25 Aug Selling Out The Nash – Part 2
So to recap, here are my steps thus far:
- I announced the ticket sales the Monday before they went on sale (which was Friday, so 5 days before)
- I announced a promotion for the 1st 10 purchasers to get a free piece of merch
- Emailed my mist as soon as tix went on sale
- Followed up with the venue to get the door list
- Emailed each winner individually
- Continued to do a drawing from my email list each week for a free piece of merch (thus growing my email list)
Except, that number 6 wasn’t consistent. Actually, I missed one week due to a larger-than-expected workload. So the following week I drew two names to make up for it.
And you know what? Nobody cared. Nobody called me out. We live in The Age of Endless Distraction – and so many people are so busy withe their own lives and all the many things that are constantly vying for our attention, that no-one missed my drawing.
Ok, actually there *were* people waiting to be the *first* to purchase a ticket or my CD, but that was like 5-6 people on my tiny list of 237 (or maybe it was 265 by then), and these people know me and love me and are patient. Your TRUE fans that know you and love you and trust you will be the same. They will be patient with you and they know that life gets in the way sometimes.
Even in the case of my CD going on pre-sale – I do a limited edition, hand-made CD and there were actually several people that wanted to be the *first* to get one. (Ironically, I haven’t even sold them all yet. At the time of this writing I think I still have 15 left, lol! But that’s a result of web store problems – and I’m a programmer – I just refuse to share profits with Etsy or CD Baby, or whoever else, so when you do it yourself, you’re sort of reinvent the wheel and there’s always a cost involved with that approach) But I know I will sell them out when I begin to push my page so I’m not concerned.
Another thing I did was that I printed up dinky-ass flyers and handed them out to EVERYONE. And that helped, too! It was a simple black & white flyer that I just printed on my printer at the studio. Simple, yet effective. You can check out the flyer right here.
After two weeks,
we had sold only 19 tickets, after 3 weeks, only 24 tickets… and so I sent out this email:
My big release of my album By My Side is less than 2 weeks away and I have to admit I’m a bit anxious about it. I’m not concerned about the performance – we have some really great arrangements and our rehearsals are going remarkably well! I’m excited about how a ton of hard work is really culminating into what will be one of the best shows of my career thus far.
But I really want to pack the place, and I was hoping ticket sales would be better by now. It’s hard to deal with these things as an artist because we have this insane desire to create beauty, but not for ourselves as much as to express the human experience in a way that inspires connection.
Connection is the key word here. Because that is the end goal. We artists want to create things to share with the world and spark authentic human connection.
The opposite reaction – that of rejection – is always a risk when you demonstrate the courage to really put yourself out there and share something from your soul. I believe that for several years, because I was just writing music for a hedge fund manager’s lyrics, the music didn’t really express my true artistry. It was a very lucrative time both financially and educationally, but it wasn’t really me…
I am so thankful for those opportunities and especially for the connection my music has made with you, independent of the lyricist. However, this next album is one I have been writing for years – one song I wrote over 16 years ago – and it expresses my soul in a way I haven’t done since my first album release almost 8 years ago, I’m Coming Home.
I really hope you can make it to the concert on June 8th at The Nash! And if you can’t, the album itself will go on pre-sale next week – stay tuned for the album art preview! The physical album will be a limited-edition release of only 50 CDs, handmade by me, including handwritten lyrics.
Help us pack the Nash! Get your ticket to the show here.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
Now, that email was VULNERABLE – I shared my real fears and I admitted that sales weren’t as good as I had hoped….
And you know what??? I even had people say “Hey Rebecca, I heard you haven’t sold any tickets..”
WTF!?!?! I NEVER said I hadn’t sold any tickets! I said “I was hoping ticket sales would be better by now”
But you see how people interpret things?? What f-ing insanity!
The following Monday …
The Monday before the concert – we were at 59 tickets. My vulnerability email WORKED. And you know what I did? I sent *another* email saying that I think we might sell out! Literally, I went from one week sharing my concern that ticket sales were bad to the very next week saying it looks like we will sell out. Here is the *actual* email I sent to my list:
I was just at The Nash on Monday and found out some great news: we are well on our way to selling out this Saturday night’s debut concert! That means that if you still need to get tickets PLEASE do so soon! You can order them online right here.
Also, I’m doing a limited edition release of only 50 hand-made By My Side CDs that will go on sale tomorrow – be on the look out for the email tomorrow afternoon!
This effectively created a sense of urgency. At this point, I did a final drawing for a free piece of merch and hit up some of my top fans whose names weren’t already on the door list.
Sold out before the downbeat
By the evening of the concert, there were only 19 tickets left unsold, and those sold out at the door before the concert started.
I believe that what really made it happen was being vulnerable and authentic with my fans, gently nudging them to get their tickets early, sending a reminder every week, etc. I didn’t post rehearsal footage, though I think that would have been a good idea, too.
So at this point I just need to repeat this process successfully. Obviously this won’t work on every little gig that we have but on the biggest, most important gigs, getting a great turn out is important for social proof.
In the next blog, I’ll talk about how I crafted a two-set show that kept people in their seats for the entire concert (you know how peeps tend to leave at intermission for whoever reason – nope, the place was hopping the whole night)!