7 Reasons You’re Not Getting The Gigs You Want

There are more acts than gigs, so you have to do everything right to stand out.

© 2019 Vinny Ribas

If you’ve been chasing gigs for a while but with limited success. it may be time to re-evaluate your entire approach and presentation. One or more of these issues could be the problem:

  1. You have poor marketing materials – Your website, pictures and other marketing materials should immediately make a buyer think,’I have GOT to hire these guys!’  If it doesn’t, other artists chasing the same gigs will outshine you every time.
  2. You have promo video challenges – Have a bad promo video, one that shows you in a different venue than you’re pursuing, or not having a promo video at all are all critical mistakes. Your promo video(s) should be professional-looking, have good sound, be recorded live, show you in the kind of venues you’re pursuing, show crowd reaction, show your banter between songs and have your contact information on them.
  3. You’re pursuing the wrong gigs – Most artist fail at booking because they are chasing the wrong gigs. For example, if you don’t have a following, only pursue gigs where they already have a packed room and just need a great entertainer.  
  4. You’re charging the wrong amount –  Venue’s don’t want to waste their time or energy talking to  artists who are not informed and/or realistic in their ask. It’s critical that you do your homework to know what each venue’s pay range is.
  5. Weak sales approach – Booking is sales. If you’re not good at sales, including negotiating and closing, you’re going to lose out. It wouldn’t hurt to learn some basic sales techniques.
  6. Bad reputation – If you have a reputation for showing up late, being difficult to work with, not being tight etc., you are not going to get the premium gigs. Word travels fast and venue owners/manager talk to each other. Be sure to get quotes or references from the venues you do well in, and avoid any kind of negative situation that will reflect poorly on you.
  7. You’re not asking – If you’re not making enough phone calls and sending enough press packets out, you’ll never fill your calendar. Sales is a numbers game. It may take 10 calls (including follow-ups) to book one gig. So if you want/ need 12 in the next 3 months, you may need to make 120 calls.  

It’s true there are far more acts than their are available opportunities. But they are not all extremely high quality. Remember, every venue needs and is constantly looking for great entertainment. That means that, to be successful, you must find a way to stand out as a ‘must hire’.

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.