25 Ways to Promote a Show (in Charlotte, NC)

As an independent musician, I'm always on the lookout for ways to market and promote my shows.  So I pulled together a bunch of ideas into one article.  I hope this helps out my fellow musicians in Charlotte and beyond.  This is not an all inclusive list and if there's anything missing please add to it in the comments section.

25 Ways to Promote a Show in Charlotte

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  1. Hang Posters

Put together a compelling offer or reason why they should come.  Don’t just slap some good looking graphics and info, try and add some features like drink specials, all new material, or giving away a dinner with the band to one lucky guest.  Make it a must-see event. Make sure the info/details are displayed prominently.  The important details are the first priority and the design comes second.  Don’t favor design over info.  Below are a couple community boards in Charlotte.

  • Amelie’s
  • Smelly Cat (they only allow you to post flyers if your event is in NoDa)
  • Last Word
  • ZiZi’s Gourmet Veg
  1. Street Team (Pass Out Flyers)

A great place to pass out flyers is at the venue a week or two leading up to your event.

  • NoDa
  • Theatrical Shows (before/after)
  • 5k Races (before/after)
  • Festivals (before/after)
  • Ask your friends and family to e-mail a digital version of the flyer to their friends/family.  It only takes a minute to forward an e-mail.
  • TIP:  Always have flyers printed up and pass them out at your shows advertising your next show
  1. Post the event to Your Official Website
  2. Post the event to Facebook
  • Create Event
  • Share on personal timeline
  • Share on band page
  1. Post the event to Twitter
  2. Post the event to MySpace
  3. Post a slideshow about the event on YouTube (if you have a lot of local subscribers)
  4. Post the event to Event Calendars
  • Charlotte Culture Guide

http://www.charlottecultureguide.com/page/submit_event/

  • Creative Loafing

http://posting.clclt.com/charlotte/Events/AddEvent

  • Charlotte Post (African American Audience):

http://www.thecharlottepost.com/index.php?submenu=events&src=gendocs&ref=Events%20Calendar&category=Main

  • Charlotteobserver .com

http://events.charlotteobserver.com/listings

  • Charlotte Loves Music

http://www.meetup.com/CharlotteLovesMusic/

  • It’s Live, It’s Local, It’s all about Music

https://www.facebook.com/groups/370508629658379/

This is a closed group on Facebook and access is granted only by the administrators, but a great resource of local performers.  It may help to send a personal message to the administrators giving them a short bio

  • Charlotte’s Got a Lot

http://www.charlottesgotalot.com/submit-events

  • Charlotte News Channel 3 Online

http://events.wbtv.com/createevent

  • Charlotte 360

http://www.360charlotte.com/events

  • Charlotte News 14 Online

http://charlotte.news14.com/content/neighborhood_calendar/

  • Charlotte Alive

https://www.facebook.com/charlottealive1

  • TIP:  Include video footage.  It might be nice for potential attendees to see a video of you performing.  It may convince them to attend.
  1. Create and send a Press Release (Make it Newsworthy with a unique angle)
  2. Post the press release on PR Log
  3. Send the press release to media contacts

Extend Invitations:  One great way to increase coverage of your show is to offer guest list places to journalists. If you can convince them to run a preview or review of the show in exchange for a spot on the list, great, but even if you can't, go ahead and let 'em in. You'll be able to cash in on the good will you've created here in the future. If you want to increase your promoter cred and get other bands in your area to turn to you for future shows, extend a guest list spot to them as well, space permitting.

  1. Arrange for an interview
  • Radio – Do ticket/t-shirt giveaways
  • Print Media
  • Blogs
  • or do your own and include it on your FB event
  • Try local podcasts or online radio stations. They may be interested in promoting your gig if they have enough incentive
  1. Update your e-mail signature with show info
  2. Send a personal e-mail to your close network of friends and family
  3. Send E-mail to your e-mail subscribers
  4. Send Text Messages
  5. Or just Call them folks up and tell them
  6. Target organizations that can send large groups to your show and offer bulk ticket prices
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Hospitals
  • Women’s Institutes
  • Rotarians
  • Business
  • Social clubs
  • Larger employers
  • Pubs
  • Leisure centres
  • Residential home staff
  • Fraternities/Sororities
  1. Affiliate Programs:  Enlist eager college students to help sell tickets.  Give them a percentage of the amount of tickets they sell.  If they do sell your tickets, you will have sold to a network you wouldn’t even know about otherwise.  If they don’t sell, you would at least have gotten the word out.
  2. Co-Market with a Local Non-profit or business related to your music
  • For example, a band that has a niche market in the “skater boy” demographic might find success working with a local skate shop.  They may let you print up some flyers and set them out on their counter or even better, put your flyers in customer bags.  You can create a double sided flyer, one side with their message and the other side with yours.
  • They may send your message in an e-mail to their constituents if they have some incentive such as a couple free tickets or t-shirts.  Leave the free tickets or shirts at the store and have the winners come to the store to pick it up.  Store owners might jump all over you giving potential customers a reason to come to their store.

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  1. Advertise
  • Creative Loafing
  • Charlotte Observer
  • Coffee News
  • Other news circulars
  • Facebook Event Ads
  • Billboards (mobile and stationary)
  1. Hire a Publicist or PR Firm
  2. Hire a Promoter
  3. Purchase an e-mail list of your target market from a broker and send a customized e-mail with a compelling offer
  4. Purchase a mailing list of your target market from a broker and send a customized postcard with a compelling offerI hope this helps jog your creative thinking in promotions as it relates to shows.  Drop a line or add to the comments section your thoughts or if you notice anything in error.Thanks for reading.  If you'd like to re-post this anywhere please contact me for permission.Soulfully RockinAnitra Jay

****UPDATE 1/28/2015:  Thanks for reading.  This post is one of the most viewed articles on my blog.  Since writing this article I've gotten a lot of feedback on just how helpful these tips are.  So I decided to create a new blog dedicated to coaching artists on how to realize success in their music careers based on my own personal experiences and thoughts.  I wrote a more thorough article about promoting shows with even more ideas on my blog, The Crafty Musician. Click here now, to read 15 more ways to promote your show.