“Thank you, [insert appropriate city]! Goodnight, everybody!”
Okay, you’ve just melted the faces of your largest crowd to date. Now what? Hang out in the green room? Drink at the bar? Go to the hotel or home?
No, no and no.
With the final note of your set, your night should be just beginning. It’s time to capitalize on your great performance and grow your b(r)and to the next level. You’re going to want to engage, connect and follow up with as many quality people as you can, so let’s talk about a plan of action for after your set.
It’s important to operate from a home base, which should be your merch table. This should be something that you mention a couple of times during your set, so people know where they can find you after you’re done. This is important because it gives people a place to congregate, and of course, it betters your chances of making sales.
Now, let’s define the necessary roles, responsibilities and goals, which should be determined prior to the show:
- Gatherers: These are your most outgoing members of your group. They should be willing to approach and engage people by starting a conversation. This can be done on the floor, at the bar, or outside where smokers hang out. The goal here is to converse with the types of people who will be brand ambassadors or helpful in some way going forward. These leads should be directed to the merch table, or if possible, establish a connection through some form of contact information or social media site.
- Home Base Operators: These are the people who field incoming leads from gatherers or people who are interested in connecting. They need to close sales of merch, email signups and social media contact information. These are results-driven people who control the flow of the influx of connections coming their way.
- Point Person: This person should be keeping an eye out on the gatherers and home base operators and assisting should any needs arise. For example: If a gatherer is establishing a connection, the point person can support him or help him move on if he’s being tied down for too long. This person should be your most organized, making sure that contact information is being exchanged, whether it’s encouraging social media connections, taking pictures, or taking down numbers.
The goal should be to connect with about 10-25% of the people there, depending on the size of the crowd. However, the quantity shouldn’t really matter – the types of connections you are going for are quality.
By far, the most important part of the equation is to follow up with these people. You can engage and connect with as many people as possible, but if you don’t close the loop and follow up, then they’re just another lost opportunity. So make sure at the end of the night you track who each person in your band has talked to, gather as much information as you can remember, and go over your next steps.
Here’s an example of a spreadsheet you can create and work off of (click to enlarge):
Not all of the people you engage with will be potential fans (in fact, it’s super important to connect with other bands, too), but a majority should be because developing that core group of superfans will be the lifeblood of your band. These are the people who will be your ambassadors, help run your merch table, hand out flyers, or even someone to let you crash on their couch until you make it huge.
Also, don’t forget to engage and connect with the venue staff and booker – first and foremost to get paid, but also because they’re music fans, too. If you pack the room and help fill the bartenders’ wallets, who are they going to tell their friends to check out the next time?
Just remember, it’s a huge opportunity to have a highly engaged group of people in one room to connect with, so don’t let it pass by!