Special group-guest blog by StreetJelly musicians: Clifton Printy, Peter Bensen, Josh Cline, Image and Family. They have a combined 28,900+ viewerships to their StreetJelly shows …and still growing.
How to get a Thousand Viewers?
Here’s a clue for you. If you want to set records for the most viewers in an online show, own the world record for the most tips, become an internet streaming pop icon, and maybe even have some fun while making a little scratch; here is all you need to do…
So where do we start? At a show with no viewers, of course. We have all been there. No fun at all. So what should you do? Get viewers! Not too difficult really. What is your mom doing? How about your best friend? Where are you fans from the real world? Did you invite them? Are you using the twitter link? Did you post your show on Facebook? It doesn’t take much time to post a message telling your friends that you are performing. Also, it may seem like such a small thing, but it’s amazing how much people respond to the personal touch. Send them a message to ask them out to your show.
You can get a little creative, too. How about posting, “live music no cover with free imaginary drinks,” on your favorite social venue. It works! Try it!
If you have the computer savvy, try using Photoshop, or other such programs, to create posters for your shows. You can post them on Facebook or any other social media type sites to help get your name out there. Print a couple off for your job, friends, and acquaintances. (editors note, i.e. Frankie – try BandPosters.com)
Next, Don’t Suck! No one wants to hear the beginning of Stairway to Heaven sixteen times only to listen to 4 bars of Smoke on the Water. One song well performed is worth more than 100 hours of garbage.
Are you interacting with your guests? Ask them if there is anything about your show they “don’t love” (answers could hurt, but you’ll get an answer). Want to engage someone? Ask them about themselves. Be gracious and friendly. Support other artists. Support other artist supporters. Try dedicating a song to your viewers, it’s a great way to show them that you appreciate their support.
It helps to acknowledge your viewers. They are “gold” to you. Try to mention EVERY visitors name. People LOVE hearing their name treated respectfully. Keep an eye on the comments, clappies, and tips. You’ll get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Play what the audience says is good (another hard pill to swallow). Let them tell you if it’s good.
Be aware that every show is different. It’s all good. You can do a killer show with only 5 viewers or a horrible show with 20, and those five viewers will come back. I’ve even found that mistakes I’ve made in a performance are not always caught by the audience. They can still be entertained by a less than perfect show.
The idea is to keep your nose to the wheel. When in doubt, PLAY!!! As it has been said, “If you build it, they will come”. StreetJelly beats performing on your sofa alone for your metronome. People will come and go, but your (total) viewers will accumulate!
Don’t just be a performer in an ivory tower. Watch other shows! Become an active part of the StreetJelly community. There are a lot of people participating in the StreetJelly “thing.” Making new friends, and showing an interest in other artists will foster a curiosity about you, in viewers of other shows. Also, glean from other shows. Nobody knows everything. There is more to know about performing. You can learn a lot from what other people do. Stand on the shoulders of the giants that have gone before you. And, if you can’t stand a show then I like to say, “take the chicken and spit out the bones.” Take the stuff that works and try it. It can be a big help.
“Not sucking” contains a few ingredients. It’s more than playing your instrument, and singing in key. Your overall image as a performer is huge. An engaging, friendly player/singer will do better in the long run at this racket than a pure virtuoso that has the personality of a cardboard box. That doesn’t mean that you need to be something you’re not. It means that consideration for your audience, and their desires will be rewarded in the long run.
The most important part of a successful show is to have fun. If you are enjoying yourself it will show and it will rub off on your audience.
Lastly friends, you are a visionary, so pony up. You have seen that the internet age is going to change the world. You have stated that eventually everyone will want to interact directly with their favorite artist. You know that this is the herald of a new age for performance of music. Time to pay for your entertainment. What? Oh yes we have to make this work from both ends. Why should someone believe that this is a legitimate venue and support you when you wouldn’t support it yourself? Where is the crowd? What are you?
Grandpa Jim on December 17, 2014 at 7:51 pm said:
I’d like to add that “You can see a smile for a mile.” If you are watching someone from a distance the only facial expression that can be discerned is a smile. So, smiling into the camera has tremendous power to engage. Now if I could only take my own advice. I’m way to caught up in the technicalities. Someone tell me to loosen up please.
LarryL on December 19, 2014 at 6:47 am said:
Wow! You’re clairvoyant… How did you guys know I was gonna start my next show by playing the Stairway To Heaven intro 16 times, then break into 4 bars of Smoke On The Water??? Is that not a good idea?? I know!! I’ll play it on accordion! My tip jar will be overflowing!!
Clifton on December 20, 2014 at 1:59 am said:
Larry L is in fact a performance marketing guru, with feet immersed in web technology before it was even defined. He would be a great example of a “giant’s shoulders” to stand on.
LarryL on December 20, 2014 at 7:27 am said:
That’s very kind of you Clifty.. I still like the accordion idea though…
clifton on December 20, 2014 at 11:51 pm said:
Heard summer Stairway on a Harp, so I guess A stairway to Heaven Accordian might be a great show. I’d tip you.
Markus K on December 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm said:
Great blog post guys, well written and with lots of helpful hints. Thanks! 🙂
Dannyc on December 23, 2014 at 9:03 pm said:
Overall some great ideas here but I would add before anyone puts plan together to promote their shows they take advantage of the wonderful tools provided by Street Jelly in the form of “your show recaps”.
By studying your show results you will find insights from your best/worst shows in relation to audience totals, audience staying power and yes even tips. You can also drill down to your playlist to see how they compared from show to show in relation to audience numbers and tips etc..
A very simple exercise is to divide the audience number by the number of shows as this is a “true” snapshot to how you are doing. This info is available under everyone’s profile.
Just look at the most active performers on Street Jelly and divide their audience member total by the number of shows and this will show you who are the “Giants” referred to in this well written blog.
Using this quick method the very day I joined Street Jelly a year ago until ten minutes ago when I did it again for the purpose of having accurate numbers for this post, Larry “owns” this category! Example, as of today, 5073 audience members in 107 shows, that equates to 47.41 at every show.
With this said, I whole heartily agree with you Clifton, Larry would be a Gaint to emulate regarding getting “Butts in da Seats”. In this regard, the proof is in the numbers he just may be undisputedly the biggest giant on Street Jelly.
I thank you guys for the blog as I have said in the past, in my humble opinion the long term future of Street Jelly may indeed lye in the success of building “civilian” audience members.
Thanks again for bringing this very important subject to the fore front.
LarryL on January 2, 2015 at 9:18 am said:
Danny, the fact is that my fans are the ones doing it. I just show up and play. The people watching are the ones who deserve the credit. They are kind, generous and loyal. Those characteristics make them ‘giants to emulate’ as far as I’m concerned.. They make it happen. I don’t always acknowledge and thank them as much as I should, and they certainly deserve it! Thanks Danny. I appreciate your kind words..
ChrisOfBrest on December 28, 2014 at 5:00 am said:
And if you are French, how you make to have 10 viewers ?
Danny C on December 31, 2014 at 10:21 pm said:
Oh, sorry I almost forgot you can do the same math exercise on your total shows recap to get your peak viewer number, i.e. what is the greatest amount of audience you have in your room “at one time” during each show and also total average.
This is another important number you can use to compare your performances numbers against each other and even other SJ performers. Of course while the longer you play will also have a positive effect on the total audience number is does not do as much to effect the “peak” audience number.
Again great tools, thanks Frankie!
LarryL on January 2, 2015 at 9:25 am said:
The best way to get viewers and keep them is to be yourself. Do not be inhibited. Play from the heart, and invest yourself in the songs you play. Connect emotionally with viewers. Music is all about emotion and heart, much more so than great technical prowess (which is a good thing for me..;) ). Connect at every show. The numbers will take care of themselves if you do.. That’s my 2 cents on the subject.
Ronv on January 5, 2015 at 5:10 pm said:
The best way to keep viewers is to have players. Every time I watch there is no action!
LarryL on January 9, 2015 at 7:43 am said:
Action? It’s people playing songs, mostly individuals. That’s what it’s all about I think. That was the concept. It is what it is.. Not sure what kind of action you’re talking about. It’s a music show format, not the WWF.. ;))
Ronv on January 12, 2015 at 2:46 am said:
I suppose but I never see more than 3 people that are scheduled at any time and maybe twice a night. Some are not set for a week? I thought they wanted to perform.
LarryL on January 13, 2015 at 10:57 am said:
I see your point.. I would be good if more people did shows. If everyone who signed up did one or two shows a month, there’d be ‘action’ all the time.
Bill Hall on January 18, 2015 at 11:30 am said:
Real good points guys. As much as we are all considrate to eachother about trying to schedule around eahother for Streetjelly as a business it probably would be better if there were 10 or 20 shows going on.. Of course that wouild assume we all had some folks watching and using tokens.
It is an interesting dynamic between being a business that is viable and an artistic community and venue. I think what makes it special over anything else out tthere is the community spirit Frankie and Martina have fostered. Like you said Ronv it woiuld be cool if all those people that joined as performers played more regularly.. Of course my comments were direcred more towards overall Streetjelly success and hot the individual success that the article was aimed at (although they are clearly connected). Danny, you made some great points about being able to use the tools available as measuring viewers and trends. Larry did to (about the the connection with the audiance being so important). I certanly think all of you guys with a large folllowing have made that connection in your own ways. Anyhow just my two cents. I hope everyone continues to have fun. One thing everyone has in common is loving live music.
Damian on June 13, 2015 at 12:06 pm said:
To me music is not about numbers, it is about content and message. I would rather reach one person that listens then 1000 that do not. It is not about numbers, it is not about money, it is about music. That is why I do music. Stay true to what you do and all else will follow, especially happiness. Good write up 🙂