As a former talent booking agent, I can tell you that trying to obtain a talent booking agent or manager, who can actually propel your career forward, is a daunting task. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, not to mention, that the industry has changed so drastically, with many who just haven’t kept up. Same old tired way of doing business, with the same expectations, and this is true on both sides of the aisle, from the artist to the manager. And so the question becomes, with so much information out there, and a lot of misguided, with this individual saying spend this much on social media, and this person still waiting for someone to “discover” them as an artist, what do you do?
There are a number of things that you could and should be doing. Start by identifying what your exact needs are. Yes, we understand that you want to play gigs and you want some one to book them. Ask yourself the question, why should this talent agent of manager take me on? With all of the headaches involved with pushing a new artist, what’s in it for them? Why should they invest time in my career?
In order to answer those questions, we really need to pull back even further and ask, how good are your song productions? How good is your EPK? How good are the pictures? How much have you, not anybody else, but have you invested? It’s funny that people can spend $4 to $5 at Starbucks a number of times a week, spend money on appetizers and drinks while eating out, which adds up to thousands of dollars in a year, but they don’t have the money to invest in their career. The thinking is, somebody is going to “discover” me and they will make it all happen – that’s the wrong answer. With the internet and affordable recording, with most anyone having the ability to obtain a keyboard, computer and a mic, there’s a lot of competition out there. Didn’t say it was all good, but because there is enough good material being generated and because the halls of almost any media outlet are flooded, it’s very difficult at best, to make the assumption that you will be discovered.
Having said that, you can use all of this to your advantage. But get the mindset of somebody else footing the bill, out of your mind, if you want to succeed. You see, the big record labels are having a hard time competing with illegal downloads and the copying 풀싸롱 of product, and so they are all trying to survive. You heard right, they are trying to survive with what they call 360 deals, where the record company instead of just collecting money on record sales, now wants in on merchandising and publishing, etc. So you can see, that if the record company were to already have a great sounding record that they were interested in with really no additional recording time expenses needed, that they would absolutely want to sign the artist who’s already invested in their career.
Follow a little longer. Now you’re the kind of person to take credible advice and you save and find ways to come up money to get great sounding song tracks and a full album recorded. Now take notice, that when you approach the record label, you will want to also approach the booking agent and here’s why. The record label wants to know that once they’ve signed an act, they’ll get their money back, and how do they do that? They call their booking agency friends and say we’ve just singed so and so, are you in? Once the band is singed to the label, the label wants to get their money back and they’ll do that by getting exposure (playing gigs) of their new act out in front of the crowds selling albums and merchandise.
To put the pieces all together – you need to have a great sounding album, not a demo, but a master sounding album, along with a great looking and appealing artist press kit. With that as your backdrop, now you go to both the label and the potential manager and booking agency and you set up – you set it up. You book a club and have as many of the players present who will hear your band live. You’d be surprised at how many will show up, if the pieces to your career spells quality, professional and headliner. You will need to have all of these pieces in place along with obviously, a great looking website, to spell success.
Some of you will say, well, I kind of knew that, but most, you see, don’t follow through, nor do they have the discipline. If you will take the initiative, get great sounding album productions, along with a great looking press kit and website, you do have the ability to make those connections and obtain not only a record deal, but a booking agent and manger to pull it all together!