Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Musicians have questions, we have answers...Pt 2 How to get more gigs

Yesterday, we announced that we would offer our advice to musicians that need help. View that post here.  We asked for your questions and we received this private message:

"I sure could use some help... I can't seem to nail down gigs.. My original music seems to be getting better tho but nobody seems to take notice. Depressed."

This is the age old question...How to get gigs.  When Chubby first started out, he had an agent.  It wasn't until some 10 years later that he started booking his own gigs.  Along the way he developed and nurtured relationships with people all over the country.  In my opinion, the secret is nurtured relationships with agents, promoters, other musicians, and fans.  That will ultimately add dates to your calendar.


Relationships with agents:  As previously discussed, Chubby had an agent for quite some time, but when it was time to leave, he did not burn bridges.  He maintains a great relationship with him and keeps in touch on a regular basis.   As a result, this agent sends him work on a non-exclusive basis.  He has non-exclusive agreements with several agents.

Relationships with promoters:  Chubby has a database of promoters and a scheduled plan to make contact.  He stays in touch throughout the year, so when an event comes up, he is fresh on their minds.  After an event he calls to follow up and thank the promoter for hiring his band.

Relationships with other musicians:   Having a network of musicians/bands in your genre, that you communicate with on a regular basis is priceless.  There have been many gigs booked through this particular avenue.  If you are unavailable for particular event, pass that gig off to another band, I'm sure the favor will be reciprocated.
You can also ask these musicians about venues that they play, look at their website for leads, or consider swapping gigs.

Relationships with fans: Your fans can be your greatest asset, but you have to maintain a great relationship. Make sure you're getting their email addresses and hooking up on the social networks. You can book all the gigs you want, but if you don't have anybody there to support you, what's the point?  Promoters need to hire bands that will bring a crowd, right?
Ask your fans what venue they would like to see you at. Ask them to promote your band (street team stuff).  Consider an online concert.  Keep them engaged.

  • Meet new people, don't stay in the same places all the time.  Increase your territory. (Think online and offline)
  • Make yourself available at gigs.  Talk, mingle, make new friends.  Get their email address!
  • Join or start a meetup or club you're interested in, doesn't necessarily have to be about music.
  • Get involved in charity work or a cause you believe in.  (Chubby is involved in The Boys and Girls Club and Smoke Free Environment)
  • Have a strong online presence, engage with the fans you have, and then meet new people.
  • Join a business organization in your area, like the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Search for music organizations in your area, join, and participate.
  • Participate in area tradeshows
Put Your Computer to Work

In addition to relationships and networking, there are also online resources for booking gigs.  Set up google alerts and a twitter search for gigs.
Here is the list on my database in no particular order, so go check them out:
Split Gigs

What other tips do you have for booking gigs?

What advice did I forget to mention?

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