Book Gigs Strategically

– Posted in: Biz Booster Hot Tip! Book the Gig

Book Gigs Strategically - by Jeri Goldstein     

Book gigs strategically with your career goals in mind.

Do you ever get the feeling that you are chasing the same gigs every other performer you know is after or is playing? You keep asking yourself, “Why not me?”

First of all, seeing those venues on your performer friend’s itinerary doesn’t tell the whole story. You have no idea what kind of deal they negotiated or anything about the situation, you only see a particular venue listed on their itinerary. So before you get all envious about the fact that they are playing somewhere and you are not, let’s look at this from a different perspective.

Start with your goals for your act. As you view the potential venue, ask yourself if this venue fulfills some aspect of your goals. Is this venue good for your career development? Does it fit into your financial plans, your tour routing plans, your audience development plans? It’s not enough to just be another gig listed on your calendar if you want to create tours that build your career. Just because everyone may be playing the venue, it may not fit into YOUR career plans.

Now look at your tour budget. Can you afford to play gigs that are always percentage gigs or pass the hat gigs. Oh, I know it’s important to get out and be seen, but at some point you need to step away from the crowd and set yourself apart according to your financial needs and audience development needs and begin to book gigs strategically. Playing the venues that have their pick from among hundreds of anxious acts, may do you more harm than build your market value. Constantly agreeing to play for less or nothing at all in the hopes that you’ll win over the booker, still may not lead to viable gig fees at that venue.

Then, explore the alternatives. How can your act deliver a unique experience to a completely different venue type, organization or event that affords you the opportunity to play for more people than those venues on your friend’s itineraries? Look more deeply into the communities where those regularly targeted venues are and find new venues, ones not normally listed on those itineraries.

Book gigs strategically when planning your tours to be specifically suited to your act, your goals for career growth and you financial needs. It just may mean you bypass some of those venues that are favorites of those willing to play for the door. It may just mean you side-step the competition and focus on better venues, more lucrative gigs, but maybe those not so popular among the crowds of other performers who scour the mainstream venue directories to build their tours.

Finally, have a plan. Book gigs strategically within your plan to grow your market value in logically selected cities. Build upon what you’ve already accomplished rather than booking in a helter-skelter

fashion, wherever and whenever. Create your touring strategy and then execute that strategy. You will be able to evaluate each booking opportunity more carefully when you stick with the plan. If it fits your goals and your plan, great, book it! If not, then understand why it makes sense to consider it or why it makes sense to turn it down, at this time.

When you book gigs strategically, you can monitor your growth, accept gigs that make sense for YOU at the time. Strategic bookings ignite your career.

Are you booking your gigs strategically with a plan in place? Do you analyze your friends itineraries to understand how their gigs fit into your plan?

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I can’t wait to hear about your success.

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