We've hosted thousands of shows on Concert Window and watched how artists experiment with the platform. A pattern is emerging that the most successful artists on Concert Window are those who engage with their fans on a monthly basis. For the right artist, the monthly series seems to be the best way to keep in touch with your fans. Not only does it give you both something to look forward to each month, it’s a brilliant way to try out new material on a regular basis and stay connected to your audience between gigs.
Artists such as Liz Longley, Ellis Paul and Seth Glier are great examples of touring musicians who excel on Concert Window. Each month, these artists bring their fans something different, be that new songs, new collaborations, updates on record releases or just an hour of fun-filled musical mischief. Below, we have broken down the key elements that these artists incorporate in their shows. We hope you can use these tips to grow your own monthly concert series.
"My Concert Window shows are the most exciting for me to put together each month. They are more personal, there is more improv, and there are more hijinks than any other times that I'm on stage. Having special guests helps to bring in a new energy each month. It's a great opportunity for me to play to my fans who don't get to see me often or who don't get to see me at all due to their schedules and locations." - Ellis Paul
1. Every Month Without Fail
Commit to doing it. The more you stick to some kind of schedule the more your audience will get in line with that schedule, too. It doesn’t have to be the same day every month, but make sure you have the next show created so you can publicize it from the show the month before. It pays to plan ahead.
2. Advertise As a Series
You need to be proactive about advertising the series to your fans. An occasional Facebook post that reads, “Doing a Concert Window show on Sunday, tune in from anywhere,” simply won't cut it. You need instill the feeling in your audience that you are really excited to be doing the show and it’s going to be something worth watching. “Can’t wait for the next show on Concert Window this Sunday! Gonna have some special guests and new material for you all to check out!” is much more compelling. Also, make a poster for the show. You can see a number of great examples in this blog. Try making the poster your Facebook cover image: the more you can get the word out the better. Remember to tag us on all social media so we can help with retweets, etc. #concertwindow @concertwindow.
3. Invite a Guest
It can get dull pretty quickly if you just show up on your own every time. Invite another musician along to spice things up. Collaborate on material, exchange stories, take turns performing solo, interview each other. Keeping it fresh and engaging is key.
Play new material, really old material, unreleased material. Take requests. Take cover requests for the following month’s show. That kind of engagement is what builds your online audience.
Rather than saying things like , "Hmmm... What will I play? This is weird!", have a rough setlist in mind. Have some things to talk about, have some stories to tell. And encourage your fans to type in their requests during the show.
6. Offer Unique Tip Rewards
Set unique tip rewards that change from time to time. Offer the audience unreleased material, limited-edition merch, a personal Skype lesson. Give your dedicated audience something that regular folks can’t get ahold of.
One of the coolest features of Concert Window shows is that they can be done from anywhere. Take this as an opportunity to broadcast from somewhere different, or show your fans your practice space. Avoid broadcasting from a “normal” venue. Not only is it difficult to set up (you can read our FAQ post about that here), but it doesn't allow you to read the chats, answer questions, etc. Fans want to engage, they want a backstage experience, they want to see you broadcast from home, your studio, your bath….ok! Maybe not the bath, but you get the idea.
Audience interaction is totally crucial to the whole thing. Ask your audience questions: location, favorite song, vote for the last song of the set, etc, etc. The people at home love feeling included in the action. Your monthly broadcast is your chance to really connect with your fans.
We have found that fans quickly adjust to the routine and will start looking forward all month to hanging out you. By playing 12 shows on Concert Window over the course of a year you are in a position to not only engage with your fans on a higher level, but also to drastically improve your annual income. If you can build a consistent and enthusiastic audience on Concert Window, you'll be paying your rent in just 30-60 minutes each month.
Check out Liz Longley & Michael Logen in action:
If you have any questions post them below.