As you may or may not be aware, I'm shutting down this site and removing the eBook from sale. This site has taken up a huge amount of my energy and it is time for me to move onto new projects.
(BTW – If you haven’t seen the deal with my eBook click here to check it out while you still can…)
One of the most common questions I get is what's the best way to contact agents? As the owner of Juggling Inferno (I’ve now sold the business but I built it up from scratch and ran it for over five years) I received many emails from performers contacting me trying to get work.
I also managed to get work for my team and me from some of the top agents in the UK. Obviously this means that from both an act’s and an agent’s perspective I have a good amount of experience on this topic.
In a previous post, I shared ten tips to help you get gigs from an agent. In this email I'm going to focus on the initial contact.
In most cases I suggest doing this by email (or contact/registration form on their website). I say this because most agents spend the majority of their time working their butts off trying to sell to their clients. They don’t have much time to deal with acts looking for work, and as such phone calls can potentially do more harm than good. (Early in my career when I tried calling agents direct they would often reply with an exasperated “just send me an email!”).
BTW – I don’t recommend sending a physical publicity pack, in nearly all cases, those days are gone! If agents ask for one then do it otherwise keep it digital.
The first email:
Keep it short and sweet. No more than three hundred words. Believe it or not agents don’t want your CV, every detail of your career or your thoughts on world peace! ;-) KEEP IT BRIEF!!!!!
Don’t be pushy. You are not the best thing since sliced bread and even if you are, the agent won’t care, so go easy on the diva-like demands and/or expectations!
Don’t exaggerate. Similar to the last point. Of course you want to put your act in the best possible light. But if you go too far with this it looks very much like a lie and any agent will see straight through this. Remember most agents will have worked with hundreds if not thousands of acts.
Don’t list every single skill, act or costume. The agent doesn’t want to hear it! Let them know you have a wide variety of options to suit their client’s needs and let them know you can supply more information on request.
What’s in it for them? This is the really clever bit. Instead of listing what is good about your act(s) list how the agent and their clients will benefit from your service.
So as an example instead of saying:
“I am a trust worthy and reliable business partner”
You could say:
“My honest approach means you can have peace of mind sending me to work with your most valuable clients”
Remember agents are only interested in what they get out of the deal, if you can address this need, rather than what you offer it will be much more powerful. (In this case the agent gets peace of mind and happy clients)
Another example I slipped in earlier in this blog post:
“a wide variety of options to suit their client’s needs”
This will be much more effective than…
“we offer a variety of options from X to Z”
This process is known as copywriting (not to be confused with copyright which is a legal process), it’s a skill that comes with study and practice but it is immensely powerful and it’s also free so I suggest your learn it! I’ve written a more detailed blog post on it here…
Call to action. At the end of the email tell the agent what you want them to do.
“Please feel free to contact me for information on prices and availability”
“Please get in touch if you want to know more about my act”
This is far from rocket science but it is very important and very effective. If you want proof check out the copy writing blog post to learn more. (I hope you noticed that was a call to action!?!)
BTW – Whilst you may think some of the posts are stating the obvious, I have received emails from people with every single one of these mistake. In fact sometimes two or more of these mistakes in the same email!
Photos. Three to five (absolute max) compressed images. Ideally ones suited to the type of events they work in (weddings, corporate, street theatre, etc). NEVER send high-res images unless requested. (This one used to wind me up something rotten!)
Video. Either a link to your website video gallery or to your YouTube promo video. (Don’t send links to more than 2 or 3 at the most).
Testimonials. A nice document with some well selected testimonials might just be the thing to seal the deal!
Some general thoughts on contacting agents to get gigs
Agents are very busy people. I haven’t met one yet who isn’t rushed off their feet, handling clients. If you are efficient and to the point in all your communications, they will appreciate this.
Acts are very, very to easy find. Most likely the agents you are contacting get pestered/contacted by acts on a daily basis. Stand out from the crowd by having super publicity material and great communications skills.
It’s a numbers game. Agents can pick and chose who they work with. This is often down to who they like or who they use regularly, rather than which act is the best. So don’t give up, contact as many agents as you can and constantly keep an eye out for more good agents you can work for until your calendar is full!
It’s a skill. The more you do this the better you will get at it. Remember you have 300 words, a video, some testimonials and 3-5 images to make a strong first impression. Refine all of these as and when you can to stack the numbers in your favor.
So that’s my last ever blog post for this site.
Thanks for reading and please share this post on Facebook, Twitter and with all your entertainer friends. The more people that get to take away something of value from the site the better! :-)
The eBook will be on sale for a only few more days, if you haven’t bought it yet, check out the video on this page…
The eBook is crammed with the most detailed advice I can give on how to sell your act and get more gigs for higher fees. If you are serious about taking your career up a level the book will help in a big way, click here to find out more.
If you have any questions about contacting agents either hit me up on Facebook or comment below. If you do comment below make sure you come back to check for my answers)
Thanks for reading and have a good one!