What should bands do to get gigs? This is a question I get often as many acts want to perform for our clients or for StarEvents, our parent company. My answer is for them to treat the band like a business. Most bands feel that their sound and ability to perform should be enough to get booked. It is not! It takes luck, appeal, name recognition, and most importantly draw to get shows. These are facts. The issue is HOW do you get those things without a plan?
All businesses (including musicians/bands) may have a great niche... but, still need to understand sales and marketing in order to succeed. If you're a doctor but fail to market your practice, you will probably go under soon. Bands need to fully grasp this concept too. If you are unable to sell your sons/sound to the general public, you will lose. If you can't market your songs/performances, you will fail! Right?
To minimize the luck factor and other things out of your control, bands should look at one big issue... the LIST! What does that mean? Well, I think that a company's list is the biggest and best asset you could develop and focus on... no matter what you do for a living... including musicians. To be specific, the list usually consists of many components, including; email addresses, physical addresses, cell phone numbers, and social network lists. Build them all!
You should take advantage of the many ways to build your lists. It is actually very easy to do and something you are probably already doing. If you have a social media presence for your group, then this is a good start. The problem with Social Media is that you don't really own the list or control its destiny. That's why it's important to start collecting names and email addresses. So many resources can help you capture this info and I'll talk more about this in a future post. Basically, you should have a sign-up page on your website that asks for the email address. You can use platforms like aWeber, Mailchimp and many others. Do it!
The basic logic is, as your list builds, you can use the list to sell your music and drive traffic to your public shows. If you build the list enough, you will be able to get 3% - 5% (average) to sell out your shows. If you play a venue that holds 100 people and you have a list of 3,000, it should sell out if you can entice less than 5% of your list. Make sense? Build your list and in a short time, control your own destiny. You could also build a segmented list so you can market to the proper folks with each unique offer.
Lastly, when you build lists from various sources, you can now track and measure your successes. How many people are being added to each list, each day, week, or month. Then each cycle, you can see if what you are doing is building the lists quicker and more efficiently or slower? Then you continue to adjust your initiatives and continue to build your list! Now, let's get going!!!