Artist Toolkit

Tips for everything from Profiles to Show Day, for artists

Leigh avatar
Written by Leigh
Updated over a week ago

When creating your artist profile on the Side Door platform, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Your profile’s photo is perhaps the most important element of your profile as it is the thing that hosts will see first, before anything else.

Try using photos that represent you and your work as best as possible, that are clear, eye-catching and interesting.

Examples of Great Profile Photos

Here are a few examples of artist photos that work well, and some that do not:

Examples of Poor Profile Photos

Here are some examples of the kinds of photos that should be avoided:

Artist Info

Your description/bio section is not only a great place for hosts to read more about your show and style, it’s also what the ticket buyers will see in the show description on the Side Door Shows page.

A short bio describing your history and performance style will help audiences know what to expect from your show!

Be sure to include keywords to optimize searching on the host side. For instance, if you’re creating Acadian music, you would come up in a search for “Acadian”.

Embed Media Links in your Profile

Give folks a chance to discover your art and performance style by including streaming and live performance video links to your profile. A quality live performance video can make a host or presenter’s decision much quicker!

Make it easier for them to get to know you and your act within the platform by adding links to your work.

Planning a Tour - Multiple Show Calls

Once you have planned your tour route, create multiple Show Calls for the dates and cities of your tour. The built in Map will help determine where you can find a saturation of hosts that your Show Call will notify.

Sharing Your Show Calls

An effective way to recruit more spaces to host you is to share your Show Calls which link to your Side Door profile on social media, offering your fans to sign up to host you in their area.

Consider posting a video of yourself playing or discussing how your audience can host you in their space!

Connecting is a key part of Side Door. A ‘connection’ is made when a Host responds to your Show Call, or you’ve responded to theirs, and a chat is created.

Whether or not a show booking comes from a Show Call, creating a list of connections makes future bookings much easier down the road, as you can tap into those connections when a better time arises, without the need to create another Show Call.

We recommend not only creating Show Calls as needed, but also checking Hosts Seeking Artists on the Connect page frequently.

Read more about connections here: What is Connect? What are Connections?

Responding to a Show Call is as simple as sending a message to the host who created it. By expressing your interest in that Show Call, the host will be notified and a conversation and/or show booking can start immediately. The Chat is the perfect place to discuss all the details of your potential show. Once you’ve started the booking process, pay close attention to the details that are entered before signing off.

Alternatively, if you see another artist’s Show Call and you’d like to host them, it only takes a few clicks to create a host profile before messaging them.

No Commitment Needed

Keep in mind, even though you are suggesting a date, time, and other details, this does NOT mean that you’re committing to that show.

The commitment begins only when the show details are confirmed (and signed off) by both parties.

To begin chatting with a host to book a show, you must first connect with them by sending a message and receiving a reply.

Once you’ve connected and created a chat, ask questions about any details that may not have been clear from their profile or Show Call.

It’s important to feel certain and comfortable that this is a host / space you would like to visit.

Once you’re comfortable with your connection and feel ready to start the booking, you’ll find the “Book a Show” button right within the Chat.

Learn more about connect here: Making connections

Promotion is a Shared Endeavour

All public shows are listed on Side Door’s shows page and in our Facebook Events (if you have invited Side Door to be a co-host on Facebook). However, it’s important to remember that Side Door is not a show promoter - we facilitate the connection to create a show. Promotion is up to the host and the artist.

The Host’s Role

Generally, the host is the one on the ground and knows their community better than any of us, so they will spread the word in their area. Talk to them in the show chat about who will put the Facebook Event together.

The Artist’s Role

We encourage artists to post about their shows on all their social media platforms, mailing lists, etc., to catch fans that could be in the areas you’re playing Side Door shows. As most artists already have a Facebook Page, you will likely be the one creating the event. You can refer to our Facebook Event template below to ensure enough information is provided for guests to know what they can expect from your show.

Places to Share Your Show

There’s no shortage of places to post a show. Here are a few of the most common places that Side Door users post their shows:

  • Social Media - Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Tag Side Door in all social posts and use the hashtag #bookedwithsidedoor. We’re happy to re-share posts with our audience.

  • Classified sites like Kijiji, Craigslist, or whatever’s most popular in the area around the venue.

  • Your own website

Places to Promote Yourself

Side Door’s community is always growing; you can be a part of that!

It’s as simple as creating a post on social media or other places listed above. The message can read something like:

“Want to host me on my tour? Respond to my Show Call on”

By promoting your Side Door Show Calls, you can reach potential spaces that aren’t yet on the platform.

If any space wants to book you, they simply need to join and create a free host profile. This way, you can still benefit from our transparent contracts, ticketing, settlement tools, and payout systems!

The day of the show will be busy, exciting, and hopefully a lot of fun! Here are a few things to be aware of to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible:

Finding The Venue

Be sure to discuss any particulars, in advance, about getting to the venue in the Show Chat. Some locations could be straight forward - some may require some help with directions. It doesn’t hurt to ask for a phone number, just in case you require some help on the road!

Your Preferences

If there’s anything you haven’t already discussed, or you have questions, it’s important that you give the host a call to finalize any last minute details.

Keep in mind - some of these hosts may be new to hosting, so feel free to offer them suggestions for how you like to be hosted. For example, do you prefer to be introduced at the start of each set, or would you rather just start playing?

Making sure that the host is aware of your preferences ahead of time will help make sure that the show goes as smoothly as possible.

Email Guests

If you have pertinent information to share on the day of the show, you may email all of your ticket holders at once through your Audience Manager. This can be useful to share urgent information such as weather updates, parking expectations, accessibility options, etc.

The Host’s Responsibility

It’s important to know what to expect from your host on the day of the show.

The host is responsible for things like:

  • Assist with stage set-up

  • Assist with sound check

  • Managing the door

  • Starting the show

  • Signaling the end of the show

These are all important parts of any show. While seasoned hosts might do all of these things without thinking about it, newer hosts could very easily forget.

Hosts are responsible for buying back any cash sales at the door, so please let us know if the settlement sheet doesn’t reflect the numbers in the space, so we can remind the host to take care of it!

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