Derek Sivers

Photos of your audience on your website


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

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

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.

Afterwards, pass around the notebook and say, “Please write down your email address in this notebook. I’ll email you, telling you where you can see your goofy picture on my website.” If you can afford it, use a tablet for this purpose, so they can type their email address instead of hand-write it.

At the end of the night, before bed, write up a journal of that show. Upload all their pictures onto a page of your website. Dedicate a page of your site about that show, with the diary, photos, and a little link on that page 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 that one-to-one relationship with each one.

The other hidden idea in this is to 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.