Ah, yes! Wives working at the gig while the husband is working the crowd. It's easy to get lost in the shuffle. But you know what? My job is just as important as Chubby's. I think I multi-task more at a gig than anywhere else. I, too, am a singer, so I sing back-ups, fetch water, dance to get the crowd going, sell merchandise, obtain email addresses, take care of backstage issues, hand out flyers and postcards, answer questions and watch our daughter.
We look at selling merchandise as a second income, so I hustle to make as many sales as possible. Now, I know what you’re saying, “Really? Selling merchandise, how hard is that?” I know, it’s boring, but I have a couple of tips. I increase our merchandise sales with these two helpful hints.
- I don’t wait for the sale to come to me. I set up a merchandise table and display our goodies, but I don’t stay there for the entire show. I have a shoulder bag filled with CD’s, a couple of shirts, a money bag, business cards, and my iPhone. When Chubby makes the announcement that I have merchandise, I start making my way through the crowd. I sell more merchandise going to them, then waiting for them to come to me. You want it? Go get it!
- Get a Square Card Reader. It’s a cool little tool that allows us to accept debit or credit card payments through my iPhone. I enter the amount, swipe the card, give description, have them sign, email receipt, and hand them their merch. Bidda bang, badda boom! How many people really keep cash on hand anymore? I know I don’t.
Another handy tool that allows us to stay in touch with customers is Constant Contact. We use two of their features to get more people on our list.
- Constant Contact has an iPhone app that allows us to add email addresses directly into our email list. No more trying to read illegible handwriting, just let the fan type it in.
- We've also utilized their "text to join" feature where Chubby makes an announcement to text "chubby" to our short code and that allows them to enter their email directly to our list
One more thought. When an interested person approaches me about hiring the band, I always have business cards handy, but I ask for their contact information as well. Once again, I don’t wait for the sale to come to me, Chubby follows up with these potential clients within the next day or two.
Is this helpful? Can you use these ideas at your next gig? What other tips do you have along these lines that you're willing to share?