In this episode, Jared Judge explores the critical topic of pricing for musicians. He emphasizes why musicians should never be the lowest-priced option in the room and how to sell musical services at a high price, even in a market flooded with price shoppers. Jared shares insights into attracting quality clients who value experience over price and how to make yourself stand out in a crowded marketplace. He also discusses the importance of networking within the private events industry and how to leverage your unique skills to create a marketplace of one, where you're the only option. Tune in to learn how to eliminate resistance to your prices and confidently charge what you're worth.
Hey, what's up gigging pros! It's Jared Judge. Welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. I wanted to chat with you about pricing, and specifically, why you should never be the lowest priced musician in the room, and how you can still sell your musical services for a very high price. Even if you perceive that the marketplace is flooded with people looking for the lowest price, which I'm sure for many of you, if you are a private event musician like me, you've experienced those directory online directory websites like geeks out and TheBash and WeddingWire. And you know that those marketplaces are flooded with price shoppers, and people who just want the cheapest price guitarist in Anaheim, or the lowest cost string quartet in Milwaukee. But I want to tell you, those people are not your customer, they are not worth spending your time, or your money pursuing. Because there are people out there for whom quality, not just musical quality, but quality experience from you know, when you first communicate with them through when you sign your contract your whole process for having a contract, and your planning process with them. And the experience, the quality of experience is something they value, and they care more about than the price. And those are the kinds of people that you want to attract. And those are the kinds of people I want to attract. And I do attract, because they are so much easier to work with than the price shoppers, price shoppers are ones who are looking for the cheapest option. And men, when you first off when you're serving a client, who is just looking for the cheapest option, that doesn't put you in the right mindset to do your best work. Right, that puts you in the mindset of hey, I'm only making 100 bucks from this, they can just pound sand or whatever you might say. Or maybe you don't say that you just smile and nod. But then when they start to nitpick your, your setup, and your fear playlist, and they demand more of you, like learn these songs for me. And they don't offer anything in return. And they just have such a demanding attitude. It's like Dude, you're like pay me 100 bucks a year not worth it. But if you do it anyway, then you are actually saying you are worth it. Ooh, that's some more tough love from Uncle Jared here. But I'm here to tell you, you are worth way more than $100 worth way more than whatever you're currently getting. But if you believe that, then you have to start to do the things that match your belief patterns, your behavior has to match your belief, to think for a lot of us that that's a tricky thing to do. It's also hard to do when you're constantly bombarded with information. That kind of invalidates your beliefs, like when people keep offering you$100. But you're gonna keep getting offered that if you keep participating in the marketplace that so many other musicians who maybe do believe they're only worth $100 participate, right, that's the whole idea of this podcast is you have to do something different than what other musicians are doing. Most musicians were never taught any, any business training at all. They're they're just pursuing their passion and dreams. And they're pursuing it through musical actions only. And you are pursuing your passion and dreams. But you're pursuing it through music, business actions. And there's a key difference there because the music business is the thing that will work. Whereas musical actions have a very high chance of not working. So back to her pricing thing. You know, I mentioned you want to attract high quality clients that will pay you the high prices that you're worth. And I mentioned that there are some people who don't just want any old guitarist in Anaheim they want you specifically like they want to say, for me, it's you know, I'm a electric violinist in Denver. And I've not been in Denver a year yet. Yet, I still have these corporate event clients who come to me and say, Yeah, I want you. I don't just want any electric violinist. I want you and I don't care what the price is. Which to me. That's amazing. That feels great. And the question becomes, how do you engineer that? How do you make that happen? And I did a presentation last night, where I chatted very specifically about this, which is how do you get somebody specifically a high value corporate client or a wedding or a private party planner? How do you get them to want you as opposed to just the cheapest blank in your city, cheapest guitars cheapest violin and that becomes a matter of marketing. So, you know, I talk a lot about marketing. But my favorite strategy is and remains to be the gig vault strategy. And that is where you partner with these private event hosts, and clients, and venues. And you literally inject yourself into the private events industry, because yes, there is an industry, they have networking groups and everything. And you got to inject yourself into that industry in a variety of ways. Because once you start to do that, your name and face starts to, you know, become prolific in that scene. And there's a way to do this, I think I talked about this on the podcast earlier. But just in case you're not familiar, there's a way to do this, where you can still be shy and introverted like me, but use the power of music to cut through any awkward networking, which, to me, that's just you got to make situations where you can play for these people. Which is super fun. Because if you're a musician, you know, that's kind of the bare minimum as you can play, right? If not, then maybe you got to work on the musical stuff before doing this stuff. But I would venture to guess, if you're listening to this podcast, you already are more than good enough. And that's why you're working on getting some more opportunities is because you know, you've got a great product under your belt, but just nobody is booking you or you don't have any opportunities to play. So you're good enough, don't worry about that. And then start to pursue these other other opportunities. Yeah, I was gonna chat. What else was in the chat about? Yeah, so how do you get into that they want you and tell you a quick story. So I played at a actually, I think I shared the story the other day. But I played at a networking group for event planners is actually specifically for venue owners, and other periphery suppliers. So that might be you know, caterers, DJs, photographers, that kind of thing. And so I played for one of these, it's called Venue Hub here in Denver. That's V-E-N-U-E H-U-B nu e at the end of venue. And that is an example of a networking group that was created by an individual. There, there are two different types of these networking groups. One of them is like privately created ones by an individual, like Venue Hub, this person, her name is Dawn, she created Venue Hub, because she wanted to create this amazing resource that could help people who are looking for a venue for their, their event. She wanted to help them by providing a resource, and a collection of venues that people could easily find, browse what they're looking for, and I guess reach out and hire one. But you wanted to make it hyperlocal, which is awesome. So essentially competing with like Wedding Wire in the knots and those online directories that are alternatives. But her her take is hyperlocal and a well connected, non compete competing industry, which I think is a great vibe, like let's do more collaborations rather than competitions. And so as part of her mission, she created this one, this networking organization that meets up at least once a week. I know not once a week, once a month, and meets up at this different venue appropriately enough. And everybody shares resources, they usually have a speaker like somebody talking on a topic, and I went to one actually played at one back in I think it was April, April or May. And the format of it was awesome. I'm getting way off topic here. Because the key to this, the linchpin that holds it all together, is that I offered to play at that networking event. Like that's how you get rid of your awkwardness about talking on networking opportunities. So you can play and then you don't really have to talk to people. And then it becomes kind of more of a reactionary conversation, where they'll come up to you and say, Oh, that's amazing. That's beautiful. Like, oh, thank you so much. Then they'll ask you more about what you do. They'll ask you for your business card. And it's more just like what you do after shows like, yeah, thanks so much, and appreciate their commentary. So the key here is like, not many musicians are doing this. So the ones that do have this advantage, where people no longer want just any guitarist, they want you. They want the person that they heard at that networking event. And so that's awesome. By the way, though, you know, I Run a extreme strings, electric violins, it is a electric violin, whose goal is to actually not have me play every gig. Because I'm on a roster of musicians. One of the things my wife and I agreed upon who was like, I'm not going to play every single weekend, because I want some weekends free. I want to go to concerts myself. And I want to take her out on date nights. And eventually, when we have a kid, I want weekends for you that I can go to their baseball game or soccer game or whatever. And so the goal of extreme strings is to essentially get me out of the picture where I can just pick and choose which game gigs I play. And so I'm happy to announce that we booked our first gig for September 30, where I am not going to be performing in Denver. We actually already did this in Milwaukee, because the x does exist in Milwaukee. And we had two or three weddings recently, that were played by some of our roster members up there. But here in Denver, I started the Extreme Strings act in Milwaukee, myself when I was there, and I think you'll have more success starting an act if you're in the city that it's based in. And so when I moved to Denver, I was the only guy on the roster. And then recently, we added another electric violinist to the roster. Her name is Lannie. And then we booked a gig September 30. In, I believe it's Aspen or Vail, one of those ski towns. That's a very high high paying private event. And we staffed it with Lannie, which is awesome. So she's going to be playing that gig. And I am actually going to a marketing conference in Orlando at that time. So that's why I can't play that gig. So anyway, because I've been using the power of music, and depositing into my Gig Vault, which is just a fancy way of saying like, I'm putting my goodwill and effort into the events industry by showing up and networking, and giving and serving them just like you have to do, then I can reap the rewards of this where they want me instead of just any generic violinist, that making sense. So that is the way to slash any price resistance, because you're attracting a clientele who wants you and they'll pay practically any price for it. Whereas if they're searching for you and they find 50 Other violinists and you're competing against them in this directory, well, then people have no way to compare violinists to other than price, which is the tough reality of our situation. So we have to circumvent those marketplaces, create our own marketplace, a marketplace of one, where you're the only option, and people are more than happy to pay your prices. So hopefully that makes sense. That's the way I think about it. I'm listening to an amazing book right now, by Dan Kennedy. It's called No BS Pricing Strategy. And it talks all about this. And it has inspired me to even raise my rates even further, which I'm happy to say I've done and gotten books at it, but highly suggest you read it because, you know, as we treat our music as a business, this is one of the things is how do you price yourself? And should you discount, should you lower your rates? And one of the resounding answers from this book that I'm reading is no, for most of the time. Alright, that's been going on for 13 minutes, a little longer than my normal podcasts. And thanks for listening. Hopefully, you found it inspirational. And if you did, and you want to start pursuing this, you're ready to go. This was the thing that made me ready to start pursuing these partnerships, then go ahead and grab your free copy of the Gig Vault is a treasure trove of over 24,665 private event venue owners and event planner contacts that you can reach out to and start to do these actions that I'm talking to you about. My worst fear is that you just listen to this. You're like, yeah, this sounds awesome, then you don't do anything about it. That is the sign of someone who's going to be unsuccessful. And I know that's not going to be you. So you're gonna take action on it. Grab Your Free Copy of the Gig Vault at get the gig vault.com. Actually, no, it's OpenTheGigVault.com and open your Gig Vault today and start to make deposits and earn some interest on those and get your gigs out. Alright, take care everybody. Remember, "Your music will not market itself!".