You’ll need a band fund for marketing. It costs money up front and it is a risk. If you set aside a fund of around 35% of the total band income for marketing costs, - promotion, travel, telephone, mailing, advertising that’s about right. “Oh, we can do it for much less,” I hear you say. Yes, and two years later you’ll have put in a huge amount of work, done a few gigs for poor money. The band will break up.
The best way is to create a Jazz show and a Brand for your band. Make it stand for something. Make your band a product.
Then look at the market. For pubs, restaurants and hotels, you’ll have to laboriously go around them all, find the ones which will do live music, call on them when the proprietor is there and introduce what you do. You don’t have to sell hard, they are nice enough people and used to it. Get their email addresses, and email them every three months with a new idea. Decent hotels usually use a booking agent.
WORD OF MOUTH
The best way to get gigs is by word of mouth – use your band members for contacts, build up a local following and do some publicity for each gig, play good music and your reputation in your area will grow. Keep in touch with your contacts regularly. It will take at least three years for the gigs to start to come to you, meanwhile you’ll have to hustle for them. Your past venues will come back to you. Stay in touch with them.
JAZZ CLUBS AND FESTIVALS
If you want Jazz clubs and jazz venues then go to JAZZ SERVICES and get their venues and contacts. But you’ll need to have something extra to put to them. They get approached a lot.. Same thing with MUSIC AND JAZZ FESTIVALS. Jazz Services will help.
SHARE OF THE DOOR
You’ll get some clubs and hotels which may not want to pay you at all but they’ll offer you a share of the receipts at the door. They always offer this if life has taught them that putting on jazz does not pay. So you won’t get much money either. 80/20 is the standard rate, but you may have to take 70/30 -the larger pootion to you.)
USE WEB AGENTS
These days the power has moved to the web. Very many organisations book through web agents. So get listed on them, but remember you have competition from all others bands, so you must stand out in some way.