In this episode, Jared discusses the pros and cons of booking a band versus going solo. It is ultimately decided that for a solo artist, booking high-paying shows will be easier and quicker to get off the ground. However, this may not be the case for every type of musician.
What's up gigging pros. It's Jared and welcome to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Today, I wanted to let you in on a conversation that I had in a coaching session for my Fulltime Music Academy with one of my newer students who is just getting into the private events scene, his name is Philip, and he runs a band, and they're a cover band, they have been doing a lot of public gigs in the past, and even to this point, you know, I saw them do a cool St. Patrick's Day gig that looked awesome. But they're all public shows, you know, bars, clubs, festivals, things where you know, maybe there's a ticket fee to to enter or a cover charge, or it's just free, but then they make some money, off of percentage of bar sales, that kind of thing. And he came to the Fulltime Music Academy, because he wanted to get into private events, he knows, you know, we've talked a lot, he's listened to this podcast, and he knows that there's a lot of financial opportunity in private events, he obviously doesn't want to stop doing the public events, because they are so much fun. But the issue is that you can get into this spiral of you only do public events, and you start to believe that just doing public events, and doing enough of them is going to pay the bills, or, you know, just doing public events is the only way to get your art out there. And, quite frankly, that's not true. I mean, I see this happen a lot where, I don't know, Nashville, it tends to be more common, where, you know, musicians will move from anywhere in the country to Nashville, because they think that that's where the opportunity is. So they join a band or start a band, they start playing in Nashville, and then they get, you know, success in the Nashville scene, which still doesn't mean you're getting paid a full time living, it just means you get to do more work and play more with minimal compensation. And then the spiral happens when you jump from band to band to band, still doing the same kind of gigs, and not really raising the amount of money that you're taking in. So you do have to do side hustles, which might actually be a full time job on the side, so that you can pursue your passion of music. And you know, I'm nothing against public shows whatsoever. Like I love them, I go to them, I haven't placed them from time to time. But unless you are extremely lucky, or you have some amazing, incredible connection that nobody else on the planet does. I just don't think that making a living off of public shows is possible for most people. And I definitely didn't think it was possible for me, which is why I got into private events, when I immediately realized that it was possible. So there's a long tangent, I want to share with you just something about when he decided that he was going to get started on private events, we had a discussion in our coaching call about should he continue under the the current brand of the band. And I don't want to necessarily give away his his information. So you know, we'll just use the name of the band as a placeholder for it. Or should he start out just leveraging his personal brand with his name and start selling he wants to start with like weddings and corporate events, just start booking those gigs under his own name with just a solo guitarist and singer Act, or I think piano as well. And so we talked about the pros and cons of that, like, Should you go for the private events with the band right away? Or should you go with just your name like your personal brand. And some of the the cons? Well, for some of the pros of going with his personal brand was that he has already played private events solo in the past, not very consistently, like he's done, you know, a couple in a year. But he's already done it, which means he's got the music. He's got a setlist already that he can tap into. He understands how those events flow. And he already knows the path forward of you know, how is this going to work and, you know, marketing, it is going to be a little easier to the con for doing it with the band. Like he was tempted to start with the band, which you know, I'm not opposed to either, but when we were thinking through it, many of the members of his band have never done a private event before and there is a tiny bit of a learning curve. Part of it is in the setlist because you do have to have a different setlist for private events versus public shows. But also you know how to actually conduct yourself at a private event is different than a public show. You know many times I private event, the primary purpose of people coming to that event is not your band. So you have to work the audience differently. You're not always trying to get people to continue drinking and tip your bartenders on that kind of thing, which I'm making a gross generalization. I know that that's not what all public shows are about. But there is different, you know, etiquette and decorum that goes into private events versus public events, which his band members aren't necessarily accustomed to. So there's a lot of uncertainty there, perhaps even some training that he would need to do, because he wouldn't want to just throw them into an unfamiliar situation, especially when there's a lot more money involved, which private events do bring in a lot more money, that tends to raise the stakes. So you don't want to necessarily wing your private events. Although I do think being able to wing situations and sight read situations is super valuable. And I did a podcast episode about that months ago, why being able to sight read situations is one of the most valuable gigging skills. But you can't necessarily expect your band members who aren't the entrepreneur of the band, you can't expect them to be able to figure things out as easily or be as invested in figuring things out as you are. If you're the bandleader if you're the one running the group, which I find that bands are much more successful, if they have one leader, or one entrepreneur who's running the show, then, you know, you're gonna be able to figure things out much easier. And you're more invested in the success of the group. And you have more more control over the situation, but you can't expect your band members to be on board with that instantly, like you can't, can't hold them to the same same level of standard that you hold yourself to, it's just not fair. But one of the pros we had for starting with the band was that the band already has brand recognition in his city. So people already have heard of the band before and their opportunities to hear the band live, kind of in that showcase style that I've chatted about on in my gaming secrets book. And in some of the previous episodes, too. So there is that going for it, which might make some of the marketing easier. But also, there's the fact that the band already has a busy schedule. And it would be difficult to necessarily like, we talked about it in terms of like, when you're you're booking one person, it's like riding a motorcycle, you know, there's fewer wheels, it's easier to turn, it's, it's lighter. Whereas when you're booking a band, it's more akin to like moving a car, which is heavier, you know, I don't know how many tons but it weighs tons versus, you know, several 100 pounds of a motorcycle. And again, I'm not I don't ride motorcycles. So that number might be inaccurate. But it's easier to steer, like easier to move something that's smaller than move something with so many intricate moving parts like a band. And then the last thing that we chatted about was, if he communicates to the band that this is happening, he doesn't want to let them down. If he doesn't start booking high paying shows right away, which is totally a fair. You know, fear, like what if I'm not successful, like you don't want to necessarily set yourself up for failure, or let people know you're going to be successful if you're not sure. But the process that we're going to take him through is going to give him success and give him the confidence and give them all the tools that he needs to make himself successful. So at the end of the day, that's why we decided to move forward with him as a solo artist, booking his personal brand first, so that he could really develop his booking chops, with just himself, there's less at stake, fewer moving parts, and it's going to be easier and quicker to get it off the ground. And as he's doing that, he's going to also be applying these skills to his band. But that's not the primary focus right away. So I just want to let you into that conversation. Because if you're starting to think about getting into private events, or if you already are in them, and you're wondering, well, how do I get more of them? There are things to consider like if you're running a band, is it going to be faster to just get yourself bookings? Are all your band members on board with it? Can you rely on any of your band members? And it might just be the case that it's a little more agile and faster to work with just yourself as a soloist if possible. But no, this won't work for every instrument like drummers like you know, I'm a drummer too, even though I play violin mainly but I got a degree in percussion. But in order for me to book myself so As a drummer, well, that probably wouldn't be happening anytime soon. Plus, I haven't played drums in years. So I wouldn't be comfortable booking myself as a drummer too. So yeah, just things to think about. By the way, we are running a another Book More Weddings Challenge. We ran our second one super successfully, we had people just say that they booked weddings while we were during the challenge, they felt more motivated. They felt like we lit fires underneath them. And they had a clear vision of how to move forward to book as many high paying weddings for themselves as possible, which they also can apply to corporate events and nonprofits, but we focused on weddings. So we're going to run another one of those coming up pretty soon here. In fact, I'm not sure when this podcast will be released, but it might already be going on but if it's not, don't miss your chance to go through this. Again, we don't do them all the time. So this is an opportunity that is not going to be here for very long. So if you want to feel more in control over your bookings and have clarity going forward, go to BookMoreWeddingsChallenge.com and grab your spot today. So thanks so much for listening and remember you are just one gig away.