Getting the Gig (Try This!)

Do you ever get asked for a price quote – from GigSalad perhaps, or your local summer concert series – when you know they’re also getting quotes from other performers?

I’ve been using a new approach to this lately – maybe you could try it too.

booking gigs for artists and musicians

In situations where someone is “shopping” for a performer, and they don’t know you personally, price is usually one of their main considerations.

So, whether you’d normally ask for what you really need in these situations or “dumb down” your price quote to try to be competitive with everyone else, you need to be able to differentiate yourself in some other way.

Why choose you?

(Especially if you’re more expensive.)

Try This!

Instead of – or in addition to – explaining how great you are, tell them what’s NOT going to happen when you’re there.

Example: The Wedding Gig

“Dear Sally Smith,

Thanks so much for reaching out to us –  we’d love to help make your wedding the perfect day for you, your groom, AND your family and friends.

When we come in (on time!) and set up our world-class sound system, your relatives and guests will never complain about the volume.”  (continue from there with the rest of your pitch)

Do you see what just happened there?

Let’s break it down:

a) in the first sentence, we said we’re there to make it great for them – it’s always about them

b) in the second sentence, we established that we are concerned about being punctual and, perhaps more importantly, we planted the seed that artists have a less than stellar reputation for showing up on time

c) also in the second sentence, we planted another seed that they probably weren’t even thinking about – older relatives can be really uncomfortable with loud music – and then we solved the problem for them

So, what’s not going to happen in this case is 1) the band shows up late and “ruins everything” or 2) the band plays too loud and “ruins everything.”

What does all of this say about you?

Well, it seems pretty obvious that you are:

  • tuned in to their needs
  • really experienced at doing weddings
  • able to avoid unwanted issues

Now, will you get the gig?

I’m not sure.

But will this put you toward the top of their list?

I think it might.

Getting the Gig: Bottom Line

This stuff is not always necessary; in fact, usually I’m asked for a price quote based on something specific and unique that I do, and for which I really don’t have much competition.

In those cases, there’s no need to go into what won’t happen when I’m there.

But whether you work as a storyteller in libraries, or a rock band in clubs, or a songwriter in schools, there are those times when you know you’re being “shopped” on price.

In those cases, take the benefits of hiring you and turn them into a few snappy statements about what they can avoid by hiring you, and be sure to include those in your pitch.

I’m doing the same!

The “Comments” section is below.

About The Blog

The Largest Online Gathering of K-5 Classrooms for Connected Educator MonthSince leaving a white-collar marketing job in 1992, Dave Ruch has been educating and entertaining full-time in schools, historical societies and museums, folk music and concert venues, libraries, and online via distance learning programs.

Along the way, he’s learned a great deal about supporting a family of four as a musician.

The Educate and Entertain blog provides articles, tips, encouragements, and how-to’s for regional performers (in any region) interested in making a great full-time living in the arts.


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