So you have your showcase well-rehearsed. The song set is killer. You’re confident. You feel great about your voice, the music, and you were able to get a great deal on the perfect performance space. But the biggest challenge is the very thing you’ve been putting off – promotion.
Relax. Even though artists tend to think they’re not all that market-savvy (and often rightly so), it’s a lot less complicated than you think. All you need is a core group of people to help get the word out based on your promotion plan. Executing your promotion plan requires a series of simple steps and strategies to follow.
Keep It Local At First
Contact local media about any unique aspects with your event. Invite some behind-the-scenes or pre-event planning coverage to highlight something unique, such as the charitable cause your showcase benefits or the awareness of an important community issue or circumstances it brings to light. Look for the newsworthy aspects of your showcase.
Get to know members of your local media in radio, TV, and print and build on these relationships. Introduce yourself to editors of any college and university media centers as well.
Hold The Press
With local newspapers make sure you know their deadlines for items like calendar listings. Cite any unique aspects of your show (charity, prizes, local affiliation) that may pique the interest of potential audience members. Prepare a press release for local media to stir interest in your showcase as well as any cause or issue you are tying in to your event. Email your press release in word format with photos in jpg format.
Make sure that the invitations you send out have clearly defined, bulleted benefits that cite key aspects of your show. Along with your invitation, include any “testimonials” from people, organizations, or other recognizable sources that might attract interest.
Hooks, Lines, And Links
In your press release and any invitations you send out, direct people to your website (my space, etc.), social media presence (Facebook, etc.) or blogs for more details. Use those resources to further tempt, tease, and inform your potential audience. You can even put together a YouTube promo. Also, on your website or social media sites, be sure to provide links to sites and resources that support any cause, theme, or music style you represent.
Tap Into Tourism
When scheduling a date for your showcase, check to see what other events will be taking place locally at the same time as yours. To get this information check with your Chamber of Commerce, tourism center, visitor bureau and other groups to see what else is going on that might be competing with you for an audience.
Don’t view those events as threats; but instead, look for ways to attract the interest of those groups when feasible. A business convention of some sort can bring with it a number of contacts for potential gigs as entertainment for holiday parties, training retreats, charity functions, or other special events a business may hold where entertainment is desired.
Food And Fun
Always make food and fun part of what draws interest to your showcase. Have a unique or fun theme that’s easy to carry off. You could have an array of finger foods that represent cultural influences on your music or song set. Your theme might be something as simple as music makes the world go round. Be accordingly creative and frugal in determining your menu.
Divide, Conquer, And Come Together
You might want to showcase with one or two other singers or singer-songwriters. This provides an opportunity to draw a larger crowd and to generate more potential interest from local media. It can make promotion a shared activity that can take the edge off of the pressure to reach everyone. You can divide and conquer your contacts and connections without risk of burning out by trying to do it all by yourself.
These are just a few ideas to help you easily promote your showcase for low-to-no cost. The rewards are as a great or as limited as your efforts to draw and satisfy your audience.