Right now, live streams are kind of all we’ve got. And I’m actually loving them. Sure I miss the live concert experience, just like everyone else. There’s magic in being able to see your favorite band perform live, to feel the energy of the room, to be surrounded by others who know, love, and just get the band the same way you do. That’s irreplaceable.
But I’ll tell you what. Being able to sit in my PJs, eating a pint of ice cream, and watching my favorite band perform live all from the comfort of my own home, and where I can be in bed by 10pm – that’s pretty awesome too.
My point is, we all miss in-person concerts. But live streaming shows have their place now too, and if you’re smart about it, there are a lot of really incredible ways you can be using it to help get in front of more fans and actually make a little more money while you’re at it. Besides, who says you can’t go on a virtual tour? I’ll tell you one thing, you’re gonna save a lot on gas and snacks this way!
But in all seriousness, if you’ve been wanting to get out there and start performing live but you’re not sure where to start or how to make it profitable, this is for you.
Choose your platform
There are a ton of platforms out there depending on how you want to show up. There’s all the usual social media channels and then a few others that are made specifically for live stream concerts. Some will charge or take a percentage, others won’t. Some will have a built in tip jar and with others you’ll have to get creative and ask them to send the same way you would ask a friend to send you money after you split dinner. Choose a platform that you feel most comfortable using and that you believe your fans are already on or will easily move to.
Don’t agonize over this step—just choose one and move forward. Easiest option wins.
This is an important mindset shift—when I say sell tickets, I mean actually call them tickets. Like you would if it was an in person show. And if you can, go a step further and actually mail out or send a PDF of a ticket. This is going to feed into the full experience we talk about later, but using this language, and giving them something tangible to hold onto from the night, will help ease the feeling of missing something and help make it feel even more like a real in person show.
It’s also going to ensure you actually charge for this since, after all, we are talking about creating profit here. And the more of an experience, and the more tangibility you can give your fans, the more likely they are to be willing to invest. Even if it’s just $5, you want to charge fans for this, and explain to them that this is a way for them to support you during this difficult time, and help you keep doing what you love and showing up for them.
Include a VIP experience
Everything about this live show should feel like a one of a kind experience, but if we’re talking about really making your fans feel special and pulling in a little extra cash, offer a VIP experience for a little extra.
Even if it’s only $5-$15 more, this can include any combination of things from physical items from the store to special edition merch, to a meet and greet (virtual of course) with the band beforehand, maybe a one hour pre-show guitar lesson, and so on. Get creative with this. No matter what, your VIP members should get something physical mailed out to them (a thank you card, a t-shirt, a poster for the virtual show) and a shout out on social media.
Give them FOMO
Speaking of shout outs and sending merch, be sure you’re asking everyone attending the show—VIP or not—to share their tickets on social media, to share their photos from the show, their VIP packages, and to talk about it and share their videos or clips from the show itself (just like an in person concert).
You can even turn it into a contest like, having everyone share their ticket on social media pre-show and choosing one winner to give VIP status to (and then re-sharing everything you’re tagged in about the show, so your fans can see how many people are psyched about it)
OR after the show, sharing all the merch-packets people got, their videos, and so on, so that others can see what they missed.
Trust me, this works and you can not do it too much. It takes people on average at least 7 times to see something to act on it. So while you may feel annoying, trust me that this will pay off.
Keep it exclusive
You should be doing these no more than once every few months at most. I’m not saying don’t go live on your social media in other ways, and don’t tease content and show up for your fans, but as for these full on, all out experience level shows like we’re talking about, you want to create a sense of FOMO like we talked about above and that’s going to be hard to do if you’re doing it every month. Trust me on this—create some space between shows, build anticipation, and watch how excited your fans get when it’s time to buy tickets for the next one.
This is going to be awesome—break a leg!
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.