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Does posting up flyers really get people to go to shows?

Remember the first time you ever put up flyers for a show? I’ll bet you were probably pretty excited.

I know I was. I felt that if we put up enough flyers that even if half of one percent of all the people who saw the flyer went to the show then we’d be pack the venue and be well on our way to being famous within a few months. So we posted flyers everywhere. Big ones. Eye catching flyers that everyone would take notice of. How could it not work?! We were going to be huge.

So what happened? All our friends showed up for the first couple of shows and we had a great time. So we kept putting up flyers. More, bigger, better etc. After a while we realized that we weren’t getting anyone coming to our shows from our flyers, so we started to lose interest in putting them up. There were conflicting opinions as to whether or not they served any purpose. We never really got the whole thing worked out.

So what’s the deal? Do flyers work or not?


How about other methods of promotion? Does Myspace promotion work?

Not really.

Does handing out free CD’s work?

Not so much.

So what does work?

Combining all of those and more.

Here’s the key factor. This is the one thing that I wish I had realized when I first started:

According to marketing guru Jay Conrad Levinson, on average, a person needs to be exposed to a business (like your band, for example) in some capacity, 9 times, before they will take action. 9. Here’s an example of how that might play out in the music world:

1 – someone gets contacted by you on a social networking site – they see your name one time, probably don’t give it much thought

2 – you post a comment on their profile – they may or may not accept it and generally blow it off

3 – you send a bulletin – they make some kind of quick judgement based on the subject

4 – they see a flyer for a show – “hey, that’s that band”

5 – they hear someone talking about your band – they start to get curious

6 – you post another bulletin – they actually read it and check out some songs

7 – they see another flyer for a show – “hmm I should go check that out”

8 – they get home and go on your myspace page and check out your website – at this point they start to form actual plans to go to the show

9 – you send them an online invitation to go to the show tomorrow night – they show up

Of course this could play out a million different ways, but the important thing to realize is that people need to be exposed to something in a number of different ways a number of different times before they will act. So remember, when you’re busting your butt by adding people on myspace or facebook, or posting flyers or doing radio promo, or whatever – what you’re doing is only part of a combination of efforts that will, over time produce results. What I didn’t realize when I first started was that I could’ve personally handed out flyers to every single person in town, but this would produce almost 0 results. My band and I could’ve wallpapered the town with flyers and it wouldn’t do a damn thing. If we kept doing it in the same places, and targeted the same people with other marketing methods, over time we could have acheived much better results.

This is the same principle that makes it a bad idea to spend $10,000 on magazine advertising or television commercials because unless you have the budget to sustain that kind of promotion you will never get the return on investment that you’re seeking.  Persistance and consistence is necessary for maketing success.

So remember:



Combine different methods

- Scott James

For more, check out


Reader Comments (4)

Thanks for the reminder. I live in Austin, Texas and I know PLENTY of musicians that limit their promotional approach to flyers. Needless to say, the turnout at their shows is often paltry. In a city such as this with so many bands itching for a stage, its easy to get lost in the heap. Applying what you wrote about and utilizing multiple methods to spread the word about an upcoming performance is key. Great article.

December 18 | Unregistered CommenterDoc Deuce

I found this new online MMOG for kids called Club Penguin. It's really awesome because there are a lot of parties all the time.

I also saw this site called Club Penguin Cheats Club Penguin Secrets Club Penguin Codes Club Penguin Money Maker Club Penguin Tracker Rockhopper Tracker Aunt Arctic Tracker Sensei Tracker Cadence Tracker Penguin Band Tracker

Check both of the sites out - they're cool!

December 30 | Unregistered CommenterxxNeoDaOnexx

The other day I happened to notice a wine bottle sleeve my wife picked up somewhere. "Wine," it declaims. "It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore." It gave me a good chuckle. But it also set me to thinking about Facebook and the ways you leverage it to get your website out there.

Unless you just woke up from an advanced comatose state, you've already wasted far too many hours clicking around the blue-and-white pages and wondering what the fuss is about. Maybe you're vaguely familiar with terms like "Wall" and "Live Feed." You may know that the links at the far right are actually paid advertisements. But you might be startled to know that very serious companies like Nike, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, HP, and even Kraft are seriously using Facebook as part of their marketing strategy. If the big guys are doing it, well, you can't very well afford to ignore Facebook, can you?

First, let's clear up some misconceptions: Facebook is not the watering hole for the pimple-faced college set. In fact, it has over 350 million active users. "Active" is the operative word here. Not just members. These are people in every age, ethnic, and wage bracket who, according to Facebook, log in 50% of any given day and comment at least 25 times during any given month. Most do far, far more.

So how can you make Facebook work for you?

1.) Buy ads on Facebook. The process is similar to setting up Google Adsense campaigns. But Facebook's powerful features allow you to aim exactly at the people you are going for. You can set the ads show to people based on age, ethnicity, religion, geographic location, likes and dislikes, and many more parameters. Try getting Google to show your ad only to Democrats.

2.) Set up a fan page for your business. Update it every day. Don't "troll" through the site to make friends, but always accept them as soon as they apply. If your business is likeable in other respects, people will add you. Send them the latest news, coupon codes, pictures, or whatever.

3.) Release videos on Facebook. You may be shocked to see how fast they spread.

4.) Write articles on your blog and post links on your Facebook wall. Your friends will repost them and before you know it, you have thousands of readers.

5.) Put all your contact info, your logo, and a picture of you in your profile. When people need your product or service, they know who to call.

Facebook lets you target anyone you're looking for. And except for the paid ads, it's all free. Gone are the days when Facebook was just for college kids. These days it's a very normal beverage.

January 15 | Unregistered Commenterthorrooferodin

"Write articles on your blog ...and before you know it, you will have thousands of readers"

All hail Facbook - finally our savior has arrived!! Oh, wait, exactly how do define "before you know it"?

thorrooferodin, I actually do have a serious question: how does it feel to have a job to create posts attempting to trick people into thinking you are NOT a corporate shill? Seriously, do you enjoy that in some perverse way?

I must admit, the wine thing as catchy intro and close with tie in was a nice touch, but c'mon, you should be less obvious or you may lose your job...which would be a real shame.

January 15 | Unregistered CommenterDg.
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