Promotion.

It’s one of the most essential steps in getting your brand/band out there, especially as a DIY artist. The days of mass inviting people to your event page on Facebook are dead (please don’t do this), and unless you have a small friends list, Facebook will more than likely limit your reach and not have your event and/or post shown to your page followers, friends, and family.

So what do you do?

Let’s explore a couple of different ways in which you can promote your local shows for little to no money.

Word Of Mouth

This style of promotion has almost no cost, depending on how you go about it. 

You can go out and grab drinks with friends and use this time to let people know of a show you have coming up. 

See someone with a band shirt of a band you like? 

Talk to them and casually mention that you’re in a band. The most effective way to do this is not to gloat or make it seem like you’re showing off. 

Nobody likes to be bombarded with information – especially with how much content, advertisements, and music people consume on a daily basis.

In my experience, word of mouth has proven to be the most effective, and although you may get a lot of “oh yeah I’ll be there” sentiments, don’t let it get to you.

You want the right people to go to your shows, and as the saying goes, quality over quantity.

Social Media 

While social media can be effective for musicians, it all comes down to how you go about it. Don’t be that person that posts the same flyer over and over, in hopes that people will show up. That will only annoy your friends and fans, and make you seem desperate. 

Facebook

For Facebook, you can post a clip of your band and put in the text box the details of the show. Hell, you can post something “memey” to attract people and mention that you have a show that night. While this won’t guarantee anything, it might get some nice laughs and get people more aware of what you do. 

In addition, if you have $5-10, you can promote the event page to your show. With this tactic, you want to be specific in the audience you want to reach. If you’re playing a show in Sacramento, CA, don’t put the radius to go to the Bay Area (unless your fan base is concentrated in that region).

Just be smart about your targeting – select an age range that matches your demographic (check your Spotify for Artists, Facebook, and Instagram metrics) and maybe even select different interests to narrow down to your target audience. 

Instagram

Instagram is a strange one – posting a flyer once on your timeline can be effective, but don’t get in the habit of posting too much. Stories are the perfect place to post daily about your event without getting annoying. 

Now because they only last 24 hours, you can post once a day without feeling like you’re over-posting like you would on Facebook. 

One way to keep it fresh is not always posting the flyer. 

You can post a meme, a video of yourself talking to make it more personal, or even go live if you want to. The main thing about this, as well as Facebook, is posting when there is heavy traffic. 

Timing is everything. 

Do not post your flyer at 3am. Most people will not see it, or by the time they do their feed is cluttered with a billion other posts. 

From what I’ve noticed, most people are on their phones before 9am and after 5pm on weekdays but remember – here at simpl. We are all about data-driven decisions – make sure to check your Instagram Analytics to find the best times to post.

Flyers! (WTF???)

Ahh, flyering.

One of the oldest ways besides word of mouth to get your show out there. With how attached people are to their phones nowadays, this method is a little trickier. You can post flyers around town if you live in a city where there is lots of foot traffic, although this might not work if you live in a city where people don’t walk around a lot. 

Another tactic is going to shows and bringing some pocket-size flyers of your event to hand out to fans. Make sure you’re going to a show that is of similar taste. You probably wouldn’t want to hand out flyers for your deathcore band’s show at an indie night. Not saying it never works, but save your energy and try to find people who will more likely be interested in your event. 

Keep it Simpl.

Remember – as long as you target those who will actually come out, you will more than likely have success. If you have presales to a show, do a contest to win free tickets on whichever social media platform you have the most followers. Even if people don’t win, they will know you have tickets to the show and may purchase from you rather than the venue. 

Be smart and efficient with your show promotion strategy. There is absolutely no need to go overboard and spam people. If you message someone, make it personal and for god’s sake: don’t just send your event. I’ve made this mistake many times and guess what happens?

No response or even worse – someone unfriends you.

Nobody wants to talk to a robot or feel like they’re at a used-car lot. Frankly, if you just keep it simple you’ll see your efforts pay off in no time.

STILL NEED HELP?

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