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Ever feel like a toolbag emailing clubs?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by zachoff, Oct 8, 2010.


  1. Just emailed 3 clubs around town to book my band. Sucks because I know all of them are reading it (or not) and saying "the f*%k?!.." because in every email I say "We're all older guys with school age kids and day jobs and can't play weekday shows...", but it's true. We just can't. We could technically play Tuesday shows because it's our normal practice night, but we'd get maybe 3 people to show up. Yup, our following is just not that awesome yet. Anyone else have a similar dilemma? What has worked for you?
     
  2. I don't put in the negatives. IMO don't put in "can't do this, won't do that"; deal with it when an actual gig is offered. There's a chance the gig will be a Friday or Saturday anyway.

    Again, IMO, there's nothing wrong with telling a venue "Sorry; we're not available that night". Imply (or just outright lie) that it's 'coz you have a gig.
     
  3. somegeezer

    somegeezer

    Oct 1, 2009
    England
    Rather than say you CAN'T play weekdays, say you CAN play weekends.
     
  4. JMGiraffe

    JMGiraffe Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2001
    Vermont
    I agree completely with phatbass. Tell them what you can do instead of building the case against yourself. What kind of music is it? Covers or originals?
     
  5. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI
    They do not need to know that you are middle aged.They will find that out on their own.

    They also don't need to know anything about your kids or any other family members.
     
  6. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    CT

    +7404264


    Just curious, ..if you have families, and day jobs...wouldn't weekends be better than weeknights?

    Just asking is all.

    I have a real job, and a family (with kids).And I play on weekends(sometimes 2 nites in a row...which sucks horribly)
    I have done weeknite gigs..and those are the rough ones...gettin home at 3am tryin to be to work at 7.

    anyway...carry on.
     
  7. nobodysfool

    nobodysfool

    Apr 22, 2010
    Shelby, OH
    Tell them what you CAN do, and leave out the "middle-aged" bit. Most gigs are on Friday or Saturday night anyway. Telling them what you can't do or how old you are, just gives them reasons to ignore you. Who cares how old you are? If you can still do it, there's no issue. Look at the Stones. McCartney. How many bands are middle-aged, and still kickin' it? TONS of 'em! In my band, we're all in our mid to late 50's, and we still rock, and rock HARD. In our area, the young guys come to see us to pick up ideas, and see how it's done. Even the ones who initially look at us as a bunch of old geezers, change their mind when we start playing.

    What you can do trumps whatever limitations you have. Get your foot in the door, and show 'em what you can do. If they like it. They'll book you back. If they don't, you still got a gig out of it, and got paid (hopefully).

    www.backonearthband.com
     
  8. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Sounds like you may need to read your email out loud to someone who is skeptical..

    Any negativity will get you deleted.
     
  9. My experience isn't too deep with this--I just started getting involved in the past several weeks (drummer was handling it all and was feeling dumped on), but everything I've been told and seen says that emailing alone is only going to get you so far.

    Here was the sequence with one

    1. Called - (Initial contact) Found out the owner's name, that he's the person who does the booking (no agency) and got his email address

    2. Emailed - No Response

    3. Went in - He wasn't there. I talked to an assistant manager. Left a business card and found out when the owner would be in.

    4. Went in - He had gone to the bank.

    5. Called - Left a message - no reply

    6. Called - He answered the phone (if he hadn't, chances are I would have had to leave a message) and set up a time to see him the following week.

    7. Went in - We talked. I left behind a flyer I had made up. He said they were booked for 2 months, but he'd check us out and I should call back in a couple of weeks.

    8. Went in - I decided to go in instead of calling. He said they were now booked up even further, so I should call him at the beginning of November to talk about a date in January.

    9. Emailed - Yesterday I decided to send him an email link to a review that had been done of our band on this local e-news site. I said in the email that it was a quick read and I just wanted to stay on his radar screen.

    He emailed me back with a date in February - Done

    With this, email alone would have yielded nothing, but it was integral in the end.
     
  10. 251

    251

    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    Lesson 22 from basic sales handbook - Stop behaving like a beggar. You could have visited all 3 clubs in a week & profiled the club. Order a drink, learn the bartender's name (write it down, later), ask who does the booking & when he/she is around (write it down, later). Ask about other bands that play there, how's business when they play, does the booking agent think that was good enough? If needed go back & hand your CD to the booking agent. Tell him/her about your fan base, mailing list & yes, get hired before you say I can't play this night or that.

    Keep in mind how many clubs your band can play. Are you looking for 1, 2, 3, more? How many clubs do you need to visit to book up your calendar? How many clubs need to know you & your band?

    Sales isn't Rocket Surgery, you may not like it but the rules are simple, your attitude is the key. Be upbeat, confident, positive, enthusiastic, no matter how you feel or what that voice in your head is saying. Don't prejudge the customer! That way you will always be surprised & delighted with success. Do you need an example? Watch "The Commitments".
     
  11. Thanks for the advice, guys. I will re-think my approach. :)
     
  12. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI
     
  13. powderfinger

    powderfinger

    Feb 24, 2009
    Yes, don't be a beggar. I once emailed this club owner about 10 times in a 3 month period, and even called him. He never once even had the decency to say he'd get back to me later.

    He eventually got back to me 6 months, needing my band in a pinch. Now, in those 6 months, the club had gotten a bad rap, and NO ONE was wanting to play there any longer due to bad mgmt. etc. I emailed the club owner back, and told him basically, "thanks for the offer, but you need to learn some business communicaiton skills... Ive no desire to work with you or your club". They ended up closing in the next month or so.

    It made me feel good at least... kinda... sorta...
     
  14. Gaius46

    Gaius46

    Dec 15, 2010
    I don't email on first contact. I'll call, get the name of the person who handles booking and talk directly to that person, preferably in person, if not then by phone.

    Also make sure I carry a copy of our press kit in the car. We tend to go out to see a lot of live music and I make it point, after tipping generously, to ask the bartender if the person who handles booking is around.

    Email can be used for follow up things like confirming dates and working out minor details but for initial contacts I think it's less than optimal.
     
  15. powderfinger

    powderfinger

    Feb 24, 2009
    Press kits are a great idea. You know, in the 90s and early 00s, my bands all had nice press kits. Unfortunately, with the dawn of the internet, and some of us just getting older and lazier, we started relying too much on, "here's our website... check us out there".

    In my personal experience, I had gone into the bar to talk to the guy face to face. He said he was busy, gave me a card, and said, "email me".

    I tell ya, the more things change the more they stay the same.
     
  16. Follow-up - We have established a great, friendly relationship with this bar owner. We're playing there just about every-other month, no problem, no end in sight.

    I've even made a point of going there a few times with my wife to see other bands, be seen supporting the place and glad-hand a little - not insincerely. The owner is a good guy. I do want to keep on the radar screen.

    He answers my email now.
     
  17. JohnMCA72

    JohnMCA72

    Feb 4, 2009
    Find a book and/or take a course in salesmanship.
     
  18. Gaius46

    Gaius46

    Dec 15, 2010
    We put together a press when the organizer for a festival we were planning to play asked for one. It didn't take a lot of work to put together - it's just band bios, song list, gig pics and a copy of the demo CD - but it's more professional than just pointing to a website and it's one more data point to let the club owner know that we take our job job of entertaining his patrons just as seriously as we do our day jobs.
     
  19. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas

    I love this post. Few seem to realize just how much dogged salesmanship it takes to get a gig. I appreciate this useful glimpse of reality! It's a lot of pounding the pavement, but The upside is, once you make the connection, it keeps on giving.
     
  20. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I use email for contacts allot . It has got the band some of our best gigs some that we book year long. I introduce the band and give a link to our site...works for me.
     

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