Getting your foot in the door is a constant struggle for so many artists who want to open new markets.
Building that elusive “buzz” regionally is so important and really lays the groundwork for getting your foot in the door.
Here are a few ideas to begin incorporating into your booking process.
- When beginning to expand further out into your region, make it a habit of inviting the bookers at the venues you want to play, to come see you at a gig you are already playing. It’s quite likely they won’t take you up on the invite, but that doesn’t matter. What this does is begin to establish, in their minds, that you are working at clubs they heard about and perhaps even know the owner or booker of that club. So, you start building a relationship without even asking them for a gig. They get to recognize your name and most importantly they see that you are playing.
- Find a band you know who is playing at the venue you want to play and work out a gig swap with the band to have them invite you to open for them at their gig and you in turn, have them open for you at one of your gigs. This introduces each of you to a new audience as well as the venue booker you are trying to impress.
- Turn to your friends or fans in the towns where you want to play, ask them to call the venue and ask when they plan on having your group, or have they ever considered having your group. When the ticket buying public begins to demand an artist, then the bookers take notice. So, get on your social media accounts and build your fan base in markets you want to play. Then nurture those fans to help create a demand for your act in their towns.
Venue bookers are highly motivated to take a chance on a new act when they get referrals from other bookers who have had the act, when fans are clamoring to hear an act and when the media is writing cool things about an act. Build your buzz so when you call or email or send material, your reputation has preceded you. They will return your calls and give you a shot at that point. There needs to be a perceived market value for a booker to invest in an un-tested act.
With so many acts to choose from, they are mostly going to stick with acts they know will bring in their fans and sell tickets.
Give these strategies a try next time you are targeting a new venue and getting your foot in the door may just have become much easier.
How have you solved this problem when opening a new market or attempting to get into a new venue?
Leave me a comment below.
I can’t wait to hear about your success.
Thanks to Carol Ehrlich for this week’s graphic image. Check out her work at v360.com.
Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, “Future Dance.”
And for more career boosting tips, articles, books, resources and online courses, visit me at Performingbiz.com