Getting Your Foot in The Door

– Posted in: Biz Booster Hot Tip! Book the Gig
Getting Your Foot In The Door
Getting Your Foot in the Door - by Jeri Goldstein     

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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

2 comments… add one
  • Deborah March 16, 2020, 10:47 am

    Jeri…this suggestion is not related to today’s topic, but one that is a new problem for entertainers. Due to the Coronavirus…venues are canceling all performances in my area (Eastern PA). Those of us who depend on this income have never experienced anything like this. Any suggestions for us, when booking new events is not a priority to any of the venues, which are closed for business as well…and losing money. This is especially a problem for those who perform for the senior community right now, and will probably extend well beyond everything else that is shut down. Thank you & stay well.

    • Jeri Goldstein March 16, 2020, 12:59 pm

      Hey Deborah,
      I’ve been having these discussions with many artists all over the US and in other countries where their gigs have also been cancelled.
      I’m working on a post right now to address this issue and offer some creative ideas to consider.

      The first thing to do though is to make a list of all the various types of gigs you were scheduled to do. Are they cancelled or postponed until further notice. Check back with those venues and clarify that distinction. Once you clear that up, and no one knows today what any entertainment scenario will look like tomorrow, you might at least have the conversation about being back in touch when this situation changes and potential gigs postponed now, could be rescheduled.

      Next step is to start thinking about how to employ the amazing technology we have available and take our performances virtual. These are the details I’m writing about, so stay tuned and I’ll have this post up in the next day.

      Meanwhile some of the platforms you might explore are:
      Facebook Live
      Google Hangouts
      and even Skype

      Thanks for your inquiry and stay well. Get out into the fresh air, walk, get some sun on the warm days in your area.

Leave a Comment