Anna Moulson is a freelance live music promoter and event consultant with over 20 years of experience under her belt promoting under the name Melting Vinyl.
During the pandemic we entered a hybrid world that traversed the digital and the physical. Although the live music scene is back on its feet, online performances are still a great way to connect with your fans. We picked Anna's brain for her top tips.
Consider streaming as a new format for music
It’s not replacing live, but taking elements of it. Think of it like a TV show; interact with the audience, answer their questions, keep the stream short and snappy, make it unique, introduce yourself, the event and thank people for coming.
Plan where you go live and what equipment you use
Use a good mic, a broadcasting app such as OBS and plan out the setting / backdrop. It makes all the difference! Don’t forget to test out your setup before it goes live. This is vital so the sound is loud and clear. Plus, it’ll give you an idea of what it’s like to perform with this setup.
You could use a friend’s social page to test it and review how good it sounded. Then repeat on your own profile but this time record it. This is a great marketing opportunity to remind people of the show and set the scene. Which leads me onto…
Instruments and equipment? Check. Streaming platform ready? Check. A unique-to-you backdrop? Check. But where is the audience? Marketing is sometimes buried at the end of all these jobs.
Go through the same process of marketing a show as if it were a live gig, and consider creating a marketing plan. Include a Facebook event, Instagram stories and other social media pages to share the event. Invite friends, colleagues and family and ask them (by directly messaging them) to share the news of your live stream, and your event / gig poster on their socials a few days in advance.
Don’t think it’s uncool or that you’re bothering people. This is part of what you need to do to get your name out there and people to attend. Build the anticipation by posting a few times over the days before the performance. Think of quirky, unique-to-you visuals that offer clues to your music and what the audience might expect.
Building relationships and cashing in
Streaming is a great way for you to interact with your audience. Find someone to manage the comments, emojis, questions and feedback while the stream is happening. Audiences love it when they get acknowledged!
And don't be afraid to flash up on the screen and write in the chat a link to make a payment. You need to get paid, and audiences understand that.
Don’t be discouraged by small numbers at first. The live view count isn’t the true picture of who is watching, and your gig is now sitting on social media after its performance gathering further potential views. Enjoy this new approach. You’re writing (streaming) history!
"Don't be afraid to flash up on the screen and write in the chat a link to make a payment. You need to get paid, and audiences understand that."