7 Questions To Ask To Find The Right Gigs and Increase Your Income

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7 Questions To Ask To Find The Right Gigs and Increase Your Income

© 2021 Vinny Ribas

Band On StageEvery day I am approached by artists who are playing gigs that are not perfect for them. It could be because they have to change their show for the venue, the money is too low or even non-existent and more. So here is a little guideline to help you determine which gigs you should be targeting.

  1. Who does my stage show appeal to? Keep in mind that your recorded music may appeal to one demographic and your live show to another. For example, as a recording artist Garth Brooks appealed to traditional country fans. But as an animated, high-energy performer he appealed to those of us who loved classic rock concerts as well.
  2. How much money do I need to make to cover my bills and make a profit? It’s critical to know all your expenses and make a profit. Music is a business. You’ll only be successful if you treat it like one. Be sure to budget up to 30% off the top for a manager and a booking agent.
  3. What kinds of venues cater to or can attract the same audience I appeal to and can afford to pay what I need to make? This is where most artists miss the boat. You need to research the market to know where you should be playing. For example, a rock band can play local gigs or move into playing colleges for much better money, Don’t settle for the low hanging fruit – the venues you can land easily even if it is not a perfect fit. It starts by learning the market and the various types of gigs that are available to you. Then you can pick the ones you want to target.
  4. What do I have to do or change to appeal to these venues?By this I mean what does the kind of venue you want to play in need to see from you? A better live video? A better website? More social network followers? Do the venues only work through booking agents? If so, who are they? This will probably take research and phone calls. Once you can answer these questions, you can make the necessary changes.
  5. How can I do what needs to be done or make these necessary changes? It’s one thing to know what is needed. It’s a different story knowing how to get it done and putting the plan in motion. You may need to determine how you’ll raise the money for a new video. If you need references you may need to take some intermediate gigs and ask for letters from the venue managers. The bottom line is that now your efforts are much more narrowly focused. Everything you do should be measured by asking ‘will this help me get to the level I want to be at?
  6. Who do I need to have on my team to make me attractive to these venues, where do I find them and how will I attract them? Some venues only work through booking agencies. Some booking agencies only talk to managers. You may need a social media marketing person to beef up your fanbase. You may need a videographer to shoot a more appropriate video. You may need better or more serious band members. Just like you’re doing with the venues, you need to put the things in place that will attract the right team members. Then you may need to ask for referrals or attend certain industry events to meet the right people. Or you may just call and make an appointment to make your pitch.  It’s not difficult – it just takes having what potential team members need to see to make them want to jump on board.
  7. What calls should I make personally and what calls can be or would be more effective coming from someone else? Once you have put some key pieces in place, it’s time to delegate the outreach responsibilities to your team. Some calls, such as to a booking agent, would definitely be best coming from you or your manager. On the other hand, calling venues to to find out who books the entertainment could be done by a friend, an assistant or a band member. Once the list is split up, you can move ahead confidently knowing hat you have put yourself in a position to be considered a professional and taken seriously by everyone.

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