song what album it was on and if they were interested they could buy that doesn't actually kill any kind of thing it doesn't make you look fake, it doesn't make anything look bad besides that, this is the thing where it's really helpful to have somebody running this thing is you're doing your show, you could send people back there than while they're doing it. I'm going to remind people of one other thing, and I always think this way because I used to do radio through high school all the way through college, you have to remember that people could have just tuned in there, so you repeat things you like, hey, this is the x show and are, you know, doing this, and we're going to play this music later, and then you repeat it and you keep reminding people because someone might have just tuned in. Well, people could just show up at the door, and so even though you've repeated it three times somebody you just showed up with the door doesn't know that this album is available in the back and it's not to say after every song hey, we've got merged buy stuff at the back, but every couple or every three absolutely appropriate does it hurt at all? And it doesn't sound out of place, especially if you're saying which album each song is from that's a very natural thing to say natural thing to say and I think another one now on any this's varying the price so ways. This is a good example. There's this pan from chicago I fight dragons. I think they do the theme song for a new tv show that's on the goldbergs there's something I think they do the theme song, but they also just to keep in mind that you can also vary the pricing of your cds, and what they did was they were really interested in finding out what's the optimal price that they should be selling. They were touring a lot. And what should what's the optimal price that would people would buy it for so they experimented and experiments actually were very interesting. So they thread with five and ten and all that kind stuff. But they also did that the name your own price technique, which I know radio had made very famous online. And they took that too the live show to the real world. And they found that they ended up making, I think, like if they sold it for the average album for the five dollars, or something that they ended up with the name your price, they ended up getting averaging four dollars in ninety five cents, there's something like that so very much close to the target that they were actually shooting for for their e p or whatever it's, just an example of like, you can change things up in your store as well in the pricing. Yeah, so here's the thing, once you grow even larger and you get to a certain size, larger venues will start to take a cut of your merchandise. Our little asked elise whether you can fight it or not depends on the size of your merchandise. Why are they doing this? Remember what I said earlier about the venues? They're really only making money off of parking and beer. This is a way for them to grab a little bit more money, and they'll do it if they can watch out for him at the point where you're a larger venue there's other flexibility you have. I've talked to people who are bookers inside venues as part of our research because we do this kind of stuff all the time and it's interesting because some bands asked for less or more, someone will ask for a cut of the bar tab because that's, where a lot of the money comes from, if they're really big, they may get that others may ask for more or less flat fees, and then they'll say, I don't care what you do after that, you make money off a tickets on that, or if you make money off of alcohol on that, we're all good. Whatever it is it's a lot of flexibility have it that larger level just keep in mind once you get to a certain size they're going to try and take a cut there's another thing you can do here that's kind of intriguing that's happened lately, which is to sign up with charities and what charities air looking for our new people that donate right? Well, one of the things that they've done lately is teamed up with artists and they say, you know what? We'll give you twenty five dollars or something like that for every new person you sign up for our charity. So basically you're getting money if you could just promote something that is a charity anyway in the first place it's actually a really interesting way to increase the amount of money you make while doing good perhaps in the world. That depends on what you think of the charities you should check out whatever it is these air just three but there's plenty that do these artists artist outreach type of programs there's another. If you do quite a lot of touring, he might want to talk to tom jackson's organization on stage success and they actually have artists to our support that will help you get connected. They I think that they said that you needed a certain level of booking. Yeah, you have tio tour you can't so there's like with everything there's, the's, requirements and stuff, but if you're a touring band and you believe in the cause and believe in one of these charities or whatever that it's another source of revenue another way that you can make money for getting people to sign up it's kind of reminiscent of we talked in a previous lesson about was that reverb nation that does this charitable stuff, or you can sell your online track for dollar forty nine and you split it with a charity that happens in the online world. This is like, very similar, but in the offline world, right? If we call our world the offline world, but we're just trying to give you as many options as possible toe actually boost what you would pull in. This is another thing you could do to take a little part of the middle of your show say hey it's at the merch table, you can sign up for this and promote this charity that be great for every sign if you get a little extra income, something to look into. So how do you promote what you're selling at the show? Well, first of all, we talked about this a little bit you want to announce emerge table from the front, we talked about natural ways to do that right but then, the other thing is you can call out specific merchandise, like the band we talked about that have the percussion part when they're done with the percussion part that's, where you want to say, we have drumsticks for sale, sign drums, victor, sell these things can tie in, and if you really clever about it, you could make this thing work perfectly in mesh with whatever your show is. And if you can combine your show with merchandise, that's, even better, it's. Even better. I've got some ideas for that, but we'll see if they work out.