The Alliance of Musicians & Performers
7 Ways to Increase Your Bookings...
Want more bookings in 2017? Here's some ideas that will help you to achieve this goal. Some can be implemented within minutes, others will take a bit longer but the results will be worthwhile.
1. Update your website & Facebook page
Keeping your website fresh and up-to-date helps with your ranking in the search engines and increases your chances of securing bookings too. If your last testimonial was from 2009 then it won't instill confidence in potential clients - either add some more up-to-date ones or remove the dates from your existing ones.
Also add your latest testimonials and photos from events onto your dedicated Facebook page for your band. Encourage your clients to then share your posts with family and friends who were at the event. This will increase the reach of your service to new people and bring in additional enquiries.
If you don't currently have a website or Facebook page then adding these as a priority will make a huge difference to your marketing. Having somewhere to send people who make an enquiry with you will vastly increase your chances of converting it to a confirmed booking. The best part is that this is one of the cheapest, yet most effective, forms of marketing currently available. Starting a Facebook page for your band is free and a website need only cost you the price of a domain name if you're prepared to do it yourself.
Further advice on websites, a website design service and free website hosting for AMPband members can be found at www.ampukhosting.co.uk
2. Directly approach local hotels & public houses
There are several advantages you can gain over your competitors by doing a bit of legwork in your local area. Firstly you get to meet the people who could then refer you to potential clients. Meeting the decision makers face-to-face for a chat makes a better impression than just sending them information in the post or by email. Create a good impression and you could become their preferred supplier.
Many venues will have an information board or an area for local supplier literature so have some professionally produced posters, business cards and brochures available to leave with them at the meeting.
Venues are always on the lookout for ways to increase their business. If you can suggest some ideas for a new event to increase footfall into their premises it will be beneficial to both parties.
3. Devise a follow-up system for all enquiries you receive
Experience has shown that if you follow up on all the enquiries you haven't yet converted, you will increase your conversion rate. It may only be 1 in 20 but hey, that's another booking on the calendar.
Prepare some short email templates and send a follow-up two days after the initial enquiry and then another after seven days if you haven't received a reply.
4. Revise & update your templates
for email replies to enquiries
Many clients now prefer the initial contact to be made by email. It's important that your reply is friendly and professional and also covers all the key elements of your service. Simply replying with just a price gives your clients nothing to compare you and any other bands they have made an enquiry with apart from the price. OK so most clients will ask 'How much do you charge?' because they don't know what else to ask but use your reply to convince them that price is not the only consideration.
Spending time now on composing an email template will save lots of time over the next year as it will just need personalising for each enquiry which only takes minutes. The template can also be easily updated during the year to reflect new services or revised after feedback from clients.
5. Look at new ways to target local clients
You don't need to use a scatter-gun approach to reach new clients; you can target specific groups that match your criteria. For example with Facebook ads you can reach everyone in your area who has an upcoming birthday or who has become engaged in the last 6 months. This means that your advertising budget is only used to reach those people who may need your service in the near future.
You can also put a Google Adwords campaign in place and again be specific with your area and keywords (you can even add negative keywords, for example -cheap will exclude your ad from appearing if someone has used that word in their search).
With both methods it takes a bit of time to get to grips with and does need monitoring and tweaking every few weeks to get the best results for your budget (which doesn't have to be high).
6. Produce a video of your service
This is one of the 'in' marketing tools for 2016. It doesn't need to be an epic movie - just a few minutes long is best. Things to include: interviews with previous clients, short clips of your performance etc. Keep the whole thing short and sharp to maintain the interest of your audience.
7. Compile a free guide to help people
You are an expert in your chosen field so use your expertise to advise potential clients on how to plan a great party/wedding reception.
Offering a free tips guide will show that you are indeed a specialist who knows what it takes to create a great event. It could be '7 Tips for a Great Birthday Party' and include things like venue choice (even recommend some after your visits in Tip 2), choosing the right band, having a theme to your party, getting guests involved etc.
It's similar to the one you're reading right now. Firstly come up with 7 headings and then expand on each one with tips and advice. Make it unique to you and include ideas for any additional services that you can offer.