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Cultivating live music advocates

September 10, 2013

The average live music fan is a customer. Sometimes bands and venues forget this fact. And more often bands and venues are unaware of what it would mean to turn those customers into loyal clients and then possibly into avid live music advocates…and what that could mean for our local live music community.

The Customer
A customer is someone that consumes (as in, live music) and is generally a “one off.” That is to say, customers will purchase something once but not necessarily again and again. They may come out to a music venue because their nephew is playing rock star or because they owe a neighbor a favor, but they may not come around again for long, long time.

If they do return, it’s probably because they had a good time, were treated well, and of course enjoyed the music. If they don’t, well, then things maybe didn’t go so smashing. Was your music too loud? Did you forget to make the show about them? Or perhaps they just paid their yearly dues to the live music community and they’ll come out again for nephew Tommy’s next recital.

The Client
When a customer starts returning to a venue more than once, they have the potential to become much more valuable to the live music scene. Each new visit gives them a taste of what talent is out there. They might bring a new cluster of friends. They might even decide to host a party or major event at the venue.

It now becomes critical for the venue and the bands to think about how customers are treated. To a venue owner, a recurring customer is gold. The customer is now a client, and that means everybody wins…unless somebody botches this up. But if all goes well, the client could soon become…

The Advocate
A favorite saying of the departed Stephen Covey was “no involvement, no commitment.” If you can get a client fully engaged with your band (and/or venue), you have the potential to make them an avid supporter. This is the type of person that wants to start a fan club in your honor or become head of party planning, video producer, or some other facet of the band. And they will probably mobilize other fans.

Once a client has become an advocate, they are selling for you. They will help you get to the next level of fans. They will probably drag a lot of people to your next show just so they have some company, and they may even help you advertise the event. But first they need to feel like they are a part of the gig. Don’t take them for granted!

What do you think?  Customer, client or advocate?

What do you think? Customer, client or advocate?

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