10 Things I Learned from my 10-day Tour

Ok, so it was an 11-day tour, but 10 sounds better.

1. Think Locally. You don’t have to put 5 hours of driving between every show. That’s lame.  Put show 1, 2, or 3 hours apart. You’ll minimize your driving and have more time to lay low in between gigs. Just because you’re on tour doesn’t mean you have to hit up every major city. Pick a region and do it up!

2. Small cities are still where it’s at. Everyone always wants to play out in the bigger cities, but i still hold to the opinion that you get more bang for your buck in smaller cities. There’s less going on and more interest. It’s easier to get media coverage, and more people will come out because news travels fast(er). More on this: Big Fish, Small Fish.

3. Do two shows in one city. Play a gig and tell attendees you’ll be back in the area in a few days. Your first show will be a great way to promote the second one. Don’t forget to split gigs with local bands or singer/songwriters.

4. Pull out that email list! An email list is more important than ever when you’re touring. You drove all that way so make sure you get people’s emails. Follow up the day after by welcoming them to your newsletter and inviting them to connect with you on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. If you don’t get emails, you’ve missed a huge opportunity to stay connected with new fans.

5. Stop in and say hi. Visiting a new city? Take some time to stop into venues that you might light to perform at next time you’re in town. Scope at the space and be in the know so you’ll know what to expect. You can also talk to the management directly to get a better idea of what they look for when booking. But don’t forget to follow-up with an email.

6. You don’t have to book a show for every single day. Its pretty ambitious, after all the goal is to make the most of your trip. BUT, take a day off. If you’re on the road for 10 days, find one day in the middle to take for yourself. All that driving and performing can wear a body out. Take a day to rest up, wander around town, and hang out with people.

7.  It’s ok to do an open mic. It’s not an official gig, but with advance notice, you can be the evening’s featured artist. Just tell them you’re in town for the day and looking to learn more about the local scene.  And it’ll be a great opportunity to meet local artists that you can split a gig when you’re next in the area.

8. Consider sticking in at least 1 good paying gig even if you’re not so excited about playing it.  At least it will help subsidize your trip and pay for gas.

9. Give them a deal they can’t refuse. Have a few items on your merch table? Sell them in bundles. 1 CD for $10. 2 for $15. 3 for $20. Yea, this is a useful tip whether you’re touring or not…but you’ll be able to cover traveling expenses alot easier if you do bundle deals. More on this: Creating a Black Friday Buzz.

10. Take vitamins and drink alot of water. It might not be a marketing tip, but, like I said, touring really wears on the body. Keep your immune system up and ward off any sickness. And be careful of what you eat too…b/c you’ll probably be eating out every day.

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2 Comments on “10 Things I Learned from my 10-day Tour”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Darryl Gregory and Darryl Gregory, Grassrootsy. Grassrootsy said: Today's Post: "10 Things I Learned from my 10-day Tour" http://tinyurl.com/29actnv […]

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