Become a club promoter and get paid to party. Club promotion is big business, with nightclubs up and down the country crying out for more punters.
So if you’re a night owl who loves clubbing, are oozing with confidence and happy to put the effort in, you may have just found your calling. Here’s how you can kick-start your career in club promotion.
- What’s involved?
- What skills do I need?
- Where should I look?
- Do your research
- Does it cost anything?
- Pros and cons
As a club promoter it’s your job to get as many people through the doors of a designated nightclub as possible. You’d basically have to create your own guest list and ensure that tonnes of people turn up to the club on a specific night.
The guest list could be made up of your friends and acquaintances, or even random people that you’ve managed to impress enough to come along (hence why club promoters tend to have the gift of the gab).
The nightclub would then pay you a certain amount of commission for every person you got through their doors. You could make as much as £10 per person (once you’ve brought in a set amount of people) plus extra commission on any tables that you fill.
However, be warned if you’re just starting out as a promoter you might only get offered free entry and, if you’re lucky, free drinks. That’s fine as long as you’re not desperate for cash. The more established you become, the more sway you’ll have when it comes to negotiating payment.
Being personable and social is essential, along with the type of personality that can get people excited about an event.
In addition, having some experience in sales, marketing and design could be beneficial.
Promoters need to be organised and detail-oriented in order to manage a calendar of events. Being well-dressed and having a professional demeanour is also highly important on the night of an event, so that your employer, the club, will keep you on as a promoter.
Club promoters tend to make their own luck, contacting nightclubs directly and offering their services to the powers that be (more on that later). But some clubs, particularly those based in London, do advertise for promoters online so keep an eye on job sites like Indeed, London Nightguide, Glassdoor, Gumtree and Jobrapido.
If you’re serious about becoming a promoter you’ll need to get off your bum and start hitting the clubs (for work, not pleasure!). Get the ball rolling by following these steps:
- Make a list of the clubs you visit on a regular basis.
- Location, location! Bear in mind the location of each club, because you might end up travelling to it several times a week. Cars and trains are expensive so make sure you’ve got a pot of money to cover these costs. It’s all well and good filling the guest list of a top London venue, but if you live outside the city any money you make will get eaten up in travelling costs.
- Make sure you visit the clubs on different nights of the week and note down how busy the venues are. Could certain nights do with a boost of punters? Familiarise yourself with the type of music that’s played, the vibe of the clubbers and their age range. If you do end up pitching your services to the club, knowing these details could help convince them that you’re the right person for the job.
- Now it’s time to get serious. Using all the information you’ve gathered come up with a proposal tailored to meet the individual needs of the club. Suggest that on one of their quietest nights you will create a guest list of at least X amount of people and will only take X% of their entry fee and X% of table bookings you’ve provided. Make sure that your proposal is fair and realistic or you’ll quickly be laughed out the door.
- Be proactive! Contact the club’s PR manager directly, face to face if possible or over the phone if needs be. Be confident and enthusiastic but remember that you’re doing business and should maintain an air of professionalism.
- Don’t be nervous! Be confident and enthusiastic. As long as you’re offering the club a mutually beneficial deal you shouldn’t feel like they’re doing you a favour.
- Don’t be put offf. PR managers tend to be very busy people so don’t be put off by having to chase them up a few times before getting an answer. If they do like your proposal great, you’re in business! If not try and get some feedback to find out why they said no. Perhaps they can’t afford you or just don’t feel the need to hire anyone. Whatever the reason you can use their reservations to make your next pitch (to a different club) even stronger.
Although you don’t need any training or qualifications to become a club promoter, like most things in life there can be hidden costs. Bear these factors in mind:
Phone bills – All successful club promoters have one thing in common: a great mobile phone contract. Why? Because the cheapest way to round up hundreds of friends and acquaintances is by text, so a cheap mobile phone contract is a must. All the big network providers offer text message bundle packages, and as a club promoter you’ll need the one that offers as many free text messages as possible.
Entrance fees – If you’re just starting out, you have to do your research, which means visiting different clubs on different nights of the week. Unless you have contacts at the club you’ll probably have to pay to get in, so keep an eye out for any special promotions that’ll make your night cheaper. And keep drinking to a minimum as clubs generally charge through the roof for their drinks.
Social networking and blogging- social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are a godsend for club promoters. In addition, going to sites such as Resident Advisor and Skiddle are good outlets to promote any events. Emailing is another good way of spreading the word without paying a penny, and if you’re serious about club promoting you should really think about setting up your own blog. Setting up a blog isn’t difficult and you can find out how to do it here. To generate traffic take lots of photos of your friends at club nights then post them on your blog the next day. People are vain and if they know their photos are splashed all over your blog they’re guaranteed to pay it a visit. Having a blog should also help to secure you work, as PR managers will be impressed by the extra exposure your site could generate for their clubs.
- Free entry into the club you’re promoting, and usually free drinks too.
- A great social life and the chance to meet lots of people.
- Could be fitted in around a regular 9-5 job (just make sure you allow yourself enough time to sleep!).
- Looks fantastic on your CV, especially if you’re trying to break into PR.
- Income can be small and unreliable.
- Long evening hours – unless you’re a bit of a night owl this isn’t the job for you.
- Pressure! You need to be focused and organised or you won’t make any money.
- Unsociable working hours. Being at a club all night might sound like most people’s idea of a great time, but you are essentially working and when everyone else is settling down to sleep, you’ll still be on the go.
- As clubs rarely advertise for promoters it’s up to you to contact them. You’ll also have to convince them that they need you, which can be a lot of work for not much gain.