Selling Out Your Home Concert: Part 1

Anyone can hold a concert. Just like anyone can make any number of products you see or buy in the market place. Making products isn’t the problem. Finding buyers is. With the ever increasing snow storm of advertising and information flashing before our eyes, getting to the messages we want is difficult. That means getting your message about your concert to the right people is the challenge.

First, what not to do. Don’t advertise to everyone, just to the people who are most likely to come including:

1. The friends, neighbors and family of your host. That includes people they know at their place of employment, church, clubs, associations or anywhere else that respects them.
2. Your friends and family. If you’re still in school or teaching school, that’s a great place to round up bodies. The other people mentioned in item one apply to you as well.

Start making a list of the names, addresses and emails of every person from the possibilities listed above. That is your “house list.”

You are going to prepare an invitation that will have the following features:
1. It will first tell the person how the concert will benefit that person. The wrong way is to begin by telling how wonderful you are, and that is how most concert and other ads begin. This is about THEM NOT YOU!
2. You’ll continue extolling the benefits of coming to the concert and the kindness of the host.
3. You will become a benefit of the concert.
4. Your music will be a great benefit of coming to the concert.
5. You’ll clearly let them know where, and when.

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Remember this code: AIDA

Interest (those are the things that will benefit the audience)
Desire (creation some emotion – people buy from emotion, not intellect)
Action (make sure they have a way to contact you, the host through email or phone to let you know they are coming)

All of this should be accompanied with a social media campaign that you orchestrate. Set up a Facebook page just for this event and get your friends to invite people to it. Use Twitter and other social media to get the word out. Make this a media event.

Decide on the purpose of the concert. It can just be a concert hosted by a family, or it could be:

1. Evaluation or Feedback concert. You’re seeking opinions of people about what music you should put on your CD or use for your auditions, or whatever. For this you’ll need an evaluation form.
2. Pre-CD launch concert.
3. Benefit concert for a cause your host believes deeply in. (See the chapter in Marketing Singers about how to hold a benefit concert and get paid twice for doing it.) We held a benefit concert at our backyard that opens out to a golf course and had 400 people attend and we raised our goal of $30,000.
4. Pre-audition tour concert or Summer Program Funding Concert. Let them know you’re going on an audition tour to New York or London or wherever you’re going for a Summer Program and need to raise funds and donations will be accepted along with feedback.

Here are a couple of examples of flyers or invitations that worked quite well. This first one is for the host family to send out and emphasizes an invitation from them. That’s the first benefit.














This second flyer is benefit heavy right from the start and catches people’s heart. It’s all about THEM and how you can help them. A simple letter accompanied this with the email and email of where to RSVP.


The cover photo was from her first home concert. It led to the second home concert. Her greatest asset was her persistence. Of course she had a beautiful voice and was prepared to deliver a great concert.

In Part II I’ll discuss what to do at the concert to set up your “perpetual gig machine!”

Here is the note I received from this singer and her results are fairly typical:

“It went great!!! I sang well, the pianist played well; we had 45 people there in this huge, gorgeous home. The acoustics were PERFECT–the room I sang in had a monastery-cloister arched ceiling. The guests were very happy. I pre-sold 29 CDs.

Donations brought in $610. Not too shabby!

People are talking already about doing a Christmas program there in a couple of months, and a couple of other people expressed interest in having entertainment in their homes.

One of the ladies who came was my dry cleaner–I met her the day before when I dropped off my dress to be cleaned. Turns out she’s from CA and loves opera. It was just a lot of fun and everyone came away w/something.

Thanks for your help! It was a team effort that has paid off beautifully.

Kristin Jensen”


Mark Stoddard

Mark Stoddard is a business leader, professor, marketer and consultant who has been helping singers get jobs for more than 20 years. On the singing front he staged more than 100 professional shows aboard cruise ships that employed classical singers, pianists and strings. He’s also coached singers on how to sell their CDs and other products, use the social media and how to negotiate contracts. He’s been the CEO, President or Owner of the nation’s largest financial newsletter printing company, a residential and home study education company teaching finance and business, an international cruise and tour operation, and a non-profit fundraising organization. As an author he’s written 17 books on business and marketing (including one just for singers—Marketing Singers) as well as a full-length musical, several plays and a book of short stories and poems. His classes at the Classical Singer Convention are always rated with the highest ratings. Follow Mark online at You can buy Mark’s book Marketing Singers at