If you have been to a shopping mall on, at least, one occasion, you know the tremendous crowds that most of them attract daily. Hundreds, and even thousands, of daily shoppers flock to the largest shopping malls. And, while most malls have large crowds year round, two of their busiest shopping periods are during summer and Christmas seasons, which adds even more potential mall shoppers. Also, most people tend to, naturally, shop in their own neighborhood malls in the interest of convenience and saving time. And, there is an entirely different crowd that frequents malls during summers, and that is the one that desires to stay cool for free while reducing its home cooling bills. But, while the mall itself is a large crowd attraction overall, a number of its stores are even more attractive with consistent repeat customers.
Such stores include; hair salons, sports stores, game stores, clothing stores, eye clinics, nail salons, music stores, restaurants, just to cite a few. And, while you may feel that the only stores your music is likely to have anything in common with are mall music stores, here is an idea on how you can get other unrelated mall stores working with you in increasing your gig audience as well. First, for maximum effect in increasing each gig's audience, select the mall that is closest to your upcoming gig. Next, approach various store managers in the mall with the proposition of a "barter" deal, whereby, through a co-promotion, you agree to distribute fliers at your gigs that include their store coupons, discounts or ads in exchange for their placing your band's promotional fliers on their checkout counters for their customers (this will, obviously, involve your creation of two separate fliers).
Flyer #1: Flyer #1 will be your normal flyer (you do have one, right?) that you use to promote your gigs. Again, this will be a group of your fliers (say, 50, or so) that is left with each store. Flyer #2: Flyer #2 is the flyer that you will use that contains your various stores' coupons that you will distribute at your area gig. In creating this particular flyer, if each store can provide you with a discount coupon, this is great as you can then take the coupons and photocopy them onto a master sheet, then easily make copies from the master sheet.
If some stores agree to the co-promotion, but do not have discount coupons, have them provide you with a business card with a special notice or symbol on it which you will photocopy on the flyer, and which store personnel can identify as the co-promotion campaign when a customer brings one in. If, for whatever reason this will not work, ask the store manager if you can create a simple design on computer with your band name and the store name, along with any discount the store wishes to present. The store will also likely wish to approve your design before you distribute it. While the preceding may sound like a bit of effort initially, keep in mind that this is not a one-time deal, but is to be an ongoing relationship with the store since you will likely play in the area again and, therefore, is worth this small investment of time and task. Also, at such office supply stores such as Staples and Office Max, you can usually get copies at a nominal cost, from two to seven cents per copy.
Now, consider the possible increase of your audience over a short time period if you can: * Get an agreement with ten stores in any given mall * Distribute 50-100 fliers to each mall store * Pass out 50-100 store coupon fliers at each gig * Multiply this process by five area malls Then, repeat the entire process. Special Note: Approach stores for co-promotion *only* after you have obtained permission from each upcoming gig management to distribute such a co-promotion sponsorship flyer in the gig venue. Doing so, in advance, will save any unnecessary time and effort should the venue not approve later.
Kenny Love is president of MuBiz.com, a promotion and media publicity firm for musicians. Get complete details at MySpace.com and at the MuBiz.com website.