Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
February 23, 2015IM -
by Brad Lazarus
It’s been nearly 10 years that I’ve been managing and marketing professional cover bands and musicians. It’s an understatement to say the market has changed. By changed I mean it’s gotten tougher to secure bookings, a lot tougher.
You used to be able to quickly assemble a website that showed off all the basic elements of what you offer: repertoire, biog, audio tracks, some decent looking images, and a live listings page. This used to be enough to secure you bookings.
The game has changed … a lot.
The market for musicians performing at weddings, private parties, and corporate events has shrunk over the last 10 years. To compound the effect, budgets have been squeezed, the options of bands to book has never been greater, and bookers have a wealth of other entertainment options to choose from other than live music. But the biggest threat to a professional band or musician’s career is their inability to be able to effectively communicate why they’re of greater value to a booker than any of the other options.
You know your band rocks the joint wherever it plays and you likely do a great job of telling the prospective booker this. Your challenge, if you wish to accept it, is to get the prospective booker to believe that what you say you can do for them is actually true.
You see the reality is that people are programmed not to believe your claims. If you claim to be able to get their “dance floor full from first note to last,” you have to find a way to provide evidence of this. Telling them that you’re a full-time, professional act, with years of experience, will get you about 10% of the way to securing the booking. You’ll need to do a lot more to persuade the booker than that.
So how do you instil confidence in the booker, demonstrate evidence of your claims, and effectively communicate why you’re the best option available to them? Here are five tried and tested methods:
1) Create a promo show-reel video that’s an advert for your band and not just straight footage of you performing. For seven ideas on how to do this click here.
2) Collect video testimonials from clients and audience members. Here’s a detailed post on how to do this at no cost, and by using only your camera phone.
3) Create case studies from various events you’ve performed at. These can be image-led as a blog post or use video to multiply the effect by 10.
4) Create a comprehensive Q&A video that answers the questions the booker wants to know about.
5) Create a library of footage of you performing that includes positive audience reactions.
These methods will enable you to communicate your value to the booker in a way that will leave your competition in the dust. As you grow your collection of these elements you’ll find it easier to get bookings, you’ll increase your volume of bookings, you’ll get more visitors to your website to stay longer, you’ll face less price resistance, and you’ll be providing content that’ll really help the prospective booker move closer (and faster) to making a decision to book you.
That’s got to be worth taking on the challenge for.
Are you ready to take your cover band to next level?
Download my free guide “Cover Band Essentials – 5 Free & Easy Killer Tactics & Strategies to Get More Bookings & Dominate Your Competition in the Current Economy”
Brad Lazarus has been managing and marketing cover bands for 10 years. He is the founder of GiggingSuccess.com a blog and podcast dedicated to helping musicians in cover bands increase their bookings and multiply the income they receive.