4 ROAD TESTED TIPS TO BOOK BETTER GIGS
Booking better gigs is one of the main challenges every indie artist faces. Putting together good shows is a hell of a lot of work and you want those efforts to pay off.
We’ve put together the 4 most important things to do to book better gigs. They’re all doable right now at little to no cost. Except for sweat and time.
1 – STRONG SOCIAL NETWORKS
It’s obvious but you can never hear it enough. Strong and super active social media in which promoters and bookers can see your fanbase is engaging with you are crucial. What a venue cares about most of all is the size of the crowd you’ll draw. If they like your music for real, then it’s a bonus. But it’s not enough.
Show them you’re on it. They’ll know you’ll be promoting your shows and pushing people to come out and see you play. That’s one very good reason for a venue to give you a chance on their stage.
2 – PROFESSIONAL PICTURES
Venues are only as cool as the artists they book. The music is key but the way you look and your overall vibe really matter too. That’s why you must have professional pictures on your website and social medias.
An iPhone is great and you can do a whole lot with it. But it has not yet replaced a real camera for headshots, live shots and all those cool pics (did someone say studio?) that make people think “damn they look cool. I wanna know more”. Does it hurt to live in such a shallow world? Sure does, but here we are so let’s do this.
3 – PRESS SNIPPETS
Whether you’re trying to join a booking agency’s roster or convincing a venue’s promoter, these little press quotes comparing you to a more famous act or praising your whole new take on shuffle and twang will open doors. They are key as your reputation grows and you try to book better gigs.
People need other people to validate things for them – that’s really the whole point of any music blog and magazine out there. And that’s one of the things press quotes are for.
Give them one more reason to give you chance.
4 – TEAM
Wanna tour abroad? Wanna tour for long? Team up with one or several similar artists.
For a European tour or to play that hot new venue in East Nashville, offering a bill that’s ready to go can make a huge difference. It not only gives people more reasons to come to your show, it also helps you cross promote (trade fans if you will).
Venues will see you as pro-active and connected with your scene. They love it when bands they book have their shit together. Because so many don’t. Let them know you can be trusted by preparing the work and showing your commitment.
5 – ONLINE VIDEOS
A lot of venues will feel much better booking you if they can see you perform, if only for a couple minutes online.
Ideally, you should try and get at least one of your gigs filmed. Make it good, edit it and put it online. If you can’t do that for some reason, consider recording a couple of live videos in your home studio, at a local bar that’ll let you hang out some afternoon or just anywhere offering a cool background and good conditions to record (i.e not by the freeway).
If you don’t have videos, Soundcloud and Spotify links can totally work but as you try to book more and better gigs, you’ll have to have live videos and planning them early is important. The more professional they look and sound, the more credible you’ll be for booking serious gigs.
Last but not least, make sure you research the venues and know you’re aiming for something that makes sense: check out who’s playing there and if you can compare yourself to these bands. Do they have special nights for new music? Here’s your chance.
Making sure you reach out to the right people at the right time and depending on your own development stage is crucial to build a good reputation: ask that really big club you love only when you are ready on both a musical and communication level. Reach out too soon and you may waste an opportunity.