Here are 4 steps to avoid booking madness as you plan for your future tours.
It’s often said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, is madness.
Now I hear stories from artists whose gig-getting methods verge on this very strategy.
So in an effort to help you avoid this syndrome and save you from this maddening prospect, I offer you these four steps.
Step 1: How to avoid last minute bookings:
Plan 2 years in advance.
I’m constantly reminding my clients that this one strategy can add momentum and purpose to your bookings. When you use a calendar for two years into the future, you are able to insert known and desired events, contracted dates, conferences and festivals into your calendar as a visual reminder of your two year touring goals. You may then envision tours that will surround those anchor dates and then get booking to fill in your calendar. This strategy gives you focus into the future and will be the most effective way to avoid last minute panic bookings.
Step 2: How to reduce unsatisfying cold calls:
Make referral calls instead
Most people dread making cold calls. So why add that into the already challenging task of booking. Make more friendly calls, make referral calls. After each gig, ask the person who booked you for a referral to 2-3 other likely venues along with a testimonial. Then when you make the call you can say, “I just played at such and such venue and Joe referred me to you thinking that we would be a good act for your audience.” You can then mention the testimonial and you have made a more friendly call. It is more likely that the booker will be open to having a conversation and entertain the possibilities of booking you. “If Joe had you, then we might consider having you as well,” type of thing. Go back into old contracts and begin making calls to bookers where you played in the last two years. Get a quote and get some referrals and begin making friendly calls.
Step 3: How to promote yourself without sounding big-headed:
Use testimonials from past presenters, fans and media.
Most artists I meet do not like talking about themselves in a sales scenario. This may be one of the top reasons artists really hate booking themselves. Self-promotion is no fun. So then use other people’s comments about you to sell you. When you are trying to book a gig, nothing sells you to a new promoter better than a previous promoter’s testimonial. Same thing goes with radio and print media. A quote from a music director at a station goes a long way to get that interview on another station. It’s the same for print and internet and broadcast media. They respect and trust comments from their peers and colleagues, so put them to good use in email correspondences and on phone calls. Oh, and if you haven’t started collecting these gems from everyone you work with, then it’s not to late to start right now.
Step 4: How to avoid sounding rushed and unprofessional on booking calls:
Prepare well in advance, research each prospect.
When you learn a new song, what do you do? You rehearse it over and over until it is second nature and fits comfortably within your regular set list. It is no different when preparing to make booking calls. You need to first do some research about your prospective booker. Get to know something about them, their venue and their programming. Then you need to create and rehearse your pitch so that your conversation flows easily rather than sounding like an interrogation.
When you prepare well in advance for each and every call or create individualized email inquiries, you will sound professional, confident and prepared. This will turn your calls into conversations the other person enjoys and will eventually turn into bookings.
These 4 steps to avoid booking madness will help you get great gigs on every tour you book.
Do you use any of these 4 steps to avoid booking madness? Has any one of these steps been more useful to you? If you try a new step, which one would be your first to use?
Leave me a comment below or on the Performingbiz Success Strategies Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/PerformingbizSuccessStrategies.
I can’t wait to hear about your success.
Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, “Future Dance.” Check them out at www.curfew.co.uk
And for more career boosting tips, articles, books, resources, tele-seminars and online courses, visit me at Performingbiz.com