They look at the bands playing the venues they want to perform at and think: why them and not us?
Bands that don’t get the gig say, “We are so much more talented. That should be us up there!”
It is not for a lack of effort. Most bands and artists are hustling day and night trying to book shows and performances, but they either write ineffective emails or waste countless hours calling club owners and promoters using old techniques that simply don’t work anymore.
It’s also not for a lack of talent that some bands don’t get the gig. There are plenty of bands and artists that have honed their craft and are their music is far superior to what you see on a lot of stages. That holds true for the big stadium shows as well.
Perfecting your sound and skills is just one part of landing gigs though.
Back in the day a phone call was pretty much the only way to contact venues.
Like every other working musician out there, I spent countless hours trying to connect with promoters and booking agents. It took a lot of time. Hours, days and mostly weeks just to get a response.
Even when I spoke with the actual promoter he/she would tell me to call back. Some would be nice enough to give me a hint of “when” to call.
That’s what it feels like trying to cold-call clubs. I had a club owner tell me to call back 4 times. I called every time at the exact time he wanted except for the 4th time. I was at work and couldn’t. When I finally connected with him after many other calls he was angry that I missed his call!
This is common. If it wasn’t obvious already, calling to get gigs just doesn’t work anymore. On top of that, promoters now say they don’t want you to call. It’s the 21st Century.
Emailing venues is by far the most effective way to get new shows.
I’m living proof of this and I’ve booked big shows using just email. I’ve shared the stage with GRAMMY-winning and nominated artists such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Rick Derringer, and guitar-slinger Gary Hoey, just to name a few.
Emails work, but you can’t just fire off one email and expect to land the show. What you need is an email sequence.
An email sequence is a set of focused scheduled emails. As a do-it-yourself artist, I will bet you are already sending emails.
Hopefully you already are using emails to pitch your band. Great! This leads me to the reason why most bands don’t get the gig. Again, it’s not for lack of effort or talent. It’s also not because they are using obsolete techniques (even though that’s part of it).
The focus is solely on how “great” their band is and why they should be playing the venue. Bands look desperate. They feel needy.
You have to remember that the club is the employer. They don’t want needy desperate people who think highly of themselves. Clubs are looking for artists that can bring in more money than they put out. They are looking for people that are enjoyable to work with. It has to be a win-win. It’s a business.
You start with a simple introduction email.
Catch their attention, introduce yourself and ask a specific question.
I see you have BandX playing on November 26th. Congrats, I’m sure that show will be awesome.
Quick question for you, are you guys considering any opening bands for the show?
In this simple introduction email I was very specific, short and asked one question.
I included one link to my website. Again, simple and not overwhelming.
If you don’t get a reply then be sure to follow up as I mentioned above.
Who is your dream gig with? Let me know in the comments below. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments section. I’m happy to answer your questions all day long.
I put together my favorite email pitch that you can grab here for free. I used this simple email to get the conversation started for many my gigs.
The post The reason most bands don’t get the gig (and how to fix it) appeared first on DIY Musician Blog.