If you are interested in becoming a club promoter or party promoter*, then let me be the first to welcome you with open arms. But, let me also be the first to be brutally honest with you and tell you that it is much harder than it looks.
On the otherhand, if you are trying to find a great promoter, then this article will outline some key behaviors that you should look for. After all, club promoters are a dime a dozen, and, frankly, many aren’t very good at it.
There are a ton of “douchebag promoters” that overpromise and under-deliver, or promote just to pick up girls. Being a club promoter isn’t all fun, bottle popping, and girls girls girls. And people thinking like that is a big reason why it is hard to find a great promoter.
While promoting can be fun, it requires a lot of patience, perseverance, charisma, business savviness, and customer service to be great at it.
So, unlike those YouTubers and their self-promoting videos who claim that club promoting is “easy money,” I’m going to give you some of the best practices of successful club promoters. From my years of experience as a club promoter and marketing expert, I can attest these are some of the best ways to grow a loyal following and earn the big bucks.
*The main difference between club promoters and party promoters is that club promoters promote for venues (e.g. clubs, lounges, or bars), while party promoters promote parties that are not tied to a venue. Otherwise, they are functionally the same. So, we may use those terms interchangeably.
Be Available, Visible, and Reliable
A club promoter is essentially a brand ambassador who markets for a club or party and a salesperson seeking to drive attendance and revenue for the venue. So you need to have some strategy when you approach it.
Never think that you can just wait until the night of a party to start promoting. You have to be working towards the next party almost every day. Unless of course you are a street promoter who stands on a corner and haggles every passerby to enter the nightclub.
The promoters who make the big bucks are the ones who get advance RSVPS, get bottle clients, host guests inside the club, or even organize their own parties. These promoters are more vested in the success of each party and therefore make more money. They also tend to focus on what I call, “The Big 3” – Being available, visible, and reliable.
Life as a club promoter means that you have to be available around the clock. You can almost never turn your phone off because you might miss a text from a bottle client or a call from someone who has a big group and wants to party tonight!
So, if you like to have your social media account set to private, that’s going to have to change. You’re going to need that to keep in touch with guests. It’s also much easier to communicate through direct messages (DMs) on social media since you can see who you are talking to immediately.
Besides opening up another channel for communication, social media will also be important for promoting your parties.
Be Visible On Social Media
To be a successful club promoter, you should make your social media profiles public or create pages just for promoting. And, unless you are already an influencer with a huge following, you’ll need to work on creating content to be more visible.
You’ll want to post reguarly in both your feed and stories. After all, you want your face in feeds as much as possible to the point where whenever people think of partying, you come to mind!
Use Social Proof and User Generated Content
Social media is also great for creating social proof by sharing comments and reviews by your guests about how great your parties are. User-generated content, like guest photos, are also a valuable part of your marketing, making your guests your biggest marketing assets.
Yes, that means you should be taking selfies and group pics at every party. Words only go so far when you’re hyping up clubs. And nothing tells the story better than an image or video!
Your reach can be drastically increased on social media, but it does take will take a while to figure out a hashtag strategy, posting cadence, and so on. Nevertheless, it’s still far easier to connect with people on social media than by text message. I can tell you from experience that is a nightmare when you blast a text to over 1,000 people, then have to sift through 100 responses.
With all of your social channels open, you can expect random messages at any time of the night, asking if you are promoting. But even if you aren’t promoting, always respond! This shows guests that you are reliable and there when guests need you.
Being reliable also means being punctual. If you tell your guests to get to a party at 11 pm, and you show up at midnight, then one of two things (if not both) will likely happen.
- Another promoter will poach your guests
- Your guests will not come for you again
One thing that most people don’t realize, is that in the nightlife industry, your word is your bond. There are few written agreements, even with the people you work for. People just trust you to come through with what you say you will.
So, always come through on your end with the promises that you make to both your guests and your employers or else you will burn bridges very quickly.
As a promoter, you should be networking constantly to expand your guest list. Because, generally, if you invite 100 people, you would be fortunate if 20 people attend. So not only do you have to keep in touch with your loyal followers, you always have to be adding to that bucket.
However, when you are just starting out in promoting you will be looking for quantity at first. But at some point, quality will become more important.
When networking, you should always make as many connections as possible. But your efforts will be best spent towards meeting groups of working professionals, celebrities, musicians, and people with high-value networks. Basically, the type of guests that clubs will always value.
Just like how rich people do, be strategic when networking and look for the right people to build connections with. That’s going to be your fastest way to the top.
Network With Your Peers
Here’s a big expert tip that many promoters never learn or take the effort to do:
“Always network with the people who work at the venue!”
This includes the doormen, the bartenders, the security guards, the waitresses, and even the bar backs. This helps your day to day operations at the venue and, after all they are your colleagues.
Building relationships is key to growth in the nightlife business, just like any other.
Know Your Audience
Many promoters go wrong, by not drilling down and focusing on specific audiences. For example, if you intend to be an image promoter, you should regularly build connections with groups of young fashion-forward guests who love to party and similar circles since that is the demographic that most popular clubs want.
The audiences you focus on should fit the crowd that the venue or party that you work for wants to attract. However, you will always get the best results if you focus on audiences that you resonate best with.
Guests will feel more comfortable working with a promoter that they can vibe with and enjoy being around. And for you, this is where you have to be a chameleon of sorts, and know how to speak to and connect with different audiences.
If you don’t narrow your audiences down, then you may cast your net too wide and end up with phone full of random people. This will make targeting guests harder and often lead to poor and unexpected turnouts to your parties.
Segment Your Audiences
As you grow your contact list, you’ll need to start thinking about audience segmentation. Audience segmentation is basically when you use some criteria to separate your contacts into smaller groups. Then you can target each of these audience segments with personalized marketing, messaging, and offers.
Marketing experts often segment their audience using demographics. So, here are some criteria that every promoter should consider using when segmenting their audiences:
- Fashion or style (e.g. Casual, formal)
- Music Preferences (e.g. Hip Hop lovers, Ravers)
- Gender (e.g. Male vs. Female guests)
- Big spenders (e.g. bottle clients)
- Age Range
- Geographic Location (e.g. Locals vs. tourists)
With these criteria in mind, you can adjust your invitations to be far more convincing. When your guests feel like the parties that you are inviting them fit their tastes, they will be more likely to join.
Avoid Spamming Your Contacts
Once you have segmented your audiences, you have no good reason to spam all of your contacts with invites to every party. If you do, many will start to ignore your messages.
So start creating groups in your phone’s contact lists from the beginning. And if you want to get more sophisticated, get a CRM platform to store your contact database in and start building email lists. Then you can send organized marketing campaigns.
For instance, I normally text message my loyal guests directly. But I use SMS and email marketing platforms to manage campaigns to most.
Along with your conscious efforts to match the right parties to the right people, these tools will help to prevent any unwelcome spammy behaviors that could turn your guests off to you.
Choose Your Venues Wisely
While working at every party available, 7 days a week, may sound cool, it just makes your job much harder. Besides you just burning out, some days are much harder than others to work on. So, in most cases it is best to select a few days and a few venues.
Select Fewer Venues To Work At
Instead, I recommend for you to select up to 3 venues, and promote their most popular nights. And you should always select venues where you get the best treatment.
Always lean towards the venues that allow you to push your guests to the front of the line, give you more promo bottles, or pay more! This will help you to build your followings for these venues and get guests accustomed to your promoting schedule.
Also, limiting your venues will also help you from experiencing the burnout that will happen from partying hard every single night of the week.
Send Promotions On a Schedule
Once you have a steady promoting schedule, rotate promotional messages to them on a frequency that minimizes the number invites they are sent each week. Then find the best cadence that fits the times where you see the most responses.
And to clarify, when it comes to marketing communications, the frequency is how many messages you send during a given time. The cadence is rhythm at which you send, like the days and times.
If you have guests who love house music, hit half of them up for that one week, then the other half the next week. Even if it is an awesome party, that’s not a text that you want going to everyone every week!
Be Fun But Professional
As a club promoter, you have to be the entertainer, the hype man, and always bring good vibes to your guests. This positive energy will hekp you to build valuable rapport and eventually earn their loyalty. And they may become your actual friends in the real world!
But even if you become friends with your guests, keep in mind that you should always remain professional. Why? Well, frankly, some guests start to abuse their privileges and expect more of you if you are their “friend.”
I’ve seen quite a few times when club promoters hurt their relationships with venue owners for asking for too many “favors” or “freebies” for guests who aren’t even spending money.
Party Hard, But Remember It’s a Job
At the end of the day, you are responsible for your guests’ experience and well-being. Especially if you are hosting them at a VIP section.
So, never get more wasted than your guests. Keep in mind that alhough you are partying, you are still on the job. Sometimes you have to remind your guests and yourself of that fact.
If you take these pointers to heart, then I am confident that you will be on the road to being a successful club promoter.
And if you are looking for a club promoter, then now you know what a good and professional one does to make your experience better.
If you like this article, please share it. The more love this blog gets the more I write!
And if you want a deep dive into the club promoter business, read my top article, “Everything To Know About Club Promoters.“
I’m dedicating this article to the late Mikel Audu, who introduced me to the nightlife game.