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 you are in the right place to learn what you should expect from a professional promoter. After all, club promoters are a dime a dozen, and, frankly, many aren’t very good at it.
The truth of the matter is, 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. That thinking is a big reason why it is hard to find a great promoter.
Although promoting can be fun, the job requires a lot of patience, perseverance, charisma, business savviness, and customer service.
So, unlike those YouTubers and their self-promoting videos who claim that club promoting is “easy money,” I’m going to you give you practical steps on how to be a successful club promoter.
These are some ofthe best practices that I learned – from years of experience as a club promoter for top NYC clubs and a growth marketing expert who has led marketing strategies for various companies – to build a loyal following and earn the big bucks.
Note: “Club promoter” and “party promoters” are essentially the same thing, so I may use those terms interchangeably:
*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.
Be Available, Visible, and Reliable
A club promoter is essentially a brand ambassador who supports marketing and advertising promotions for a club or other nightlife venue. A club promoter’s goal is to drive attendance, revenue, and build brand awareness.
This requires strategy.
Don’t think that you can just wait until the night of a party to start promoting – it is not that easy. You must work towards the next party almost every day. That is unless 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 get advance RSVPs, hosts bottle clients, or organize 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.
Be Available For Your Guests
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 are an introvert and like to put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” during your down time, that will have to change. That also means you will have to make your social media pages public. Every channel of communications needs to be open from your email to your social media Direct Messages (DMs).
Be Visible On Social Media
To be a successful club promoter, you should have a public social media profile or create a page 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 regularly in both your social media feed and stories. After all, you want your face in feeds so whenever people think of partying, you come to mind!
Social Proof and User Generated Content
Social media is also great for creating social proof such as comments and reviews from your guests about how great your parties are. User-generated content is a valuable part of club marketing, which makes your guests your biggest marketing asset.
Words will only go so far when you’re hyping up clubs; Nothing tells the story better than an image or video!
Your reach also drastically increases on social media. But it does take research to build a social media strategy, hashtag strategy, determine the best posting cadence, and so on. To build a strong following there.
But one on social media to an active following is far more efficient than sending out 100 text messages. So it’s all worth it.
Be Reliable and Punctual
With all of your communication channels open, you can expect random messages at any time of the night. But even if you aren’t promoting, always respond! This shows guests that you are reliable and there when they 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
Generally, 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 honor your promises, until they can’t.
Networking Is Essential
As a promoter, you should network constantly. Not only for your career but also to expand your guest list. Because, generally, you can expect a 10- 20% attendance rate for most parties.
So, not only do you have to keep in touch with your loyal followers, you must actively grow that audience.
When you are just starting your promoting career, you will focus on quantity. But at some point, quality will become more important.
Network With Target Audiences
When networking, your efforts will be best spent towards meeting groups of working professionals, celebrities, musicians, and people with high-value networks. These are the type of guests that clubs typically value.
So, 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 – like any other business.
Network With Your Peers
Here’s a big expert tip that many promoters never learn:
“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.
Choose The Right Audiences
Many promoters go wrong, by not focusing on the right audiences. For example, if you intend to be an image promoter, you should build connections with young fashion-forward crowds.
Also, the audiences you focus on should fit the crowd that the club wants to attract. Which they rarely explain in detail. This is something that you learn from experience.
Nevertheless, you will always get the best results if you focus on audiences that you resonate with. Guests feel more comfortable with a promoter that they can vibe with. This is where you have to be a chameleon of sorts, and learn to connect with different audiences.
Segment Your Audiences
As you grow your contact list, you’ll need to start thinking about audience segmentation.
Audience segmentation is the practice of using specific criteria to separate audiences into smaller sub-groups. Using this method, you can create targeted, relevant, and personalized marketing promotions for specific audiences.C. Nez Byrd – Growth Marketing Expert
Marketing experts commonly segment their audiences by demographics, like age, gender, and location.
Here are some examples of criteria that club promoters could use to segment their audiences:
- Fashion or style (e.g. Casual, formal)
- Music Preferences (e.g. Hip Hop lovers, Ravers)
- Gender (e.g. Male vs. Female guests)
With audience segementation in mind, you can adjust your invitations to be far more convincing.
Avoid Spamming Your Contacts
Once you have segmented your audiences, there is no good reason to spam all of your contacts with invites to every party. If you do, many will start to ignore your messages.
It’s good practice to create groups in your phone’s contact lists. And if you are tech-savvy, then use email marketing automation software to store your contact lists and create marketing campaigns.
There are quite a few good, and free, email marketing platforms that I would recommend for starters:
Along with your conscious efforts, these tools will help to prevent any unwelcome spammy behaviors.
Choose Your Venues Wisely
While working at every party available may sound cool, it makes your job much harder. This is a fast path to burning out, which I have seen happen to many new promoters.
Select Fewer Venues To Work At
Generally, it is best to select up to 3 venues to promote. Beyond that, you may end up working 7 days a week!And you should prefer venues where you have the best relationships and get the best treatment.
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 and get guests accustomed to your promoting schedule.
Send Promotions On a Schedule
Once you have a steady schedule, rotate promotional messages 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.
In the world of marketing communications, the frequency is how many messages you send during a given time. Such has 5 times a week.
The cadence for messaging is the rhythm at which you send messages, such as the specific days and times.
This is where using that email platform starts to help for scheduling communications.
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 help you build valuable rapport, earn their loyalty, and even their friendship. Just keep in mind to always remain professional.
Frankly, some people may abuse their privileges when they see you as their “friend.” I’ve seen quite a few club promoters hurt their image from 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 although 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 tips to heart, then I am confident you will become a great club promoter.
And if you are looking for a club promoter, now you know what you should expect from a good one.
Please share this article if it was helpful. And, if you would like to learn more about club promoters, read my #1 article, “Everything To Know About Club Promoters.“
This article is dedicated to the late Mikel Audu, who introduced me to the nightlife game.