Open New Markets with Audience Swaps

– Posted in: Biz Booster Hot Tip! Touring Strategies
Open new Markets With Audience Swaps
Open New Markets With Audience Swaps - by Jeri Goldstein     

Open new markets with audience swaps to help build fans and offset expenses.

You want to open new markets but are tired of coming home with empty pockets or worse yet, spending far more than expected. You need to expand your fan base, but it costs so much in expenses to travel away from your home base.

Then try to open new markets with audience swaps.

First: Find an artist in a new market where you would like to expand. Choose an artist whose work you like and with whom you think you would be compatible.

Second: Make sure the artist selected has a strong following in the desired market. You are attempting to break into a new market and it only makes sense to do this with an artist who can sell tickets in that market. For this to work, it would be optimal, if the selected artist is interested in expanding into your market. Suggest to the artist that you will book and promote at least one gig or perhaps even several gigs in your market where you have a strong fan base. You (or your team) will negotiate the dates, do all the press and generally do whatever it takes to promote your gigs to their fullest. The other group will provide you with their press materials and will co-bill the show(s). All the publicity will include the visiting group. You will even try to arrange print and radio interviews for the group.

Negotiate a percentage or minimal guarantee plus some percentage for the act. Since this is your audience and you are doing all the work to introduce the group in your market, you take the larger percentage. In return you expect the group to do the same for you in their own market, introducing you to their audience.

When entering a new market where you have no following, you have little leverage to negotiate decent fees. By swapping audiences you enter a new market with some momentum provided by the other group. You’re likely to make more money; sell more merchandise and gain a larger number of mailing list names to contact for return dates. Since the hometown group is doing all the legwork, you will have the advantage of hitting all the possible media outlets in the area as well as performing in the appropriate venue(s). This is a strategy for success.

Select the Right Artist(s) for An Audience Swap

Select a group with similar work ethics as your own. You want to be sure they will extend you every professional courtesy in their market, as you would do for them in yours. Therefore, I suggest asking the following questions to be sure the group you are considering is the right act for your audience-expansion project.

  1. How often do they perform in their home area?
    You want to be sure they play often enough to have built a loyal following.
  1. When was their last performance?
    Make sure there is enough time between their last gig, so the demand is there to see the group again.
  1. How many paying people do they draw to a concert?
    You want to have a group whose income can support a co-bill.
  1. Do they ever perform at events that are free to the public where a large crowd may gather?
    For example, some cities produce free concerts in the parks or downtown malls. Are they popular in the market?
  1. What size venues do they normally play?
    Splitting fees at 50 seat venues may hardly be worth the trip whereas co-billing in a 300 or larger seat venue may expand your fan base nicely.
  1. What is the size of their mailing list in their area and the nearby surrounding areas?
    Select an artist whose fan base is substantial.
  1. Who does the booking?
    This is just good to know so you have a point person. If the group has an agent, there may be some commission to pay.
  1. Who does the publicity?
    Connect with the publicity person to get your materials to them, arrange any interviews and offer suggestions on how best to promote your group.
  1. Do they get coverage from local press and radio?
    Have they ever had a feature article written about them in local papers? If the group has recently been covered for gigs, the media may be reluctant to offer more space for this act. However, with you co-billing, your act may receive the lion’s share of the publicity in order to breath new life to the hometown band. Make sure they hadn’t recently had a feature article in the main paper.

The Next Step:

Now it’s time to choose dates for your concerts after considering all the above items.

Open New Markets with Audience Swaps and boost your career in a new market more smoothly than trying to open the market on your own. The real key to holding the newly-won audience, is to follow up with return tour dates in a timely manner.

Have you ever tried to swap audiences? How successful were your efforts? What insights can you share with others who might want to try this in the future?

Leave me a comment below.

I can’t wait to hear about your success.

Thanks to Carol Ehrlich for this week’s graphic image.
Check out her work at

Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, Future Dance.
Check them out at

And for more career boosting tips, articles, books, resources, tele-seminars and online courses, visit me at

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