In booking venues in 2021, building relationships with venues and event planners is even more important now. Tara B talks about how she builds relationships with venues through the booking, event and follow-up so she is always top of mind when they need an artist for a gig.

If you haven’t started booking venues in 2021, this episode is what it’s all about. A lot of my Academy members are getting back to booking. You can bank on the relationships you had with venues before the pandemic. Venues are hurting just as much as you are and reaching out and offering them kindness is going to be the conduit for future bookings.

If you want to listen to an interview about new ways musicians are booking now in the pandemic, the kinds of venues opening up and ways you can adapt what you do, you can listen to Episode 28 of the Profitable Musician Show.

This interview with Tara B is so relevant even now due to relationships with venues. Tara talks about building relationships for long term.

Tara is a full time musician for around 30 years. She started booking when she was 15. She started during a time when there was no internet and you had to send out letters and cassette tapes. 5-6 years ago, she realized that booking had to be an ongoing thing if she wanted to keep it going. She was not that into booking that time but she wanted to do shows. She was not applying a strategy. Through years of experience, she learned that you have to focus and think long-term when building relationships with booking venues.

How Communication is so important in building the Booking Relationship Cycle:

Before calling and emailing, be kind, friendly and respectful. Put a smile on your face when you’re talking on the phone. Be respectful of their time and be proactive to help them do what they can to book you.

When you come to the place, make sure to talk to the person who booked you or whoever is assigned so you know where you need to set up.

At the end of the gig, make sure to thank the person who booked you again, send follow up thank yous whether by snail mail or email.

She also calls 4 weeks after the gig to give it a bit of time and not be pushy. If they really like you, you can contact them a week after. Just make sure to be proactive and you do not come across pesty.

On booking companies and booking agents:

Make sure they are absolutely in your court.
Doing it yourself, you can create a close relationship with the venues and they will trust you.
Also when these places have cancellations or if they have upcoming events, if you have a direct relationship, they call you.

What if venues don’t ask you back?

Don’t take it as rejection. Most people are really busy with work and family life, so booking you may not be their first priority.
Also, some venues do not understand what music you offer. Try to ask questions about what they’re looking for so you can explain to them what you can offer.

There were two venues where she was playing for 7-8 years already then she told them she was raising their prices. She said they cannot book her anymore due to her prices then she just replied thanking them about them booking her for years. She did not think about them anymore but she was contacted by them after a couple of months willing to book her at the new rate.

If you can’t avoid but screw up, make sure to try and make it up to the person. Once, Tara did not get her check even after 3 weeks of doing the gig, she sent an email wherein the tone was not that good. She realized what she did was not a good thing so she wrote another email and she apologized. Good thing the person worked with her and they had a better working relationship. If you are able to communicate better, then that is best especially for booking venues in 2021.

Start with calls or emails?

Tara advises to start with calls.
If the place contacts you via email, do that.
If you can go directly to the venues, you can get booked on the spot.
Know your strength and go with that.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Tara’s 3 Days to Book Like A Boss:

Profitable Musician Show: