I decided to write a blog on the topic " Getting The Right Booking agent ". I have seen many people in this line of Business and its all not good im afraid. There are some very Bad booking agents out there and they should never be in the business. Finding the right fit for your act is critical for your act..Unfortunately many acts simply do not look into this area enough and the people behind it.. These people are usually the face of your business so choose well . You want someone who represents you the way you would like to represented in every way.. Having the wrong one will decrease your chances of a successful campaign Dramatically.
The booking agent is a very good idea for an act, who possibly cant effort a Manager or maybe is just starting out in Music promotion or bringing their act to the next level.. Booking agents come in all shapes and forms from friends to independent agents to Company operations .
When considering a booking agent , You need to consider a few things.
Now there are lots more than the list I provided but those points are the main ones to consider. Sometimes you may come across someone who is starting out and wants to book for you.. He or she could be a potential Manager in the future. This is fine but make sure that the list above is followed by the new Booker and train them where needed..
Over the years I have seen many different booking agents and I have to say that the majority are fine to deal with.. Their are however a select few who do not follow any of these rules that i provide or very few of them. These are the people who I am writing about and warn you about.. Like every business , there will always be the ones who do not want to play by the rules and ruin it for everybody. In the case of the Artist , It is Vital you know the warning signs..
There are Booking agents out there that look for bookings for artists without them knowing about it..Yes you heard me correctly folks, It happens and quite a lot actually.. Never allow anyone to represent you unless you have agreed or signed a contract.. I have seen many acts being misrepresented and gigs, reputation are lost by these people. The shocking thing is, acts don't even know anything about it most of the time..I have seen Acts being pushed to pubs and venues without any knowledge from the acts.. Also fees being asked for by the agent, that are way more than the act would expect to get and loosing the gig as a result.. This is a disaster for any act who is trying to get their Music heard outside their local area..
Reputation is vital in this industry and everyone around you , must be working together and on the same page. The booking agent is usually the first person the Venue will see and hear and if its not good then you are going nowhere fast.. We live is a very small country guys and news travels fast here.. Making a good first impression is critical in any business and the Music Industry is no exception..
If you are approached by a booking agent of any kind, Do your homework both online and offline. Make sure that there are what they say they are as your act means everything to you.
There are some booking agents out there that will start out with sharing your Music and supporting you. They will then befriend you, usually on your social media and some cases will ring you . I have seen cases where they actually go to the trouble to go into you photos and use them to promote you on their pages. Before you know it , You end up being promoted by someone who never asked you for that permission . Before you know it, they will presume that they are now your booking agent as they have done all this work for you. So what is the problem you may ask yourself ?
You have inadvertently allowed someone you don't really know to be the face of you act and to act on your behalf.. Not good guys.. Recipe for disaster. They usually target young acts and new Acts who don't really know the process and basically school them with unrealistic goals. The unfortunate thing about these people is they leave a trail of destruction behind them and have a very short time span with acts and venues.. They are very unpopular with venues as they cannot reason with them. I have had dealings with this type of Booking agent and I can tell you from experience that, I wouldn't have them or their Acts anywhere near me. If I feel this way then , I can tell you that other People and venues will feel the same way.. Not good when you are trying to get your act out there.
So when is the best time to consider a booking agent? There is no real set rules on this. In my opinion, Much work needs to be done before considering this. A good local following along with a full set would be a good marker. A good reputation in your local area is vital as other booking agents and promoters will need this information. A good website along with an ongoing active social media Marketing campaign. Another vital ingredient is an active email marketing campaign with Sign up forms on all of your available online platforms. With all of these in place and active , you have a far greater chance of attracting a decent booking agent or agency willing to work with you on your bookings.. If you haven't got these measures in place then you are more likely to attract the unprofessional and destructive Booking agent.
Lastly, Don't be in any rush to get more gigs or consider a booking agent. Concentrate on your Music and getting it exactly the way you want it. Build your social media presence and Build a fan Base. A fan base is not facebook likes on your fan page or followers on twitter. A fan Base is the amount of Fans you have on your email list. Anyone who bothers to subscribe to your email ls genuinely Interested in you and wants more updates. Those are the ones that you concentrate on with proper member updates.. Booking agents, Managers, Labels look for this and if you have all this done , then you are on the right track..
I hope this information helps Guys...