about one month ago

There's a science to how people are influenced to comply with external requests. We've taken six proven approaches and put them in the context of encouraging ticket sales. These are simple steps, ethical – but proven to be highly effective. 

Let's dive right in.  

1. ​Consensus

Demonstrate how everyone else is already onboard.

Example


How to use this for selling tickets

This is why Facebook events are a thing, even though the relationship between how many are "going" on Facebook and how many actually go is questionable. 

For someone who is thinking about going, seeing a high number of people attending on the Facebook event, and particularly a high number of people from their network makes it much more enticing to buy tickets. 

They might not buy tickets then and there, but if the event had hardly anyone going and no attending friends – it'd be much less likely. 

List your event on services that also show who else is going, or how many are attending. 

2. Scarcity

Telling your audience what they stand to lose when they don't engage, increases ticket sales.

Example


How to use this for selling tickets

Tickets by definition are limited. An artist only performs in one location at a time, and only so many people can attend at once. While people know that, it helps to state explicitly for the show in question, that there are not too many tickets available. 

It goes without saying, this only applies when in fact there are "not many left". If that's not the case, something like "tickets selling fast" can have a similar effect. 

Remind your audience that there is not an unlimited amount of tickets available. 

3. Be Likeable

People want to buy from people they like. Having people like your artist from the get-go helps with everything else you're doing. 

Example

How to use this for selling tickets

This one is not something that can be done as a one-off. It's a good policy to not be annoying online (and in general). Constantly pushing ticket sales, and never doing anything fun on social media, comes across like the only relationship wanted is one were the audience buys tickets and there's nothing more to it. 

Social media has enabled the artist-audience relationships to go further than that. People follow celebrities on social media because they provide funny tweets, behind the scenes snaps, or entertaining videos that don't have any purpose except to be fun for the audience. 

Make the audience like you – it makes later call to actions go down much better. 

4. Give Before You Get

When we receive something, we want to give back. So being the first to give is hugely influential. 

This can be as simple as giving people an entertaining video to watch, or following someone on social media (the premise of follow for follow). 

Example

One of our favourite bands to reference for the 'give before you get' phenomenon is Pentatonix. All of their quality backlog is available for free for everyone on YouTube. They built their fanbase by first giving away all of their work, than cashing in on ticket sales later. 

We're such massive fans, we've already outlined their story in detail here

How to use this for selling tickets

See if there's a way of giving something to the audience that they didn't ask for. A follow, a 'behind the scenes' peek, or whatever makes their make me feel special sign glow.  

Give the audience something that they'll like before you ask anything of them. 

5. ​Get An Easy Yes First

Getting a small, early commitment from an audience, makes it easier to ask for bigger things down the line. 

Example


Kaleo is building their email list, and to do that they're setting up a vinyl sweepstake (also an example of #4 give before you get). Why are they building up an email list? Presumably because it's the most effective way to sell tickets

  • Signing up for the email list requires a small yes. 
  • Selling tickets is a big yes. 
  • It's much easier to achieve the latter, once the first one is in the bag. 

How to use this for selling tickets

Find a way to make the audience say yes to you for something small, that doesn't require much of them. This is why we often see campaigns for 'like us on Facebook', 'subscribe to our mailing list'. 

It's of course good to build a following in this way – but it also means that the people who you have on social media have already at least once said 'yes' to what you're offering. 

Try to get a small yes from those you need a big yes from, like those who are buying tickets. Those who have subscribed to a mailing list, or followed on social have already said a small yes to you.  

6. Influence Comes From Others

Being in a position of authority increases your influence. The interesting thing is just about anyone can establish that authority for you – up to and including someone that is paid to say "this person is great". 

So I can say I like you, and you say you like me – and even though it's obvious to everyone that this is a quid pro quo arrangement, it still works. It increases the influence of both. That's not an opinion, but a fact. 

Examples

This is the premise of cross-promotion. Even if it's obvious that both parties benefit from the 'shoutout' they're doing on each other profiles, it still works. Context for this example: Taylor Swift wrote Better Man for Little Big Town. 

How to use this for selling tickets

Encourage anyone to tweet about you, talk about you, say how great you are. Before you do though, remember point number 3 about not being annoying. This is why 'share' is such a common call to action. Whatever the message, it's more effective when it comes from someone other than yourself. 

Better yet, establish a cross-promotional relationship with someone of influence. 

Encourage (in a non-annoying way) others to compliment your work publicly. 

Here Are The 6 Ways Again

  • 1. Consensus
    List your event on services that also show who else is going, or how many are attending. 

    2. Scarcity
    Remind your audience that there is not an unlimited amount of tickets available. 

    3. Be Likeable
    Make the audience like your artist – it makes later call to actions go down much better. 

    4. Give Before You Get
    Give the audience something that they'll like before you ask anything of them. 

    5. Get An Easy Yes First
    Try to get a small yes from those you need a big yes from, like those who are buying tickets.

    6. Influence Comes From Others
    Encourage (in a non-annoying way) others to compliment your work publicly. 


We encourage you to steal these strategies, and copy the ideas directly from the example tweets – or even better, find an artist with good management that's a little bit further along than your artist, and copy their strategy and ideas for audience interactions. 

No one has the ability to connect the dots. Just don't copy it word for word, copy the approach

This post is structured around a video Dr. Robert Cialdini created in 2012 called "Science of Persuasion". It includes the core concepts, that we put in the context of ticket sales. Let us know if this is useful to you, and we'll be happy to elaborate more on any point.