Everyday I get emails from aspiring musicians wanting to know who I believe the best international entertainment booking agents are in Canada! There are professional booking agents like Feldman & Associates, Paquin Entertainment and my wife Nancy… amongst a handful of others. However, the best booking agent for a developing artist is someone passionate about your work. The best agent is someone who understands and appreciates that it takes tons of phone work, hours in follow-up, much heart, and habitual consistancy to pave the road for an emerging artist.
The ideal candidate is the person with good sales ability, detail oriented, willing to learn and passionate about your work. A passionate agent could easily be your girlfriend, your sister, your mom, your aunt or your best friend. This is quite common in the business. Remember that a pro agent isn’t looking for you unless you are ALREADY a money maker. Agents work based on results, and so often agents are motivated by your ability to draw in some big $$$. While they are servicing their top billing artist, they don’t have time to sweat the small stuff. Understandibly so.
If you don’t yet have the reputation to be booked for 10K or more don’t get discouraged. Simply find an emerging agent to work on your behalf so your careers can flourish together. Until you have created a bit of demand in the marketplace, it would be a dream to land a big agent. And dreams need investment.
Most agents are self-employed, self-taught, and passionately motivated by the love of someone or the love of the music. Presenters are not adverse to dealing direct with the musician either. In fact, I have heard some presenters say they prefer to deal with the musician directly. So if you have a people personality, I bet you can be your own great agent.
Whether you are booking yourself, or you are a new agent, here are a few tips that may be helpful:
- Make sure that you accumulate testimonials from each show.
- Communicate consistantly with the presenters in Canada and make sure the other presenters know you had a good show. Keep a calling with rhythm…make it a habit. Everything in this business is built on relationships.
- Always leave thank-you notes after your shows. And make sure to follow up within 30 days to say thank you again by telephone.
There are no short cuts to fame. My wife Nancy and I started together in this business exactly 13 years ago. She managed to book me all over the world including the Hague, Japan, the Middle East, and several tours across Canada. It was a team effort. Without passion, those opportunities would not have been created.
Wishing us all abundant opportunities!