Does posting up flyers really get people to go to shows?
December 17, 2009
Scott James in band promotion, flyers, music marketing, music promotion, music promotion, scott james, the independent rockstar blog

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

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