Derek Sivers

from the book “”:

Photos of your audience on your website

2000-08-10

Here’s a way to get people in the audience to sign your mailing list and be part of your club.

At every show you do from now on, bring a camera and a tablet.

About halfway through your show, when everyone is having fun, take pictures of the audience from the stage. Tell them to smile, make a face, hold up their beer, whatever.

Then pass around the tablet and say, “Please type your email address on this tablet. I’ll email you, telling you where you can see your goofy picture on my website.” If you can’t get a cheap tablet, paper will work.

Before you sleep that night, write up a journal of the show. Upload all their pictures onto a page of your website. Dedicate a page of your site to that show — with the diary, photos, and a link that says, “If you were at this show, please introduce yourself!” — so people can contact you.

Email everyone that was there that night. Of course everyone will go look at your site. How could they not? People are infinitely more interested in themselves than they are in you.

Don’t use social media for this. Don’t depend on followers. Get their real contact information into your database, and build your relationship with each one.

This also helps make every show a real event — a big deal — something worth documenting. This will get you out of the habit of thinking of it as “just another gig.” Because for many of your fans, it’s not. It might have been the most fun they’ve had all month.