[Audio Version: I also recorded an audio version of this blog post. Click the video below to listen to it. You can also subscribe to the podcast where it will also be published]
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Taking your cover band to the next level of success can be a very tricky transition.
It’s often easy to get comfortable in the status quo or just think that ‘we’re a 10 gigs a year cover band’ and not really believe or have the confidence to increase that number significantly.
Having taken many of my acts from 5 private and corporate event gigs a year to 55 and beyond I can assure you there are literally hundreds of ways of getting gigs for your band to achieve greater success.
So how can you set yourself on the path to a more assured level of success?
Start with what it is that you want to achieve.
- Full time professional musician earning all your income from your cover band?
- Full time pro earning a large income proportion from your band?
- Make enough money from your band so that you can stop working non music related jobs?
- Increase the fees and income you receive from each booking?
- Stop performing at low paying pubs and clubs and start booking wedding, private party and corporate event clients that pay well?
Whatever you want to achieve that’s further on from where you are now will take a different mindset ie you need to start thinking ‘bigger’.
Where do you even begin though?
How do you think bigger?
The key to success is about toggling between thinking big and moving things forward by taking smaller manageable steps.
Here are three ways that’ll help you make progress:
- Get in the right frame of mind.
First off set yourself some goals. Work back from where you want your band and career to be. Think big here but don’t be unrealistic. Going from 15 gigs to 100 in one year isn’t realistic and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Long lasting, solid success never comes overnight.
It’s a cliché but so true that it’s marathon and not a sprint. Setting yourself unrealistic goals will bring on a sense of urgency inside you that can’t be sustained and isn’t healthy for you. You’ll make bad decisions and burnout.
Slow and steady wins the race!
If you can think it and imagine it in your mind then you can create it.
Sounds woolly doesn’t it? But it’s so true.
Every single thing in this world that was created by man started out as a thought in someone’s head.
Stop and think about that for one moment.
Your career as a pro musician running a super successful cover band business doing what you love day in day out might be a thought for you now but is the reality for many.
Believe it can be done and you’ll achieve it.
- Treat your band like a business
Are you about to stop reading this because you saw the word ‘business’ ?
If the answers ‘yes’ then you’ve got to get real.
Its’ a myth that success comes through talent alone. Read the biog of any successful artist and you’ll find that a huge proportion of their success comes from their business like approach.
You need to get yourself thinking about your cover band like a small business.
One of the trickiest waters to navigate here is getting your fellow band members to buy into this concept. It’s one of the biggest issues readers of this blog face. It’s beyond the scope of this post to go into ways of dealing with that but I advise that you listen to my interview with Graeme Nash from !daft! cover band. He comes up with some simple and seriously effective tactics for dealing with this.
You need to get organised. That means understanding what the band related jobs are that you need to do. List them out on a checklist. This stops you having to think and rethink about what it is that needs to get done all the time. It’ll save you time and energy in the long run leaving you more time to perform.
Start seeing yourself not just as a performer and musician but as a marketer of what you do. The key to ‘going pro’ is ensuring that the people that need to know about your band actually know about it. That’s what marketing is.
Find the prospects most likely to want what you have and then persuade them to book you. The concept is simple but may need some nurturing in your head. It’s worth the time to think about that and get your head around it as it’s one of the keys to your cover band success. Explore more of the free blogs and podcasts here on GS or for some specific strategies and tactics get my free guide.
- Stop ‘cover band envy’ and start learning from them
Musicians who run cover bands tend to be quite secretive about the fees they charge, how they get their bookings and what they’re ‘tricks of the trade’ are. A wall goes up around you when you’re like this and you almost become a prisoner in your own world. Even worse, I’ve spoken to cover bands who purposefully make a decision not to look at other band websites or diaries for fear of becoming envious or jealous of their success!! This is such a crazy way of thinking. I call it ‘cover band envy syndrome’ and it’ll hold you back years.
Thinking bigger about your band means having an abundance mindset.
There’s enough gigs to go around for the bands that are good and take the time and effort to present and market themselves well.
The fact that you’re on this website and have read this far into the post marks you out as one of them.
Now go and embrace your fellow cover band musician friends in other bands. Build relationships with them to the point that you can exchange information and ideas about everything from music to marketing.
One of the key reasons for me starting the Gigging Success Podcast was to help musicians who built 10 foot brick walls around themselves and suffered from cover band envy, see and hear what other successful musicians were doing to become successful.
Tip: A great starting point to building any relationship is to offer that person something of value before you ask or take something from them. So the next enquiry you get for your band that you can’t do, pass it onto a band that could do it. It’s the perfect foil to start a conversation and who knows what you’ll learn from that!