We currently have one gig in the diary for 2018 and a few left to do this year. 2017 was the first year that we started with a decent number of gigs in the diary. Our approach has always been a bit hand to mouth, in that, although we have been getting re-bookings, gigs with new venues are harder to come by. Most of our bookings have come from venues asking for bands through Facebook and us responding to those requests. What we are missing in the band is a marketing man who has the gift of the gab (confidence?) and can go round speaking to potential venues. I am the one who looks after all the online stuff like website and Facebook but the face-to-face stuff isn’t done by anybody. I find it really uncomfortable, and always have.
I am fully aware that this lack of ability to network impacts all the streams of my practice and that if I could get better at it then there would be benefits in so many places. In fact, generally putting myself out there more as a musician and artist would probably do a great deal for my confidence and perhaps should be a focus over the next few weeks. So…….what to do about it?
What I need is a plan. There are 3 strands to deal with I think:
Speaking to venues
Finding ways of performing more
Speaking to venues: There is no getting around it that venues are rarely going to be beating down your door so I need to get out to see them. I have already generated a list of potential venues and just need an approach that I am comfortable with. We have some good material recorded including videos that I could show to a venue. I doubt they have much time to put in to reviewing bands but I think that having everything on the website at least gives me the chance to say that it is available. Perhaps it is a case of going in to the venue, asking if they have live bands, explaining we are looking for new venues and ask what their preferred approach is for making bookings. Then leave contact material and online links, ask for a name of their contact and call back in a week. I think the hit rate is going to be very low so I need to accept the fact that I will need to go through the numbers to get some bookings. I will report back in the next blog how it went!
Finding ways of performing more: the answer to this is to do some open mics, perhaps as an acoustic duo and I have blogged about this recently……but done nothing about it. How does one deal with procrastination? I am probably not alone but it does seem to be a major hurdle to me making progress. I JUST NEED TO DO IT!
Networking: I think this is a combination of the 2 previous points. Rather than turning up at an open mic, doing my thing and then sitting back in my spot the answer must be to try and talk to the other acts, find out what they are up to, where they are playing. Again, this is just something that I need to get on with. Easy to write down and harder to do but the rewards could be massive.
I will report back in the next blog on my progress.