How to promote a live gig with zero budgetMark Ellis
Promoting a gig isn’t easy, but doing so with next to no funds is downright impossible.
Good news: if you’re due to host a live music event and are fretting about how on earth to get word out when your marketing budget is nil, you’re living in an age where a bit of ingenuity, effort and use of modern technology can turn you into a gig promoter superstar.
Advertising live music doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, we think you can do it without spending a penny, and in this blog post, we’re going to look at a few ways you can do just that.
Where do people go to get their news and updates on the stuff that matters to them? The answer is increasingly Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat, to name but three social networks.
Social media is incredibly powerful. When used strategically, it offers reach like few other forms of modern promotion. You can use these platforms to promote your next gig, but you need to do more than simply tweet the date and bands that will be performing.
Start by connecting with local influencers, business owners and people who are known within the local entertainment scene. Ask them to come a long for a free drink or two and kindly ask that they also share news of your awesome upcoming night of music.
Pick a hashtag and use it relentlessly. Make it yours – for example, #BluesAtBistroThree will catch the eye of those interested in that form of music, and tempt them to explore further.
Ask the bands to get involved
This step is so often overlooked. It should never be forgotten that you have a ready-made promotion machine at your fingertips in the form of the artists. They’ll almost definitely have their own social media accounts, and if they’re not doing so already, ask them to constantly plug the night to their army of fans.
Speak to local radio
You’ll need to come up with a story that will entice them, but speaking to local radio stations and newspapers is the holy grail of gig promotion.
Charity fundraisers will usually peak their interest, but you could also explain that you’re keen to showcase local talent – they love that kind of stuff.
What have you got to lose? Pick up the phone and tell local media about your big night – they may just bite.
Posters work (and they don’t have to be glossy)
We said you wouldn’t have to spend any money on gig promotion, and that can even be the case when it comes to poster advertising for the night. Posters remain incredibly important tools for promotion, but you don’t have to head to an expensive printers to get them made.
If you’ve got your own printer and a copy of Microsoft Word, you can put something together yourself that will be just as eye-catching. Work with the band in order to obtain decent imagery, and come up with a headline or title for the night that will draw people in. When printed, plaster your poster everywhere (and ask local businesses if you can borrow an A4-sized space on their window).
Gig promotion should be fun. People still love dining out on live music, and if you follow our tips above, you should be able to bring in a sizeable crowd without spending anything but your own time and that of helpful others.
If you focus the bulk of your effort anywhere, do so on social media. It’s an incredibly powerful promotion tool and, if you collaborate closely with the band, you should be able to reach an audience that simply wouldn’t be available by other means.