BOOKING 101 - Street Invites
Here is the simplest, quickest, easiest, and cheapest (free) way to get people into your gigs: Invite them in from the street! Here are the two ways to go about it...
The first is just like the title says: Invite people off the street. All you need is a small pad of paper and a pen. Arrive at your gig an hour or two earlier than you need to, and start walking around the block. Look for people that are most likely to like your music, and walk up to them and say "Hi, I'm a musician and I'm going to be playing tonight at the ABC club right over there (point to it), and I wanted to invite you to come see me play; do you ever go see live shows around here?" Whatever answer you get, you will eventually get to the point of them asking where exactly the club is, and that's when you get your pen and pad out, and write the address of the club, and the time. Give it to them, and say you hope to see them there!
Why use a pad and pen, instead of just giving them a promo card/poster/etc? Because people don't like receiving mass marketing materials, especially from an artist directly (it kills the personal touch). The big advantage of doing the invites yourself is that people love meeting artists. That's why they go to local gigs, and why the first thing you want to say is "Hi, I'm a musician...". Very few people will get mad at an artist who is introducing him/herself. So since this is a personal invite from an artist, the last thing you want to do is break the personal connection by handing out pre-printed stuff of any sort. Everything must be hand-written. Many of the fans will even keep the hand-written note as sort of an autograph.
The second way to do street invites is to knock on doors of apartments, homes, companies and stores in the area around the gig. The steps are the same: Knock on the door (or walk in) and say "Hi, I'm a musician and I'm going to be playing tonight at the ABC club right over there (point to it), and I wanted to invite you folks to come see me play; do any of you ever go see live shows around here?" The only change in wording is that you are now inviting more than one person at a time. The person you talk to could be a maid in a house, a kid of some parents, a clerk at a front counter, a receptionist in a front office, a security guard in front of a warehouse, a hostess in a restaurant, etc.
If you are scared of doing these invites yourself, then there is still hope! Have a friend come along, who is very outgoing. Have him/her go to the people and say "Hi, my friend here is a musician, and he's going to be playing tonight at the ABC club right over there (pointing); he wanted to invite you to come see him play; do you ever go see live shows around here?" It works great!
Don't be surprised if you get invited to join them for beer, dinner, bbq, a party, a walk around the office, etc. They get real friendly! If you have an instrument, have it nearby (but not with you) so you can grab it and do a short performance if needed. It's important to not have it with you; that would look too presumptuous.
Using the "invite" technique is how you beat the majors! No major artist is going be able to do street invites. Matter of fact, many people live right next door to venues, but have never been to a single show there. Why? Because they were never personally invited. When people are personally invited, they will go to things that they have no interest in at all, just to show support to the person who invited them. This is ESPECIALLY true if the person is an artist of some type. After all, if an artist knocked on your door and invited you to see his/her show that night, would you want to go? What if a chef from a new restaurant nearby came and invited you come try his new favorite dish... would you want to try it? What if a dancer came and invited you to see her very first performance at a place right down the street... would you want to support her?
That's how it works.
Next topic: What Type of Payment to Ask For
Click here for a list of all articles...
For a complete description of our booking campaigns, including
pricing, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org