Booking agent, band manager, and former front man for a 6-figure cover band. Founder and CEO of Indie Band Coach. Work Smarter. Gig Harder.
They say “The Extra Mile Isn’t Crowded”, but why is that? And what’s the “extra mile” mean for you? What are some extras you’re willing to provide that other bands or musicians may take for granted?
Take a look at these 15 tactics for standing out at club and private gigs and tell me what you think in the comments below...
Tips for Standing Out at the Clubs
- Clean up your stage and/or green room after the show. Leave it how you found it (or better).⠀
- Get posters to the club early AND email them an electronic version for their social media.⠀
- Create a FB event for the show and make the club a co-host (or ask to co-host theirs if it’s already created)⠀
- Do you have merch to sell? Make sure the bartenders and wait staff at your most frequent clubs have your gear! (Don't have merch to sell? Get Some.)
- Find out what the club’s specials are and make that part of your shout outs. (i.e. - show that you’re trying to make them money)⠀
- Send pics from the show to the club the day after and/or tag them on social media. Help them promote themselves.
- Say “thank you” to the bar staff, manager, talent buyer, etc. before you leave. You’d be amazed at how few ‘thank you’s’ get thrown around :-)
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”
— Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon.com
Now, you may not be able to execute all of these tips. In fact, it’s best to choose 1 or 2 that you can do naturally and on a regular basis and focus on that. Make it your “signature” thing. Promote it as part of your brand.
The same goes for the ever-elusive private events. You’ve got a whole new set of opportunities to shine - from corporate parties and their coordinators, to weddings with stressed out brides & grooms, to that talent buyer for the booking agency who books 10 bands for each event. You’ve got a chance to above and beyond.
Want to make your mark? Here are just a few examples…
Make Your Band Stand Out at Private Events
- As much as humanly possible, treat everyone with respect throughout the entire process.
- Send a hand-written thank you note for letting you be a part of their event.⠀
- Take pictures during the show and if appropriate, share on facebook or offer to send directly to the organizer.
- Of course this can all be done via email and phone calls, but for weddings, take the time to meet with the bride & groom if possible.
- Coordinate timeline and logistics with other vendors and make it a seamless event for the client.⠀
- Visit the venue ahead of time if it’s your first time there.
- For weddings, find out what the couple's colors are and try to coordinate if possible.
- Oh yeh… and clean up your stage and/or green room after the show. Leave it how you found it (or better).
A strong consistent brand, built up over time, is the best guarantee of future earnings.
Separate Yourself: 'Promise & Deliver'
So, what's the real common denominator? To CARE and show it onstage and off.
Customer Service - like reeaaally good customer service is also one of the best ways to build brand (band) loyalty! Not only are you promising something, you're delivering. And that's what they'll come back for.
Think about it. I was in a cover band. Outside of a few of our originals, we weren't playing any different songs than what the next band could play. Mind you, we did try to find those popular b-sides to throw in along with the "most requested" songs. But the point is this - our fans, family, friends, and long-time customers kept coming back for the experience. Club owners put us in rotation because we made it easy on them and their staff to make money. Ok, and we treated them with respect.
Do you want to work with the guys that left the stage a mess? Nah. Do you want to book a band that never promotes your venue? Probably not.⠀
So just take a second and ask yourself: What do you do as a band or musician to give your clubs or clients something extra?!
* (insert time to reflect here) *
And now, what ELSE can you do?
Find out what works for you and what you’re able to do consistently. Use it as a way to define yourselves and be well on your way to standing out in the crowd of indie musicians!
© 2017 Leonard Patterson