This comes naturally to some musicians, but for others it can be a challenge. If you’re easy to work with, chances are you will negotiate better deals, play more gigs and earn a better reputation overall.

Here are several tips to help you navigate this sometimes complicated field.

It’s Not About Adding 100% – it’s About Adding an Extra 1%

If what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s easy to think that you need to be doing a lot more. For some musicians this is true.

But for most of us it’s just a matter of doing a little extra. What does it mean to do something extraordinary? It means to add a little extra to your ordinary.

Write “Thank You” notes. Give away a few download cards. Send new contacts an article they might be interested in.

Don’t be a Drone

You don’t need to agree to every deal or sign on every page. If it’s making you feel uncomfortable, walk away. If it doesn’t fit your schedule, see if you can reschedule or just drop it.

Don’t be someone you’re not. If you’re honest, you don’t have to remember what you said. You don’t have to mask your personality to sell people on your ideas. There will be people who are drawn to you, and there will be those who don’t like you. You’re doing something wrong if you’re not coming up against some walls.

Treat People Like People – Not Like Dollar Signs

I can’t stress this point enough. If people are merely dollar signs or opportunities in your eyes, get out of the business. Seriously.

At the end of the day, you are selling you, not your product. In other words, you are selling relationship.

Every person you meet has thoughts, feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes. Relate to them as people.

Who is more likely to visit your website? Someone who is interested in learning more about you or someone you randomly told to go to your website?

Deliver What You Promise

This is not rocket science. If you say that you’re going to bring 30 people out to your show, then bring 30 people out.

Don’t make lofty promises you can’t keep. Play for two hours if you said you were going to play for two hours.

Don’t Complain

Don’t complain if you’re asked to cut your set short, or if you’re asked to play a few extra songs. Get the audience to applaud other acts on the bill. Send a special thanks to the staff at the venue.

Be courteous and love on people.

Have More Fun – Don’t Try to Impress

People aren’t easily impressed by anything these days. They know a good musician when they see one. They know a hard worker when they see one. They know when you’re having fun.

You don’t need to be intimidated by those who you think are “better” than you. Stick to the game plan, play your set, and enjoy yourself. That’s what’s going to get you more gigs. People have a hard time denying those who are having fun.

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David Andrew Wiebe

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