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How To Work With Your Promoter

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The gig is booked, and a concert promoter is going to take care of promoting the show. Having a promoter on board will take a great deal of pressure off you, but even the best promoter will need you to step up to the plate and pitch in a little bit to make sure the night is a success. These steps will help you make sure you and your promoter both walk away with a win.

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Here's How:

  1. Talk It Out

    When you and a promoter have decided to work together, that is only the first step. Have a discussion about what they need from you to promote the show, what they plan to do for promotion, and what they expect you to do. This conversation is important for a few reasons. First, talking it out helps make sure all of the bases are covered. You won't end up with the old, "oh, but I thought you were going to call so and so" routine at the 11th hour.

    Second, this conversation will prevent any toe stepping. This notion is especially important the more people there are in the mix. For instance, if the promoter is going to chase the music editor of the local paper for a preview, then that means your manager, PR company and label doesn't also need to be calling them. This kind of continuity of message keeps things simple and less annoying for the press you want to help you promote the show - and simple and less annoying is always a good thing when you are chasing press coverage.

  2. Provide Promotional Material

    You may be called on to provide promos, posters, press releases, bios, photos and any other thing the promoter deems necessary to generate a buzz about your gig (you know, within reason). Give up all the requested promo items, and don't make them wait. Depending on what kind of team you have behind you, maybe some of this stuff will come from your agent, maybe your manager sends some, maybe you label sends some - whatever - just make sure the promoter gets what they need. If the materials are coming from different places, make sure there is one person in charge of coordinating the promo items and making sure they have all arrived. You only hurt yourself when you don't give the promoter the tools to do their job.

  3. Don't Rest on Your Laurels

    Sure, you are working with a promoter to take some of the pressure off of yourself, but that doesn't mean you are completely off the hook. Be proactive about spreading the word yourself. Use your social networking platforms, your website and your mailing list to keep fans informed. Even though you don't want to step on any toes, if you have a relationship with, say, the local college radio station, ask the promoter if they would like you to use your contacts to try to land some extra promo. Be proactive about using your own network to get the word out.

  4. Stick to The Deal

    Your deal with your promoter isn't just about the promotion. Your promoter is likely also running your gig, so do you best to stick by the agreement. If they ask you to turn up for load-in and soundcheck at a certain time, be there - and if you're not, don't get huffy when your soundcheck time is cut short. Don't go over on your set. Don't ask the promoter for more money than agreed upon because you think the turnout for the show was bigger than expected - surely you wouldn't offer to take less if no one had paid in. Don't abuse the guest list. Generally, remember that in most cases, a promoter is someone who took a gamble on you because they like and believe in your music. Treat them with the respect with which you would want to be treated. This little bit of respect will help you get booked again even if the turnout for this gig wasn't what anyone had hoped.

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