When it comes to communicating, many of us prefer text because it’s efficient and reliable. Like all forms of communication it has also become a standard method of marketing between friends, especially when getting the word out about gigs, art shows and other events we’re involved in. Promoting gigs via text can be easy and efficient—but it’s not always done effectively. One mistake I often see is when my friends message me not as a friend, but as a mass of people.
Let’s start with the golden rule of marketing: Get specific about your target audience. If you try to appeal to everyone you will appeal to no one. When crafting your text about the what, when and where of your event, you have to be clear about who will be reading it.
Write your text as if you were sending a personal message to a friend.
First, create some groups within your contacts. That sounds easy enough but I unfortunately have an iPhone and Apple has decided that groups are unnecessary. Groups of contacts is so 2002. If you have an Android, you are good to go. Just go to contacts and make your groups. If you have an iPhone you will need to download an app to get that 2002 functionality back. I use Connect Contact Manager. It’s great because it’s free and it works.
Now you’re ready to create your groups. Some tips: Only include people who live in your town and would actually go to your shows. Do not put people into multiple lists unless you are good at remembering who is in duplicate lists.
Here are some possible groups:
- People who have asked you to text them about your shows
- People who always go to your shows
- People whose shows you go to
- Closest friends
- People who love unicorns
- People who hate going downtown
- People who have kids
- People who are always looking for a bargain
- People who go to sleep early
With your groups ready to go, you can easily write a text to the group. Of course you can copy and paste your what, where, when but start out your text with wording to fit your group. Whatever you choose to say, just be authentic and that realness will come through.
- People who have asked you to text them about your shows: You asked me to let you know about my next show, it’s this Saturday.
- People who always go to your shows: Thanks for always going to my shows. I appreciate it. Hope you can make it Saturday.
- People whose shows you go to: I’m really into your work and felt so inspired at your last show. Maybe I can return the favor this Saturday.
- Family: I always love having my family at shows and this one is all ages! I hope you can come Saturday and bring the kids.
- Closest friends: I loved seeing you guys for the Fourth of July. Maybe we can keep the fun flowing at my show this Saturday.
- People who love unicorns: Did you wish for a unicorn sighting this week? Well you’re in luck I will be playing my new unicorn siren song at my show this Saturday!
- People who hate going downtown: I know you hate going downtown…my show this Saturday is at the Peace and Justice Center.
- People who have kids: I’m finally playing an all-ages show! I hope you can come on Saturday and bring the kids.
- People who are always looking for a bargain: I know you like a bargain and my show this Saturday is a sliding scale. You can get in for as little as $1!
- People who go to sleep early: I know you don’t leave the house past dark well guess what? I’m playing an afternoon show this Saturday!
Some final words of advice: Write your text as if you were sending a personal message to a friend. I like getting texts that sound like a real person, not an event calendar listing. The best luck I ever had with text marketing was the time when I individually sent messages (copy and pasted to save time) which started by asking, “Hey, what are you up to tonight?”