The toughest part about earning a living as a singer is booking gigs. When I dreamed of becoming a singer I visualized big stages, bright lights, seas of adoring fans, and me living in my glory. I had not pictured networking, making cold calls, building press-kits, emailing, and scheduling social media posts. These aren’t the sexiest aspects of a music career but they are vital. Being a professional singer is running a business. In business, you will need to be great at marketing and selling and only then, will the work come to you consistently.
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In Episode 12 of the Pandemic-Proof Singer Series, you’ll meet Janet Hammer. She’s one of San Diego’s hardest-working and busiest singers. She has led countless bands and vocal groups. Many know her from The Mar Dels, Ira Liss Big Band Jazz Machine, The Xceptional Tribute to ABBA, and Sweethearts of Swing. She’s a hard-driven gigging machine!
Janet was raised by entrepreneurs and built several successful businesses early in her career. In 1989 she created an amazingly successful Christmas caroling company, The Full Measure Carolers. It grew from one quartet to over 15 quartets booking an average of 250 gigs during the holiday season with the most gigs in one season at 436 gigs within a 5-week span.
12 Tips From Janet:
- If you’re not working, be working on getting gigs.
- Focus on producing the best possible product. The highest quality musicians, singers, costumes, and attitudes are key.
- Operate from a place of high-integrity at all times.
- Be easy to work with.
- Be grateful for opportunities.
- Treat people with respect.
- Create win-win scenarios for everyone involved.
- Don’t wait for gig opportunities to come to you. Beat the pavement, hustle and mine for them constantly.
- Be in the business of building relationships. Nurture every season of these relationships – past, present, and future. Check-in as often as possible to see what’s going on in their life and business. Ask how you can help. Let them know what’s going on with you. Stay on their radar.
- Use all of your past job experiences to help you in your current business dealings. All the skills you’ve picked up along the way can help you.
- Educate yourself and build your business acumen. You’ll need marketing, financial, sales and soft-skills are all necessary.
- Open up space for opportunities to come your way.
“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” – Zig Ziglar
Your Next Step
While having great talent and working on your craft are always important, don’t underestimate the importance of learning to book gigs. We’re in a new day and age that will challenge us to be innovative and use all of our experience and know-how to be successful at what we do. If you know you’ve got what it takes but don’t know where to start, I’d love to help. In my vocal coaching practice, we work on both your strategy and your craft. Contact me here if you’d like to work with me.
My most immediate piece of advice is to begin building your at-home vocal recording studio. If you want to work-from-home as a singer, record your songs, make YouTube, Instagram or TikTok videos, you’ll need to learn to do this.
Your opportunity is coming. Be ready for it. Pandemic-proof your singing career.
For more Pandemic-Proof Singer Series, click here.
Hi! I’m Danielle Tucker – singer, wife, mother, vocal coach, and creator of cool things.
Throughout my 20-year career, I’ve equally enjoyed singing country, rock, pop, gospel, and jazz. Today, I’m a professional singer/songwriter available for solo performances, studio recording, and lead vocalist of San Diego-based band The Mighty Untouchables. I also offer vocal coaching to both solo artists and groups through my own studio. I’ve crafted a rewarding vocal career, and it’s my great pleasure to bring music to others through private bookings, performing with my band, or helping others to grow more confident in their own vocal gifts. Thanks for visiting my site I’m honored that you’d like to get to know me!