Are you soliciting yourself to booking agents, clubs, talent buyers or whoever is hiring you or your band in the best way?
Connecting, contacting and networking is a large piece in getting your name out there, gaining representation or booking gigs in the music business. In the last 10 years alone we have shifted from those big promo packets that used to have to go out to emails and today even download cards the size of credit cards thats can hold all the information needed to book or hire a band all in the palm of your hand.
Although certain aspects of reaching out have become worlds easier with emailing and the internet in the last decade, it has also become that much easier for so many others as well. It comes down to not just standing out but delivering and getting your point across in the best way as fast as you can and make the best impression possible.
Here the the couple key make sure you do and make sure you don’t points:
1. Make sure you include an opening that is individualized. Make the note to that club, to the contact person and give it a sense that it personalized.
DO NOT Send mass emails to numerous clubs or contacts at the same time. Show the respect and put in the effort to focus on the exact place you are going after for the gig.
2. Summarize and make it brief. Give the who, what, how, why, when and where of your band. Give them links to find out more, Give them the bullet points and then the options to find out more. This is where those one liners and tag lines will work well for you.
DO NOT Write a book. DO NOT give them dozens of reviews, tons of excessive information that does not encapsulate and summarize you.
3. Set up links in your email. Give them the links to your music, your videos, your pictures, your promo materials. Make it an easy decision to book you.
DO NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS. SKIP ON THE MP3, JPEG, PDF and anything else. Do not fill up an email mailbox that is probably getting stuffed up anyways. If they request it, send it, otherwise, make it a link.
Lastly, take two seconds to make it a hyperlink so they can easily click on it.
Also, take those two seconds to think how many emails must come through to this club, person or contact and think about what you are sending.
What can you do to make it original and eye catching?
What can you do to make it an email that they want to save and click on the links to find out more about you?
What can you do to make your group stand out?
What can you do to make it a special event and a step above the average show?
Again, this is more proof of the idea that they will see you and read about you before they hear you, so make sure the letter and the content is strong. What can you do to help them too? What can you offer to a club, a booking agent, a talent buyer that will help them? Think about that. The bulk of bands are looking for something and not offering anything (beyond the music.)
Consider asking for a lesser rate to prove your self. (With everyone asking for top dollar, you will stand out in showing you want to not only prove yourself, but develop a relationship with the club or agent)
Consider asking for an opening act spot instead of a headliner spot to show what you are capable of.
Consider telling them how you will work to advertise and market the show to get people out there.
Consider a special giveaway or some kind of marketing stunt for that specific venue.
And for the booking agents, maybe offer a higher percentage for a period of time to get them booking you faster and sooner in new markets.
The point is make it a solicitation letter that stands out, is informative but brief and gives someone the chance to get a strong overview with links to get all the additional details needed. One of the services I offer is assistance with setting up solicitation letters for bands, so I am not going to list an example here, but this is the letter I use for my bookings as a speaker. I also add a special finders fee percentage to agents and even just people with contacts that help me find bookings in schools.
(Opening note with a contact point that has been researched that references the school, event, conference, etc,)
(Inquiry short paragraph about the booking options as well as the mention of the promo kit basics being listed below.)
(Short Signature with Phone, Email, and basic contact.)