Clay Mabbitt

My name is Clay Mabbitt. I have a professional marketing background, and a love of theatre.

After seeing and being part of some exceptional theatre that never found its audience, I felt compelled to share what I know to help raise the level of promotion going on for stage productions.

Welcome, and if you’re new to Sold Out Run I encourage you to take a quick look at what this site is about.

Nail Down the Exact Marketing That Makes Your Audience Buy a Ticket

One of the most popular blog posts on Sold Out Run is about finding inspiration for theatre marketing. I know from my search traffic that a lot of people are scouring the web for ideas to promote their shows. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I certainly do it from time to time. It’s a great way to find crazy out-of-the-box ideas that you’d be hard pressed to dream up on your own.

You can’t market a theatre solely on out-of-the-box ideas, though. You need some good inside-of-the-box ideas, too, and those are a lot tougher to find online. They aren’t flashy enough to get talked about, but you can identify marketing tactics that verifiably motivate your exact target market to buy a ticket.

What will it cost you? The price of a few Starbucks.

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SOR 59: Bob Harbin On Casting Your Production Team and Picking Up the Phone To Find an Audience

In just a handful of years Bob has earned a reputation for consistently putting on quality productions, and the crowds that his shows draw are a testament to that. I wanted to bring him on and pick his brain about how he approaches finding the audience for each show.

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Four Developmental Phases of Theatre Marketing

Before you can improve your marketing you need a good sense of where you are today. I’m outlining these four phases of theatre marketing here to help. In each phase there are different areas you’ll want to focus on to strengthen your marketing.

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SOR 58: Katie Angel On Educating Your Audience On Your Art Form Before You Start Differentiating

I wanted to bring Katie on the show because a lot of people in the general public have misconceptions about what her productions (burlesque) entail. This presents unique marketing challenges, and we dig into how Katie tackles these.

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Theatre Marketing Is Like Investing In the Stock Market

Some people make a ton of money by investing in the stock market, and of course there are others who lose their shirt. The people who do well have an approach that allows them to gracefully navigate the unpredictability of the market and come out ahead. This approach translates surprisingly well to navigating the unpredictability of promoting a stage production.

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SOR 57: What’s the Best Way To Use Flyers?

I have a great listener question in this episode. Joni shares that booking agents she’s worked with swear up and down by using flyers to promote shows. She’s running into legal issues and wants to know what’s the right way to use them. The short answer is I think flyers can be a fantastic promotional tool, although I’m not a fan of how most people use them. I share my thoughts, and of course if you have a theatre marketing question of your own you can ask it here.

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