Now that your band has created a look and a style, you want to get as many chances to play live to create a fan base. Exposure is everything, and getting gigs is a process all musicians have to go through until they become a known quantity. There are few simple steps to follow, which will help your organize yourself.
Demo and Press Kit
Having a demo is essential. You can record as many songs as an entire album, or as few as 3 or 4. There can be covered material as well as your own original songs. The point of a demo is to make your particular sound clear. Make sure the band’s name and your contact information are on the CD. Your press kit is like your resume. It tells potential employers where you have played before, what a typical set would be, and what kind of reviews you got. Including some photos of the band is a nice thing to do too.
Send It Out
You want to send out as many CD’s and press kits as your budget allows. To help you, do some research on clubs, bars, coffeehouses, fairs, libraries, etc., and find out what kind of music they like to hire. That way you can save yourself some time and money if some of them don’t hire a band with a sound like yours. Online you can also find out a bit more about the submission process for each venue. You might want to enlist the aid of a booking agent, and the more submissions you make, the greater the likelihood of getting representation. You could also use social media to promote your band. It is free and very effective. Facebook and Twitter are 2 to look at.
Do Your Own Promoting
Create posters to advertise your gig. If other bands are joining you, they can help with the expense. Put the posters everywhere you can – in shop windows, on bulletin boards, around lamp posts. The more exposure the better. Create Facebook events and invite everyone! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at who shows up.
One of the best things you can do as an artist is to network. Whether you are working with other singer songwriters on some collaborations or you offer to do back up guitar at another show, it always pays to know more people. Networking is how you make it in the music industry. There are many venues that you simply cannot play at unless you know someone who knows someone.
Talking to other musicians is always helpful. They can give you insight into venues, owners, and booking agents. They may also be able to steer your band in the direction of a venue that is looking for your special sound. If you know an already established band, ask them if you can be an opening act, and offer to do it for free. The more contacts you make the more gigs you will get. Get to know venue managers.
Get as much exposure as possible, whenever possible. Check into open mic nights at coffee shops and cafes. Famous cafés like the Bluebird Café in Nashville even offer open mic nights for singers and song writers that are trying to make it. If someone offers you an opportunity, take it. You never know where it will lead.
Getting gigs for yourself or your band may not feel easy; but if you organize yourself well and take these simple steps, you will find the road much less bumpy.