Audio Fliers: How To Use And WHY They Work Better Than Traditional Paper Fliers
What IS an Audio Flier?
An audio flier is basically a burned CD-R disc that has an Intro track, 2-3 of your songs, and ends with an outro track. It also has 2 mailing address labels on the top of the CD-R that include all of the information about your upcoming show, as well as your website and your special “deals” you are offering to convince people to come to the show and bring friends.
WHY Do Audio Fliers Work So Much Better Than Paper Fliers?
Because with an Audio Flier, people can actually HEAR your music! They can also learn a bit more about your band and become more connected because of the content in your Intro and Outro tracks. Also, when you give out Audio Fliers you will be introducing yourself and what your music is about, so that when they do put in the Audio Flier to listen to it they are already interested in who you are and what you are doing.
How Much Do Audio Fliers Cost?
Anywhere from 25-65 cents--depending on how good of a price you find your blank CD-R's and labels for. We have found it is NOT best to buy pre-made Audio Fliers from a CD manufacturer or pressing manufacturer. It is not only more expensive--about 98 cents per Audio Flier or more--but you CAN'T customize the label information and intro/outro tracks as frequently as you can by making Audio Fliers yourself. ALSO, we've found that what is on the Audio Flier labels, what you say when giving out the Audio Flier, and what is said in the intro/outro track is MUCH more important than having “professionally” manufactured Audio Fliers! Look online for the best deals on blank CD-R's. Your Audio Fliers will not have more than 20-30 minutes of content so you can get the cheapest, lowest capacity CD's. Also, many times stores will have mail-in or instant rebates on CD-R's if you keep your eyes open. But usually the Internet will yield the best deals.
Afton DOES NOT sell or make Audio Fliers, and we DO NOT recommend that you have Audio Fliers made for you. Make them yourself! We will show you how.
HOW TO MAKE AUDIO FLIERS:
Intro Track: The intro track is the first track on your Audio Flier. Its main purpose is to introduce the band members and talk a little bit about what your music is about. Be honest, is there a message with your music you want to share? A GREAT way to do the intro is make it seem like an interview. Have a friend that has a good sounding voice interview the band members, like something you'd hear on MTV “You Hear it First” or on a radio interview. We recommend doing something like this because it makes it flow well and that way your band members can answer questions during the interview.
Keep the intro track to under two minutes, introduce each band member and what they do in the band, explain what type of band you are and what your goals are. Then thank the listener and REMIND THEM that if they like the following songs they should come to your next show (be specific about your next show info), remember to Tell Them WHY the Next Show is Special, and tell them about the Deals You Are Offering If They Bring Friends! You can experiment with which intro tracks seem to work best, and you can also change your intro track for your next batch of Audio Fliers as well. That way, the intro/outro content can actually be show specific.
Tracks 2, 3, And Possibly 4: Depending on how many recorded songs you have, you will want to put 1,2, or 3 of your songs on your Audio Fliers. Again, you can experiment to see which songs or which combination of songs gets the best response. Whichever songs you use, make sure they are your “best” songs--after all, the whole point of the Audio Flier is to give them a sample of your music so that they come see your show. DO NOT only put partial songs, put 1-3 ENTIRE songs on the Audio Flier! IF you only put partial songs on the Audio Flier the person WILL NOT listen to it more than once. You want them to listen to your Audio Flier over and over so that they get your songs stuck in their head, play it when driving with friends, etc. So make sure whichever songs you choose you put the entire song on the Audio Flier.
Outro Track: This is the last track of the Audio Flier and quickly thanks the listener for checking out your music, as well as REMINDS THEM about the upcoming show, the website, and the deals you are offering if they bring friends. The outro should be under two minutes and should be quick and to the point. This is your “last chance” to sell them on your music and to convince them to come to your show--so make sure that you put a lot of thought into what is said on your outro tracks.
Once you have your Intro and Outro ready just start burning CD's. You WILL NOT be giving out 500-1,000 Audio Fliers per show like you used to do with your traditional Paper Fliers. Instead of just handing out these Audio Fliers randomly or leaving them in stores, you will meet each person you give one to and talk with them for 3-10 minutes. So, having about 100-200 per show is a good amount. It may be a good idea to have each member of your group responsible for burning a certain amount of Audio Fliers--because unless you have a multi-disc burner, it could take awhile for one person to burn 200 Audio Fliers!
CD Label Content: Using mailing labels works fine, especially since most mailing labels can be easily printed onto from your computer. Mailing labels that are about 2 inches high and 3-4 inches wide may work best--that way you can fit 2 labels on each Audio Flier. Look over the options you have for price and size when shopping for the mailing labels for your Audio Fliers. You just want to be sure that all of the information you want to convey will fit on 2 or 3 labels per Audio Flier. (Note: you will most likely use 8 or 9-point font when printing on your mailing labels).
You want to have (2) labels, (maybe 3 labels if you need it), one above and one below the hole in the middle of each Audio Flier. One of the labels should have all of the upcoming show info details so that they know when and where to show up just from the Audio Flier. You should also put your website at the bottom of this label. The second label should talk all about the deals you are offering them if they bring friends. After all, who likes going to shows by themselves? Again the crazier the offer, the more likely they are to get their friends out. Find a fine balance between what you can afford to offer for them if they actually come to the show--and what you can afford to offer them if they bring friends. Don't be stingy about this, you already know how hard it is to convince new people to come see you play--so find offers that are advantageous for your band, but also that won't “break the bank.”
A finished Audio Flier will contain an Intro track, 1-3 songs, and an Outro track. It will have a label above the hole in the center of the CD, and a label below that hole. It will contain all of the necessary information listed above.
OFFER THEM DEALS!
You MUST offer something to the person who got the Audio Flier so that they make sure to show up. Again, even if they like your music they might not come to this next show! Some great ideas are giving them a FREE full length CD, stickers, buttons, a T-shirt, a signed guitar pick, etc. You should ALSO offer them something for bringing friends! For instance, if they bring 3 friends they get a FREE CD and FREE T-SHIRT. You can even say that each friend they bring ALSO gets your full length CD for free. Again, anything you can afford to do to get new fans, you should do. Experiment and see what works. But if you can give out Audio Fliers that bring in new fans, how great would it be if right off the bat those new fans ALSO brought 2, 3, or 4 friends along with them?
GIVING OUT AUDIO FLIERS
We recommend a rule in your group that EVERY member gives out a certain amount of Audio Fliers. Some members who are really good at it can give out more, but EVERY member should be responsible for helping make the Audio Fliers and for giving them out! It's five times more effective if all five members are helping with this instead of just one person doing it all. Of course this is up to your group to decide, but we recommend that you ensure the workload is distributed evenly amongst all of your members.
Think of where your potential Fans are. Are they at the mall? Are they at the skate shop? Are they at American Eagle? Are they at shows at the big venues in town? Are they at the local high school? Are they at the local college? Are they at the rap clubs? Find out where people hang out that would most likely be into you and your music. Then GO THERE. Start giving out Audio Fliers--but DO NOT just hand them out, go up to each person that gets an Audio Flier and introduce yourself and your music. CONNECT with them as much as possible so that they know who you are and so that you'll stick in their minds. You can also carry Mailing List Cards so that if the conversation is going well you can get them on your Mailing List right then and there.
QUALITY NOT QUANTITY!
We've found that if you just go to a big concert and pass out Audio Fliers as people leave, or just leave stacks of Audio Fliers at skate shops on the counter, that they are NOT NEARLY as effective. Of course, that would work better than paper fliers--but you are already spending 25-65 cents per Audio Flier so you may as well go for QUALITY--and not quantity! You want to have meaningful and QUALITY conversations. Find out what music they listen to, get their name, tell them why you think they should come to see you play live, and why they should listen to your music. You can even find out where they work or go to school and what their hobbies are. Any common ground you have with them is a platform for you to help them see the value of your music. After doing this a few times, you will start to get the hang of it. Also have each member carry some Audio Fliers in their backpacks and glove box at all times--if you see someone at the store or at school or at a bar that you think would like your music, you always want an Audio Flier close at hand.
Audio Fliers are a great way to promote; it is essentially the ONLY way to promote so that people can HEAR your music, as well as MEET you and CONNECT with you in person. Use Audio Fliers as a part of your promotion and you'll start seeing better results. Remember, the harder you work BEFORE the show, the better your show will be.