Hi there, Randy here, the new owner of Main Street Music. There isn’t much “new” about the management switch though, since I’ve already been working here for 10 years!
Today, I thought I’d talk about how to get more gigs. Every musician wants more gigs. But the question is, what kind of gigs are right for you? Well, it depends on what stage your act is in.
We all start with local venues trying to get our names out. But, there is other success in music other than becoming famous. I have a good supplemental income from gigs I get, but that is only due to some simple steps I took.
Are You Ready?
Be sure that you have a group of people you can work with easily. Be sure you have backup players (subs) in case someone gets sick or can’t make a gig. If you’re a solo or feature artist act, think about what amount of money you’d like to invest into agencies and advertising. Be sure you have at least five songs to demonstrate to prospective clients what you can do. Begin opening for known local acts in your area, and try to find venues that are a good fit for your act.
What’s The Next Step?
Now that you’ve played a few gigs, assess the current situation. If you have a band, is the entire group willing to invest in its musical future? If you’re a solo artist, do you think if you put some money into finding gigs it’d help?
Well, I’d suggest starting off with some online agencies like “Gigsalad” or “Gigmasters”. These are relatively inexpensive compared to some of their other counter parts, and can really help you get jobs. You can choose categories and genres on these websites, and the potential clients simply come to you.
You can check out my Gigmasters account here. As you can see, similar to Gigsalad, it offers room to place your videos, sound demos and even gig photos. And obviously the more of those things, the merrier.
If you already have these style agency accounts, I’d suggest upping your game to sites like Wedding Wire. They are more pricey, but they offer you advertising on major websites, and some will even make you your own band website.
Create, Create, Create!
One of my secrets to success is recording songs and making videos as much as possible. For example, my jazz playlist on YouTube doesn’t only offer my potential clients a general idea of what they’d hear if they hire me, but it also has videos of live performances so they’ll see exactly what I do.
There are a few videos on my channel that are very popular, such as my rendition of “Beauty and The Beast” that have turned into a part of my act at my clientele’s request.
Also, if you are a feature artist or soloist, be sure to make friends on YouTube, Google+ and other social media to collaborate. One of my collaborations with Marcos Roberto Dos Santos, “When I Fall In Love” , has been requested by clients. This was not only a lot of fun, but it helped put me out there more, because people from his channel would also share the video.
It never hurts to solicit critics for a review of your material. This review has really helped me get work.
Work Out The Dirty Details!
If you expect to be treated professionally, present yourself that way. Create a standard contract to give to clients. It should be short and sweet and to the point. I can tell you from experience too much paper work can turn potential customers off. You can find templates online, or if you’re feeling adventurous, write one up on your own!
Work out a basic rate for your performance. Offer discounts and promotional deals. I’ve often found this will help book gigs.
Be sure you have enough music gear to cover the gigs you endeavor to play. A used PA system can go a long way at an outdoor event that doesn’t provide sound or back-line.
I can’t tell you how many gigs I’d take lower pay on when I first started out, simply to get them. It’s my dedication to the broader vision of getting more gigs later on that helped me get to where I am now. Playing music, even to supplement income, is not easy. You have to build a reputation with an agency or a venue.
Of most help to me were the reviews written by my clientele on both Gigmasters and Gigsalad. The best thing a prospective customer can read is how great someone else thinks you are.
I hope that these basic steps will help you to achieve your musical goals!