Expanding Your Fan Base: “Cold Selling” versus “Warm Market Selling”
When it comes to attracting new fans to your live show, it is important to use strategies that are most effective and that will be the best use of your time. When you are trying to make a fan, what you are really doing is trying to get them to come to your live shows and buy your CD's. You are essentially trying to sell them on the idea that your music is awesome and that coming out to see you play live and buying your CD is what they need to do! So, using the most effective sales strategies WILL increase the likelihood of you convincing this new person to block out their night, get in their car, drive to the venue that you're playing at, pay admission to see you, and then do this many more times for all of your future shows. This is WHY “Warm Selling” as opposed to “Cold Selling” is so important!
“Cold Selling” is defined as: The process of approaching a potential customer without any previous introduction or contact with a view to selling to them, or, An unsolicited approach to a prospective customer. Your fans are your customers. They not only support you through coming to see you live, but also by buying CD's and other merchandise. Going up to someone you do not know at all is considered “Cold Selling,” this is the HARDEST way to expand your fan base.
A “Warm Market” is defined as: A warm market consists of your friends, relatives, associates, and people they know. This connection between your friend's friends and you is what makes warm market selling yield the best results. So by approaching first the people you know, and then people THEY know--you already have a connection that will help you sell yourself and convince them to come see you play, buy your CD's, and tell their friends about what you are doing!
So often artists will spend 5-6 hours or more downtown or at the mall trying to convince complete strangers to come see them play. As would be expected, these artists are usually the ones who are most frustrated and most down because they feel that no one cares about their music. This also makes them feel that drawing over ten people is impossible for them to do and that they'll never have a large fan base. This is both unfortunate and unnecessary! As expected, when going to the mall to try and get random strangers to come see you play--results are going to be low! This is essentially “Cold Selling.” It's the same as telemarketing or door-to-door sales--these are NOT as effective sales approaches and the conversion rates are extremely low. So it's no surprise that results will be low when trying to convince complete strangers to come to your show.
INSTEAD, these artists should first talk to people they know and get them to come to the show, essentially trying to sell themselves to a “Warm Market.” THEN they should focus on connecting with FRIENDS of their existing fans to get them out to the show. It is much easier to “Warm Market Sell” to people who know your existing fans than it is to convince a complete stranger to come see you play.
Your fan's friends will already know people who like you and are coming to your show! This is a strong testament to the fact that you are worth seeing live--because their friends are taking time out of their day to go to your show. You gain credibility in people's minds when they know that their friends have already decided that your music rocks and that your live show is worth seeing. It speaks loudly in people's minds when you can say, “You gotta come see us play! All these other friends of yours are coming and they have a blast every time!” This initial connection you have with these soon to be fans is what makes getting them out to your shows SO much easier than going the route of “Cold Selling”--trying to get random people downtown or at the mall to come out and see you play.
“Warm Market Selling” tactics are always the most effective strategy for selling people on your music and getting them to come see your live show and buy your merch. But, if you are intent on reaching people you have no prior connection to, your best strategy will be to give those people a sample of your music and create as deep of a connection as you can with the little time you have with them. (For more on this, check out: Fliers They Can Hear)
So, start using “Warm Market Selling” and start making it easier to draw more fans. Don't go through the hassle of wasting hours talking to complete strangers when you have people who know your EXISTING fans that you can approach! Always go the route of “Warm Market Selling” when possible, and resort to “Cold Selling” only if you have to. With the distinction between “Cold” and “Warm” market selling in mind, be as creative as possible. There are countless ways that you can apply these principles to turn potential fans into a rapidly growing fan base.
For More Info On How To Also Get Your Existing Fans To Help You Expand Your Fan Base Visit: Fans, it Takes One to Make One.