Ever wonder why some people succeed and others don’t? As you may have guessed, I’ve screened more bands and solo artists than I can count. It’s well over 1,000. Their success starts with talent and tenacity but they also need:
1) A strong mindset
2) Great marketing and branding
3) Great timing
4) The right people on their team
5) Multiple streams of income
6) Ability to react quickly
I deal with the last one often. It’s the dilemma of finding replacements (Wasn’t that a band name?). Sometimes you need to be available to step in with really short notice.
Here’s a hint: Don’t drop the ball! Follow up ASAP! I mentioned this tip and more in last week’s blog post.
Increasing your chances of being selected
I was contacted last Thursday for a replacement band or solo artist for a gig that was taking place on Saturday. Yes, that meant only 2 days to find, book, and promote someone. Who did I contact?
1) People with extremely strong skills (great vocal ability, songwriting, and musicianship). Let’s park here for a moment, shall we? If you only know a couple of chords and you’re still singing off-key, you’re not ready!
2) People whose tunes fit the demographic and had 3 hours of material (originals and covers). Yes, your tunes and style should fit the gig, the venue, or the lineup.
3) People whom I could sell really well and had a great website or EPK (electronic press kit) with links to their tunes.
4) People who were good enough to justify top dollar pricing. If I was going to bust my butt to pull this off, it had to be financially worthwhile for everyone (Booking agents charge 10-20% per gig but they can generally get you more $ than if you were booking yourself.).
5) People who were in town and available. This took a few tries.
6) People who are polished, professional, experienced, and have a following. It’s that “Know, like, and trust factor.” You’re not only representing yourself. You’re representing me and my company.
Don’t just focus on getting signed!
I was always amazed at the first question many teen bands have asked me: “How many of your bands have gotten signed?” Now, keep in mind these bands hadn’t even had their first show yet! I told them they needed to pay their dues first. They also needed to be willing to do lots and lots of work. And getting signed to a major label isn’t the only way to go.
It takes loads of training and dedication to be ready to break out from playing coffeehouses or tiny venues for tips or next to nothing. Are you ready?
Dori Staehle, MBA lives in the Raleigh, NC area and is the Founder and CEO of Rock the Next Stage. She is a music mentor for serious musicians. She specializes in young talent and Christian artists. Dori is also a booking agent, manager, promoter, speaker, and drum chick. Be sure to grab Dori’s FREE Report on her website: Career Killers: 20 Mistakes Musicians Make.