How To Get Gigs For Your Band On Autopilot
Are you still scratching your head wondering how to get gigs for your band? Perhaps you’re just getting started with learning how to get gigs for your band. I’ve always preferred to work smarter, not harder – so here are 12 power booking tips about how to get gigs for your band on autopilot:
1. Sign up on mailing lists. You can fast track your gig research by visiting the websites of your favorite clubs, coffeehouses, and venues – the type of venues you’d like to perform at one day. Now sign up on their mailing lists and have them alert you with their upcoming calendar schedules and see who’s on the touring circuit, and who you might be able to open for. You can apply the same rules to artists you love. Visit their websites and sign up on their mailing lists so you can track the type of venues they are playing and approach them for potential bookings of your own. That’s gig searching on autopilot!
2. Get virtual assistance. If you’d rather not spend all your time researching, create a list of venues and artists you’d like to research, and ask a friend, fan, or a team member help with the researching. If you’d rather keep your loved ones out of it, you can outsource these type of 20 minute tasks to a virtual assistant for a nominal fee nominal at virtual assistant agencies like FancyHands.com.
3. Find a booking agent. Consider a friend, fan, or a team member first – someone you can trust with booking responsibilities. Booking isn’t hard – it just takes time and effort – so show someone you trust the ropes and work out a reasonable commission (10-20%) for any gigs they secure for you or your band. If you’re further along in your career, you can shop around for a booking agency or specialized college booking agency, but you’ll reap the benefits of someone you trust in your corner, verses the risk you’ll take of getting lost in the shuffle when you’re apart of an agencies artist roster.
4. Consider house concerts. House concerts have become more popular over the years but are still have a fairly low profile in general. These type of intimate performances can yield some of the greatest results for bands and solo performers. You’re band might have to strip things down a bit for a more acoustic performance in someones living room, but you’ll likely walk out with more money, mailing list sign-ups, and newly converted fans than most traditional gigs. You can book house concerts on autopilot by filling in the empty space of a tour between anchor dates you’ve already secured. Promote the dates you’re looking to fill with house concerts as “Seeking House Concert” on your online and email list show date calendars, and target each date with the city and/or state you’re looking to book. This is a great way to fill dates while you’re already passing through the general area, and an encouraging way to get fans to book you in their home for an exclusive performance. Check out HereItLocal.com and their GetBooked booking app for Facebook.
5. Book weekly residencies. If you schedule a reoccurring night at a local venue, you will not only maximize your local exposure, you’ll also have an opportunity to feature guests of your choice. You can schedule other local, regional or national solo performers or bands to share the night with you in exchange for sharing a night with them in their home town. It also gives the venue one less night a week to worry about booking!
6. Reconsider open mics. Open mics nights are not only a great place to get started in your performing career, they are a great place to network with other talent. Open mic-ers are not always newbies, they are often a clever pitstops for touring bands and solo performers to make an appearance when they’re passing through the area. You can opt to trade gigs with other artists while you’re gaining some new exposure.
7. Automate your booking responsibilities. There are plenty of task management systems and software applications available. Find what works for you and utilize all their automation features, like schedule to-do reminders and email follow-up sequences. I’m on a mac, so I like to use Things for all my task reminders and FollowUp.cc for my email follow-up reminders.
8. Bookmark resource hubs. Gig submission platforms like Sonicbids.com can be great resources for fast tracking research on various opportunities, like songwriting contests, conferences, festivals, and showcase bookings. May of these are paid submissions, but easy ways to stay in the loop on all music happenings while increasing the chances of booking opportunities on autopilot.
9. Promote free public domain songs. There are entire online courses now dedicated to the stealth system of promoting free public domain songs to build your mailing list on autopilot using optimized keyword searches. The new exposure you can generate from this approach can not only broaden your reach, but it can increase the likelihood of being at the top of peoples minds when they need to book a band or solo performer. It can also help to fill seats once you’re booked at a venue near them.
10. Have online presence. Make sure your band is registered anywhere that people might be looking to book a band online. For example, if you’re a wedding band – or your band is willing to make some good, easy money playing wedding gigs – make sure you’re listed on popular wedding resource sites that eager couples would be accessing to book a band for their big celebration. If you set the stage so that people can easily find you online, they’ll contact you with booking requests – on autopilot!
11. Delegate tour responsibilities. Propose the idea of sharing some tour dates with another artist or band that you love and offer to split the booking responsibilities. You’ll double your span of potential for gigs and new exposure with this approach. Alternatively – if you know you’re a lousy booking agent – you can offer to handle other responsibilities, such as publicity and promotion. You’ll each maximize the success of the tour by focusing on your individual strengths. And if you’re not the one in charge of booking, you’ll be booking gigs for your band on autopilot!
12. Be an authority. If you aren’t already attracting super fans with your music, it’s time to become an authority of your music. Carve out a niche if you think you can create one, based on who you are or other interests and passions you may have. For example, Jack Johnson was passionate about surfing so he consistently promoted and sold his music to his fellow surfing community. I’m sure he generated plenty of super fans and gigs on autopilot that way!
No you know how to book gigs for your band on autopilot. The more you put yourself out there, network, and build both your online and off-line presence, the more you’ll be at the forefront of peoples minds. It’s an ongoing process to remind the world that you’re still there making brilliant music for them to enjoy, so share it loud!
Here’s to your creative genius!
-Gregory Douglass, The Creative Advisor
P.S. Want more power tips like this to help fast-track your music career? Sign up below for more free training and creative advice I only share through email…