Want to get more gigs, but struggle to do so? Many musicians who can’t get enough gigs believe things such as: “Venues just aren't looking for new bands to play right now,” or “There is too much competition with other bands trying to get gigs in my area.” In reality, these statements are completely false and are nothing more than excuses. Here is the truth about the subject of getting gigs:
Music venues today are starving for great artists to book (even though they are booked many months in advance). Yes, you read correctly…it’s NOT the musicians who can’t get gigs… it’s the venues who can’t find enough great bands to play. Booking agents and promoters waste tons of time (and lose a whole lot of money) working with musicians who simply don’t understand what the venue is looking for in them. Once you learn how to transform yourself into the musician that venues are looking for, you will get a whole lot more gigs.
Before you read any further, test how effective your current efforts are in getting you more gigs. Do this now by taking this 2-minute assessment about booking more gigs.
4 Mistakes You Must Avoid When Trying To Get More Gigs:
Mistake #1: Thinking of yourself as merely a performer at the venue, instead of a business partner with the venue.
Venues have only one reason for wanting bands to play for them: to make money. When looking for bands to play, venues look for musicians who know how to promote their shows, pack the house with fans, and put on a killer live show. Musicians who know how to do this, help venues make more money and thus always get the most gigs and the highest-paid gigs. Musicians who don’t care (or don’t know how) to help venues make money always have a hard time getting gigs.
One way you can help venues earn more money is to build a database of local fans (by collecting their e-mail addresses or other contact information). This shows massive proof of your business value, since you now have the ability to bring more new people into the venue. More on this below.
Mistake #2: Not knowing how to put on a great live show.
Without a great live show, you will never build a loyal following of fans that is needed to pack any venue you play. No matter how good your music is, if you can’t entertain the fans with your performance, they have no reason to inconvenience themselves by coming to see you play live. This directly hurts your ability to get more gigs because booking agents are looking for acts with the most attractive live show and the biggest following of fans.
Mistake #3: Not knowing how to get more of your fans to come to your gigs.
If you assume the venue will take care of 100% of the promotional duties involved with your performance, you will always struggle to get more gigs. Fact is, it’s not the venue owner’s responsibility to get your fans to come to see you perform - it’s YOUR responsibility to do so. If you can’t pack a venue full of fans, nobody will want to work with you or offer you gigs. More on how to do this below
Mistake #4: Being just like every other average band.
If you don’t have anything that sets you apart from other bands in your area (either musically, artistically or professionally), you are severely crippling your ability to get more gigs. Likewise, when your show is cool or unusual, it is sure to attract lots of people and venues will be more likely (in general) to invite you to play. For example, some successful bands bring other performers/entertainers to their gigs (instead of an opening band) to draw bigger crowds and make their shows successful.
That said, you should not totally rely on “being different” to get more gigs. “Being different” by itself doesn’t directly help the venue make more money unless it is used in conjunction with everything described below.
How To Actually Get More Gigs For You Or Your Band
To avoid the mistakes that keep musicians from getting more gigs, begin treating all venues you work with as your business partners.
Here are 4 main things that will help you do this:
Help venues make money.
Venues would never have bands perform if doing so didn’t earn them more money than they would otherwise make. So if you want to get more gigs, prove to the venue that you are committed to creating a win-win outcome for them and for you. To learn how to do this, take this free 6-day mini course on how to build a successful music career.
Build a database of fans and focus on growing this database as much as possible at every single show you play.
The ability to reach out to all your fans any time you want (for free), is crucial for getting more of them to come to your gigs. Being able to do this also shows proof of your value to the venues you play at. If you aren’t actively working on building and growing this list now, you are making all your music career efforts infinitely harder for yourself. Create a list of your fans’ names and contact information and take consistent action to expand this list with every action you take in your career.
Think about the fans you plan to attract to your show.
In addition to having a way to reach out to your fans at any time (and for no cost), you need to learn to provide immense value to your fans and give them reasons to be excited to attend your shows. Learn how to do this by reading this article about getting more music fans.
Work with a music career mentor who has already helped other aspiring professional musicians to make a living in music.
Getting music career mentoring will show you the exact steps to take for adding more value to all of your relationships with music venues (helping you get tons of new gigs as a result).
Now that you know what it takes to get more gigs in your music career, take this assessment about booking more gigs to find out how close you are to becoming the musician all venues want to work with.