So you have now scoured the web, bought every music directory and harassed every touring band you know. At this point you probably have an incredible collection of venues, colleges, festivals and press contact information. You most likely have pages full of notes, emails with referrals and spreadsheets covered with names and numbers. But now what? The key is to be able to effectively organize all of your new found contacts in a way that maximizes your opportunity with each one of them.
Software or web based applications such as Act, Outlook, Onlinegigs etc. are all efforts to help you centralize your business related messages, upcoming tasks and important contact information. Handheld versions such as a Filofax, or a Palm Pilot can also suit many of your needs. Whatever method you choose, be sure to get as many of the following features as would apply to your specific needs.
- Complete and total access to all of your important contact and business information in one location
- Multiple, archived backups of your information in case of data loss or equipment failure
- Reminder system for upcoming activities and tasks
- Integrated email & fax messaging with message tracking and search
- Customizable for better application to your specific industry
- Remotely accessible from any internet connection
- Ability to easily share your information with others
- Pre-loaded with an industry directory of contacts
Next you will need to either import your address book or do some data entry to get all of this the information into one place. From here forward you should get in the habit of storing data for every contact you do business with in this location. Every phone number, every email, every call, every meeting etc. This one tool becomes your address book, your task list, your reminder system and your file cabinet.
When you complete a phone call, make some notes about what was said and store it with the contact you had the phone call with. It sounds simple enough, but trying to remember what hundreds of talent buyers told you during your last phone call is next to impossible. Similarly a record should be created for every upcoming task you need to complete. A list of music venues that need to be called, packages that need to be sent, press releases that need to be generated and so on.
The best tools in the world however can’t help anyone if there isn’t a steady system of upkeep and interaction. Task lists need to be viewed and cleaned up, contact information constantly needs updating and old correspondences need to be filed away. A sound system of centralization and organization is the key to being able to work as many opportunities as possible at the same time. Send out as many CDs as you can keep track of and open up more and more possibilities with an organized follow up system.
Onlinegigs is an incredibly powerful Contact Manager. You can easily schedule reminders for important phone calls, meetings and tasks as well as mark them as completed to track your history with each contact you do business with. The task list is also viewable in Day, Week and Month View calendars. Email and fax messaging are directly integrated and all messages related to specific contacts are cross referenced and searchable. Your current contact lists or address books from Outlook, Excel or Word are easily imported into Onlinegigs. You can even earn money back off of your subscription for adding new contacts to Onlinegigs or for editing outdated information.
Onlinegigs not only comes pre-loaded with a huge music industry contacts but you are also able to create much needed industry forms and documents. You can easily issue contracts for any upcoming performance and then send it out by fax or email to the talent buyer as well as your band members, your publicist, your tour manager etc. Tour itineraries are automatically generated with custom driving directions from one gig to the next. And you can create a press release in minutes and then send it out to the local media in any market in the country.
Because Onlinegigs is a web based application there are many benefits that other desktop programs can’t comptete with. Your important business information is automatically backed up and archived in 14 day intervals. Your vital data is also completely accessible all day, every day from any internet connection. Have a contract dispute from a club? Log into your account and pull up your confirmation. Dispute averted.