How To Book Your First National Tour In Ten Steps

A certain new and exciting credibility is lended to bands when they transition from playing locally to performing at venues around the country. If you’re new to playing music, you might think that touring is an experience filled with non-stop fun, venues filled to the brim with adoring fans, and luxurious accommodations, but the dramatized version of tour portrayed in movies and TV rarely reflects the massive challenges that come along with heading out on a national tour as a small band. If you want a more realistic picture of what it’s like to head out on tour with an unknown band, think sparsely attended shows, strained finances, and sleeping on floors.

But even with the general stress and discomfort that touring usually brings for smaller acts, it’s an absolute necessity if you want to be taken seriously by fans, press, and labels. There’s no better manifestation of an artist’s hopes and aspirations than seeing them set out for a long national first tour for the first time.

If you’re interested in booking your first national tour, this article was written specially for you. Making the transition from playing locally to regionally and eventually nationally can often be overwhelming, so we’ve assembled ten helpful tips to help you get started.

MikeHow To Book Your First National Tour In Ten Steps
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How to Book a Killer First Tour

Making waves in your local scene can be really exciting for a newer band trying to make a name for themselves. But if you want to be taken seriously by fans, press, and labels, you’ll eventually have to leave the comfort of your nest to make an impact on other scenes in your region.

Bands that can successfully break out of their local scenes have access to priceless playing experience, national exposure, and connections with fans and like-minded musicians they couldn’t have found at home. However, touring can be an immensely difficult experience for not just new bands, but even groups who’ve been at it for years.

Properly planning for your first tour is massively important, so we’ve got some tips that will give you a better chance at making it a success.

MikeHow to Book a Killer First Tour
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7 Tips to Maximize Your Crowdfunding Success

We’ve all been wowed by crowdfunding campaigns that have surpassed their goals by thousands, and we’ve all been bummed for the folks whose effort raised drastically less than what they hoped for. The thing is, crowdfunding—the hit-your-goal-and-then-some type, at least—is really difficult.

Loads of work goes into running a successful campaign, from strategizing and launching to constant upkeep throughout. The way you present your project and the motivations behind it truly matter; in crowdfunding, those factors are almost as important as the music itself.

Read on for seven tips that’ll help you lay the best possible foundation for your campaign and guide you through making the most of it while it’s running.

Mike7 Tips to Maximize Your Crowdfunding Success
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“And The Papers Want To Know Whose Shirts You Wear”

So, you write great songs and your live shows are off the hook. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Unfortunately, that isn’t everything you need.

  • To get a good gig, the venue owner wants to know if you can draw
  • To get a sponsor, the brand wants to know that you are important to their consumer
  • To get your song licensed, you need to be relevant

Even the labels want to know more about you!

I was on a panel at Canadian Music Week last Spring with a host of managers and labels. A simple question was asked, “Do you know how many fans you added in the last month?” Out of a couple hundred people, only a few raised their hands. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many online plays does it take to get a new fan?
  • How many of your fans actually bought your music or went to a show?
  • How often does a fan share your music with a friend?
  • Do your MySpace friends read your messages?

These are the type of questions that you need to be able to answer. Your manager and anyone else who is helping you need to be constantly asking, “Do I have the information I need to do my job?” If they don’t, no one will hear your great songs or see your amazing shows.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, ReverbNation collects a lot of data. We share it all with you, but we also use it to help you. Using data, we are able to convince brand sponsors that you matter. The result is that you get paid! Using data, we have convinced music licensing companies that your songs will be more impactful than someone else’s. The result is that you get paid. Using data, we can help you pick the products that will sell best to your fans. The result is that you get paid.

So, here’s the punchline: The more you know, the more you get paid. The more we know, the better we can help you.

Mike“And The Papers Want To Know Whose Shirts You Wear”
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Our Contract With You

Mike DoernbergReverbNation was founded in 2006 with a single objective — give the artist the tools and opportunities they need to become more successful! Today, more than 500,000 artists, 15,000 record labels and managers, and thousands of venues use ReverbNation every day.

The old music business was simple — write some songs, get signed, produce a record and let the rest take care of itself. Today, the business is far more complex. Bands have to pay attention to a lot more, educate themselves in new areas and generally be more active in their own business. We recognize that making music, not the music business, is your passion.

ReverbNation is an integrated solution for marketing your music and making money. It is designed to give each artist a single place to do what is necessary to be successful. Everything you need is in one place and most of it is free. At ReverbNation you can distribute your music, manage your fans, sell merch and music, promote your shows, and everything else. It lets you spend less time managing your business and more time making music. And, because it is fully integrated, ReverbNation makes sure that everything you do is connected to everything else. Book a show and every show schedule is updated. create a t-shirt and not only is your store updated, but so is Facebook and every widget. The system is integrated so you get the best results.

ReverbNation tracks data, lots of data. Every artist is provided with detailed statistics on their progress, but with half a million bands and armed with a deep understanding of their influence, we are able to do a lot more than provide tools. We provide opportunity! Every month we introduce new opportunities to get gigs, be sponsored, and license your music. To date thousands of artists have benefitted. As the ReverbNation community grows, we are able to create bigger and better opportunities for you. We believe that we are in partnership with the community, and for this reason, since its inception, ReverbNation has followed a simple rule — share the money with the artists. Every advertising, sponsorship and license dollar is shared.

The deal is simple. Make great music, use ReverbNation, and we will do everything we can to help you be successful.

MikeOur Contract With You
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