It never fails to amaze me the amount of work most indie bands and agents will go through to put together the most elaborate CD and Press Kits. The hours spent in the studio fine tuning each song, the amount of money spent on designing cover art and getting photos taken and so on. It is not that these things do not require a lot of time and energy, but what amazes me is that most bands will then send out these works of art to try and book gigs and then never even make one follow up phone call to be sure it arrived.
Once that CD and press kit is sent, you will need to do everything in your power to maintain a consistent schedule of follow up calls, emails and faxes. The problem is that most people get discouraged after the first few times that they are unable to reach the Talent Buyer. Some even get very emotional in just trying to get a response to the repeated emails or calls. The reality is that most Buyers will only book those things that they already know about or that comes recommended from their trusted peers or friends. For the average band to be heard above the never ending din of new bands only requires one thing, PERSISTENCE.
You need to be confident enough in your product to not stop contacting the venue until you get a firm yes or no. But it is a fine line between being persistent and being a pest.
- Calls during the busiest hours (nights and weekends.)
- Calls, emails and leaves numerous messages every week.
- Is usually looking for a gig within the next few weeks.
- Is short or abrupt when calling.
- Stops calling after a few weeks of disorganized rudeness.
- Finding out when the best time to call is and only calling during those hours.
- Following a consistent, weekly schedule of phone calls, emails and faxes.
- Being realistic. Most clubs book 2-4 months in advance.
- Being polite.
- NOT GIVING UP, (a lack of response never means not interested.)
Once you reach the Talent Buyer always ask if it is a good time to discuss booking. If it is not, ask when would be a better time and be sure to set a reminder to follow up.
Any band can put together a great demo, but truly successful bands realize that every person they contact is a potential business relationship for life. They may not be interested today, but you should ask if it is okay to stay in touch and keep them posted about your progress as a band. Then call them a couple of times year, say hello, tell them what you have been doing and inquire if there are any gig opportunities.
Sending out a few emails or CDs is not going to make the phone ring by itself, no matter how good your band is. The only way to get the industry to take notice and give you an opportunity is through consistent, professional follow through.