Starting as a full-time musician is daunting. It takes time to grow your brand and get your name out there as one of the top musicians. The hard truth is, not everyone gets to live out our record label dream. You may not be setting out on a world tour anytime soon, but that does not mean you cannot make music and get paid for it. Scouring a paying show to perform can seem does not have to feel impossible, especially with the suitable approaches. Are you looking for ways to strike gold? Here is a guide to help you get more paying gigs as a musician.
1. Compile the venue list
Venues are an excellent place to start your hunt for gigs. List some venues in your area where you could potentially play at. Small venues are an excellent in-road for you to build your fan base as many support up-and-coming artists. Scout the different venues and determine those that match your genre and music style. If both your needs and the venues match, you are off to a good start.
2. Give a chance to ‘bread and butter’ gigs.
Getting high pay gigs when you are green in the game is challenging. Sure, you will do gigs, but the pay will hardly cover the bills and rent. Most clients are skeptical about booking an artist they haven’t heard, and while this is a bummer, on the flip side, it provides an opportunity to play and get paid well. Cover gigs at bars or clubs where you play music your clients like will pay better.
3. Approach a booking agent
The music world, even on a small scale, is about who you know. It helps to have someone who has ties in the industry to help you widen your platform. Coordinate with a booking agent about securing venues, organizing events, and getting out about your performance. An agent could be a springboard to the industry; they will keep an eye out for potential venues and handle the booking of events to help out with a promotion. Gigs for musicians are available, but you will need an agent to get you in touch with people who take bookings.
4. Consider festivals
Is there a local festival coming up in your local area? This is it! A festival where applicants apply and are chosen to perform in a large crowd is an excellent play to earn those extra, extra bucks. The advertising dollars and the large turnout offer any singer the opportunity to get paid well and spread their name. But wait, there’s a catch! Festivals are expensive to put on and pretty competitive. So, good is not going to cut it! You need to stand out if you are going to be selected from the lengthy interview list. You can also look into festivals beyond your local if you can foot travel costs and other expenses.
5. Go digital
Social media has changed the game in the music industry in more ways than one. From expanding your fan base, creating an online presence, promoting both your name and music, the digital world has done a lot for many artists. Look it up! Many artists have blown up, and it is all thanks to social media. You can host a live event on social media and invite your followers to attend. You can charge a fee for attendance. Believe it or not, an online gig still counts as a gig.
6. Network, network, network
Don’t look at your fellow musicians as competitors but rather allies, so network! Take advantage of open mic nights within your local area. By building relationships with other musicians, you add to your contacts and improve your getting gigs. You never know; a fellow artist may want to drop out of a gig and recommend you for the job instead.
No one said your dreams of being a musician are fueled by money, but at the end of the day, if you are going to eat and live, you need to get paid. So why not start some paying gigs here and there? With the few bullet points reeled off in this guide, you should be able to secure more gigs for your talent. Keep an eye out and promote your talent and business. Identify your needs as an artist and pick a gig!