“What’s your following?” That’s right – what’s the following of your music venue? Isn’t that a fair question? Bands get hit with that one occasionally, and sometimes often. But seriously, you opened this business, with the intention of providing music to the community. So again, what’s your following?
“We count on the bands to bring their following”
That’s completely foolish. Musicians aren’t marketing pros. The average musician doesn’t possess an MBA – many good ones have no college degree whatsoever. And ideally, any waking hours a musician has should be spent honing their craft, trying to create a jaw-dropping display of talent and/or entertainment value, not walking around with a sandwich board.
Do you realize how many hats the average band has to wear just to get off the ground? Someone has to write the songs. Someone has to learn the songs. Someone has to learn the songs better and replace the people that weren’t playing them so well. Someone has to record and copyright the music. Someone has to handle social media, and graphic art, and alcoholism, mental illness, and marriage disputes. Someone has to book the shows and someone has to follow up to make sure the show isn’t double or triple-booked. Someone has to coordinate (or be) the “street team” and…that’s your venue’s marketing strategy?!?
Lastly (and many thanks to L.A. musician Dave Goldberg for this insight), if you are counting on bands to supply clientele, you will never have a consistent cash flow. You will be dependent upon the bands to bring the customers every single night. In the business world (and you are in the business world), that’s the equivalent of having to rebuild sales from scratch…every single day. Good luck with that.
Is there possibly something wrong with your joint?
Have you reviewed your business in a while? Maybe there are a couple very good reasons why you are not known as a music venue with a following…
You may notice that the one common denominator here is Quality, or lack thereof. A band needs to focus on the quality of their product if they expect to develop a following. Likewise, a music venue will never develop a following if they are ignorant of quality. We’ll take a closer look at music customer buying habits next…