A nice young man sent me the following:
I have been playing music for about 7 years and in that time I’ve been fortunate enough to chart on Billboard (highest position #6 on the Uncharted Ranking), be featured in Alternative Press, Billboard Magazine, and various national and international publications.
We’ve been featured on sites like Kings of A&R, Absolutepunk, Buzznet, The Sound Alarm, etc. We’ve been on Warped Tour and Taste of Chaos, have great fans with a relatively strong online presence, and a well produced EP courtesy of James Paul Wisner (Paramore). Yet, I feel like we’re spinning our wheels when it comes to seeking a booking agent.
I am not particularly interested in labels. I would prefer for us to get on a tour that allowed us to play in front of a good number of people. My question to you is, what would be an effective method of accomplishing this?
The thing to remember – music industry or not – is that when selling something, supply and demand usually comes into play. In the music industry as a whole, demand has stayed about the same (or increased slightly in overall consumption) but supply has shot through the roof. In other words, there is a glut of musicians out there. What are you doing that’s exciting enough for people to pay attention to you? Are you valuable?
I don’t believe that going on tour is really going to benefit a band until there are lots of other factors in play. Out of all the things you could be doing to help spread your music, spending money on gas and hotels is incredibly inefficient until there is a demand for your music. Times to consider going on tour: when you can successfully headline to 500 people in your home town, when your music video gets 500,000 views on YouTube, when you have a song so hot the local radio station starts playing it without being asked. I guess what I’m saying is, why spend all that money touring far away from home when you haven’t already done everything possible to build the biggest base you can in your home town?
Promoters who run reputable clubs talk to big, national booking agents every day. If you’re a local band selling out his club, he’s going to tell those booking agents. And that’s when you’ll start to get the proper interest. In the mean time, do everything possible to sell out your home town shows. Things like Facebook ads are incredibly cheap and effective. Take your marketing dollars off the road and re-invest it into growing your local base. And when you do tour, tour regionally. No sense in driving 2,500 miles to play a show for five kids when you could be doing that 300 miles away instead.
I had lunch with a manager last week who just signed a band that sold 2,000 tickets in their home town. Never toured in their life. The promoter was bragging to everyone about how well these guys were doing, and now they have an agent, a manager and about five label offers.
Successful people want to work with other successful people. You’re on the right track. Now just find a way to capitalize on the good buzz you already have. Good luck.