The Gigging Musician Podcast

Playing For Exposure

May 28, 2021 Jared Judge
The Gigging Musician Podcast
Playing For Exposure
Chapters
The Gigging Musician Podcast
Playing For Exposure
May 28, 2021
Jared Judge

In this episode, Jared shares the only 2 reason he would EVER play for exposure. Musicians all over the world struggle with this concept, many of them play for exposure and then get frustrated and jaded with the music industry. Tune in to find the hidden consequences of playing for exposure.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Jared shares the only 2 reason he would EVER play for exposure. Musicians all over the world struggle with this concept, many of them play for exposure and then get frustrated and jaded with the music industry. Tune in to find the hidden consequences of playing for exposure.

What's up gigging musicians. It's Jared. Today I wanted to talk about exposure gigs. So, you know, I run the Facebook group Gigging Musicians. And an interesting post came up posted by my good friend and viola player Denice Haney. She is a Milwaukee Viola player who runs a group Rosewood Strings. I helped her get that off the ground, which was super exciting. And so she texted me a meme that's been floating around Facebook lately, which is all about playing for exposure. And it got a lot of traction in the group. And it actually got shared by over 26 people. And I just wanted to share it with you because I thought it was awesome. And then I wanted to add a little bit of commentary afterwards, about the two rare exceptions where I will play for exposure. So the post is called, How to politely say "Sorry, I'm not doing that for free". Great title, you know how many times we've been asked to play stuff for free. And I just hate getting asked that. So here is how this meme says that we can politely decline that. So the first way is, thanks so much for considering me, please see here for a link to the services and price packages that I offer. Let me know if you have any questions. That's a good one. It's very polite. And you know, you don't directly have to address like, I don't do things for free, but you're making them have the epiphany that oh, I have to pay artists for their services, and you're making it easy for them to actually pay. Second one is, this sounds like a great opportunity. Thank you for thinking of me, are you able to confirm that this is a paid opportunity? So that one is a little more direct, which I always like being direct. But you know, asking people is this a paid opportunity? That's still like, a fair question, you know, is this a paid opportunity? Can you confirm that for me? Great question. All right. The third one is, I appreciate you thinking of me for this opportunity. Unfortunately, I am unable to take on any unpaid projects at the moment. But I will circle back if that changes. So this one's good. Because you're you're very politely and firmly saying like my boundaries are I don't take on unpaid projects. I think that this one, I probably wouldn't use this one. Like, it's missing something to me, it's missing the opportunity to allow them to realize that art should be paid. And it's it's not giving them the opportunity to actually offer to pay something. So they still might come back and say Oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't realize that you don't do unpaid work, I can throw you some money. But I always like being a little more direct and asking a question. This is actually a big part of the way that I I sell my gigs is whenever I'm talking to a potential client, I always ask a closing question at the end of my communication. So I feel like this one would benefit from from just asking a question, seeing if you can get them to pay. And then the fourth one is thanks for reaching out, I typically charge a flat fee for this kind of advice. So I'm unable to answer this via DMS. But I'll drop a link below where you can book a consultation with me. This one is also pretty good because it is giving them the opportunity and epiphany that you need to be paid. And here's how to do it. So in Generally, the advice is don't play gigs for free, don't agree to opportunities. And if you're feeling shy or you just don't like confrontation, it's great that you can just copy and paste those four snippets, pick the one that suits you best, and then use that as a response. And you don't have to be fearful of any retribution or anything like that. Now, I did say that I have some exceptions to this rule. There are two scenarios where I will actually agree to play a gig for free. And those are the two exceptions. The first one is if there's a charity that I would normally consider donating my time or money to anyway, and they ask, you know, can you provide some sort of musical entertainment? If I was going to donate time or money to them anyway? Or I'd be happy to then yes, I would offer to do that. But the except the caveat to that is I would still use a contract with them. So I would put it in writing that normally, I charge X amount for a performance like this. So you're getting this value for you. And I am doing this as pro bono but we still signed a contract that way. You're still protected. You know, that's the basic thing is we need to be protected by contracts. The second part of it though, is that now that you have it in writing that you donated a service worth X amount of dollars to a nonprofit 501 c three, that becomes a tax deduction. So you can save that save that contract. And then when tax season rolls around, give that to your accountant or add that to however you file your taxes and now All of a sudden, that is your tax deduction. So that is exception number one. Exception number two is that if this exposure gig is a genuine marketing opportunity that I know I will get a return on my investment for. So there are only a couple situations where that's the case. One of those is if you're playing a gig for a group of event planners, so for example, the National Association of Catering and Events, that is a networking group, local chapters where event planners get together and talk about the art of planning events, it's a great group, so much fun to hang out with, and the perfect opportunity to show them what you and your act are capable of. So that the next time one of their clients has an event where you're a good fit, they will remember that you played awesomely at their event, and they'll hire you. So that is a very safe bet that you'll get booked for paying gigs because you played that gig for free. Second one is marketing opportunities that I create for myself. So for example, wedding expos, if I if I decide to have a booth at a wedding Expo, I will perform at my instrument and I'm paying to be there. And that's a great opportunity to because that puts you in front of tons of future paying clients. So yeah, that's it's just kind of the way it works is you have to spend money to make money and creating marketing opportunities for yourself. You do have to put in a little bit of your time and money, but there is a pretty Surefire bet that you will get a return on that investment. If you have the right gigging funnels in place. So those are the only two exceptions I have to the I don't play for free roll. If you have one that I haven't thought about please drop me a line Make sure to like and share this podcast, leave a review. You know iTunes, Spotify, they all have a way to review podcast I'd love to hear from you. See what you like about this podcast what you don't like about it. Just be great to interact. Join that Facebook group, the Gigging Musicians Facebook group, join in the discussion, some really cool things are happening in that group. And you don't want to miss being a part of that. And then if you're interested in a free masterclass on how to become one of the top gigging groups in your city, you can find that for free at BookLivePro.com/Masterclass. Thanks for listening to the gigging musician podcast and I will see you on the next one.