What Your Street Performers Can Teach You About Marketing


Walk around the country and you will see a lot of different street performers. Musicians, jugglers, magicians, and more. With the Christmas season upon us, street performers are out in full force; there is something about this time of year that makes people want to stop and watch a good show on the street.

What can we learn from this? A lot actually. There are some great marketing tactics that you can learn from your street performers.

Look at how they work:

They set up in high traffic areas – They find the busiest streets and they set up shop there to get maximum exposure (and donations).

They dress for their audience – If their audience is dressed in suits, they’re dressed in business casual. If the audience is dressed for a sports event, the performer usually is too. They dress for their audience because if they don’t look like them, they will be ignored by them.

They give shows that are easy to understand – You never see a street performer do something like interpretive dance or other performances that make you think too much to enjoy it. Street performers give shows that are easy to understand so that everyone can enjoy them without thinking too much about it.

They have an interesting title – Street performers

The holiday season is a time for giving, and I couldn’t think of a better way to give back than to share what I’ve learned from the street performers that helped me learn to be a better marketer.

Street performers are masters at attracting an audience and persuading them to buy something. Even though their job is to sell, they don’t come off as “salesy” thanks to their ability to entertain an audience with a show. Similarly, marketers can use this same tactic to persuade customers to buy their product or service by providing great content that’s not only valuable but also entertaining. This will help you build trust with consumers and gain loyal followers.

Here are 5 marketing takeaways from street performers:

Summer is the time for street performers. There are many different kinds of street performers, and all of them can teach us about marketing.

1. The first kind of street performer I call the “Hustler.” Hustlers have a lot in common with salespeople. They have a product or service to sell, and they employ aggressive tactics to do so. In many ways, the Street is their stage and they are the star actor in their own production.

2. The second kind are more like musicians than actors: They are more interested in entertaining than selling; at most, they will take tips for their services.

3. The third type of street performer is like an artist: his craft is his art. He may be paid by donations, but he’s not really looking to make a profit off of his work: He just wants to enjoy doing what he loves to do, and maybe share his craft with others who can appreciate it.

4. The fourth category of street performer is like a politician: He is performing on the streets as part of a campaign to promote some larger cause or movement that he believes in.

I am a sucker for street performers. I like to drop a dollar or few (if it’s good) into the hat. I don’t know why really, but I do.

There is an interesting lesson about marketing and positioning that can be learned from street performers. In case you’re not familiar with the street performer scene, here is how it works…

A guy sets up a boombox and starts playing some music. He begins dancing around, getting the crowd going and builds up to some crazy act. Maybe he starts jumping over chairs, lighting his head on fire or juggling knives. Most people will stop for a minute and watch the show. If it’s really good, people will actually start to applaud and cheer him on. Then he passes his hat around and collects his dollars.

In order to make money as a street performer, you need to know how to market yourself.

The marketing skills of the best street performers are so impressive that I believe every marketer can learn from them.

Here’s what you can learn from the best street performers:

1) Do something that people find awesome and special.

2) Pique their attention in a way that makes them curious about what you do.

3) Once they’re curious, get their attention and make them pay attention to you for long enough for you to emotionally connect with them.

4) Let them know how much time it will take before they see the show, or in other words, let them know when the payoff will be. This is critical because without it, they won’t stay around long enough to actually see your show and give you money!

5) Make sure that your show is good enough to deliver on the promise of being awesome and special (and if it isn’t, then don’t even start).

6) At the end of the show, make it easy for people to give you money by having a bucket right at their feet. Don’t ask for money or beg for money – just put out the bucket and let them decide whether they want to

I’m sure you’ve seen it: a violinist playing music on a busy street corner while holding a hat upside down in front of him. He’s almost guaranteed to make more money than the guy sitting next to him playing the same song on an accordion. The accordion player is probably better at his craft, but the violinist is making more money because he knows marketing.


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