Contacting the booking agent of a celebrity can be frustrating at times, especially if you don’t have experience in working with them. Its important to understand what is proper etiquette, and what is inappropriate when reaching out them.
I’m sure many of you may have been down the road, where you email a booking agent, wait a couple of days then don’t receive a response. This can definitely be frustrating, and it’s important to know that agents are bombarded with offers, and because of their already high workload, most agents need specific details before they even want to start a conversation. Using the proper etiquette in an email to a booking agent can mean the difference between successfully starting that conversation or falling flat from the moment you hit “send”. You can apply these tips if your doing a Lil Uzi Vert booking, or any other type of celebrity.
In this post, I’ll give you practical tips for contacting a celebrity’s booking agent. Before we get to these “best practices” though, let’s go over examples of emails that people have sent to book specific celebrities.
What Not to Do:
Bad Email #1:
What’s wrong with this email?
- They misspelled the artist’s name. I’m assuming that they were trying to refer to rapper Lil Durk. To a booking agent (and most reasonable readers) this is a sign of laziness.
- The email doesn’t specify the date or location of the event. Without a date or location, an agent won’t know if their client will even be available to discuss further details.
- They asked for a set price. Most artists do not have set prices for bookings, so it’s unlikely that the agent will provide you with a list of amounts he or she charges for any event, let alone a 16th birthday party.
A celebrity booking agent seeing this correspondence would likely feel that it is more trouble than it’s worth. They would have to write the sender back just to find out the information they should’ve included in their initial email.
Bad Email #2:
He asks confusing, unnecessary questions. The email asks for “booking details”, which I can interpret several different ways. We’ve already addressed the issue of asking for prices—It would be better if the email gave me a specific budget or made an offer for booking ASAP Rocky. To top it off, he asks for tour plans, which he could find easily by looking on Bandsintown, Pollstar, or even the celebrities website.
What’s wrong with this email?
- The email lacks details. “Scotland” is better than no location at all. The agent doesn’t know if he’s sending his artist to play at a 30,000-seat stadium or someone’s living room. The date and venue are must-haves when communicating with agents.
- The email is poorly formatted. The lack of proper line breaks, punctuation, and standard grammatical structure make this difficult to read.
The verdict? The email lacks information, and lacks effort, which could possibly signal to the agent that “He could be a pain to work with.”.
Bad Email #3:
What’s wrong with this email?
- The email is unclear. Available for when? Cost for what? Also, which one of my clients do you want to come to Columbus, OH?—They didn’t even specify the celebrities name
How to Draft Emails to Booking Agents
The truth is a booking agent would probably never even read the emails above. Instead, his or her assistant will scan the email to see if it’s worth the agent’s time. How do they decide which emails make it past screening?
They look for people who draft emails that display enough information to show that they are in a position to book the celebrity.
Having the right information in your message is the best way to show agents you’re a professional, and it can make you look experienced even if you’re new to the game. Be specific in your emails. Specific details in your email show agents and their assistants that you’re serious, you’ve done your homework, and you have a plan for actually executing what you need from their client.
For instance, asking for a price is usually a red flag because someone who has worked with artists before knows that the industry is not transparent or even consistent about pricing. A booking agent typically won’t talk prices until the inquiring party makes an offer—after which they begin negotiations or stop communication with a decline of the offer.
If you’re attempting to book a celebrity, don’t think you’re alone in the agent’s inbox. Don’t think your query will even get in front of her before assistants have screened your email.
The goal is to be as detailed as possible as quickly as possible. If your email includes every item from the checklist below, the agent should have all the information they need to give you a direct answer.
- Date – The booking agent needs to be able to check the availability of their client.
- Venue – The booking agent must be sure the location works logistically with the celebrity’s tour dates, filming schedule, etc.
- Budget – Stating this up front will save both parties a lot of time; the agent will be able to let you know immediately if you are within or way below a reasonable budget for their client.
- Public, Private, Charity, or Corporate Event – this is important because the prices vary for the celebrity depending on the type of event. Private and corporate events will usually be priced higher than charity and public events. Be sure to include details on what type of event you’re planning. Share this in your initial contact, as some celebrities don’t do private events.
What to Do
Structuring your email like the following example will elicit clear answers from agents and lead to booked events. Consider this a script for contacting just about any celebrity’s booking agent.
Why this email works:
- It provides all the information the agent needs to give an answer. If I’m the agent, I know exactly when you want my client to appear, exactly where your event will be, and exactly what sort of event it is.
- It leaves the agent with clear options. If I’m the agent receiving this, I have two options: Either I say “my client is unavailable” or “send the offer over.” No one is wasting time here; it conveys a tone of respect and professionalism.
Of course, there will be times when we reach out to agents and never get a response. It’s important to follow up with them if you don’t receive a response within a couple of days, because it’s possible that they may have accidentally overlooked your email. Its also ok to follow up with a phone call to the agent as well.
However, many times when emails fail to get responses it is largely due to the failure points we discussed above. As they sift through their many offers, the agents (or their assistants) will immediately eliminate poorly constructed, unclear, lazy emails. Remember, these agents are professionals with a huge responsibility to their artist and celebrity clientele. They have to know details in order to ensure an event is right for their client.
Something as simple as covering the checklist items (date, venue, budget, and event type) in your email might lock in the artist that will make your event a success.
What are your thoughts on this article? Anything that I missed that you think should be added in this? Please let me know in the comments below.