In this episode, Jared Judge talks about the marketing funnel, a marketing process used by musicians to book gigs. He explains that most musicians don't use this process because they were never taught it by their music school or music teacher. He also shares his own experience of using the audition funnel and how it has helped him book more gigs.
What's up gigging pros, it's Jared. Welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Now, I wanted to take this episode to kind of clarify the marketing funnel. Because I got a lot of questions about that when we did that several episodes ago, you know, what is a marketing funnel? And why should I, as a musician, know or care about it? And the answer to that question is because it is everything, if you want to make a living performing, it all is in your marketing, a lot of musicians seem to think that it's all about their talent. And while yes, you you do have to be an entertaining performer, that actually doesn't have much to do with spending eight hours a day in the practice room, we've been told that by our teachers that you need to practice more. And, you know, in the time that we were taking lessons and not trying to gig and make a living doing this, that was true. And sorry about all the noise, it's finally warm enough here in Milwaukee that I can start going on my podcast walks where I walk and record our episodes. And I'm taking advantage of that. I'm super excited about that. So yes, we've been told that we need to just practice and get better. And, you know, that's what's going to attract people who can pay money to hear us perform. And for, you know, my, for the specific focus of this podcast, which tends to be private events, that's just not true. Like, yes, you do have to be entertaining, and your videos have to sound good and look good. But at the end of the day, the thing that really differentiates musicians who might even be at the same level, is marketing. So marketing is a skill that, you know, some musicians work on, some don't. And those who do work on the marketing, are going to be at a serious advantage compared to those who don't. Why, because if they employ this marketing funnel method, which I'll kind of go over again on this episode, but if they employ the marketing funnel method, they are going to, like say there's, say there's a corporate event that is looking for a cover band, and they don't know where to start. They don't have friends who are in cover bands, they might not even live in the same city that you're in. So when they start to search for one, maybe on Google, or reaching around, the musician who has the better marketing is going to appear on top of search results in Google and there'll be the first thing that this person clicks on. Or if there's a musician who's better at partnering, and using the partnership strategy as part of their marketing, and they ask their venue, hey, do you know any cover bands that could play for our, our event? Well, the first one that's gonna come to mind is the musician who has taken the time and effort to build their partnership strategy. And so really, it's not about talent there. It's about your skill at marketing, and the effort that you put into it. And I believe that if you put time and effort into something, you can improve it, which is why this whole podcast exists, because we spend time and effort improving our marketing. So I want to clarify the marketing funnel. Because, you know, when I first introduced today, I introduced it a little bit too, you know, with too much marketing jargon. But I want you to understand its importance. So the marketing funnel is a four step process, to get somebody who doesn't know you to know that you exist, like you and trust you enough so that they take action of booking you signing your contract and paying your deposit. And so, instead of thinking of it in terms of marketing, I actually like to think of it in terms of an audition process. And this is kind of a two way audition process, meaning that you are you the bandleader Hold on one second across the street, it's a little noisy here. So two way audition process because you are auditioning potential clients, potential people who can hire your group for your act for their next event and pay you a good amount to it. Why is it an audition process because not everyone is a good fit for you. For example, some people might expect you to perform for a very low fee, and we want to weed those people out. Also, some people might want you to travel for hours each way. You might want to weed those people out. Some people might expect you to play songs, you're not comfortable playing, and you want to weed those people out too. So that's why it's an audition process on your end. But it's also an audition process on their end, because as with any audition, you know if if there's a violinist going through an audition process, or in my case, an orchestra conductor going through an audition process, you want to make sure that the orchestra that you're auditioning for is a good fit for you. Like what if there's some cultural fits like the board of directors? just not on the musicians side, and we'll do anything and everything to take advantage of them. So it might not be a good fit for the people hiring you, too. And we want them to weed themselves out, too. So if you think of your typical audition process, you know, for my experience, I auditioned for several orchestras and the US Air Force band, and also the army. And so for my Air Force audition, which I've mentioned previously, on this podcast, I was auditioning to be a conductor. So the typical audition process for this specific role, but I know it applies to other roles too, like violinists or when players is first you have to submit your resume. So they call that the resume round. So that's step one is the resume round. It's kind of an all call. Actually, let me back up. Step one is actually done by the the Air Force band or the the audition committee is they actually advertise their auditions. So they spend time and money advertising this opportunity to qualified musicians across the country, sometimes across the world to like, they'll buy ads in magazines for the instrument, they'll put emails out. And in case of the military bands, they actually visited different college music schools, and talked about what positions they have open. And that cost money. So they spend money on ads, to try to bring in as many applicants as possible. Then, based on the effectiveness of those ads, and even the good fit of the position, some of those musicians will respond to the ads by submitting a resume and an application. So they give the Air Force band, their contact information, I did this when I put together my audition tapes for being a conductor. So I had to get footage, put it on YouTube, put fill out an application, attached my resume, and then wait. So that was step two of the audition process. Step one was they paid money on ads. Step two was some of those people, some of those potential candidates filled out an application with an audition tape and resume. Based on that, then the audition committee narrowed it down to a select few who they then invited to audition in person. So I think this was for the Air Force band, they actually brought, they invited five candidates to audition in person. And I was one of those five. And so we had to pay off our flights and everything, get a hotel, although I stayed with my brother. And they had us five, take a test. And it was a music theory and history test, which was kind of interesting. Not many orchestras do that. But for their for span, they did. And then they also had us conduct the Air Force band. So the US five got to do that the audition committee was behind the band watching how we interacted with the band, and how we did musically based on how well you did, and their perceptions of if you're a good fit or not, they extended one of those candidates position. And it was not me. So I did not make it through all the way to the end. Very disappointing, but ultimately led to bigger and better things. So they spent all this money, getting all the candidates, all potential candidates to submit resumes and audition tapes, then they invited five, and then they hired one that is an audition funnel. Because it starts really wide at the top, extending like casting your net out to as wide a possible audience as possible. Then you get their contact information, get them to submit resumes, in this case, and audition tapes, then narrowed down further based on if they're good musical fit. And you're narrowing it down whether or not you want to accept the in person audition, then finally narrowing it down to what I would consider the success of hiring one person. Now let's bring that back to private event gigs. So how does this funnel work for private event gigs? When you think about it, the goal of the Private event funnel marketing funnel is to get bookings, which is kind of like hiring the hiring the conductor at the end of the the audition funnel, except in our case, we can book many gigs a year because that's how we build up enough gigs that pay well enough to make a full time salary. So the goal is to get people through your funnel, but you also want to weed out those who are not good fits, just like in the audition process. So the first step of the funnel is to cast as wide a net as possible and find all potential Booker's. In my case, my group plays weddings. So we want to find all possible brides and grooms and parents of brides and grooms and just be everywhere that they are, so that they're aware of us. And then ask them to move through our funnel. So first step is, you know, cast a wide net. And we do pay for advertising, just like the audition committee pays to advertise their open job positions. The second step is we want to get those people who are interested in qualified to book us to give us their contact information. So we want to get names, emails, and phone numbers, plus dates of their venue dates of their, their performance and the venue of their performance too. So that's kind of like the resume and audition tape round. We want them to start, you know, quote, unquote, applying to work with us by giving us their contact information. And then the third step is once they once they do that, by the way, in case you're not sold, why we need their contact information, you can't book a gig, unless you have their contact information, you have no way of following up with them, you have no way of communicating with them. And ultimately, when you write your contract, which you should use a contract, you need, you need an email address to send it to. So that's why getting their contact information is so important. If they're not willing to give you their contact information, then they're not a good fit for you. Because you can probably tell they're going to be a nightmare to work with. So that's one of the ways that you weed out applications, or candidates from your funnel is just by simply asking them to give you their contact information. The third step is to actually this is kind of like where we did the in person audition. Because not only were the candidates trying to sell the audition committee on their musical talent and ability to work with the Air Force band at the time, the audition committee in the band itself was selling the candidates on is this going to be a good fit for you to work? Like are you going to enjoy conducting the band, are you going to enjoy the lifestyle of the military. And so this is where this third step is actually where we do kind of a sales presentation. Many musicians do it just over email, which I think is actually a mistake, just because of my numbers and the effectiveness of doing it over Zoom is so much higher. And so I am selling potential Booker's on working with me, you know, I have a whole slide deck that I actually share with them that actually sells them on why we're the best ones, why it's not that hard to work with live music, and why all the external factors that they think are getting in their way, are actually not. And then I make the ask of if it's appropriate, here's how to book us would that be appropriate? And majority of them say yes. So then once that happens, the last step of the booking funnel is get them to sign my contract and put down a 20% deposit. We actually lowered that from 25 Recently, just to make the numbers a little bit rounder. Plus, we don't really need the cash flow of more than 20% at this point. And it just actually makes it easier for them to book So that is kind of the music marketing funnel with the too. analogy of an audition funnel. Because really, most musicians don't use this. When, you know, most musicians really struggle with marketing because they were just simply never taught it by their either music school or music teacher when you're learning your instrument. And then it seems a little intimidating to have to learn marketing. Because who wants to get a business degree if you don't have to? I'd probably geek out in a business degree. So I don't know. Don't listen to me. But really using it is something that is going to change the game for you. You know, if you've ever been ghosted by somebody who was like, hey, I'm interested in booking you How do I take the next step? And then you send them the next step or what you think is the next step. And then they ghost you. Trust me, I've been there before. Before I use this whole marketing funnel concept. I was getting ghosted a lot, and it hurts. Like, is there something wrong with me? Do I look ugly on my videos? Do I not sound good? And you have all these thoughts going through your mind? When reality it's just your marketing process. So if we could learn the marketing and implement this really easy and simple marketing funnel, that's going to change everything for you. So That's all I got for you thanks so much for listening and tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast it's been your host Jared judge and I'll see you on the next one remember"You are just one gig away!".