How to promote your live events

Ask any professional event organizer and they’ll tell you that promotion and marketing is what makes or breaks your event. It’s no different with online events. If you spend zero effort in promotion, don’t expect a huge audience. On the other hand, if you are smart with marketing and put as much effort in promoting your event than you do for other preparations (selecting and preparing tunes, setting up our gear, etc.), you can find tons of new and old listeners.

Slipmat is all about growing your fanbase so it also treats marketing as a priority. If you’re here just to play – even for an empty dancefloor – then this is not for you, but if you want to up your game and grow your fanbase, you need to put some serious effort in marketing and promotion.

Event Promotion

Before the event

  • Have a nice looking and relevant event picture. (Unlike so many bedroom DJs seem to believe, having a big pair of breasts does not magically make a promo picture good)
  • Keep event names clear and relevant. (“Live stream” is a very poor name. Have you ever attended to a rock concert that was titled “concert”?)
  • Tags provide more visibility and metadata, keep them informative as well. (Again, “livestream” is a very poor tag. If you would search your event from Google, what terms would you use? Maybe something like “house, radioshow” or “trance, vocal” instead. Note that your DJ name is already added to the name so it’s not necassary to include it in the tags. But if you do, you’ll end up with your own tag page! Also note that tags should be all lowercase and no special characters or spaces in them. Think of them as special keywords for your event to be found with.)
  • Start your event in warmup mode before starting the show. Warmup-mode is the equivalent of “doors open” of traditional events. Let your listeners settle in to the chat good 30 minutes before the show, it helps you as well to be able to set and feel the general mood of the chat before you start playing.

During the event

  • If you are a member of social media groups which are for live streams or DJ sets, have a list ready and as soon as you start your warmup, post the event link to all of them. (But don’t spam; read more about that below.)
  • For added visibility you could do a small segment to Periscope / Facebook / Instagram live with a “This is a short teaser, watch this show on Slipmat right now” -kind of a message. The point is to push a last minute “hey, remember I’m live right now” reminder to your followers, not to broadcast the show to multiple times at the same time.
  • Be active on the chat. The chat is the most important social feature on Slipmat. It’s not easy, but do try to be as active on the chat as you can. Ignoring the chat is like a club DJ playing with headphones on and never looking to the audience. Learn to use all the chat features and interact regularly with your listeners, that’s a sure way to make them feel good about your set.
  • Don’t be afraid of the microphone. Even if you don’t use a mic in your typical sets, just saying a quick hello and shoutout to your listeners before or after your set is a huge thing. Online sets can feel very distant and cold, and while the chat makes a big difference, nothing beats a real human voice. If you have tips turned on, hyping the audience with the mic has a huge effect. (Remember: even if you don’t have a real microphone, your headphones can be used as one. Just pop them into the mic jack and off you go. It sounds muffled but it’s way better than nothing, if you’re in a pinch!)
  • Ask for feedback. Read more about this from the next section. But during your set, do ask for feedback from your listeners – that’s a really good way to keep improving your events.

After the event

  • Post a tracklist. If you play with Rekordbox, Serato or Traktor, export the history or playlist you did and attach it to the event. Your listeners will thank you and they will come back to the event archive page to look at it. Search engines like Google will also find it and eventually will start connecting you with the artists and tracks that you play!
  • Post event recording. If you record your events and use services like MixCloud or Hearthis to host them, embed a link to the player and now your listeners will be able to re-listen your set. These recordings are also shown around Slipmat so your event will get more free visibility.
  • Read your feedback. Encourage your listeners to leave you feedback. Slipmat has a built-in system for this but you can use whatever channels you prefer. The important thing is to ask for feedback and then react to it.
  • Set up your next event. If you host recurring events like weekly shows, set up your next event as soon as you end the last one. It helps your audience to find it and it also then has maximum visibility on Slipmat homepage under upcoming events.

Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing

Do have a schedule

As a DJ you know about rhythm. Your marketing should have a rhythm, too. Whatever you do, keep a steady tempo that your audience can learn. If you have a recurring weekly show, keep it at the same time every week and promote it at regular intervals so people can learn and remember it. “Oh, it’s Wednesday, DJ Promowhizz has his midweek show tonight at eight!”

Do not just post plain links

Spamming any social media channel with your event links drive-by style, be it your own Facebook wall, a group or a Twitter profile does more harm than good. This is especially bad if your event is recurring and you just keep on spamming the link to multiple places.

When posting a link to a social media channel, add a note why someone might want be interested in clicking it. The link itself should be inviting (good event photo, clear name) but making it more so by being funny or engaging in some other way always helps.

Do create and maintain appropriate social media channels

Your DJ persona should have a brand and if you host a recurring live show, it should have a brand as well. If you are a Facebook-user, make a Facebook page or group for your DJ brand. Or if you use Twitter, make a Twitter account. Having a separate account for your DJ brand makes it more professional and allows you to start gathering a fanbase around it.

Do not overdo your social media presence

The Web is full of social media sites and it’s easy to create 20 different profiles to various sites. What’s not so easy is to maintain all of those. When you’re starting, focus on just one or two platforms and put as much effort you can into them. Having unmaintained social media profiles with last post from three years ago does not look good, don’t fall into that trap. If you find out that you can’t keep up with maintaining a profile, post a “this profile is not maintained”-message or deactivate/delete it.

(Did you know that most artist pay ridiculous amounts of money to brand managers to maintain these profiles for them? It’s a lot of work and it’s unrealistic to think that you would be able to do everything by yourself.)

Do show your music

You are a DJ, let your fans hear your music. If you do mashups or write original music, be sure to post appropriate links to your Slipmat profile and keep them up to date. These are the first thing you want new potential fans to see when they’re looking you out so make sure your Hearthis or SoundCloud -accounts are always up to date.

Also make sure that everything is connected. You need to have a link on your SoundCloud profile to your Slipmat profile and vice versa.

Do use your imagination

Keep thinking and trying new ways to promote yourself. Every DJ posts links and mixtapes, try to find something that suits you and differentietes you from others. Like video? Do vlogs! Like photography? Start a photoblog on Instagram. The Web is constantly changing and there are already endless ways to express yourself. Be true to yourself in your marketing and you will stand out from the crowd.

All comments and ideas on how to make this tutorial better are very welcome! :slight_smile: