If you are in a band or thinking about putting a band together one of the things necessary for you is to get out on the road and TOUR. Too few bands are willing to do this and if the truth be told, that is how I have always separated the weak from the strong. It is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to succeed as a band if you are not willing to tour. We are not in the 80s anymore. Bands do not simply get discovered by a label and then get several million dollars put behind them to “break out” or make it big anymore. If you want to succeed in today’s music industry, you must work. I always tell bands to“get on the road and tour for a minimum of 2-3 years. If you can go on the road for that amount of time you will either quit music or be able to build a big enough fan base to financially provide for yourself.” But most bands have no idea where to even start when booking themselves. When you first start out, you often don’t have the option of a booking agent or manager to help you, so let’s take a look at some key steps in order to help you get your band booked and on the road to success.
Here are some of the nuts and bolts of how to book yourself on a tour…
First, you must put together a good story:
• Putting together your story is an extremely important part of the booking equation. You need to do a good job of explaining who you are and why the venue should book you? What wins do you currently have? What sort of press has been done on you or your band. What reasons does this venue have to book you over another band?
You must also do your research. You can’t know where to start without knowing what venues are out there in what locations and that cater to your type of music genre.
• Where can you play?
• Who are you playing too?
• What venues fit that description?
• What makes sense if you going to be in Waco one night…where can you play the next night? College Station? Austin, Dallas?
• Create a booking email address (ie. firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Send them music and bio
• Give the promoter/venue owner a few dates you are available or interested in playing
How do we contact these venues?
• Write 3 template Emails and a Phone call after the second email is sent
-You can find contact information on web sites, MySpace, and Facebook.
-These three templates should be written one time and reused in every single communication unless you need to customize them based on interaction with the venue
-Make sure to change the name at who it is addressed to and any specifics about the particular venue.
1. First email includes
d. Dates your can play and…
e. Ask for a gig
2. Second email includes
a. Reminder that you have already reached out (usually I will just forward the first email I sent with an intro and asking them to see below, but make sure the music/attachments are readily available to find in the email
If you can find a phone number and you have already sent the first two emails, you now can follow up with a phone call. This is just another form of communication that shows the venue you are serious about playing and if they haven’t looked at their emails in awhile or if they have not been able to get back you it puts you foremost in their mind again. (or you at least hope it does)
3. Third Email should be after a phone call
a. This should remind them that you have reached out a few times, that you are following up to the call you made to them and that you would really like to hear back one way or the other
b. Be polite… They don’t owe you anything
c. Let them know you will follow up in a certain amount of time if you don’t hear back
Final Step… DELIVER… Play your heart out… Make them remember you… If you are good, they will be more likely to have you back.
• Send follow up emails or actual hand written notes after you play at a venue
• Promote their venue online and get people out to the shows
• Be considerate and treat the ENTIRE staff with respect and genuine kindness.
These are all good and proven actions that can help you or your band get on the road and playing shows. The more often you play the better chance you have to build a fan base. The bigger fan base, the more money you make and the highly possibility that you will be able to do what you love for a career. So please don’t lose heart and don’t loose hope. It takes some time, but if you can build up a base of venues that are willing to book you every few months you are on your way to building a fan base and growing your business.
Originally posted on October 9th at http://treybowles.com/a-rookies-guide-to-booking-your-own-band/