I just remembered something great from the gig I went to the other night.
It was some interesting call to actions from the musicians.
They were trying to let folks know about the merch stand. You could tell they felt awkward about it and, I get it, when you're in a creative profession it's hard to "sell yourself". Also, the guys on were left-wing protest singer-songwriters so that makes it harder too.
This is how both singers "sold" themselves:
First went something like:
"So, I have some CDs for sale. My sister bought them when I was skint so she's bothered if you buy them, but I'm not."
Chuckles all round.
"I'm a independent artist, so If you can buy some merch, please do. I know socialism, right?...*laughter*...but it really supports what we do. Thanks."
Very weird call to actions. But funny, honest and down to earth.
I can't argue quantatively that this style was more effective, but the merch area seemed busy at the end. And, no one objected to it either.
I think the only thing that could've made it better was explaining why buying merch and CDs is better than the assumption that you can get stuff later. The first artist wasn't on Spotify so if they mentioned that, it may have prompted us to buy a CD. But I can only base that on my experience.
The gig was great and there was obviously a keen audience, but you do have direct that audience to build loyalty. People don't always do things, unless they ask. A simple, clear and relevant call to action that has been briefly explained will do just that.