The big show is over, you’ve packed up your PA (or turned off your laptop) and said “goodbye,” and now you’re home rolling around in all those Benjamins.
Do you send a thank you note to the person who booked you?
I wouldn’t think of NOT doing that, and here’s why……
Yes, it’s old fashioned, and yes, nobody really expects it anymore.
So why do it?
Well, if we’re talking about a gig you’d like to do again – one that actually pays well, or helps your career in other ways – then the goal is to do more of those, right?
The thank you letter is all about keeping the good gigs coming our way.
5 Reasons to Send a Thank You Letter Every Time
1. Because You’re Actually Thankful (or should be…)
You may have noticed that good-paying gigs – whether virtual or “in person” – are a bit harder to come by these days, and you’re often dealing with a buyer who has less time, more choices, and more distractions than ever before.
When somebody has booked you for a performance, they’ve taken their time, energy, and at least a little bit of risk, to do so.
The easy part is to say “thanks.”
2. It Demonstrates Professionalism
Like it or not, not all practitioners of your (or my) artform are professional in the way they communicate with clients.
Forgotten emails, lost contracts, missed deadlines, unreturned calls, late arrivals – I hear these on a regular basis from frustrated venues.
By contrast, most clients (or venues, or bookers, or buyers – whatever you want to call them) are organized and professional, at least to some degree.
When you send a thank you letter, you’re in the vast minority of performers who do so, and you’ll be remembered as someone who takes their work seriously. A professional.
3. It Shows You’re Not Just There for the Paycheck
Mention something specific that happened at the gig, or a funny story you heard there, in your letter. Hand write a note at the bottom referencing a conversation you had with the buyer.
You’ve just elevated your relationship with the buyer a bit, and, as you know, relationships are everything.
People do business with people they know, like, and trust.
4. It’s the Perfect Vehicle to Formally Ask for a Recommendation
This is huge.
Because I’ve been making this “ask” in each of my thank you notes for many years, I’ve been able to stockpile a few hundred recommendation letters, emails, and quotes that I now use very strategically in my marketing.
If I’m sending a mass email to arts centers, I’ll include two or three powerful quotes from well-respected arts center venues where I’ve performed.
When I’m looking for gigs at libraries, I have great quotes from happy librarians who’ve booked me in the past.
If you’d like to see exactly how I ask for these quotes, you can download a copy of my thank you letter right here.
The power of social proof can’t be overstated – an enthusiastic quote from a venue like the one you’re reaching out to helps them feel reassured that others have hired, and been delighted with, you.
It could literally be the difference between the trash can and the gig.
5. It Gives Them Something Physical to Hold Onto
(If only for just a minute.)
True, your letter probably won’t find a permanent place on their desk, or on their wall, or even in that “future reference file” they never go back to.
But the point is this – however great your performance was, it’s in the past now. By the time your note arrives, the buyer’s mind has been re-filled with all kinds of other stuff they’re working on.
One more reminder about what you did for them couldn’t possibly hurt, especially when it comes in such a friendly form.
And maybe, just maybe, it puts you one step closer to being “top of mind” next time they need a great show.
Want to See (and Borrow From) My Thank You Letter?
You can download a copy right here.
It takes less than five minutes, and does at least five good things for you.
Do you send thank you letters after gigs? Will you be now?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below.
About The Blog
Since 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.