In this episode, Jared shares his experience of playing a public gig and how he got the opportunity through online directories like Thumbtack. He discusses the importance of reinvesting a percentage of your earnings back into your music career to cover expenses like equipment, repairs, marketing, and more. Jared also talks about the benefits of playing public events, which can turn into private events and even new opportunities, like a potential Christmas luncheon gig he was offered. He shares tips on optimizing your online profiles to increase your chances of being hired and how he recorded his gig to create content for social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Overall, Jared's experience highlights the importance of being open to different opportunities and utilizing various marketing strategies to grow your music career.
Hey, what's up gigging pros! Its Jared Judge, welcome to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. All right, I am just on my way home from a public gig, which some of you might be surprised to hear me say that because I don't play a lot of public shows. You know, I'm typically the private event guy. I play corporate events, weddings, nonprofits, private parties. But today, I played at an event called Art on the Farm, which was sponsored by a city in Colorado. And it was in a small little farm that was actually somebody's backyard. It was super fun event. It payed good 300 bucks, and I'm fine being transparent about that, I wish more musicians were transparent about how much they're getting paid. So 300 bucks for three hours of music, it was one to 4pm. And then I also got tipped 126 bucks on top of that. So all in all $426 gig for three hours of music, the average is over 100 bucks an hour, which is great. And I feel so blessed that I got that gig because, well, for a public gig, I know that getting you know, 426 bucks per person is not typical, you know, I speak with a lot of musicians and they say getting 100 bucks a man is is more common budget, this was great. And so 100% of that money goes to me aside from the percentage that goes back to the company as the profit margin to reinvest in marketing, which by the way, if you're not taking a percentage of your gigs and reinvesting it into the company of the band, which yes, your band or your solo act, is a company, wherever we treat our music careers as businesses on The Gigging Musician Podcast, if you're not giving a percentage back, then you are fast tracking your music career into bankruptcy. Because let's face it, you do pay for things. As a musician, you pay for your website, you can pay for equipment, you pay for repairs, you pay for marketing, and you got to have some money for that. So that's kind of a small mini rant right there. I wanted to share a little bit about this gig and what made it special, because I really enjoyed playing it. And it actually kind of makes me want to play more public events. And I know that I'm probably not going to get $300 face for future public events, often, but I'll keep trying, you know, never hurts to try it. So anyway, this gig came to me because I, one of my marketing strategies is to list myself on all of those online platforms. We know I do advocate and preach Omni presence, which is being everywhere. You know, as a musician, you got to market yourself, like we are all in agreement about that, right. And so the best way to do that is by putting yourself out there, everywhere. And one of the ways to do that is through these online directories. This specific gig came from thumbtack, which Thumbtack is decent, it's hit or miss. So you know, I can't guarantee that if you sign up for thumbtack, you'll make a ton of money on it. Thumbtack is an interesting platform. Those of you who are on it already know this, but those of you who are not, thumbtack operates on a bidding system, which I don't really like bidding systems. But when somebody reaches out to you, which by the way, you have to set up a profile on Thumbtack first, upload your photos, your videos, write some text about who you are as a musician, and why are you most qualified to play somebody's event, so that you put your profile on there. And then people search for a certain artist where they search for a certain type of X. And then they get search results. So you want to show up as close to the top as possible, which you can do that by optimizing the text on your profile. And also by responding quickly, they do prioritize that. And then when somebody reaches out to you, you actually pay thumbtack for each lead that reaches out to you. And I paid as low as like $3 for lead. And then I've also paid as high as like $70 per lead. The amount they charge, they have a formula for it. I don't know exactly what it is. But a big portion of it is related to the length of time, they say that the gig will take because they assume that you'll get paid more for longer gigs. So I do have my you can set limits by the way you don't have to pay $80 per lead, you can say I only want to pay up to $10 a lead but then the system will limit the gigs that you get like that is another way that they rank people at the top but his by how much you're willing to pay per lead. So I have it kind of set in the middle of those ranges. I once got asked to play a gig that I was unavailable for, but they don't know that I was unavailable, you could set your availability in these things. And I didn't set my availability for that specific date. And it was like a five or six hour gig, which I probably wouldn't have taken anywhere, I would have asked for a shorter duration or figured something out. But because of a such a long gig, they charge me 80 bucks for a gig that I wasn't even available in the first place. So that was a, an expensive ish lesson to learn. But anyway, so this specific Art on the Farm gig came from thumbtack, I paid probably like 20 bucks for this lead. So 20 bucks turned into 426. That is to add, I can't do math right now. So at least a 20 to one return on investment. Which is great. By the way, that's that's a great return on investment. If you think about the stock market, it returns 8% Every year roughly. And so being able to turn $1 into 20 for this gig is pretty pretty good return on investment. So they reached out and they said, you know, we are running this Art in the Farm event once a month. And we would love them to be the first one. It's like, awesome. So I called them. First I responded in the thumbtack app saying yes, I am available. Here's how much I would charge for it. And actually, they said that they have a budget, they couldn't negotiate. I would like more than 300 bucks for that. But, you know, it's you can't really negotiate when they they had a specific budget that was funded by the city. So there was no wiggle room, which was totally fine. I'm new to Colorado, so I'm willing to grind it out and do some things that don't really scale to get the word out about when I do. Alright, so I took the gig called I responded to them saying yes, I'm available. And then I called because you should always follow up as fast as possible in multiple channels, and then chatted with the person in charge. She was very friendly. And it's from the way that we talked on the phone, she was already sold on my act, she'd watched my videos. So it was more just like yeah, we're we're ready to go, I'm going to send you a W-9 and get all your details is they're going to do direct deposit. So that's totally fine. We said yes. And then as the day approached, we just followed up by asking for some more information about load-in. And then on the day of which is today, I drive and can't find the farm. Because it was like this tiny little alley in between a bunch of houses. One of which was the guy, the owner, his backyard, which is it not just expecting a really big farm with like wheat and corn. But this actually was just like a really big garden. And I met the organizer. And the gate to get in was locked. So she had to call the owner of the farm, he came in unlocked to the gate, I had all my equipment on a cart. So I've got my own PA system, it's got two speakers, and mixer. And then I use like a wireless system for my mic and my electric violin. And so I put all that on my cart. And then I had to wheel my cart on dirt. And it was somewhat soft dirt, not quite mud. But it was definitely tough to pull it in, in the mud, as like, I'm gonna exhaust myself before the gig even starts. But it was all good. Got it to my spot. There was a wooden stage that he literally had just built, which was super cool. And I helped him put up a canopy tent on top of that stage. So I wasn't playing in direct sunlight. He ran power out to me, I set up my speakers, my mixer, my backing tracks, and my violin. And then I just started playing and be that it was the first on the farm event of the season. It was fairly low attendance. But it was okay. It was intimate. Like, I had an audience. People were listening, people were clapping, which, as a private event musician that is on the rarer side, sometimes that still does happen. But at public events, you know, people are there to experience the art. And I'll admit, I think I feel what a lot of you feel at gigs, which is like that satisfaction that you're doing a good thing and the audience is appreciating it. And it does feel really good. So you guys got me there. I'll give into public events are pretty cool if you make sure that you're getting paid a fair amount. So I played two sets. The first set was like an hour and 10 minutes, took a 20 minute break and then played my final set for an hour and a half. And a couple of people came up, gave me tips. I had my violin case at the foot of the stage to accept tips. And my wife actually stopped by which was really sweet. She gave me my first dollar. So actually it was $125 not 126 but then throughout the rest of the second set People came and gave tips. And then at the end of the gig, actually, before it gets to the end of the gig, I did want to share for my second set, I did set up a tripod and my DSLR camera because as you know, one of my previous episodes, was entitled, "Record Everything". So I had my camera on a tripod, and I recorded my second set, which was awesome, because there were some songs in there that I do have videos of. So when I have time, I'm going to put those videos on YouTube and my Instagram and my new Tiktok channel, which by the way, check out my Tiktok channel ExtremeStrings is the name. And I'd love to follow you back. So yeah, I'll put some videos on those channels. And then at the end of the gig, that's when the bunch of people came up and said, Yeah, you were awesome. We'd love to your songs. And that's when I got my tips, which was really cool. I did not ask for them. Like I didn't get on the mic and ask. I just didn't feel like that would be appropriate. But one person came up and said, Hey, I run this business group. And we do a Christmas like a holiday luncheon. And we would love to start the conversation about that it is currently April 29. And she's like, Yeah, are you available December 12, or whatever. I was like, I don't have anything on the books for December yet. But booked me now, before I start booking it up. So the idea for my card got her contact information will follow up there. So this is our public gigs can turn into private events, which I think that is a strategy I have not used much. But I think I want to try out more more public events for that. And then the owner of the farm him and I chatted a lot afterwards, he was actually encouraging me to get my real estate license because he's a real estate broker. It sounds like a fun idea. But I've got a lot on my plate as it is. And then he is the one who said like before I forget, I want to give you this and you can't be a crisp $100 Bill, which made it $125 plus $1 For my wife tip that I got. So all in all, a great first public gig experience in Colorado. I played a bunch of private gigs before in Colorado, but this was my first public one. I don't have any more public shows on the books. But I don't know, I'm open to the idea. I'm kind of getting sold on it. And if you guys think I should play some more, reach out to me, let me know. Follow me on Tiktok ExtremeStrings of the one for my electric violin act as a FulltimeMusician is the Tiktok for you know Fulltime Music Academy. So follow me there and shoot me a message if you think I should play more public gigs. I want to know what you guys think. Are they as fun as they you guys say they are? Let me know. And perhaps I'll be playing a bunch of more public shows. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to stop. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop focusing on private gigs because those pay really well. But I don't know I guess I feel I understand why you guys like him so much. So there you go. Alright, well, thanks for tuning in helping me think through what just happened, which was really fun and really great. And glad you guys tuned in. So thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember "You are just one gig away!".