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Do I Need a Booking Agent?

Performing musicians - Pyragraph
Photo by Fraser Mummery.

A couple weeks ago we published a post called How Do I Know If I’m Ready for Management? Truth is, before any artist is ready for management, they usually need a good booking agent. Why? Because you want to:

  • play better rooms
  • open for national touring artists, and
  • negotiate better compensation.

Take our advice: Unless you are one of those YouTube sensations who’s become famous online, playing live shows is your golden ticket to exposure. It’s what gets you publicity, what earns you new fans, and also where all your merch sales come from. So here are four signs to look for that indicate you need a booking agent.

1. You’re booking better-paying gigs.

A gig you used to book for $200 is now paying $500. Why?  It’s not because they’re richer, but because they feel you’re worth more. You bring in more people and have a brand that’s easy to promote. You’re valuable. You’re getting to a place in your career where you can easily market your value to the top buyer. It also means you can play fewer shows and can focus more on quality over quantity. A booking agent can help with this. 

2. You have bigger opportunities coming into your inbox.

Are you getting better gigs? Promoted from Stage C to Stage A? Getting the 9pm time slot instead of 1am? Opening for big names in other cities, not just your own? These opportunities will not only make your bio look good but will also open to the door to even better gigs.  When you’ve accumulated a bunch of these resume-builders, a booking agent can use what you’ve accomplished to take you to the next level.

3. You can fill a 75-seat room.

Trust me, filling a ticketed show is hard work. Getting 30 people out to a gig on a Friday night in a large metropolitan city is like pulling teeth! That’s why bands split bills. Not many artists can fill a room by themselves unless it’s their CD release party. That doesn’t count. If you’re at a place where you can fill the room, you probably could use a booking agent.  

4. The media comes to you.

It might sound far-fetched, but the more you get your name out there, the more the media will pursue you for opportunities. You won’t have to keep knocking down their door for that 100-word blurb about your next show. They’ll be the ones asking you for an interview. When this begins to happen on a regular basis, you’ll know that your name is actually getting out there and that all your work is paying off. Enter booking agent.

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