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Karaoke Marketing Tips 101

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Recently started the onerous task of looking for a new karaoke show. There are many different ways of doing this and thought it might help to share with you how we do it. The first thing we do is phone up a bar in the area where they currently do NOT provide karaoke services. The consensus among us KJ’s is that you do not market to a bar where there is a KJ there already. Say that with me one time.

Okay, so you introduce yourself to the person who answers the phone and ask to speak to a manager for a minute. It is very important not to give your sales spiel to the waitress/waiter as they may have negative feelings towards karaoke. Also, why try to sell to this person when they have no decision-making powers?

Now the manager/owner gets on the phone and again you very pleasantly introduce yourself as well as your company. You then should ask them if this is a good time to call or would they prefer a better time when they are not so busy. We have found after the breakfast rush (after 10:00 A.M.) or lunch rush (after 2:00 p.m.) good times to call.

Assuming the manager/owner would like to continue the conversation now, you then let them know you are marketing in the area and were wondering if they would be at all interested in your coming to their establishment to discuss how your company could help increase their customer-base. It is very important at all times to ensure your sales spiel focuses on how your company could help this bar attract and keep more customers.

Hopefully, you still have their interest so you next set up a mutually agreed upon meeting at their establishment. Be very punctual, well dressed and bring your business cards, one of your songbooks, and other marketing material that may help you sell yourselves such as flyers, advertising on tabletops, etc.

It’s always a good idea to order something (at least a soft drink) while you’re waiting to speak with the manager/owner. When this person comes to your table, always stand and introduce yourself again with a great big smile pasted on your face.

Invite them to have a seat and try to control the conversation without becoming obnoxious. Let them know how long you’ve been in business, how much you enjoy this type of work, what a gorgeous bar they have, etc.

A very important question to ask before giving out your rate is “were you thinking about a particular night?”. This could even be discussed on the telephone if you have a number of shows already to avoid wasting both your time and theirs.

Always be positive and upbeat. Your horror stories should be saved for your memoirs. Even if you get a vibe that this isn’t gonna happen, these people talk to other managers/bar owners so always be gracious and polite. They may even provide you with a lead should they be unable to accommodate you as humans typically like to try and help fellow humans.

Another marketing strategy that we’ve used very effectively is simply taking a few hours to drop off a business card at a number of bars in the neighbourhood. If the waitress/waiter is pleasant, it is not even necessary to speak with the manager/owner at this point.

Simply introduce yourself and let them know you are just marketing in the area and would they be so kind as to pass on your business card to the manager/owner. A good follow-up is phoning the next day and just checking to ensure the manager/owner received the business card. Good luck and have fun with this! Please also note that there are many, many more ways to market your karaoke company. We’ve just provided you with a couple to get you started.

Mr. MacDonald, B.A.A. is editor of a new online monthly publication called Karaoke Scoop Ezine. He has been a desktop publishing professional for 15 years already and has been participating at various karaoke venues for over 10 years. He is also co-owner of A Cut Above Karaoke/DJ Services for over 7 years hosting shows ranging from 30 to 450 guests to date. Please check out his website at for more information.

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Dave MacDonald
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