In this episode, Jared Judge recaps the exciting Corporate Gig Challenge, a free five-day online event designed to help gigging musicians book their first or next corporate gig. Jared shares the key principles and strategies he covered during the challenge, highlighting the importance of understanding what corporate event planners are looking for and how to get on their radar.
Hey, what's up gigging pros! It's Jared Judge welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. So excited. This is the Monday after I just ran the Corporate Gig Challenge. And that was a free five day online challenge that I hosted to help gigging musicians book their first or next corporate gig. And it was awesome. I got some amazing feedback from the musicians who took it, some of whom built some connections that are already turning into corporate gigs, which I'm just so proud of them, and their effort and their work. This weekend, also, it was crazy for me, my wife and I, and a couple friends or brother, we hiked our very first fourteener in Colorado, which, if you've ever heard of a fourteener, they're insane. It's a, it's basically a type of hike that takes place on top of a mountain. And you at some point during the hike, cross 14,000 feet above sea level. And if you've never been up at altitude, you know, the oxygen, the air is fitter up there. You know, many, many states like Florida, you're at sea level. But Colorado, you get up into the 10,000 12,000 14,000 feet, and the air is thinner, it's harder to breathe. And these insane people decided, let's make an official trail up to the top of these mountains. And I guess I'm in season two, because I did one, there was the hardest hike of my life. I was out of breath. I took so many breaks. I didn't know I expected myself to just crush it. And it was a struggle for me. So just proving that don't, don't get too cocky. You'll be put in your place real fast, by reality. But it was so much fun. I'm very proud of myself for doing it. And I think we might do it like, once a week. They're apparently like 5614 years in Colorado. And this is one. So hey, I do want a year, I'll be done with all of them by the time I die. That's great. Oh, some of them are like, you know, advanced rock climbers only, so I might not be able to do all of them. Alright, cool. So back to the gigging stuff. So Corporate Gig Challenge, it was awesome five days, I will be hosting another one soon, just due to the success of it, and the success of the members who went through it. But essentially, I went through a new framework that I created, called the Corporate Gig Quickstart. So if you want corporate gigs, there is a fast and easy way to get corporate gigs. And of course, there is the slow and hard way that many of us do, especially when we're getting started, or we just have no direction about how to get them. And so I want to go quickly through the Corporate Gig Quickstart. But in order to get you through that, you have to understand one core principle, actually two core principles, but they're based on each other. One is that these gigs are booked by humans. At surprise. They're getting the gigs are booked by humans, specifically the corporate event planner. This human this person comes in a variety of flavors. Some of them are employees of the company that they are working for, because remember, corporate gigs are hosted by a corporation, but they're planned by a person. So this person might be the employee of the company. They might be a professional corporate event planner that has their own independent business. And this is what they do for a living is planned corporate gigs. It might be booked by a DMC, which stands for destination management company. And those are like travel agencies, where Northwestern Mutual if they want to host an out of town event in a different city and have all of their corporate employees fly into this city, they will hire a destination management company to basically plan out the entire event for them. So that they just can show up and run the event and everybody has a great time. So those are the main three, I added a fourth to the list in the challenge, which is booking agents simply because booking agents have already done a lot of the work that the challenge taught, they've built relationships with those other three people. And if you get in good with a booking agent, then you may be hand fed some corporate gigs every now and again. But I'd much prefer targeting the first three because that's cutting out the middleman and I like that that's why I don't charge musicians, a percentage of gigs when they work with me. Anyway, so you have to understand it's booked by that person. And those people all have secret lists, in their mind, on a piece of paper, on a document on their computer, of who they like to work with, for their events. They have these lists, because it makes their job easier. And in fact, you know, these people, when they're planning out their corporate events, they want to do it easier, then it could be, they don't want to have to google search every single time, they don't want to have to browse the bash, or geek salad, and listen to musicians and vet them, they just want to do their job fast, because they've got a lot on their plate. They also want to minimize risk. They don't want to try anything new. They just want the tried and true this stuff works. And that includes the kind of music that's played at the event. So again, if you want the easy mode, then you'll play crowd pleasers. And this, this was a powerful moment in the challenge, when I talked about this actually showed a bell curve, a bell curve, you know, it's like a graph that's starts low, and on the the axis, and then it goes up and forms a bell, and then turns back down, it goes down and flattens out towards the bottom. On the left hand side of the bell curve, or niche covers, for example, if you're a very niche tribute band, I used as the Osborne tributes as an example, you are low on the bell curve, sorry, it's gonna be harder for you to bid corporate gigs. And then on the other side of the bell curve, the low end on the right side, I put originals, because again, corporate event planners don't want to try anything new. And original music, by definition is new. So the thing is, the corporate gigs have a variety of people who attend them. Everything from bosses, CEOs, to middle management, to employees, to families, to customers. And they have to please so many people, and what they want is crowd pleasers, which is the top middle of the bell curve. So if you are willing to play crowd pleasers, you will have an easier time booking corporate gigs and others the reality of the situation, except it or have a hard time booking corporate gigs. And so that is making the job of the corporate event planner a lot easier, because they're not taking risks on music. They're not trying out new music at a corporate gig. And so if we can figure out who books the gig, understand what they want, then we want to get on their lists. There are a couple of ways to do this. And we spent five hours on this the whole week, which is a significant amount of time, plus an extra five hours, if you were in the VIP room with me shout out to our VIPs. We spent a lot of time figuring out how to do this. And there are really two ways of making this happen. One of them is by reaching out to these people one to one, one at a time, called Email making yourself known to them. Because you know that the biggest problem is not that you're not good enough, because you aren't good enough. The biggest problem is they don't know you exist. So the way to make that known, the way to make yourself known is by reaching out one to one via cold email, we went over that a lot. We also went over how to find the email addresses of people to reach out to. And then the second way is one too many wishes by sponsoring events with your music, which I've gone over in this podcast. But one to many is very powerful because you only have to do something once and it impacts many people. If you sponsor a networking event in the events industry. And when I say sponsor, I do not mean money. It just means you're donating your service as a musician to the event. And in exchange. They shout you out from stage but your name and email name and website and their emails and on their website and on their social media. But the cool part is these events industry networking events are attended by corporate event planners. So you play once and then say 50 Corporate Event Planners are in the audience. They're hearing your play. They're knowing that you exist. They're hearing your acts name repeated over and over again. And then when they hear you play and you're playing crowd pleasers, they fall in love with you in a professional way. And they put you on the list. Is that simple. It's pretty awesome. And then of course, is a lot of work. Finding the email addresses building lists, researching the events industry to find networking events that you want to sponsor. And so that's where I introduced a couple tools to make it easier. The first of which was a virtual assistant. I've talked about virtual assistants on this podcast before, but it's basically you're hiring a human to help you out with this. And they're virtual, because they're not in person, they're, you know, somewhere else, because you found them on the internet, you work with them over the internet. And so having help, building your musical act, is one of the biggest ways you can generate leverage for yourself, get a lot more done than any other musician out there. And so that's one way. The other way was that now that you're busy, because you're booking these corporate gigs, you're gonna need a way to manage all of the admin side of these gigs. And that's where he introduced the software book Live, which I haven't talked a lot about book live lately, but it has gotten amazing. The feature set has just expanded, it's gotten more robust to squashing a lot of bugs. And people are just really relying on it, which I am just so honored by. And so once you're busy enough, that you need some help on the admin side, then that's where book live comes into play. If we wrapped up the challenge with a bit of mindset, to talk about what does it take to actually turn it into a thriving business, turn your music career into a thriving business? Because the biggest realization, when I started booking these corporate gigs, they were asking me for W nines certificates of insurance, and all this other stuff. I was like, why are they asking me all this business stuff? That's when it dawned on me. They like to work with businesses, they assume that were a business. And so the more business like we can show them that we are, the higher chance we will have it getting books by them. Because these businesses like working with businesses. So that was one of the big mindset shifts. The second was all about, you know, what does it take to make success? Last? We talked about a variety of things. One was preparation, every gig you should be prepared both musically, mentally, equipment wise, and show up early. Another one was professionalism, beating showing these people that you are serious about what you do you take their needs seriously. Third one was being in the events industry, like identifying as an event professional, which gives you access to all their networking events. And, you know, understanding how the events industry works. It's not just the music industry. And then another one was being a marketer, and promoter of your act. Like literally identifying yourself as a marketer. I am a marketer of my music. Because if I'm not, my music doesn't get out there. Nobody hears it. So those were kind of the big ideas throughout the whole challenge. And I got some people in the challenge saying, Hey, I did the homework, because that's there was homework. And all of a sudden, I got people, I got corporate event planners saying, Yes, this is awesome, I'd love to work with you. And so, to me, that means the corporate gate challenge worked. And I'm so proud of those musicians who took it. And just because of the success of that I will be running another one in the future. I'm not sure exactly when. But the dates will be announced very soon. And it's amazing experience. I don't know about you guys, but I'm just so passionate about getting my music out there that I really love doing these kinds of things. I love putting in the time and the effort. And you may not start loving it. It may be a necessary evil. But once you start doing it, your mindset starts to shift a little bit because you're like, Oh, this is getting me the results I want. I can see very clearly how my efforts turn into some rewards. And that triggers a dopamine hit in your brain. You're like, oh, this is becoming addictive. I want to do more of it. Then it becomes super fun. So that is the Corporate Gig Challenge. I'll host it again soon. You can sign up for it when I put it live at FulltimeMusicAcademy.com/challenge and the date will be announced. I would say I want to get it done by the end of today. It is September 25 Right now, so hopefully it'll be live soon. But it'll be sometime in October, which is my birthday month. So my your birthday present Jimmy can be coming during the challenge. Does that sound fair? Often? Very cool. Well, thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember, "Your music will not market itself!".