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Capturing Your Audience: (Off) Stage

Hey UPSTAGE family! Happy Tuesday. This week we're talking further about the importance of capturing your audiences to keep them coming back for more.

A couple weeks ago we chatted about ensuring you get your fans to your shows. We talked about using different metrics in social media, collecting emails and ZIP codes to target the locations and timings for your marketing.

Today, we’re going to talk about what happens once you get to your show and the people you pushed all your ads and emails to actually show up. (Because they will !)

It is so important to have a plan regarding how you’re going to wow your audience, keep your fans engaged & capture their interest. Especially, a plan for how you're going to get them to come back for more! Getting the seats filled just once isn't going to do it. 😉

Let's start at the time you arrive at your venue. Do you have a fully clean and polished production ready to present on stage? Do you look convinced that you know what you're doing? Make sure that you're providing a standard of entertainment that meets or exceeds the cost that the attendees are paying for. Would you pay the ticket price for your own show? We're going to assume the answer to all these questions is yes. If not, then you now know what to work on first.

No matter what your genre is or what venue you are playing, it is your job to provide the room with an experience that is both entertaining and professional. The venue you are in is relying on you to draw and keep a crowd in their location; buying their food, buying their drinks, and driving their business for as long as possible! That is a lot of pressure for an artist to carry, but that is the pressure of being a professional. When you are first starting out, the crowds you will be playing for are full of unfamiliar faces who have stumbled upon you by accident. Despite the fact that it may not have been you that originally drew their interest to a particular location, it IS your job to capture them and keep them there.

Let's assume you do this perfectly. Everyone who has stumbled into the venue you are playing has stayed. Some you invited personally, some saw your ads and posts and were sure to come check it out. Some just happened to show up on the night you are playing and are seeing you for the first time. Regardless, you've captured everyone's interest, it's a packed venue. Congratulations! After the show is done, you now have three important things to do.

How to capture your audience and close the deal OFF of the stage:

1. Be gracious and make a request to further connect off stage:

Thank the crowd for coming, thank the venue, and encourage tipping of wait staff/ bartenders. Then, invite the crowd to come and say hello at your merch booth or other off- stage location which you will then go to.

2. Have something to give to the people who come over and say hello:

Can you hand out stickers or buttons? Anything that is cheap that you can exchange for their info? People will feel more inclined to share if you share something first. Don't have any merch yet? You can even offer to take a photo. For many, this is a great tactic. Then, have a notebook or computer ready go, and simply ask for your audience member's names, emails and zip codes. If they've come over to connect- they'll be more than happy to share.

3. Keep your interaction with each individual unique, genuine and memorable. You are not done working until there is no one left for you to talk to. You're an entertainer- and that takes on many forms! Remember names if you can, but if you can't, try to remember faces. That way, when you see them again, hearing a "it's nice to see you!" will feel so personal and genuine for that audience member. personally invite them to your next show and tell them how nice it was to see them.

As artists, we are in the business of providing service. We provide our craft, our art, and our experiences. We also can offer our most powerful asset- our humanity. Our humanity and ability to connect genuinely with others through multiple facets, will be our ticket to becoming artists with whom people want to follow and support both on and off stage.


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