Playing shows and gigs doesn’t guarantee that your audience will grow. While your performance has the ability to draw in new fans, it is not the only way to build your audience. There is a multitude of factors that play into how the audience receives your work.
Today I want to discuss a few ways in which you can build your audience at live shows. If I miss any of your favorite strategies, let me know on social media!
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Put On Your Best Performance
This may seem like a no-brainer, but time and time again I have seen artists indulge too much at the bar before performing. Having a beer to loosen up is one thing, but being sloppy on stage is not going to win you new fans.
Also, make sure all of your gear is working and configured properly. I have seen shows where gear breaks or malfunctions due to human error. There is nothing more embarrassing than breaking a string on stage and not having a replacement.
Respect The Sound Tech
The sound tech at the venue knows the acoustics of the room, and how all of the sound gear works. I have seen musicians look down upon the sound tech because they are “the talent” and the sound tech is “just an employee”.
This is the wrong way to think about the whole situation. The sound tech’s job is to make you sound good for the specific venue where you are performing. If you respect their work, they will respect yours as well. On the flip side, if you are a jerk, you may find your set sounded pretty bad and people were turned off by your performance.
Run A Merch Table
Running a merchandise table is often seen as a pure monetization strategy for gigs, shows, and festivals. However, there are social benefits to running a merch table.
Selling merchandise gives you access to your fans and anyone else at the show. As you make transactions, you can make small talk and get to know the people at the gig.
Selling merchandise also works as a form of advertising. If someone is wearing a hat with your logo on it, they are telling others that they have invested in your art. This can generate word-of-mouth traffic for your brand.
Interact With The Audience
Many people who go to shows are excited to meet and interact with the performing artists. That said, audience members often do not have access to the artist they came to see.
This is different for new, independent, and underground artists. Smaller venues and smaller shows mean that you can quickly and directly interface with the audience.
As an artist looking to grow your fanbase, you should take some time each show to talk to people who came to see you (or the other artists). Forming a bond with your audience will help strengthen their support.
An easy way to do this is to run or hang out at your own merchandise table. Not only does this give show-goers access to you, but you also have an opportunity to make a sale right in front of you.
Give Away Something For Free
People love getting something for free. Though the audience paid to see you perform, throwing something free their way can strengthen their support for you.
Obviously, the focus here should be a return on investment. You don’t want to give away something so expensive that it breaks the bank. You also don’t want something so cheap that it turns people off of your work. Try to find that sweet spot.
Even better, try to find something personal that will connect with your audience. For example, if you have a song that really resonates with people, try making something small that embodies what people love about that track.
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Have Your Information Readily Available
Once the audience hears you perform, they are going to need to know where to find your work on the internet. Most likely, people are going to search your name on Google, or check social media. Before performing live, make sure that your online presence is up to date and readily available.
How Do You Build Audiences At Live Shows?
We hope you enjoyed our breakdown of how to build an audience at live shows and gigs. How do you build audiences at live shows and gigs? Let us know on social media!