I spent a lot of time in club scenes in New York City (primarily house and goth). I hung out exclusively on a message board that was devoted to nightlife, was in a relationship with a DJ I met on there, frequently went to the meetups people did, was a go-go dancer at 2 clubs, handed out flyers outside clubs all night and sat them in record stores, took a couple road trips to clubs in other cities, etc.
That was early 2000s, though—before social media. This is probably happening now on Facebook instead of message boards. But that board was my point of entry into serious club people—owners, DJs, promoters, the people who design the flyers, the sound guys, and the party people. Promoters advertised their guestlists on there. That was for the house scene.
I got into the goth scene differently. It’s so image-based, all you have to do is look really cool and everything comes to you. Dress to get attention.
Are you in a big city? Go up to people on the street who look like they’re in your scene. Give them a flyer or even just your number.
I think I might’ve actually found out about that message board from a flyer I found on the sidewalk. (Someone’s litter.)
You just have to find the network and insert yourself into it. Party people tend to operate in big globs.
Think about who you’re trying to attract for your scene. What do they wear to the clubs? Where do they buy that stuff? See if you can put flyers in those clothing stores. (Do people even use flyers anymore?)
-Cool clothing stores (like boutique stores, not huge chains in the mall)
-Record stores (depending on scene)
It’s easier the bigger your city is. You can pay people to spread flyers or maybe get someone at the club to arrange comps or drink tickets for them, if you think the club is good enough for that to be enough compensation. At one place where I go-go danced, the only pay was getting in free and free bottled water. At the other place, I got paid, got in free, and got a massive stack of drink tickets. When I handed out flyers I was paid and if I was outside the club the door guys would let me in at the end of the night for free.
Mainstream clubs that are looking to bring in women usually lure them with free drinks. Like “ladies drink free before 10pm” or something like that. Or no cover for ladies. Maybe you could physically hand out or offer drink tickets online to people you meet? (Not sure if that’s legal.)
I’ve never done promotion beyond handing out flyers. I don’t know the ins and outs of it in the business sense. I’m just telling you what I observed, maybe it’ll spark some ideas.