4 Steps to Getting Better GigsBy -
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Raise your hand if you aren’t getting the gigs you want, or aren’t getting enough gigs. Raise your hand if you know a way (cliche or not) to fix it?
I do. In one word? Networking.
Still with me? Good. The right types of networking can really help you to get better gigs.
The Fine Line of Friend/Fan
There will naturally be some crossover between your friends and fans. Ideally, your friends will be supportive, coming to shows and buying your products. Make time for them outside of rehearsals and gigs. At gigs, though, focus on the fans. Fans will buy your CDs, come to all your shows, pay their own way, bring their friends, and ask for more of what you’re dishing out. Fans are the reason you’re there and your ticket to coming back, so appreciate your fans; be friendly, genuine and down-to-earth when interacting with them… and do interact with them! Get their names and email, thank them for coming, and follow up later.
Promote Like It’s Your Job
As an independent artist or band, you might feel like it’s the job of the promoter to promote or market your event. Thus, their title. Take it from someone who has been both promoter and promoted: it is true that promoters are a really important part of the process, but this isn’t their career and passion on the line. It’s yours. I always recommend bring your own crowd, and that means networking: build a fan base, connect with them, and communicate.
Be Where You Want to Be
You want fans to drive to a venue, pay for a ticket, hang out, and pay attention to you at a show? You need to do the same… but do it to genuinely meet people. Go to venues that you want to play. Don’t talk through performances. Introduce yourself to other bands; let them know you like their sound (only if you really do like it). Introduce yourself to the bartender; he might influence who the venue books. Go again, and again. And hey—being nice to everyone isn’t going to hurt your chances to get gigs, so get out there and get mingling.
Make Friends, Not Competition
If you’re performing, you will have to interact with other bands and artists. These people can be seen as your friends or your competition, but it will make things a lot easier if you are friends. Friends ask you to play shows with them; competition trashes you to venues. Friends will share gear when yours breaks and tips on upcoming opportunities; competition won’t.
Are you getting the types of gigs you want? Have you tried the above steps to get better gigs? What has helped you achieve that goal?