Category: Open Mic Nights

Market Your Gig

3 Ways to Market Your Next Gig

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

A gig is a gig, but a gig with a cash-spending, dancing crowd is a gig that makes everyone happy. This includes the venue, the fans, and you, the hard-working advertising wizard who also happens to be a musician. So what makes the difference between a gig and a good gig? Music marketing. Here are some tried and true methods to filling the venue:

Fliers, Promo CDs, and Awareness

It may seem basic or outdated, but fliers are important. What are the demographics that (you expect to) attend your shows? Go to the stores, coffee shops, hookah lounges, restaurants, and bars that your adoring fans would likely frequent. Leave fliers (well-designed, legible, and informative) on their community boards, or ask if the shop would play a promotional CD. Be sure to leave cards with your website on them. Genuinely get to know their patrons and mention your gig.

Find and use every resource in your area that has a schedule of local events. Local entertainment magazines and websites are an obvious resource. If your target market is the newspaper reading crowd, get your gig listed in the classifieds.

Social Media

Certainly you’re going to take advantage of your social media accounts. Use the Facebook event function to inform your fans and encourage them to invite their friends. You could also use Facebook ads, which could be a beneficial investment depending on the type of gig. If your target crowd is on Twitter, give them 140 characters on why your band will rock their face off two weeks from Friday at 9. (Hint: you can share a pic of your event poster.) The point is, these are free tools that you can use. So do it!

In-Person Self-Promotion

Word of mouth advertising is the best that it gets. Attend similar shows in the area and strike up conversations with those around you, then slyly mention that you have a gig coming up. (Just don’t burn bridges with those performing at these shows.) Another solid word of mouth option is to play at an open mic night (or two). This is a good way to showcase your music for a few minutes. Tell the crowd that, if they like what they hear, to come ask you about your next gig. (Just don’t burn bridges with the open mic venue.)

What marketing strategies do you use to promote your gigs?

See also: More Ways to Market Your Music, 5 Ways to Make More Money at Your Gigs, 4 Steps to Getting Better Gigs,4 Cost-Free Ways to Promote Your Music

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Find an Open Mic

Finding an Open Mic

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Are you on the prowl for new gigs? You might consider open mic nights near you. They are an excellent way to test out new music or test your sound with a new crowd at a specific venue. There are many resources you can use to find open mic events, but you should do some research before deciding which opportunity is best for you.

Know Your Act and Your Venue

It goes without saying that death-metal bands and folk bands attract different crowds. The same goes with your local music venues. Don’t show up to a comedy venue ready to perform your rendition of the new Miley Cyrus song unless your goal is to knock the crowd off their bar stools in fits of laughter.

You know your music better than anybody else. The more you can scout the possible venues in the area, the better. Which venue has the right demographics? Where would you like your band to gig in the future?

Find Open Mic Nights

Start by picking up one of those free newspaper/magazines that your city might have sitting out at restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, or music venues. Scour the listings for upcoming open mic nights. Or, visit websites like and search by your city or zip code. Contact the venues of interest to ensure the listings on this website are valid before you pack up your van.

Make a Good Impression

If you have a demo recorded, you can drop this off with the person who books the music at the venue. Do this a few days before the open mic, and let the music manager know that you will come to perform on open mic night.

Ask about the event. Clarify the types of acts the venue is looking for and who generally shows up to perform. Some open mic nights provide a drum kit or allow you to plug your guitar/bass into the overhead P.A. system. Coffee shops aren’t usually too keen on you turning your rig up to 11, but acoustic tunes are acceptable.

The night of, bring people that will help increase the drink sales at the venue while cheering and dancing (or moshing, if that’s your genre) for your band. Your friends are money in the bar manager’s pocket and is the first test to the marketability of your band at this venue.

Have you done open mic nights? How did you find out about the event? How did it go?

See also: 4 Steps to Getting Better Gigs.

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