You book a show, it’s a little outside your norm, but you are trying to expand you audience. You are excited to play and you’re hoping this could be a small-big deal for your music career. The only problem is the venue is barely doing any promotion on the event. The date is drawing closer and the frustration and sense of injustice begins to fume within your musical soul. Why wouldn’t the venue care that this could be your moment! Do they not like you?! What is the problem??? Okay first, we get it. We’ve probably all been there. The venue isn’t against you, but for a myriad of reasons – which could range anywhere from personnel problems to personal problems – they may not have promoted this event as much as they normally would or should. So here’s what to remember if and when this happens: yes, promotion is a two way street AND you are the driver! So rather than stalling in your aggravation, here’s how to hit the gas…
First things first, download the Canva app (or a similar content creation app) and create a poster for you show. You don’t have to be good at graphic design to do this. Canva has a huge selection of templates that are great for promoting a show: all you haver to do is plug in your information and change some images and colors. It’s easy!
Next, we assume your band at least has a Facebook page (if not, create one stat!), post your new flyer, tag the relevant parties and encourage your band mates, friends, grandma, dentist to share it. Be sure to tag the venue as well. Once you are a month out from the show, create an event on Facebook. Now here is how you get a venue more involved. Invite the venue to co-host the event. In the event that they don’t accept, try sending a kind message or email checking in and letting them know you invite them to cohost.
Speaking of Facebook, you should ideally be on Instagram and TikTok as well. We realize this may feel overwhelming, but you need to be everywhere the venues are. If they can’t tag you in posts because your band isn’t on a certain platform, that is very frustrating for them. A lot of venues want to know all of the places that you will be promoting the venue and if you can’t list at least Facebook and Instagram, they may be hesitant to book you. TikTok is somewhere you should be considering posting as well. It is a platform where you never know what will catch fire. Venues want to know that you’re actively promoting your band and shows. Make sure you are tagging the venue in your posts.
Ok, so they’re not promoting your show. You’ve done all of the above. Posting to your Facebook over and over is not the answer. You’ve probably noticed by now that your posts generally gather the same likes from the same people over and over. And for most artists those likes are from other artists that aren’t going to be able to come to your show because they’re playing that night as well. Boost your posts! Take ten dollars and boost your post to the local area of the show. This will get it seen by more than your usual audience.
Ultimately, there is only so much you can do, but at least you can rest knowing you did your part. If neither you or the venue promote the show then neither of you can blame the other for the lack of crowd.