Do you need a booking agent?
Performing live is critical to building and retaining a fan base, but can you do this yourself or do you need an agent?
The answer is mixed. You can do it yourself, but once you reach a certain level in your career it’s completely advisable to let an agent take over. Agents can be your key to bigger shows, better venues not to mention some killer support slots that can pretty much double your fan base in the space of a week.
But, let it be known that if you’re still currently finding your feet and only really playing shows in your local area then you don’t need an agent yet. Build up a following on your own first, when you start selling out your home town, you’ll know that the time has come for you to go on to bigger and better things.
There are some other benefits to bringing a booking agent on board, some that a lot of people forget about. Let’s take a look.
From juggling dates to managing all the other details, having someone to organise all this for you gives you a lot more time to make that music that you’re so fond of…
Agents have pre-existing relationships with venues and promoters that you do not. This definitely helps get you access to slots that you would have no chance of getting without them. Plus, promoters like working with agents that they know, they’re more likely to book an act from a promoter that they trust to send good bands their way.
They want the best deal
At the end of the day, booking agents make their money by taking a percentage of the deals that they secure for you. So, they’re not going to settle for a sub-par deal are they?
What can you do to make yourself appealing to a potential booking agent?
They earn their money through commission, so if you don’t have a history of well-selling gigs then this is going to throw up some red flags for them.
Get your tour and ticket sales history together.
Did you know that there are databases that booking agencies, promoters and talent buyers can use to pull up reports of attendance and ticket sales? Don’t lie to them.
Get some high-quality live videos
You need something to show them regarding your live shows and if they can’t come and see you then it’s always handy to have a live video on hand to prove your talent. If you can’t sell yourselves to them then how will they be able to sell you to promoters?
Likewise, get your marketing sorted.
Do you have high-quality press photos? A logo? Is your social media co-ordinated? Do you have a release strategy? If the answer to any of these is a no, then an instant red flag will go up to potential booking agents. It will look like you’re not taking this seriously and if you’re not taking it seriously then why should they take you seriously.
Social media is the key to your fans, it will tell you where they live, how engaged with you they are. Obviously the higher the number the better, but what’s really valuable is the ratio of active followers to unengaged followers.
Have you been featured in the media? A good collection of features goes a long way to proving that there is interest in what you’re putting out.
Do you have a publicist? If you do they’ll sort your biography and help you out with getting reviews and coverage. Not to mention put you an EPK together that will be perfect to send to potential booking agents.