coronavirus live music

How Coronavirus is Affecting Live Music

From Gigmor Founder, David Baird

As you know, the coronavirus has become a global pandemic and has had a severe economic impact around the world practically overnight. We at Gigmor hope and pray that the spread of the virus will slow after peaking in the coming weeks. Our hearts go out to the millions of people who have been affected or lost loved ones. 

The coronavirus has hit the live music business particularly hard. You’ve seen the news about the cancellations of large events like SXSW and Coachella but hundreds of thousands of local venues are suffering. If millions of people stop going out for more than a month or two, many of these venues won’t survive. And they’re a vital part of the local music scene that is the lifeblood of the business. 

Despite the palpable panic and the real economic damage that’s been done we feel that eventually we’ll look back on this as a short term blip. Live music is baked into the fabric of life and will always be. So we remain optimistic about our long term prospects. 

We’ve spent considerable time in the last couple of weeks thinking about how we can be part of the solution.

In the short term, we’re responding to a surge of requests from venues asking for our help. National touring acts have canceled because of concerns about being on the road and venues suddenly need to fill open dates on their calendars. We’re ideally positioned to help them because many of our 65K independent artists play local gigs almost exclusively. And our platform is well suited to fill last minute slots.

Next, we’re looking for ways to accelerate how we can connect artists, venues and fans, including livestreaming shows and publishing artist profiles that are relevant to fans with music, videos, upcoming shows, etc. We don’t want to live in a world where everyone is isolated in their homes but we know we can play a useful role if that is what the near future looks like.

As a national marketplace and directory of talent we’re thrilled to be able to step in and help local live music communities everywhere. We’ve always believed that technology can bring innumerable benefits to booking and promoting live music and we’re only sorry that it’s taking a global crisis to help prove that. 

We’d love to hear from you at info@gigmor.com with any ideas or suggestions about how we can help you keep music alive!

How to Easily Sell More Tickets on Instagram

You’ve done the hard part — the calling, the booking, the negotiating, and even the promoting. There are wheels in motion and your whole goal now is to get butts in seats.

The BEST thing you can do at this point? Make it as easy as possible for your fans to make impulse purchases.

Most marketing research says it takes people seeing a promotion 7x before they act. Well, regardless of what view it is, you want your fans to be very clear on what they should do and make it extremely easy for them to do it.

But what does that mean? A few things…

1. Make sure your show information is easily found, searchable, and clear.

2. Provide a way for fans to purchase in as few amount of clicks as possible.

3. Have a system in place to make sure their purchase is confirmed and tickets (or instructions) are delivered directly to them.

TURN IMPULSE INTO INCOME

It’s been almost two years now, but in May 2018 the Instagram + Evenbrite partnership was announced as a way to “turn browsing into ticket sales” on Instagram.

This option is an awesome way to implement an additional link besides the one clickable option in the profile. With this clear button and a streamlined purchase process, event-goers on Instagram can buy tickets to your shows in a couple easy steps. 

SET UP GET TICKETS ON YOUR PROFILE

To add a “Get Tickets” button, follow these steps…

  1. Tap “Edit Profile”
  2. Select “Contact Options >” 
  3. Click on “Add an action button” 
  4. Choose Eventbrite as the action
  5. Enter your Eventbrite URL. 

Once you’re complete, head back to your profile to confirm and test the Get Tickets button.

NOTE: This option is only available on business accounts (currently not an option for creator or personal profiles).

KEEP IT SIMPLE

While this is a fairly simple process to activate, the benefits can really help fans (and new fans) find your shows. And yes, a simple process is always better.

A couple of benefits to integrating your tickets with social – a simplified checkout and info on your customers.

  • Simplified Checkout: Once your fans click the “Get Tickets” button, their name and email will already be auto-filled in the checkout from their Instagram account. This means they won’t have to re-enter their name or email and cut out yet another step! 
  • Tracking Sales: Also through this integration, you can track your Instagram ticket sales from on your Eventbrite Dashboard. This will help make it clear how well your posts are performing that are specifically coming from Instagram. Then you can use your Instagram insights to track time of day, day of the week, etc.

Make it easy for fans to find you. Make it extremely easy for people to give you money, because “a confused mind never buys.” 

sell tickets instagram

(I’ve also heard that quote saying “a confused mind always says no.”)

You have a huge advantage when it comes to content if you have live shows because they are inherently visual (i.e. “Instagram-worthy”). 

THREE TYPES OF TICKETS

Eventbrite allows you to create three different types of tickets — free, paid, and donation.

If your event is free and you’re not charging for tickets, there is no fee to use Eventbrite. This is an awesome way to keep track of your potential attendees and it allows them to make a micro-commitment. Even if there’s no charge, event-goers will enter their email address, and select the number of tickets.

For the paid ticket option, you’ll have the ability to absorb the service fee or pass it along to your ticket buyers. And donations provide a way for people to contribute to the event without actually attending and to provide their own amount.

💡IDEA: How could you use the Donation Ticket option for your diehard fans that aren’t within driving distance of your show?

More info on Eventbrite and ticket options here: 7 Online Sites to Promote Your Shows That Aren’t Social Media.

Also, get more info on creating and editing Eventbrite ticket types here.

You can also easily integrate your tickets with you Facebook Events.

Lastly, you can even embed a checkout for tickets on your website. Follow those instructions here.

——————————————

Leonard Patterson is an avid fan of all things New Edition, an indie-focused booking agent, a frequent hi-fiver, and a certified digital marketer. Since stepping off stage as a band manager/front man of a 6-figure party band, he launched Indie Band Coach with a mission to help indie bands reach more fans and book more gigs. When he’s not working, he’s most likely at a live music event, analyzing Marvel movies, or soaking up vitamin D at the beach with his wife and son. 

Want more social media, booking, and event tips for your band? Subscribe to the Indie Band Coach YouTube Channel and keep your eye out for “The Weekly Social” series starting in March.

3 Tactics We Used At Every Gig to Grow Our Fanbase

Grow fanbase

This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared on Indie Band Coach’s Indie Band Blog

While I’m a huge fan of “all you can eat” buffets, sometimes less is absolutely more. And that’s the concept I want to focus on right now in terms of marketing your live shows. 

There are hundreds of tactics, strategies, tools, and ideas on how to grow your fanbase, but the best plans are simple and easy to execute. 

So in the spirit of today being March 3rd, this blog is going to cover the 3 Tactics We Used At Every Gig to Grow Our Fanbase.

These strategies are ones I’ve used personally and have seen work really well with other bands. They can be crazy successful when used together on a consistent basis and that’s what I want to help you get set up: a plan for ongoing success.

But first a little context…

The band I fronted with my wife, managed, and booked was an 8-piece party band that performed 125 shows a year. Very few weekends off. In the slow months, we’d have 8 gigs (Fridays & Saturdays every weekend) and in the busy Summer months we’d clock in at 15–20 shows.

Now, you don’t have to have 8 people in your band (I might even discourage it), nor do you have to have shows every single weekend. But if you have a few shows a month on average and are trying to build a more consistent following, these steps will lead you down that path. 

So the easy equation again? Postcards, emails, and pics. Another way to look at it is connecting with people in more than one place. We didn’t plan this when we started doing it, but realized later that it was effective because we were connecting with people in three different places – offline, online, and in their inbox.

Let’s break each one down.

GETTING YOUR NAME IN THEIR HANDS (OFFLINE)

Our Postcards (or “Gig Cards”) as we called them, were a staple at every one of our shows. They’re basically an 8.5×11 piece of paper cut into 1/4ths (i.e. 4up cards) that listed our upcoming gigs, the main social channels, and our logo.

Here’s an example of one we used for our band…

get-more-fans-gig-card

Don’t put too much time or effort into designing these or making them so fancy that they can’t be read. These will be cards people get from you at your show and unfortunately, some will end up in the trash. But that’s ok, it’s a numbers game.

We didn’t do anything special, didn’t have a huge budget, and spent very little time producing them. 

One of the huge benefits of gig cards is using them as conversation starters before and after the show. It gave us a chance to give a simple call to action without promoting a club other than where we were:

For example: “Hey, if you’re on the dancefloor, be sure to pick up one of our gig cards so you can see where we’re playing next.”

Our goal was to side step some of the 5000 ads people see online each day and spread our info, our dates, our logo, etc. physically into their hands after the show.

Fans and family told us countless times how they were great refrigerator swag and office desk reminders and would plan their weekends based on the dates on our card. 

++ Gigmor: Live Music Near You Feature

GETTING YOUR NAME IN THEIR EMAIL (INBOX)

Conveniently, when people would come up to snag a gig card, right next to them was our email list sign up.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, we didn’t have an awesome introductory email sequence planned out when we first started. We only had 1 automated response that introduced the band and had a link to the website. But that almost didn’t matter.

What we were REALLY doing was developing a more one-on-one relationship with people when we emailed them. We used it more as a broadcast tool at the time — here’s some news about our upcoming shows, here’s some behind the scenes videos of us making our cd, etc.

But. It. Worked.

Eventually, we got smart and started looking for more electronic ways to get people on our list. MailChimp is great for being able to have people input their email with the use of an iPad. It even works without having to be on WiFi and you can get started for free.

get-more-fans-mailchimp-signup

You can also use a paid service like Join By Text (or many others) which is an integration that allows fans to join via text message directly from their smartphone.

We grew our list to over 2500 people and took the time to segment. We didn’t travel a ton, but when we did, we made sure that all emails were tagged with the venue and city. Then, if we didn’t want to send out a mass email for a specific gig, we could literally target it to fans who had caught us at that venue before.

Recipients are 75% more likely to click on emails from segmented campaigns than non-segmented campaigns. (MailChimp, 2017) (Source)

EMAIL PROVIDER OPTIONS

I’ve used several email providers at different times for different reasons. It seems I always end up back at MailChimp.

But don’t take my word for it. Other providers you can check out include:

  • Constant Contact
  • AWeber
  • MailerLite
  • ConvertKit
  • Infusionsoft

In fact, here’s a comparison list from WPBeginner.com you can browse to see which email marketing platform might suit you best.

Regardless of who you choose to go with, one of the best things you can include in your emails is the third step of the plan — pictures of fans.

GETTING FANS TO SHARE ON SOCIAL (ONLINE)

get-more-fans-crowd

We’re musicians. And who doesn’t like — even a little bit — to see themselves in an awesome rockstar post with lights blasting their silhouette onto the crowd as the haze creates a crazy rockstar presence on stage.

Yeh…. but once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.

And so have your fans.

What we found that really gets shared by our fans the next day on social media is the pictures of THEM. They want to be the rockstars that night.

They want to show how fun their weekend was and chances are you’re going to have the best vantage point to help make that happen.

++ Focus (Your Lens) On Your Fans

PHOTOS DO’S AND DONT’S

  • Do make sure to have a camera (or phone) available on stage. One of the best “behind the scenes” type shots is letting your fans see the gig from your perspective.
  • Do take pictures when the energy is “up” if at all possible. If you’re a dance band, there’s probably a song or two that have a built-in hand raising call to action. If not, find them and incorporate them and yes, by all means, be ready to capture those moments.

There’s NOTHING that translates better to fun than people who are so carefree that they’re just out in public in a bar or at a wedding with their hands in the air! 

One of the bands I had the pleasure of working with for many years still uses this strategy today. Go visit the My Yellow Rickshaw facebook page and pretend you were a club owner or potential bride. 

There timeline and photo albums are filled with clubs, festivals, weddings, and private events with one thing in common: everyone is having a blast.

grow fanbase


facebook.com/myyellowrickshaw

Think of it like this: every picture on your socials and your website is an ad. What are you advertising to potential new fans?

Now, those are a couple of “do’s” and here are a few “dont’s” to keep in mind.

  • Don’t take too many. You don’t want this to be time-consuming for you or for your fans to scroll through them. Create an album of 10-20 pics.

  • Don’t take pics of an empty dancefloor. Nobody knows it was the first song of the night. They see what they see and you want every pic in some way to make people think — “I wish I was there.”

  • Don’t be creepy. Make it obvious you’re taking pics and let people know to check your Facebook page (or wherever you’ll post them). The last thing you want is to zoom in on a random couple making out who aren’t even engaged in your show.

Obviously, all gigs are different. 

These strategies might not work for some of your gigs or it may not seem like you have enough shows to make this work. But let me encourage you to never think about a gig as just one gig.

The best marketing tool you have for your show is your live show itself. It’s the one point in time people can hear, see, and FEEL your vibe, so be ready to connect with people in attendance and turn that experience into another loyal fan.

———————-

Leonard Patterson is an avid fan of all things New Edition, an indie-focused booking agent, a frequent hi-fiver, and a certified digital marketer. Since stepping off stage as a band manager/front man of a 6-figure party band, he launched Indie Band Coach with a mission to help indie bands reach more fans and book more gigs. When he’s not working, he’s most likely at a live music event, analyzing Marvel movies, or soaking up vitamin D at the beach with his wife and son. 

Want more social media tips for bands? Subscribe to the Indie Band Coach YouTube Channel and keep your eye out for “The Weekly Social” series starting in March.

Gigmor Rising Artists: March 2020

Rolling into March excited to share our most talented rising artists.

Sam Hastings

SAM HASTINGS
Portland, Maine 
Folk, Rock, Singer/Songwriter
Latasha Lee
LATASHA LEE
Austin, Texas
Blues, Pop, R&B/Soul
Sammie Bank
SAMMIE BANK
Nashville, Tennessee 
Christian/Gospel, Pop, Singer/Songwriter
Rising Artists
FOXWILDE
San Francisco, California 
Pop, Rock 
Rising Artists
DENNIS POL
Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York 
Jazz

To stay on top of new gigging opportunities and artists on the site, make sure to login into Gigmor regularly! We get killer new gigs and artists EVERY DAY!  

And don’t forget to update your profile! We can’t feature you in Rising Artists or get you booked if you don’t have a bio and most recent music on your page.  

Rock On! 

Team Gigmor 

How to get more fans

How to get more fans

HOW TO GET MORE FANS TUNED IN TO YOUR BAND

CONVERSATION VS. BROADCAST

I’m sure you’ve seen it before.

A popular artist is starting to be a liiiiittle more active on their socials than normal. Or maybe they start a senseless twitter storm with some off the wall comments. Or better yet, start a “I’m probably not going to win, but the publicity is worth it” rap battle with Eminem.

You might catch yourself thinking, “where did THAT come from?”

And then hint by hint, piece by piece, the ulterior motive is finally revealed…

“MY NEW ALBUM HITS SPOTIFY NEXT WEEK!”

Aaah. So, you’ve been gone for 4 months and now you’ve got something to promote. Got it. And on the cycle goes for so many major stars and thousands of indies who follow their lead. 

That tactic is a very one-sided approach to social media. Mainly, it’s only focusing on promotion and that’s one of the quickest ways to turn off new fans and tire out existing ones. 

According to this 2019 study by Sprout Social, “too many ads” (43%) and “too many promotional posts” (35%) were two of the top reasons why users would unfollow brands. 

So, what can you do to keep your followers tuned in? Another way to ask the question is this: how can you be the content and not the commercial?

The best way is to be consistent and one of the easiest ways to stay consistent is to create your own series. Seriously, there’s no reason you can’t establish your own bingeable content online.

++ 3 Types of Consistency That Will Lead to Social Success

Not to say it’s really easy to do, it will take work. But it used to be extremely difficult and very expensive to reach a large audience of people. But now with the popularity of social platforms, that’s no longer true. 

In fact, think about this….

Any one social platform has more than enough of YOUR target audience to sustain your passion full-time for the rest of your life. 

Any ONE social platform has more than enough of YOUR target audience to sustain your passion full-time for the rest of your life. 

No, that wasn’t a typo, I just thought it was important enough to repeat. With that in mind, let’s create a vehicle for you to share your music and your message consistently. 

Let’s create your series. 

Or if you already have a regular show or weekly post you deliver, drop a link and let us know in the comments! We’d love to tune in!

A SHOW IS BORN

First of all, let’s mention delivery. Your show could take on any number of formats, but let’s just acknowledge the wide-reaching benefits of video. If you’ve got the personality and ability to be on screen for your series, all the better.

But be realistic. While video is the medium that will have the best chance at a wider audience, you still want it to have energy and provide some sort of entertainment value for your fans.

With that said, here are 6 things to consider when developing your series — 

Is it conversational?

Conversation is an effective way to connect with your fans that encourages them to come back. A few ways to accomplish this?

  • Be authentic. Social media was intended to be a conversation not a broadcast. Think of it more as “here’s what I would say at a house party” vs. “this is my pitch on the radio.”
  • Talk directly to the audience in your main content. If it’s video, you can have a dialogue with viewers throughout the videos, or only in a certain portion.

Los-Angeles based H’Atina Gillard goes live every Wednesday with a “Happy Humpday” video with her Facebook fans. It’s consistent, conversational content that her fanbase has come to expect (I should know, I’m one of them). And more often than not, it’s just a word of encouragement with occasional show updates tagged on as well.

https://www.facebook.com/hatinasmuzick/

Is it accessible?

When making new content, consider that not everyone will have seen your previous episodes or posts. Your latest upload might be the first thing they’ve ever seen from you, so keep these ideas in mind…

  • Don’t tie each post to the last one. You want to have them make sense on their own without needing a backstory.
  • Refer to other episodes in your post or even link to them. Help fans consume more content and make it easy for them to fall down the rabbit hole.

Basically a good rule of thumb is: try limiting any season long story arcs!

Is it interactive?

One of the unique advantages of social media is that you can give your audience the chance to participate in what you make. 

Our friends in the Midwest Originals out of Indianapolis IN have had recent success with their “Name That Tune Tuesday” videos. Each Tuesday they upload an easily-edited video with 3 musical riffs and see if their fans can name them.

Each video ends with ain interactive call to action: Let’s see who’s got the fastest ear! 👂🎸🤘🏼

https://www.facebook.com/MidwestOriginals/

Other ways to consider making your series interactive…

  • Ask questions directly. You can respond to their answers in comments or in a subsequent video.
  • Ask the audience to submit ideas for future videos. Like taking requests in a poll on which songs they’d like to see you cover.

Is it sustainable?

When you’ve found something you enjoy that resonates with your fans, your goal is to maintain that interest over time. 

Note – your series does not have to be you in front of a camera performing your music. It CAN, but don’t limit yourself!

Here are some ways to come up with a sustainable idea:

  • Make it easy to produce. You want to come up with an idea that you can complete fairly easily and relatively quickly. The harder it is to make, the less likely you are to make it.
  • Be realistic. Understand what tools you need to produce each episode of your series. Consider how often you intend to add new content and compare that to your other goals and expectations.

Is it consistent?

When it comes to consistency, you want to consider more than just a consistent publishing schedule. Think about the format, branding elements, personalities, and tone.

Putting out a series of random and unrelated videos will do more to confuse your audience than it will to connect. Here are a few ways to think about consistency…

  • Branding. Try coming up with a well-branded idea that can sustain interest over several episodes.
  • Consider publishing videos on a certain day of the week (or even multiple days) to help set the expectations for your fans.
  • Feature a consistent format or personality. The person or people in the video don’t have to be identical, but it will help. 

Also, don’t get bogged down in irrelevant things like hierarchy. If the band leader isn’t the most charismatic person in the band, that’s ok (I’m talking to you quiet, reserved band leaders). You do you and lead the band, make the setlists, and ensure nothing’s funny with the money.

If you want to start a “behind the scenes” series and your bass player is the one with the on-camera personality, let ‘er rip!

An awesome example of inspiration and showing up consistently is the Nashville TN artist Dawn Beyer. She shows up several times a week with a virtual tip jar and performs original music in “Beyer’s Backstage Bar” for her 92k fans on Facebook. 

https://www.facebook.com/dawnbeyermusic/

Which brings up one other point… 

Are you inspired by the idea?

Regardless of who is on camera or creating the posts, you’ll want your videos to be seen as authentic—and this comes naturally if you’re truly inspired. 

Avoid making content just because you think they’ll be popular. In the long run, creating videos you don’t want to make will most likely lead to frustration and you’ll just stop.

SERIES IDEAS AND DELIVERY

Now you’ve got a checklist of things to consider, let’s get the idea down for your show. What concepts can you use or spin off of that will connect with your fans and keep them tuning in?

  • Start your own online concert series — do you have a creative way to turn your practice space or living room into a “virtual venue”?
  • Record behind-the-scenes songwriter sessions – show us your process of writing songs or collaborating with other writers
  • Entertain your fans with a recurring contest — Name That Tune Tuesday is a great example but could also easily be done with a poll
  • Sharing inspiration — instead of posting a quote image, make it a video and offer your take on the quote
  • Share a weekly post from a non-musical passion — are you into something else creative? 
  • Do you practice once a week with your band? Take us there and let us know what you’re working on.
  • Do you have a recurring house gig you play on a regular basis at the same venue? Make us a part of it.
  • Did you figure out a reason to buy gear every week? Take us with you or do gear reviews.

Although the examples we shared happen to each be on Facebook, there are multiple ways you can deliver your series. Consider what is easiest for you to maintain AND where your ideal fans already are.

  • Create your series on Youtube
  • Make a podcast with Anchor
  • Start a series on Facebook Watch
  • Go live on your Instagram
  • Develop a branded Twitter chat
  • Create a post on ANY social platform

++ Host a Gig in Your Own Space

THE CHALLENGE

Start something. Start anything that shares your story, your music, YOU on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be daily or weekly, but set up a consistent schedule and BE THE SHOW that your audience tunes into on a regular basis.

Entertaining your fans starts waaaaay before you get on stage. 

So the scene is set — you’ve got no gatekeepers in your way. You’ve got access to fans and distribution channels on which to share your message. The only thing left for you to do is set up your series and…

SHARE. YOUR. GIFTS.

Don’t forget, if you already have a regular series drop a link in the comments!

———————

Leonard Patterson is an avid fan of all things New Edition, an indie-focused booking agent, a frequent hi-fiver, and a certified digital marketer. Since stepping off stage as a band manager/front man of a 6-figure party band, he launched Indie Band Coach with a mission to help indie bands reach more fans and book more gigs. When he’s not working, he’s most likely at a live music event, analyzing Marvel movies, or soaking up vitamin D at the beach with his wife and son. 
Want more fanbase and social media tips? Subscribe to the Indie Band Coach YouTube Channel and keep your eye out for “The Weekly Social” series starting in March.