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Written by Omari
As Dylan Welsh describes in his article on Sonicbids, getting booked for gigs a musician or band is getting increasingly harder.
It's not just about being good, if you don't know how to market yourself and drive in revenue for the venue owner, then the next musician who DOES know that is going to get all the gigs instead of you.
If you don't live in a bigger market, it's likely there's only a couple places to play in your city. Even if you have a ton of spaces to play at, you don't want to keep paying the same ones every single weekend either.
If you want to book more quality venues, you're going to have to branch out to surrounding areas. If you're gigging regionally, it's completely realistic to play out every weekend and not worry about saturating your crowd.
Booking agents (especially good ones) get bombarded with emails allllllllll the time. If you don't know how to fill a room, why would they give your email any attention?
However, if you know how to connect with the venue owners, you may be able to open up for a band that does know to fill a room.
Instead of focusing on he booking agents, focus on building a relationship with other acts in your city that have a good size following. Not so large that they'd ignore you, but enough that they're still humble.
It's much easier to get gigs through other bands than through a venue. Just be sure to return the favor by hooking them up when you get a gig too. NOBODY likes a musician who just has their hand out all the time without anything to offer in return.
If you can't bring monetary value to the table, learn how.
Never... and I repeat, NEVER have music with producer tags still in it when you're performing a live show.
This applies more so to singers and rappers, but I've definitely been to live shows where I've heard some producer tags in the background while someone was on stage.
It's looks horrible for you. The tagged versions are always lower quality than purchasing a beat so that the tags are removed.
If it has one tag in the beginning that's fine, but more than that is excessive.
Invest in yourself and purchase high quality, untagged instrumentals for single releases and live shows a.k.a. anything you're going to spend a lot of time promoting.
If you're not sending follow-up emails to venues or acts you play with, you're screwing up big time!
The day after gigging, spend some time sending emails. Thank the venue owner for their time, and be creative about it! Name something specific about playing there that you loved. Also, let them know you'd love to come back and play more.
Make the email about THEM! Focus on how you can help their venue and bring them more customers. Scratch their back, and they'll scratch yours.
Also, send compliments to any of the other acts on the bill that night. Wayyyy too many artists are just focused on their performance and never hit anybody else up after their shows.
Your network is your net worth.
You'd be surprised how may opportunities you could get from small business owners simply by being a loyal customer.
Sometimes, you'll be able to book gigs at venues that don't normally allow live music too. Obviously, be smart about this though.
If you're a rapper, maybe some cafes don't play that sort of music; however, if you're an acoustic act you can get away with it. Once they become familiar with you as a customer, then drop a couple lines about your music too.
You get gigs from people, not places. Be more of a people person without pushing your music on them all the time, but know the right chance to slip it into the conversation.
Venues like to have full schedules. It means they'll be more likely to pay their bills and staff on time. Think ahead when you want to book a venue.
If you want to be performing every week, then stop trying to book gigs the week before. The 3 to 6 month range is great for local and regional gigging. This requires diligence on your part to book in advance, but it'll feel good to play every weekend when your schedule is full months prior.
Arranging things in advance with give all members of your crew a chance to check scheduling conflicts, get work off, and basically many any arrangements necessary for you to play an awesome show!
When your song is ready to go, it's time to start promoting it to potential fans! Omari has the best organic promotion services money can buy. With packages for Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, we will get your music the traffic and attention it deserves! Click below for more information.
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