In March 2003, my long-suffering cousin & bandmate Michael and myself, released our first album.
The album (the name was “Love & Lies”) never entered the market, and all we had were just a couple hundreds CDs stacked on our shelfs.
But that didn’t hold us back from thinking bigger.
You see, instead of just “playing it live”, we had this idea of making it a bit more exciting and officially calling it a “Release Party”.
To spice things up, we used some sneaky marketing tactics that helped us being bigger than we actually were.
The result: Raving fans and some nice ringing in our band’s cash register.
So, I’m sure there’s a good lesson here for everyone ever considering playing live and selling CDs.
Here come the 5 dirty little secrets that’ll make your life show unforgettable…
1. Use teaser videos to cook it up
So prior to the event we produced a series of very short teaser videos, we then posted primarily on our facebook page. No only did this increase the chances people actually showed up, but also did this warmed them up and got them excited.
2. Use an announcer
Instead of just walking on the stage, we asked one of our hot female friends to introduce us. This technique is called pre-framing and also used by the most popular speakers, especially if they want to make some back-in-the-room selling afterwards.
3. Tell stories and let them in
One of the keys to being a great entertainer is to let your audience into your world. For me this means: open up and sharing personal stories, especially in relation to the songs. For example, there was this song that was all about a break-up I experienced. The song was called “Out of the blue”. And so I would tell the audience how hard of a time this was for me, and how hard it was to get my ex out of my mind. So before we started to play, people had the whole story about the song. And this really makes such a difference to just playing your set list and walking off.
4. Engage the crowd
I mean this is quite obvious, still some or many bands don’t do this (enough). But it’s as easy as that; Make them clap their hands…by clapping your hands yourself. Let them sing along… by telling them what to do, just like “Okay, now we’re gonna do this together. I go first and then you go after me. Ohhhyeahhh…” People LOVE this, believe me. And you don’t have to be a mega star to be entitled to do this with your own audience.
5. The show ain’t over until the hot lady sells
So here comes one of the most important parts of the show…at least if you want to sell a copy or two of your album. What we did is let another female friend, also very hot and with a natural talent for salesmanship, go around and actually sell the CDs directly to the audience. The more charming this salesperson is…the more copies you will see to be sold.
These five tweaks allowed us to have a very successful CD launch, given the small size of the audience (around 80) we had.
There were people in the audience so stoked about the show…they couldn’t wait to whip out their wallets and buy our CD.
Heck, one guest was even so pumped… that he bought 5 copies right away… to give them away as a gift for some of his friends.
Let’s be real here. This wasn’t all because of our jaw-dropping music. I mean the songs were all right and we didn’t totally suck playing them. But it was more about the whole evening. It was entertaining and fun and, people just had a fuckin’ good time.
If you think that’s total BS and all you want to do is “just play my music”…think again.
Because from my POV, you’re dead wrong.
There’s a reason why it’s called “The Show Biz”, baby.
And the more you act upon that, the more fun you’ll have and the more your audience will rave about you.
Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
P.S. If you even want to top this off, you could also think about giving out VIP passports for a special group of people, or renting a limo to drive up the venue. Yeah, we seriously thought about that, too. Well, maybe we’ll do this sometime in the future.