There comes a time in your career when you need to stop doing gigs and start doing tours. While you might think that this entails huge expense, it’s actually easier to get started than you think.

The first step is to group all of your current gigs together under a tour name. You can actually get away with doing this even if the gigs are a few months apart. Add the tour name and tour dates to your website. If the budget stretches to it, get yourself some limited edition tour merch together displaying those dates and stick to the same set list throughout the tour, which you can share with fans in handwritten social media posts and playlists.

From your second year onwards you can really start to plan your tour dates around your annual album campaign. The tour should be named for your album and you’ll have fresh songs, merch and more to keep things interesting and your fans coming back. Try to improve your stage shows on each tour. Take in the same venues to play to your existing fans plus aim to add a few extra dates further afield each year to expand your fan base.

Be sure to include your tour dates on your onesheets and any other press releases that you send out to media. Improve your chances of successfully selling out each venue by contacting local radio and press in advance of each new gig and seeing if you can get airplay, writeups and interviews.

Even though you’re playing exactly the same gigs as you were before, you’ve suddenly put yourself on the next level by announcing those gig dates as a tour.