As a musician, your main aim is to get people to listen to your music and although streaming is the easiest way to get you music discovered, nothing compares to live performance. Performing live is the best way to directly connect with your fans as they get to see you on a personal level, interact face to face and finally bring to life everything they’ve listen to and seen online.
It’s estimated that live events in the music industry will be worth $31 billion worldwide by 2022, so we all know the money is there but how does an emerging artist go about bringing in money from their live events? Well in this blog post we’re going to explain exactly that and how getting a photographer can result in more ticket sales, more fans and result in a high return on investment.
1.PHONES ONLY WORK TO A CERTAIN DEGREE
If you want to attract more people to your gigs, then a phone video isn’t quite going to cut it. Although a phone video/photo is rawer because it’s shot from the crowd and has a personal feel to it, phone videos are not at a high enough quality to promote your live events and don’t do them justice. The footage has flat and blown out colours as well as audio that doesn’t capture your true sound, it’s something you really don’t want to use for promotion, therefore investing in a photographer or videographer for your next set, could lead to more sales for your next one.
A photographer/videographer is going to be using a professional camera, so you will be getting higher quality content to use for your social media and to add to your EPK. Once you’ve received the images or videos from the professional, you can edit them into Instagram ads, which you can then use to promote your next gig, which will lead to more ticket sales as a true representation of your gigs should prove to an audience that it’s worth investing in you.
Make sure to message your photographer/videographer prior to your gig to explain things such as lighting and sound so to help them get the best shots possible. You need to also explain what your set will look like, so they know what to expect and where to be at what time. You can also take advantage of the fact someone’s shooting the event by singing to the camera or jumping into the crowd, just to add that extra bit of exciting content.
2. HIGH QUALITY VISUALS ATTRACTS MORE FANS
You all want to have as many fans as possible because fans are what makes you succeed as an artist and the visuals are what can draw them in. Humans are visual consumers in 2019, meaning they take in visual content far more easily and engage with it at a higher rate. Therefore, having these images and videos to put in front of your already existing audience and potential fans, will lead to more interaction and therefore more fans.
If all you ever post is gig announcements rather than actual visuals from the live events, it will bore your audience but by having photos from your gigs, people will see what your gigs are like and will be more likely to want to come.
These visuals can also be shared around too, being uploaded to the photographer’s social media accounts and the company/venue’s that put on the gig. This means that you are going to be seen by a larger audience than just the people that follow your account, growing your fan base like never before.
3. PHOTOGRAPHS ARE PART OF YOUR BRANDING
You need to remember that you’re creating a brand as well as making music and in this digital era, the content you put out is your branding. Therefore, the photos and videos you’re putting out to the world, will identify to the consumer what your sound is, what your message is and will persuade them to follow or not engage at all. High quality visuals are what will draw someone in as it shows you’re professional, take your music seriously and good quality images and videos will also represent your image, so the consumer will know what to expect from the content alone.
If you can put on a good show and have photos of you with a large crowd, then larger venues will be more likely to let you play there. This is because the venue wants to make money too so if you can bring in lots of people then they’re going to make more money. This is also the case with press and radio, if they see you’re bringing in a crowd from images and videos, they’re more likely to feature you as they know you have a dedicated fan base there and that will benefit them also.
Any sort of visual content is your brand, so investing in these photographers and videographers is well worth the money and has a high ROI financially but more importantly with your overall growth in fans and engagement.
4. IT GIVES YOU MORE CONTENT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
Being a musician can be extremely difficult as you’re having to juggle the creation of the music, the promotion, releasing and then on top of that, most probably a full-time job, so sometimes your social media profiles can be neglected. However, as we’ve already mentioned, the content you create is your branding, so you need to be posting daily and having this content from gigs, provides you with the content you need to be able to post regular.
These photos and videos can be extremely engaging as it offers something different from your usual content, allows your followers to see you live and is also exciting for the people that went to the event. You can even caption the post “Did you come to our gig on Friday? Try to spot yourself in the audience”, which will encourage more engagement and trigger the Instagram algorithm to push your content out to more people.
5. IT CREATES A BETTER EXPERIENCE FOR FANS
Although fans will record and photograph part of your set as a personal memory of the event, you can hire a photographer to take better quality photos for a record of the event too. You can use this to encourage fans to focus more on having a good time and enjoying the moment, rather than worrying about getting the photo or short clip on their phone because you have someone taking photos.
A lot of large musicians such as Kendrick Lamar, The Lumineers and Guns N’ Roses have already started to do this at their concerts to create the best experience for their fans and to go back to what concerts used to be.
WHERE TO FIND THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU?
Now that you’ve decided that you’re going to get a photographer or videographer to your next gig, you now need to find the best one for you. The place to start is social media, mainly Instagram as it’s designed solely for sharing photos and videos. You could just search ‘music photography’ and find some amazing work but the accounts could be from another country so to filter these out, search by location and look at the venues in your area or where you’re performing next. Once you’ve found the venue, look at posts it’s been tagged in and posts with the venue as the location.
HOW TO FIND PHOTOGRAPHERS WITHIN YOUR BUDGET
Another way to look for photographers is at the local universities and colleges. There is a lot of incredible talent coming from young people and the best place to find them is the local areas. Although they won’t have as much experience as a professional photography, you can help each other out and form a working relationship. As they may be new to this form of photography, many will be willing to work for free or at a low fee. If you like their photos, you could continue to work with them or hire them as the band’s photographer at a lower price than a professional would cost.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PHOTOGRAPHER
When you’re trying to decide on what photographer to pick, one thing to do is to not to look at the number of followers and likes they have but look at the quality and consistency of their work. Some photographers have lots of likes and followers because they promote their photos, but these photos can be poor quality and the account can have a very inconsistent post schedule.
Find someone who does something different to everyone else as this will make the photos more noticeable and increase the chances of you band getting seen. Continuing from the previous point of hiring student photographers, as they’re new to the field they will be willing to experiment and learn new things so talk to them about what they can do and what they’re willing to try. They will also have the resources and teachers experience at the college or university to help them try these new things.
Having a professional photographer at your gigs can lead to many opportunities in your music career such as press, radio play, increase in fans and growth in ticket sales, all of which lead to more of an income for you. Hiring these professionals has an amazing ROI as the high-quality content they capture for you, results in an income if the content is used, edited and distributed as we’ve explained above.