This is a guest post written by Marcus Taylor, founder of The Musician’s Guide – a website that offers resources to DIY musicians, including music contracts and music contact lists.
Getting more gigs is a topic I write about quite regularly for a very good reason – a few small tweaks to your approach can have a such a huge impact on getting your music heard by more potential fans and developing your music career.Image Credit: SteveC77
My advice for getting more gigs falls into two categories –
1) Learn how to add value to promoters.
2) Learn how to develop relationships with the ‘gigging gatekeepers’.
Here are a few of my favourite tips to help you secure more gigs.
Look at other band’s gig lists.
This is one of the age-old tricks for finding gigs to perform. Look at bands of a similar style as yours and see what gigs they’re performing. From here, you can do two things – you can either contact those venues directly asking whether they’re looking for bands to book, or you can do something that I find far more effective – turn up to one of the band’s gigs and meet them.
Email them before hand asking if they’d be up for a chat, and share some tips – ask if they would be able to introduce you to some of the gig promoters they’ve worked with, and offer to do the same for them.
Swap gigs with other bands using Splitgigs.
I first wrote about Splitgigs almost two years ago, and to this day they’re still one of my favourite concepts to help bands get more gigs. Quite simply, you enter the gigs you’ve got coming up with a spare slot on the line-up, and then you browse other bands gigs and ‘swap’ a spot on your gig’s line-up for one of theirs. Unfortunately, the site is still a relatively small community, but there are still a lot of opportunities waiting to be taken.
Host a virtual gig using StageIt.
If you’ve not used StageIt.com yet, change that right away! The site allows you to host online gigs for your fans remotely from your kitchen or anywhere with an Internet connection. Hundreds of fans can pay a couple of pounds each to connect via a ‘Skype-like’ video/audio connection to watch and hear you play exclusive gigs.
Although this approach lacks a ‘live gig vibe’, it compensates with exclusivity, innovation, and intimacy with your fans, so it’s a really good alternative approach to filling some dates in a tour and doing something creative at the same time.
Stop sending demos & pick up the phone.
People are far more receptive over the phone than on email. If you have the opportunity to contact a music promoter by telephone, take it. Not only can you customise your offer whilst gauging their reaction, you also build a slightly more personal connection with the promoter.
Build relationships online before approaching music promoters.
A lot of music promoters use Twitter, which is a great platform for gently developing relationships. If you regularly tweet with various promoters, it will make you less of an unknown when you ask for a favour to play at their venue.
If anyone has any further tips, leave them in the comments below!
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Editor’s Note: This is an old article and things have moved on considerably since the original publication date 🙂
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