We have been talking about ways to use online tools to communicate with your various “audiences.” Last time, we talked about peer-to-peer communication—talking with other musicians using communities such as our own L2PBandSpace.com. Next time we will connect you with your fans but first, we need to talk about the second kind of audience you need to address: Potential employers. In today’s version of the music business, that is going to primarily mean people who book gigs (as opposed to, say, a record label).

Employers don’t want the same things the other groups want. To relate to a potential employer, you need to present yourself, or your band, as a product that is going to make their venue money. You may be able to tease them with positive CD and show reviews, but after that, they want facts: how much are you going to charge them, and what will be their return on this investment? This requires an entirely different approach.

This is very hard to do this with a MySpace page. A booker may look at your page to see how you are promoting yourself, but this is a situation that really demands a good Web site. A proven approach to this is to direct all potential employers to a section of your existing site that is dedicated to just information they need. There are a few things you’ll definitely want in this section and that’s what we’re going over.

First, you’ll need a fact page. These are basic facts of interest to a potential employer, such as, how many people are in the band? How long have you been together? What recordings have you released, and how many were sold. How many people are on your email list? Myspace? etc.? Prove you can put “meat in the seats.” Supplement this with a testimonials page. This is like the references on a regular resumé, so you’ll want all past employers saying good things about you, with contact information for each.

Next you’ll need a technical section. There are two main parts to this: a stage plot and an input list (or technical rider). The stage plot is a detailed map of the stage showing where all the gear goes. The input list, or technical rider, is a list of all the equipment you’ll need, the inputs in the PA, etc. It’s a rider because it “rides” along with the contract.

If you have no clue as to what a good tech rider or stage plot looks like, we have posted some examples in the Online Extras section for this issue. Check there for some ideas.

Last, but not least, you’ll need to list the ways they can contact you directly. You won’t get a gig if they can’t get to you!

Also, if you’ve done a video, you need to see it from the employer’s perspective. Don’t just show the band, show the audience! Get some crowd reactions, and interview some people in the audience. This is your commercial to your employers, and you need to sell yourself well.

Read more: Peers, Fans (Coming soon!)

Originally posted 2009-08-22 19:22:03.