If you see your gigs as nothing more than a place to let people see you play then, you are missing out on the bigger picture of things. Your shows are the best way to network with fans, the easiest way to gain new fans, and a great way to help you get future gigs. Here are nine of the most important things you or your band should be doing at your shows.
Introduce yourself to the other bands – meeting other musicians in a similar situation as you are great for networking. Remember, the more friends and contacts you gain in the music industry, the easier it will be for you to get your goals accomplished in the future. Don’t underestimate the importance of this!
Be social with the crowd – networking with your fans at your gigs is just as important as networking with other musicians. Get to know your fans and show them that you care about them if you want them to come to your shows and buy your music. You aren’t a rockstar so don’t be a douche!
Sell merchandise at the show – I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again. Selling your merchandise at shows is not only important because of the revenue it generates. Selling merch is also important because every fan that buys a piece of your merchandise is giving you free advertising every time they wear it.
Show up on time – this goes for your sound check and your set time. If you constantly show up to your gigs late, it gives the impression that you really don’t care, and sound guys and promoters will not want to work with you.
Promote your website and merchandise table while on stage – there is no better time to promote your stuff while everybody is watching and listening to you. Save a moment in between songs to let the crowd know how they can reach your website, and where they can find your merchandise table at the venue.
Don’t piss off the sound guy – if you were one of my regular readers then you have probably heard me say this once or twice. In fact, I wrote a whole post about this topic and you can view it here.The sound guy can make or break your gig. It is recommended to get a sound guy that you know and trust for serious gigs.
Collect fans emails at the gig – now this is something I rarely see at Independent shows, and it hurts. It hurts because this is one of the most important things you need to be doing as a band, period! Email marketing should be on the top of the list for every musician looking to sell music and pack their gigs. You can collect email addresses at your shows by putting a “Sign up to our mailing list” sheet on your merchandise table. You could also allow fans to sign up using an email sign up form on a tablet or mobile device.
Bring people to the show – it isn’t a show, if no one is there. If you want to give the impression that your music is important and worth listening to, then you’re going to have to bring a crowd to your shows. Do whatever it takes to get people there. Promote your shows online, make band flyers, tell your friends and family, etc. Is this something that is going to give you problems? Then work your ass off and make it happen!
Focus on your stage presence – it doesn’t matter how great you sound on stage, nobody is going to dance around and enjoy your music if you aren’t enjoying it yourself. Move around, groove to the beat, and show everybody that you are the one having the best time at the show.
You need to take time before the show to get prepped and make sure that you have already taken care of the important things. Work on a plan, and make sure everyone is on the same page well before the date of the show. If you wait until showtime to try and get everything figured out, then you run the risk of forgetting something vital in the heat of the moment.
Is there anything you MUST do at your gigs that isn’t on this list? Let me know in the comments section below!