The TLP Network

Sharing the Hate, Spreading the Pain: The Twitter Effect

by on Oct.04, 2007, under Articles, Sharing the Hate

Congratulations: You have just caught a potential fan’s interest in your band. I do not really care what the method you used to accomplish this feat (Flyers, CD, Spacebookirb, E-mail), but what are you going to do to capitalize on that interest? What are you going to do to make the potential fan remember who you are and what you do? What are you going to do to make them a month from now say they have heard of you?

My memory is better than most when it comes to shows, and bands. I safely say two weeks is the stint of time I remember who you are, and that is only because I have done research first before I have seen you play. Most people forget you the same night that you played. Longevity, FThatS. I would settle for you to last until tomorrow in their minds.

Longevity is when they actively seek you out six weeks later for another show. So, what can you do to help them remember you for more than a day? A week? A month?

* Talk to Them

** Use Their Name in the Conversation
** Intro and End Your Conversation with Your Name
** Give Them Something

Were you expecting more items on the list than one? Most bands are completely surprised when I tell them in order to make fans you need to speak to your audience members. Making fans is the same as making friends.

Use of Names in Conversation:

Odds are you just shook someone’s hand and told them who you are, and they have done the same. Wait five seconds and try to remember their name. I bet you cannot do it. Try it again with a different person, and only speak one sentence before trying to recall their name. I bet you cannot do it again. The only way you will remember their name is by repeating it right after they told you, and by using it throughout the conversation.

The same is true in the reverse for your band. People will only remember the name of your band for about a second after you told them. For the most part, introductory phrases are meaningless, and the brain automatically ignores them. These phrases exist to start a conversation, and names are relatively unimportant when two people are talking to each other. Your job is to make them remember who you are, and by saying their name, you force them to remember yours.

For a local band, name recognition is important to establishing a perception that your band is good. Even if people say bad things, the people talking about you are better than people not mentioning you exist. There is no greater joy than handing someone you have never seen before a flyer, and they say they have heard of you. The reverse is true. Fans love to meet bands they have heard a lot about and have never met. You are developing a perception as a good band, and when you talk to these people, your band gets the good people reputation as well.

NOTE: The phrase, “I’m sorry, I forgot your name, can you tell it to me again,” only reinforces the fact you care enough about them to try to remember their name. This is not a bad phrase to use in a conversation with someone. People find this question flattering, and will generally ask you the same question after they answer it. Do not shake their hand when you do so, or you will forget it again just as quickly. Instead, repeat the name back to them.

Give Them Something:

When you give someone something tangible with your name or logo, they will remember you. You have just added a visual element and a tangible element to the audible element of speaking. People learn through seeing, hearing, and doing. If you only speak to them, you leave out the other two ways for them to learn your name. When you cover all three to a certain degree, they will remember you.

Since you are a band, I highly recommend giving a person a two song CD, in a clear plastic sleeve. After talking with them for 30 seconds, you will know if they are or are not the type of person you think will listen to the songs. Did you give your music away free to them? Nope. You gave it to them for the price of a short conversation. When the person goes back to their car to drive home, they may or may not put it in the CD player to pay you back for that conversation. This concept is the Mental Bank Account concept (Reference: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People).

If you gave them a flyer or a sticker, when you talk to them, they will more likely put it in their pocket rather than on the table in front of them. Again, they feel they owe you that courtesy since you are speaking to them. People generally are at shows, because they like the music, or they will not show up. When you talk to them, you help add to the experience and the night as a whole.

So I am saying you should spend your entire night talking to people for hours on end?

Not at all. In fact, you should spend no more than 30 to 60 seconds with any one person. After you have had a mini-conversation with them, and gave them something to remember you by, you can move on. You should spend most of the band breaks between sets targeting people in the audience to talk with.

Later in the night, you can walk past them again, and approach them asking how they are doing. Use THEIR name when you do this, and you have just made a friend. If you successfully walked around before your set and talked to everyone there, people who would normally leave between bands will stick around for a couple of your songs. This approach targets the other band’s fans, who might not stick around otherwise.

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