OK we are meeting at this point in your career because of one of two things.
Welcome. Use this guide to help you get organised for the business part of your Music Business.
100% of our team are Artists who have performed a variety of gigs in the past – Covers and Originals. So we have all been where you are now. This is our 28th year of working in this particular music business. In this time we have crafted the most efficient model that you may find beneficial for YOUR own journey in this crazy insane industry.
There is no one size fits all answer. At every step you will ask yourself “Now What?” This Guide May Help 🙂
Start with a Vision
Why are you interested in being a performing artist in the first place? What is the story behind that desire? What do you think you will get out of it personally and professionally? Detail your Vision – every aspect – the Fantasy and the Nightmare.
Next Step is to find your Story
The story that is driving your vision will be a cornerstone in your music business so its wise to get to the bottom of it. Write it out. Talk it out. Record it out. Gig it out. Any way you can, be able to articulate it. Why do this? It helps with song writing. It helps with writing your bio. It helps with press interviews. It helps with marketing campaigns. Your story is your connection point to your fans. Get to know it. Your story will evolve along with your music business. Track it. Stay connected to it without being attached to it.
Set Your Goals
List everything that you wish to achieve. Create specific goals that you wish to achieve. Give them a time line to keep yourself on track and accountable to your vision. Note the action steps need to be taken in order to achieve these goals. Put a realistic Goal Timeline in place.
Make a Plan
What kind of music are you performing? Your own? Or are you covering someone else’s?
Both are important. One of the most important things you can do in an original music business is to cover other Artists in live gigs. This is like a gym work out. It tones every musical muscle. It trains you to be gig fit. It guides you to market trends. It gives you the opportunity to build your fan base, connect and engage and expand your market value. You learn more about yourself, your story, your vision and your talent when you are doing Cover Gigs. It is a vital foundation for any original music business as long as you stay focused on your long-term business plan. Playing in a covers music business also helps to fund your Original Projects – recordings, releases, tours, campaigns. One of the most important things you can do for your cover music business is to release your own original music. It provides you with another avenue of creative expression which is necessary both for your health and your business perspective. Both feed into each other. Both are necessary aspects of the Music Business as a whole. We encourage both.
Cover Music Plan
Check out as many other live music shows as you can. Look at a variety of genres and styles. Assess what the market trends are. See where you fit. Ascertain the best style for you – Rock, Country, Blues, Jazz, Hip Hop, Pop – or a combination of all. Review the market. What styles are working and where. If your plan is to gig as much as possible to earn as much money as possible to support your original music plan, then it is wise to select a style and repertoire that will be attractive to as many markets and audiences as possible. This is a business. Link every decision you make for your style, repertoire, market etc back to your Vision and your Story.
To be gig ready, you need these items as a bare minimum:
Google – Set yourself up with a GMAIL address which is linked to Google Calendar, Drive, Photos, Docs, Hangouts. This way we can easily swap files, stay connected, maintain a current calendar, access your photos and upload your docs.
Emails, notes, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Your Accounts Program App Save all your contracts to your Google Drive and keep the current ones in your Email account so you can access all the details on your phone at the gig. Send the invoice directly after the gig from your phone to Pushworth or directly to the venue. Use Google Maps to get yourself to the gig. Use RACQ and BOM Apps to check the weather and travel times.
We need to know who is responsible for the band in terms of bookings, marketing, accounting and production. So make sure your Pitch gives us full names, email addresses and phone numbers. An agent will need one central communication point for bookings and that person will be the one who is the link between the band and the music business world.
We need to know everything about your on-line profile – Socials and Metrics. Your value as an artist is determined by three things – Digital, Local and On Stage. What you do on line is just as important as what you do on stage. The cost of Live Music at a venue actually forms part of the Venue’s promotional budget. Your purpose in many ways as the Live Music component is to attract bums on seats to buy tickets, meals, and drinks in the venue. So we need to show the venues how YOU will be marketing YOUR shows, what following you have and how wide your promotional reach is. In essence this is how you demonstrate your value as a professional gig ready artist. Your digital and local reach forms part of your on stage value and the fee the market pays you will be in accorded as such. Click here for How To Market Yourself As An Artist
We need to know the structure of your band to ensure that the venue can accommodate you on stage. We need to know that a function in Cairns can accommodate the air fares and accommodation for your travel costs. We need to match your band up with the right gig in the right format.
Bio (Mini and Maxi)
We need a mini description for the Punters. We need a maxi description for the Buyers. It is critical for you as an artist to be able to clearly and succinctly articulate this information.
Punter Mini Description – no more than 8 lines – value to the punter
Buyer Maxi Description – no more than 2 paragraphs – value to the buyer
One paragraph about your style, genre, type and what kind of show you are offering. One paragraph about your achievements to date. The more you gig, the more these will change so we encourage you to re submit your Bio every six months, so we can ensure that any profile about you stays up to date and relevant.
The days of sending large files via email are well and truly over. No one has time to spare anymore. Technology has provided all of us with the ability to be efficient with our time. We need to see video and audio of you. So simply provide a private link to your YOU TUBE channel and your SOUNDCLOUD page. We will do the rest.
Publication Ready Press Shots
As above, the days of sending large files via email are well and truly over. Make sure when you send us the link to your photos to download, that these shots are suitable for publication and high resolution. You need to show the potential venue or promoter or function client that hiring you will add value to their business or event. Some old low res shot of you in thongs in your grandma’s backyard just won’t cut it. Design your shoot, look and location. We get hit up for last minute interviews for media on a weekly basis wanting to advertise coming shows at a local Venue. If we have a professional Bio and high res great shots of you on file, you now are thrown into the pot for interviews and gig opportunities. Click Here for tips
What are you offering the audience? Can people dance at some point? Is it listening music only? How do you engage with the audience? What style, genre or type of music do you play? Do you include your own original songs? How do you take the audience on a journey at one of your gigs? Can you offer a show for a wedding or a corporate function? Provide the song lists for each type of show you can perform to make it easier for potential clients to see that YOU are the act for THEM.
How keen are you to eat at a restaurant without checking the reviews first? When you book an Air BnB, wouldn’t you want to know what other people thought before you book. Same goes for a Live Music Show. We need to know where you have gigged before so we can call and get feedback about how your act was received by the audience there. We need to ascertain what level of your gig you are ready for. So we need to see your gig history. Tell us the names of the Festivals, the supports, the corporate functions and the venues, bars and clubs where you have worked. This adds value to you as an act as it gives the venue a reference point.
We encourage all our artists to maintain a portfolio of press clippings and articles. Eventually you will need to create your Wikipedia page and you need those links for points. These clippings serve to demonstrate a higher value to a potential client so the more Press Links you send us the more value metrics you offer.
So have you supported any profile artists? Have you been on tour? Do you have any dates coming up? Have you done an independent release? Did you get air play? Where did the song chart? Do you have a song release date coming up? Do you have a box office achievement to share? How many heads do you attract per gig? All this information is your Gig Metrics. Keep them and lay them out to us in your Pitch. Your experience forms part of the value of your act. It all adds up.
Venues require all artists to provide the following at every performance:
If you do not yet have a Safety Plan in place for your act then it may be difficult for you to be hired by some venues and clients. You CAN still gig without your OHS in place however it WILL limit your options. Check out our free template on our website if you need it!
If you are new to gigging, you may not need these documents straight away. However if you wish to be submitted for Feature Shows, Corporate Functions, Festivals, Tour Supports, Special Events or Television supports you will need to have your Riders in order and with us updated every six months. So many artists miss out on great gig opportunities because they simply haven’t taken the time to produce and update these riders. We have provided free templates to all the ones you will need so you can download them and update with your own information. Make sure you upload them to your Google Drive and then send us the shared link so we maintain them on file.
Call to Action
Your next step will be to send your PITCH to us – firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here and download the sample PITCH. If you find that you are struggling with your PITCH, organise what you need one step at a time. There is no fast track and it’s better for you to do it yourself and take your time integrating every aspect of the PITCH. It will benefit your music business so much more than anything else. Once we receive it we can schedule you into an Industry Night so we get to see what you deliver on stage. Thank you for contacting us to book your act. We love working with talented professionals and look forward to watching your act grow on and off stage.