music-booking-agent-live-gig

How to Hire a Music Booking Agent: 4 Steps to Guide You

Live shows are making their comeback, so it’s very exciting for artists to get out there. However, if you’ve been booking your own shows for any amount of time, you already know how difficult it can be to do it on your own. Luckily, you can hire a music booking agent to help so you can spend your precious time doing music.

 

Finding a music booking agent is a big deal, which means you have to choose wisely. There are many options out there, so it’s important to do your research. This is the person that will help you further your career as a musician and help you create buzz around every event you book.

 

The COVID pandemic has changed things quite a bit and many services have shifted to a digital model or a hybrid model. However, it will also be exciting for people to see their artists perform live, which is why these events will never get old. So, getting a music booking agent is key to getting more and better gigs.

 

Today, we will help you understand what a music booking agent does, how much they charge, and how to find a good one!

 

music-booking-agent-live-gig
Photo Credit: Big Bag Films on Pexels.

 

The Role of a Music Booking Agent

 

Music booking agents book live music performances for the artists they represent. Whether that’s radio gigs, festivals, tours, TV performances, etc., your music booking agent will act on your behalf to approach promoters and negotiate contracts for your performances.

 

A music booking agent will find opportunities you didn’t even know were available, so they can help you further your career. Additionally, they can help you network and get you in touch with important people in the industry and other artists.

 

They will do all the talking for you and because they have a wealth of experience and knowledge, they will be able to land you good opportunities. It’s very important to work with someone who likes your music and believes in you.

 

How Much Do Music Booking Agents Charge?

 

Usually, a music booking agent will charge a commission of 10 to 15 percent of what you make off the performances they book for you. It’s very unusual for a music booking agent to charge more than 15%, so be wary if you find someone who does. Some music booking agents charge a flat fee, but we recommend you stick to the ones who charge a percentage because it’s often a better deal.

 

How to Find a Good Music Booking Agent

 

Booking your own live performances can be very stressful and time-consuming. Not to mention, it can be difficult to book live performances if you don’t have a big network of contacts in the industry. Having a booking agent will save you time and effort, and it will make you look a lot more established as an artist. Here’s how you can find a good agent:

 

1. Reach a Certain Level

 

Before you can really find a good music booking agent, you need to reach a certain level as an artist. You need to have a good live show already, so you must learn to do well on your own first. In other words, you need to be well put together as an artist; you should have a following, a set for your live show, and solid marketing.

 

A music booking agent can only make money if you can make money. So, if it doesn’t make financial sense to work with you, they will have no incentive to take you on. It’s not personal, it’s just business! Work on your music and grow your brand. If you need help with that, Fiverr is a great place to find freelance marketing and branding experts. Check it out!

 

Your career must be in good standing if you want to get a good music booking agent. To get there, you need to put in the work. Book live performances on your own and work on your set. It doesn’t matter if you’ve played 5 or over 80 live performances, just make sure every performance is good.

 

Luckily, there are many online platforms you can use to book gigs! Here are a few:

 

2. Make a Good Impression on Local Venue Owners and Music Booking Agents

 

Venue owners and music booking agents are best friends and you definitely want to sit with them. They are deeply familiar with the local scene and they know everyone. You need to make a good impression on every venue owner you work with and every music booking agent you come in contact with.

 

That way, they will think of you when venues need a new artist to book for an event. Word of mouth is still very powerful and it’s important to make connections. So, whenever you meet a music booking agent, invite them to a show so they can see who you are. Don’t expect them to know who you are, you have to introduce yourself and your music.

 

You absolutely need to have a good relationship with the people you meet in the live music industry. Promoters, venue owners, etc., they should all think highly of you. Otherwise, they won’t want you in their venues or shows, no matter how good the music booking agent is at their job. Being likable is a great way to get opportunities, so be respectful and responsible.

 

3. Do Your Research

 

You must do your research when you’re looking for a music booking agent. There are many local agencies, small and large, that you can look into. You have to do your due diligence so you can find the right fit for the type of artist you are and the goals you want to accomplish.

 

For example, if you are in the local scene and you’d like to continue growing there, working with a local agency is the best move. Local agencies know the local scene inside and out, so they know where the best opportunities are and they will be able to help you thrive.

 

If you are ready to reach a wider audience and you want to expand beyond the local scene, you should find a large agency that can help you do that. They will find the opportunities you need to widen your horizons and they can group you with other artists.

 

Now, finding good agencies will take some work. Asking local venue owners is a good starting point, but don’t limit your search. Google will help a ton, but you have to take your time. Make sure to look through the websites of all the agencies that seem promising and see what other artists are saying. Once you narrow down the search, it’s time to reach out.


International Booking Agents Directory logo

 

 

4. Write a Good Email

 

Now that it’s time to reach out to your top agencies, you need to write a killer email. Agencies and music booking agents get a ton of emails, so you want to be concise and stand out. As mentioned before, you should invite them to a show, so make that the focus of the email.

 

Use the subject line to provide the name of the venue, along with the date and time of your show. Use the body of the email to introduce yourself as an artist in just a few lines.

 

Simply give them your name or the name of your band and say what kind of music you play. Then, end the email with “I’ll be playing at -name of the venue- on -date- at -time- and I’d love you see you there. If you can make it, your name will be on the list.”

 

Thank them and that’s it. Before you send the email, make sure your email signature includes your social media links or website link, basic contact information, and a link to your YouTube channel or Spotify profile so they can check you out.

 

Conclusion

 

After you do your research, narrow down the best options for you, and send the email, all you have to do is wait. If you don’t get an answer after a week, reach out again. Do this until you hear back. If they decline, don’t give up. Rejections simply redirect you, so keep going. Eventually, you will knock on the right door!


International Booking Agents Directory logo