7 Tips to grow the crowds at your shows?

1. Update your website calendar regularly - You need to keep your events in order, and there is no better way then to have it on your website. Facebook and Reverbnation are both great, but it is always best to have everything in one easy place, your website.  If you book a show put it online immediately, you need to have everything listed out in terms of date, time and location so fans can get there easily.

2. Shoot an email to your mailing list -  This is your most important tool.  I am working on building my list as much as I can right now since I am late to the party on the email list.  I would highly recommend get a list and using it regularly.  You will be able to email certain segments of your email list for the locations of your gigs.  Its also important to keep the mails looking nice and very short, with specific instructions.  Build the email lists and use them effectively to get more people out to those shows.

3. Set up a Facebook Event or Use ReverbNation -  Both are great secondary tools to the website and email that you will be starting with.  I know that Reverbnation puts all of the shows you have on their site into a nice little map widget.  On Facebook, obviously you will be connecting with your friends and family mainly, depending on your reach and number of  likes.  I was heavy into the Facebook events since it will notify everyone you invite, but it can be annoying to some people and I found that it was used by less then 2% of the people on my Facebook list.  Like i said, these are great secondary places to post maybe some of your bigger gigs.  I will be 100% honest and say that I have slowed down on this and tried to offer updates from my website and email list.

4. Twitter and location search - I use location search when I am at a location and tweet out from the location with some city hashtags to keep the promotion going out and the fans coming in when I am on stage.  For instance, there was a #MeatFest in a small town I was playing in recently, I used the hashtag to possibly get on other people from the area to come out to my show after they were done at the #MeatFest.  Location, Location, Location.

5. Leave more then you take - Put on a great show. Offer some free swag, or buy someone a beer who answers your trivia questions, (hopefully about the songs you're playing).  If you have a chance, thank the venue and give a shout out to the bartender or servers.  If people are having a great time you are going to be bringing on new fans and more people to the next show.  Its important to really give as an artist.  Its about the fans.

6. Interact with your fans - If there are children at your event by chance, give them a CD or something to take home with them.  Also, try to get around and see people who are clapping or requesting songs.  Just be a personable person.  Engage in conversations with them and find common interests to chat about.  This is almost as important as putting on a good show.

7. Get invited back to the venue - This is worth more then anything.   The fans you gain at your first show will be thrilled to know you are coming back in a month from now.  I think that having your name on the chalkboard as a returning act, is the best thing you can have for both the venue and you.  Both parties will gain more patrons each time, and if you are consistent it becomes valuable at growing a fan base.

Thanks for your time and check out my tunes if you have a chance.  I would appreciate some feedback on my music, my webpage, my blog and my social networking profiles.  Always looking to improve.  I don't think I'm even very "cutting edge" or smart when it comes to music marketing, but I am just hoping these small entries can help new artists skip the speed bumps that I encountered.  It set my career back upwards of 8 years.

Please feel free to comment with more awesome ideas.  Hope this was helpful.

In health,

Kevin Foster