This is an excerpt from Ari Herstand’s book How to Make It in the New Music Business (second edition).
Congratulations! You just secured a date at your dream venue. You locked it in. Negotiated, signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours! Ok, but your work has only just begun. Once the show is booked, here are 11 things that you should do right away to make sure you are set up for success and that nothing slips through the cracks.
1. Create SmartURL Links
Once you have the ticket link and Facebook event links, create trackable, smartURL links so you can see how your promo efforts are going.
2. Add the Show to Your Tour Calendar
You can embed a Bandsintown or Songkick calendar to your website. Even if you don’t, you need to add your shows to these sites. Bandsintown and Songkick have each built up communities of active users, over 10 million members each, who use the apps to track artists and get notified when they come to town (via push notifications and customized emails).
If you’re routing a tour, you can schedule the shows to go public at a certain time. Triple-check the ticket link and don’t publish the show until you have the ticket link included (because if fans get a notification about your show and click through but find no link to the tickets, they won’t be able to buy and may forget about the show).
Songkick and Bandsintown have partnered with many digital platforms like Spotify and Shazam. If you’re wondering why your concerts aren’t being listed on various platforms online, it’s most likely because they aren’t on Songkick or Bandsintown.
3. Create a Facebook Event
Bandsintown can actually autocreate Facebook Events for every date, but you’ll want to double check that all of the info is correct, with the proper banners, links and info. Having a Facebook Event for every show is crucial for building buzz, gaining interest and making contact with the local market.
4. Create a Show/Tour Poster
Hire a graphic design artist to create something truly eye-catching and interesting that represents your image and vibe.
5. Create a Show/Tour Video
Make a long one for YouTube, IGTV and Facebook, and make shorter ones to roll out on Instagram and Twitter.
6. Print Up Physical Posters and Flyers
If it makes sense for your market and town, you can print up 11 x 17 full-color posters and smaller handbills and get those distributed around town in the well-trafficked areas. Discmakers has great, inexpensive options to print posters.
7. Send Posters to the Venue
Bandposters will print, label and ship five very high-quality, full-color (no-bleed) posters to each venue for $15 a pop. Totally worth saving the time, Sharpies and hand cramps.
8. Send an Email Blast
Include the ticket link and show promo video.
9. Write a Press Release
10. Restock Your Merch
11. Split Up Promotional Duties
Work with the other bands on the bill to figure out a cohesive promo plan and delegate jobs to your other bandmates and street team members.
Ari Herstand is the author of How To Make it in the New Music Business (second edition), a Los Angeles based musician and the founder of the music business education company and blog Ari’s Take. Follow him on Instagram @ariherstand.
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