Getting into a venue to perform solo, or with a band, is a daunting task.
I've been selling to bars/restaurants for years with quite a bit of success. Here are three secrets to successful venue selling.
1. Respect Their Time - Venue owners/managers are very busy people. They must manage every aspect of their operation. From finding a replacement for the dishwasher that didn't show up this morning to overseeing the delivery of beer and burgers, they do it all.
Call during their 'down time,' afternoons, 2 - 5, is the best time to call venues. You'll have the most success if you adhere to this time frame and venue operators will appreciate it.
2. Stand Out - Is there something about you act that sets you apart from the rest? If so, great. If not, develop something that makes you stand out. Once you've got it, push it! Venue operators typically want to know two things, 1. how much you charge, and 2. how many people can you bring.
Your 'stand out' item will help convince a manager/owner that you're worth the risk.
3. Audition - Way too many musicians rely on press kits as their only sales tool. In many cases, the press kit is only the start.
Many music venues have open mics. Lookup the open mics in the town where you want to play (OpenMic.US is a great place to start.). Pick the places that you most want to play and go to their open mic. Talk to the manager in advance of your performance and tell him you're auditioning. After you play, get with the manager and ask for a date.
Employ these three tactics with venue operators and you'll be getting booked on a regular basis.
Craver runs the OpenMic.US Network, providing local, reliable open mic info. for musicians.
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