You’re playing in the same club you’ve played in dozens of times. The usual suspects are there. But you just can’t find a way to attract a broader audience. What do you do? People like the music that they like, right?
What could an artist possibly do to attract more attention and build a diverse audience?
Shows are like networking opportunities. Although the primary function of them is sharing your music, more people showing up means a higher likelihood of you playing again and playing at different venues. Here are a few tips increase your appeal and build your fan base.
Let People Know
This seems obvious, but, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. You post a show date on your Facebook page and everyone that ‘likes’ or follows you can see the information. Some people will see it and their eyes will glaze over as it blends in with everything else in their news feed. Your gig, full of heart and soul, falls to the bottom of their priority list. Consider a more intimate approach; reach out to a few people and message them personally. Tell them it’d mean a lot if they can make it to the how. If you go the extra mile and add a personal touch, it goes a long way. It never hurts to encourage them to invite friends, either.
Do Something New
Do you play the same songs over and over? Is your set list predictable? Go a different direction. Add a cover song you’ve always wanted to play. If you are strictly an acoustic guitar player, invest in or borrow an electric, or vice versa. If you play in a folk duo, add a drummer for kicks (pun intended) when space allows.
Dress For The Occasion
First and foremost, the music is what matters – let’s not forget that. But you should dress for the job you’re trying to do. Don’t wear the same outfit that you wear to work on stage. Ditch the dirty white sneakers and pick up a pair of sharp looking boots. You don’t need to invest a lot of time and money into a new wardrobe – just look like you mean it.
Leave Your Ego At the Door
Nobody likes a prima donna. Sometimes the club manager seems indifferent, or the crowd isn’t into it. No need to get sassy. Be your best self and treat everyone with dignity and respect, and it’s highly likely you’ll be considered again and through word of mouth, you’ll get some other opportunities. No matter how grumpy someone else is, they’ll remember if you showed up on time and performed with a smile.
Guest post: Jack Stokes loves soft pretzels and the tranquility of spinning vinyl. He writes on behalf of Zu Audio, manufacturers of high-end audiophile equipment.