In this episode, Jared explains how to use the offer stack to pitch your band to a bar owner. The offer stack consists of five elements: your music, your followers, your reviews, your social media presence, and what you can do for the bar owner. You should emphasize how your band will bring in more customers and keep them drinking longer. You should also be prepared to promote the bar if they book you.
What is up gigging pros. It's Jared. And welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast, Happy New Year! I know that these episodes typically come out a couple of weeks after I record them. So it might actually be February or possibly even March by the time you hear this. But I hope that whenever you're tuning in, you're doing well. And that we are beyond this omicron phase of things, that's definitely slowing things down. But not by much, because my group is still booking gigs, still booking a lot of weddings. And, you know, I've heard from others who play other types of gigs, that they're booking still in playing still. And I hope that if you're listening here, that you're doing well and playing music, because that's what we love to do, and love to hear about. So I'm feeling inspired. Because I had a really awesome conversation with a cover musician, who was wondering, you know, they don't necessarily play the private events that I do. And they see the value of the tool that I brought up. It was several episodes ago, as many episodes ago, it's called the offer stack. So if you're not sure what I'm talking about, tune back into that episode. And they weren't sure how they could use that to get more bar club restaurant gigs. They just thought like, this is really great. If you have an opportunity to sell to a private event, like a wedding couple, they will happily listen to you pitch your services for their wedding, because they're used to it, they have all these other venues and vendors, people they're working with who are also selling to them. And that's the way it goes. So I don't see how this offer stack works for getting a, you know, a bargain. And so we had a really awesome conversation. And in it, we explored the ways that you could use an offer stack, because I do believe that you need to be using an offer stack whenever you're selling your group. And trust me trying to get a gig at a bar is selling your group, like, the sooner that we all realize that and the sooner we focus on the actual getting better at the sales of it, the more gigs you're gonna book. So the offer stack can be used in these situations. So let's think about how do bars find their, their musicians, you know, a lot of them have an established music program. So they already have a list. But let's talk about new musicians, musicians who have never played this bar before him. There are really two ways that a bar could find out about your music and then potentially have you played. The one is, the first one is where the bar actively is searching for musicians to play for their, you know, for their schedule. So say in two months, they've got a Friday night open. And they're kind of feeling tired and exhausted of the musicians that they already work with. Or they've never worked with musicians in the past. They're just starting up their music program. So they are actively searching. I call this the active search. So when a bar is actively searching for musicians, you know, what do they do, they will browse through a lot of different things. But the first is social media. I know that a lot of bar owners in Milwaukee, frequent the Milwaukee, by the way, we're in Milwaukee, that's why I'm using Waukee as a reference, but I'm in a lot of the Milwaukee Facebook groups for live music, and cover musicians and all that. And I see a lot of bar owners in there actively participating in discussion with them. Some of them a little too much, gets a little political at times, which I try to separate out my professional life from politics, just because I feel like that's, you know, you're not going to sell the right kind of people by selling them on politics, sell them on your music and your value. So when a buyer is actively searching for you on social media, they're going to use different signals on your profile. And on, you know, the posts that people make that serve as your offer stack on social media. So if you think about it, like, what is the number one reason why a bar brings in a band? It's, well really it's two reasons, but it involves customers, they want to bring in customers, and they want to keep them there drinking for longer. So that's two reasons. One, bringing in customers to keep them drinking for longer, because that's how the bar makes money. You know, they wouldn't most bar owners if they run a good business. Don't just bring in bands because, you know, it's run by their friends. And it's a good hangout. Some of them do. And in fact, a lot of them do. And, you know, does that mean they're running a good business? Probably not unless they've got a lot of other ways that they're funding their business. But if they're bringing in a band the most reason the number one reason is because they want more money out of the band than they put into it. And so, the offer stack on your social media profile helps them helps you sell yourself on them. The first thing that people are going to look at is the number of followers you have So if you have like a couple 100 followers, honestly, that's probably not going to be a very appealing element of your offer stack, it's a weak position for your offer stack. Whereas if you know, your band has 1000s of followers, or 10s of 1000s, then that is a much more compelling element of the offer stack for this bar owner to say, hey, if they've got that many social followers, how many of them are they going to bring to my bar, and how many of them are going to stick around and drink for hours. So that is how you can actually start to build up your offer stack on your social media. The second thing, you know, the high number of social followers is not really indicative of how long people are going to stay at your bar. And truth be told, nor is it actually indicative of how many people you'll bring to the show. But when a bar owner has nothing else to go by, though, they'll use it. But if you know, the bar owners, number two priority is keeping their customers there for longer. And so what does that mean, as far as how can we sell them on the idea that you will help keep their customers their drinking for longer? That to me comes through two things. One is you the videos that you post, and trust me, if you don't have videos on your social profile, then that's like a completely blatantly missing part of your offer stack for the bar owner, and will be cause for them to skip your profile and move on to another. But inside those videos, bar owners want to see that you can engage a crowd, they want to see that there are people dancing, they want to see maybe some maybe some stage banter. Although I'd say bar owners are more concerned about like the music. But they want to see that the people at their bar are really engaged and listening to your music and reacting to it. Because those are all signs that the customer is enjoying themselves. And they're going to stick around and buy another round of beer or, you know, more cocktails and wine, because you're entertaining. So you want to include videos that showcase that as part of your yours offer stack on social. Another thing that I mentioned is like engagement, I said the word engagement because they want to see fans engaging with you in your videos. But they also want to see fans engaging with you on your social media posts. So this actually gets it hits both points, it hits the fact that bar owners want to bring in new customers, and they want to keep those customers around for a while. If you are engaging with your fans on social media, meaning you're posting things and people are commenting and liking and sharing, then that is a huge social proof signal that this is an interesting band that has a great following a good social media presence is interactive with their fans. And those are all that's a really good element of your offer stack. To show this bar owner like pay the people that I bring, like if you book my band, we will blast it out on social media. And the people that see our social media posts engage with us a lot. So they will be more than willing to come out to a show even if it's you know in the in the middle of nowhere to see us and your bar is going to benefit because you're going to get more alcohol sales. That's how it works. So the engaging Facebook posts is another element of the the offer stack. And hidden in that one I also mentioned is that you need to also be promoting your own shows on your social media. That is the fourth element of your so your social profile offer stack is the fact that you partner with the bar on the promotion of their shows. This is a completely like topic for another day. But even if bars don't mention it, they all have some kind of hidden expectation that you are going to help them in the promotion of your show. Some of them do blatantly say we expect you to bring 50 people or 100 people which is ridiculous because they don't teach us how to bring people in music lessons. They don't teach a lot of music business in our private music lessons. Or if you went to music school, none of that's mentioned, but it's still an expectation. So if on your social profiles, you put your posters and you put engaging posts that tell people hey, we're playing at so and so bar on the fifth at seven o'clock, come out, bring your friends, it'll be an amazing time. Or even if you if you listen to like one of the very first episodes of this podcast, I talked about running a contest, to bring people to your shows. That is all an amazing offer element of your offer stack on your social profile. And the fifth element, which I probably should have mentioned first because you know if you don't have good music, if you don't have a good show, it's not really the bar bar owner bar manager is not really going to get past that. But the fifth element is you have to have a good show. So Make sure that the videos that you put on your profile are actually polished, we don't really want to see like, we don't want to see a drunk band, unless that's your thing. And like, you validated that, that's something that bar owners enjoy, which most of the time, you know, bar owners, what they're bringing in a band for good music. And that's true for private events too, like your, your band, or your your string quartet or your jazz trio, or whatever you play, you have to be good at making music, which, to be honest, most people already, they're good enough for the the general population. But you do want to be selective about what videos you put on there, so that you're not putting anything that might not put you in the best light. So that is the fifth element of the offer stack. So I'm going to start with that. I'm going to just recap this, and that'll, you know, kind of cover the the passive way that bar owners find you. And by the way, it's not just on your social profiles, this stuff should also go on your website, if you have one, which if you don't have one, it's the 21st century, like you need to have one. Now, there's almost no excuse unless you don't know how, in which case, reach out to me, we will help you, we'll get you set up with one. But so the elements of the offer stack was one, you have to have good music as demonstrated by your video. Let's see if I remember all of them, too, is the number of social media followers that you have. Oh three is the engagement between your audience and you in your videos, whether that's dancing or clapping along or just showing them having a good time. Four is the engagement on your posts on your social media profile. And then five is showing them that you promote the shows that you get asked to play. I remembered all of them. That's great. So yeah, those are the five elements of in my opinion, what would be a good offer stack that you could put on your profile? Put on your website? And then the second part is, how does a band actively make themselves aware that they can play a gig at a bar. So this is like, from the bar owners perspective, they get there passively finding their bands, because they're getting pitched by bands all the time. I mean, if you're listening to us, odds are you've already sent an email to a bar or restaurant at some point in your life. And if not, then you know, it might be worth trying just as an experiment. I'm always open to new ideas. And, you know, I mostly play private events. But in 2022, we're actually launching a public events arm to our string quartet, because we want to start playing like fun ROCK COVERS, and maybe some EDM covers in public spaces. So I'm going to be starting sending these emails to them. So how do we maximize this, when we're sending an email to a bar owner, you know what, what goes into it. And I've seen a lot of pitches where they say, here's our press kit. And, you know, we're a rock country band based out of Mukwonago, Wisconsin, and we'd love to play your bar, here are some dates we have available. And I've seen those and they lack an offer stack. They actually lack compelling arguments for the bar owner to book you. And this is the perfect place to take those five elements, and actually put them into your email. I'm driving right now. So I can't like draft an email. But I'm going to do my best and try to improv one on this podcast. And I'd love for somebody and I will even try it out myself when I'm, you know, pitching my string quartet. But try out sending this email or a variation of it. And if it works for you, like, let me know about it. If it doesn't work, also, let me know because I'm curious, I'm trying to grow my grip, too. So I would obviously do a little bit of research of the bar first. And I see that this is a bar that I would like to play at. I would take a look at them and bands that they've had in the past, see if we fit in or if we compliment them. And then I would find the contact information for the booking manager. You know, I'd write an email like, hey, so and so. My name is Jared judge and I run Dream City Strings. We are a cover String Quartet based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And we are interested in playing your bar we noticed that you have a lot of cover musicians and a lot of variety and we think we would fit in nicely. That's that's actually an element of the offer stack right there is that we fit in nicely with your current programming. We just a little bit of background about Dream City. Here are a couple of videos of us and you can see crowds love us wherever we go. That's element number one and I think two of the offer stack we currently have 10,000 followers on our Instagram, that's not true yet we're working on it. But if it were, that'd be a really compelling thing to say in the email. And to hear some reviews of audiences that have had us in the past, we would love to play your barm. Let us know if it's possible. And here's a link to our website and social media profiles to check out more videos of us. Thank you so much, Jared. So I know that was a little rough. I would definitely workshop it before actually sending. But it contains those elements of the offer stack. I forgot the one about saying that we would promote them. So definitely include like, if you book us, we typically post five times on our social media, we'll put up posters around town, and we'll send it to our email list of 10,000 subscribers to get them to show up. So yeah, those are that's how you would use that in a pitch email. And I imagine you'd get a much higher response than just say, Hey, we're seven. So band, here's our EP K, let us know if you want to book us. Like you got to sell yourself. There's no excuse for not selling yourself. Most musicians think like, Oh, my music is so good that people are just going to book me. And the reality is, that's not true. These bar owners, they're the gatekeepers for the for the gigs. And they have all these other motivations that having good music is only one element of the offer stack that I've presented here that they actually care about. Remember, they care mostly about how many people you're going to bring in how long you'll keep them drinking in their bedroom. So pitch it to them Sell hard, you know, and you don't have to be sleazy about, it's not like you're saying, we're going to bring 10,000 people and they're all going to spend $1,000 at your bar, you're gonna make a million bucks tonight. Now, that'd be lying, you can't promise that. So tell the truth. All the elements of the offer stack are truthful. But you have to actually say them to elicit an emotional response from the people who you want to book. So that was a really long episode and intend for the sticker on 17 minutes. But I appreciate if you've tuned in all the way to the end. I really appreciate it. You know, thanks for joining me on this journey. 2022 is going to be an amazing year for you and me and all the musicians who really care about their music, and have realized that they need to treat their music career as a business in order to grow it faster than any other way possible. And I'm just so honored that you've joined me on this journey. So if you got some value out of this podcast, I would appreciate it if you liked and subscribe to it. Leave me a rating I'd love a five star if you like it and if you don't like it, leave me less than a five star. I still love the feedback. And remember you are just one gig away.