Booking a gig to book a gig or fill a date just doesn’t cut it!
Artists I speak with are always moaning about large blocks of empty dates on their calendars. So that quick-fix-fill-a-date booking mentality just won’t provide the kind of career longevity and booking ease you probably desire.
Booking momentum comes from strategic planning and taking a big picture view of your career. When you plan for the long-term, say, two years out, you can create some momentum by determining the reason you are booking each tour.
Having a reason for each tour adds incentive, the urgency for the presenter or booker and the booking momentum you need to light a fire under your butt and surround specific anchor events with more dates further into the future.
When you plan ahead, you can see that after you finish that CD, you’ll probably want to have a CD release tour. If you know, the recording will be done at a specific time, and you can plot out the release tour and begin booking those dates way before you even finish the recording. This gives you the spark to do the booking and the reason to accept certain kinds of dates that help promote the CD, which you might not take if the reason for the tour we not a CD release.
Another example might be to create a tour on your way to a conference. This gives you specific dates far in advance to offer to the booker. It provides urgency since those are the only dates you’ll be heading through the area on the way to or on the way back from an event that gives you some market credibility.
What reasons can you determine for your upcoming tours? Look ahead at least 12 to 18 months and see what you’ve got on the books already. Do you have any special events you are attempting to use as an anchor date? Do you have a new release or a new show you are anxious to tour? Discover your reason for the tour so you can use it to sell it and to provide momentum to your future bookings. Even if the tour is simply to make a certain amount of money during a set amount of time, that reason will motivate you to accept certain offers and reject others since they don’t meet your fee criteria. A tour with a reason behind it is one that gets better gigs with higher fees and better press. When your reasons for touring motivate you, you will have less time to worry about empty calendars and more time playing to great audiences.
Begin looking ahead and do some planning for your next 2-years so you can incorporate your reason for each planned tour and create some booking momentum for yourself.
Tell me some of the reasons you create your tours and how having a reason has helped you work with your bookers at various venues. Leave me a comment below.