Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

How long to wait before calling club owner back?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sleeplessknight, Mar 15, 2005.


  1. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    So, I'm trying to hustle this gig at a cafe, and I've been down there once to talk to the owner. Unfortunately, I caught her at a bad time, and she gave me the venue # and said "Call exactly at this time to talk to me, on Monday". So, I wait until Monday, and I call exactly at said time, and the owner's "not there", so I get a lackey. The lackey takes a message and tells me to try back "later", so I try again 24 hours later. This time, the owner's in a meeting and can't take my call so I get the same song-and-dance of "I'll take a message, and she'll call ya back, or you can call back later". My question is, should I just drop it and call her back in a week, or would it be better to keep trying once a day? I'm tryin' to be relativly polite here, but I want this lady to know that I reeeeeallly want this gig too. What's a good balance?
     
  2. My opinion is once every two days. Sell yourself. You are doing them a favor by performing. Once she's aware of that fact, contact should not be a problem. Obviously, you don't don't word it like that...it's an art to turn the negotiation around.

    Mike
     
  3. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    True, but there are more musicians/bands than there are places to play, so it *could* be looked at that THEY're doing US the favor. But I don't wanna let them know that 8*)
     
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    I've helped a number of venues book gigs over the years. Does this woman have your promo package in front of her at this time? You do have a promo package, right? :eyebrow: If not, you would never get anywhere with most of the folks I've worked with.

    I'd ask the other employees to listen to your demo, maybe they'll light a fire for you if they like it. I used to have a pretty fair stack of demos that the local club owner would send me home with to check out. She was better than most about listening to them, but was just too busy to follow through a lot of times. Calling every day won't make someone like that feel less busy, try to get their attention some other way. Just my .02.

    Edit: Forget about "favors", this is about business, no?

    luck,

    -------Charlie
     
  5. Tnavis

    Tnavis

    Feb 25, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Try the email route as well. Even if the person you're trying to get a hold of isn't immediately available, you can still speak your bit. Try the triple threat.... email, phone, and mail. Send carrier pigeons. Be persistant.
     
  6. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    Oooh, now email's something I haven't thought of, thanks for the suggestion! PassinWind: Do you have any information available about creating a promo package? I'd be very interested in any information that can help me create one. I've got a demo CD with a professional looking CD-cover (not insert, just the thingie that sticks on top of the actual CD), and a reasonably catchy cover letter. What more do I need to add before I can start calling it a "promo package"?
     
  7. Completely agreed. We got gigs (after a certain amout of reputation was built up) because we were easy to deal with. We would have begged to play, but it didn't become neccessary. We built our reputation on accident. Other bands caused problems for the management...we just happened to be one that didn't. A decent crowd rounded out our likeability.

    Do you know another club owner? Have him/her call the establishment and recommend they give you a call. If you have no influence right now, find someone who does.

    We befriended a local music "promoter" (he was working an internship at a local venue) who pushed us to everyone he spoke with. We were not the best band in the area...but personality got us in a few doors we could not open.


    Mike
     
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Email is the only way I tend to communicate reliably these days, by all means try that.

    What you've described qualifies perfectly well as a promo package, although a good photo and a reference list (if you've already gigged enough to generate one) might be helpful as well. Ideally, you want to write the press release for the venue, and provide them with poster art, or maybe actual posters once you've got the gig. IOW, make everything as easy for them as possible. I'd work on the CD insert too, it's pretty easy to make a decent one yourself.

    One more thought: do you have a band website up yet? I see that're you're involved in IT, seems like a natural tack at self promotion, no?
     
  9. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    But of course I have a website. And sample MP3s up as well. Check it out, lemme know your $0.02:
    http://www.sleeplessknight.org

    How would I go about formatting a reference list? I've got 4 places under our belts that we gig at regularly, is that enough? Also, what do you mean by "Write the press release for the venue"? Do you mean write a customized "article" that says "Ah hah, the Sleepless Knights are playing HERE!" Right now, as a jazz band, we're playing more restaurants than clubs, but we're in the process of shifting over to Club Aquisition Mode.
     
  10. Rockgurl

    Rockgurl

    Dec 17, 2004
    CT, USA
    Be persistent but don't sound like you're annoyed if she doesn't have time to talk to you again. Act like your her best friend and be really happy to talk to her but definitely be persistent. If she gets a hint that you're annoyed then you've blown the gig. It's frustrating but these people have a lot on their hands and you're just another band. Make her remember you because you're so nice to deal with.
     
  11. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    Yeah, that's part of the frustration on my end: I just can't get ahold of HER. I'm always dealing with a lackey. I've met her once, shook her hand, and asked her "is now a good time to talk about live music?" Other than that, there's always an intermediary because she's "in a meeting".
     
  12. Rockgurl

    Rockgurl

    Dec 17, 2004
    CT, USA
    That sucks. It sounds like she doesn't make a habit of taking calls. Email might be the way to go. That way you can let your charming personality shine through. :D
     
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Very nice, classy and to the point. You have Wave labeled as "The Wave", dunno if Jobim would have approved... :cool: Your band is quite similar to one of mine, actually. We play Real Book tunes and other standards, do restaurant and wedding gigs, etc. I play EUB in that band, it's a blast. Are there any bass solos in your clips?

    How would I go about formatting a reference list? I've got 4 places under our belts that we gig at regularly, is that enough?

    Sure, but we also milk the higher profile one-offs that we've done: "Featured artists at Maryhill Arts Festival, Trout Lake Arts Festival, Hood River Harvest Fest, and the Bingen Huckleberry Festival." And no, I'm not making that last one up!

    Also, what do you mean by "Write the press release for the venue"? Do you mean write a customized "article" that says "Ah hah, the Sleepless Knights are playing HERE!" Right now, as a jazz band, we're playing more restaurants than clubs, but we're in the process of shifting over to Club Aquisition Mode.

    Your band description on the web start page and what's in the bio section is the kind of stuff I'm talking about, rather than a literal, tailored press release for the gig. Give the venue some easily quotable material, so they don't have to think about that themselves. You did well with your bios, I think. Your sample contract is good too. Geeze, I woulda hired you by now!
     
  14. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    Heh, thanks! :D Yes, most of the songs have me murdering the low end ^W^W^W effing up some kind of solo. Certainly not our very best work, we'd been playing together about two months when we recorded those. We've got a new guitarist now, and we're going back into the studio in a few weeks to get a new CD recorded and out the door.

    Ahh yes, we've got a couple of those as well, thanks for the suggestion!

    Heh, thanks again. Yeah, that website took me FOREVER to make and tweak to get juuuuust right. As for the actual format, should this be all on a single page, spread out over a couple-three pages, or what? Also, how do I present the whole package, do I buy manila envelopes/folders to stick all this stuff in, or just hand it to 'em loose?
     
  15. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    A lot of bands put their photo on the top, and clip the whole deal together. Maybe clip the envelope underneath, so they have a place to file your info after they've been suitably dazzled?? Usually I see 2-3 pages, plus the sample contract, but there's something to be said for keeping it simple too. If I were to look at your band's picture and see a sax, it'd make an immediate impression that a brown envelope never would, eh?
     
  16. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    Ok, so if I layered it, it'd be "Photo, cover letter, references/bios, empty envelope/folder, demo CD"? Or would it be "Photo, cover letter, envelope/folder (which enloses the references, bios, more photos, etc)"?
     
  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    I think I like the second one a little better, just because it gives the viewer a chance to lose all the top stuff, yet still find enough inside to book the gig. I'd put the URL to your site on everything, if possible, for the same reason.
     
  18. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    Oh yes, already got that covered. I'm ALL about name-branding. The business card (looks exactly like the website banner) has my name, email, digits, and site URL all over it, and the demo CD (the cover of which looks exactly like a blown-up business card) has the band name in that awesome font, track numbers and names, and the website URL spiraling around the outer edge. I *NEVER* want to lose a gig because some butterfinger'd club owner misplaced my business card! :p

    edit: btw, so it's fine to have just a plain manila folder to have the other stuff in? I don't need to get personalized "band folders" printed up to hold all the stuff in?
     
  19. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    I don't need to get personalized "band folders" printed up to hold all the stuff in?

    Of course, you can pimp things to whatever degree you want. I've seen plenty of personalized ones (most are not though), but I'd call that overkill. At some point you can make yourself look too upscale, and people may assume you're too expensive. OTOH, looking upsclae might be a good move in your market, dunno.

    You've made me think a lot today about how to approach marketing my band, thanks for that. The band leaders have always kind of assumed that the music speaks for itself, but I don't think that's always so. --sigh!--
     
  20. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    You could always ask the lackie what time the owner will be in then set up an appointment to come in and talk with him/her.

    Its totally normal to get the run around from club owners. Like everyone else said, be patient & persistant, but dont be a pain in the ass either.