One of the most frustrating things as a musician is to promote shows online. Your social networks and email list are usually the primary way to drive fans to an event, but it can be horribly boring to continually post about tour dates if you’re playing a lot of them. How can you keep promoting shows over and over without turning your stream of content into a mind-numbing list of “I’m excited” statuses?
You’ll need to have a bit of a perspective shift here. It may seem to you that your shows are carbon copies of the same event in different venues, but remember that your fans are all having unique experiences when they attend. Even if you never change your set lists, some things will be different from show to show — maybe there’s a memorably rowdy audience member, maybe your fans have finally seen you enough to know the lyrics and start singing along, or maybe some current event is making your emotional connection to your fans particularly poignant. It’s important to remember this different viewpoint that your fans have when you’re thinking about promoting your shows. For you it may be the daily grind, but for them it’s a special experience.
With that in mind, here are a few ideas for promoting your shows as if each is a unique event.
1) Have you played at the venue before? Post something about the last time you performed there. Share a photo from backstage, a live performance shot from onstage, or a story about the fans you encountered there.
2) Write a recap of your last show at this venue and explain what you’ll be doing new at this show. Are you playing new songs? Adding a 10-minute drum solo? Wearing ridiculous hats? Give the audience hints at what to expect.
3) Are you playing with other bands on the bill? Film a duet with another of the acts performing that night and promise to perform it at the show.
4) Give the show a theme! Perform all songs about a particular topic and add covers that fit. Or make it a costume night and encourage fans to dress accordingly.
5) If you’re just posting the basic details of the show, spice it up by saying you’ll take song requests in the comments.
6) It’s not too late to continue promoting the show on the day of! Post photos of your band outside the venue as you load in. You could also post a picture of the sign if your name is on it, or something fun from backstage.
Keep in mind that you’re in the entertainment business. Even if performing has started to feel like a job for you, it’s a fun escape for your fans. Remember that when you’re promoting your shows and you won’t bore yourself (and your fans) to death with insincere posts of “Can’t wait…”