In this episode, Jared shares a recent story where a nonprofit tried to stiff his group, and the exact email he sent to set his boundaries and discourage the devaluation of live music in the future.
Hey, what's up gigging pros. It's Jared and I am so excited today because I am joining you from a marketing conference down in Orlando, Florida called funnel hacking live. And one of the biggest takeaways that I've gotten specifically about my music career and what I do with the Gigging Musician Podcast, Gigging Secrets, BookLive is all about valuing yourself for what you're actually worth. And for most musicians, we don't do that. So I want to share with you a specific conversation that I had over email recently with a an events planner, in my local community, about them asking me to perform for free. And I did discuss this a couple podcast episodes A while ago, but I just want to show you that this is a battle that I'm constantly fighting to continually value my time and myself for what I'm actually worth. So for some context, you know, I'm not gonna use any names because I want to protect the innocent, and the people who don't realize that they're asking me to do things that undervalue my time. And so, the general premise is I got asked to play for free at a nonprofit gala fundraising events. And in my previous podcast, I mentioned that I don't play for free unless it's something that I truly believe in and would donate the equivalent dollar amount to anyway, or if it's a genuine marketing opportunity. And so this specific one, either, let me just read you the email chain, because I think it's super cool. Hi, Jared. so and so and I are on the committee for the insert nonprofit name here, dinner, November 6, this year, we're doing a French theme, it is at so and so venue. And we typically get around 130 people, the type of people there will be the the people that would likely use your services, I have recommended several of them to what you do. And anyway, I'm wondering if you would be willing to play either during the initial tasting reception hour or throughout the dinner when they are not speaking. If you're busy, please don't feel obligated, I just thought I might, it might be a good opportunity to share the concept, as well as drum up more business for you in 2022, which sounds innocent and everything. And you know, I'm sure she had no ill intention in asking me, you know, I would ask too, you know, but what she doesn't realize is that that is an endeavor. Typically, I don't play solo, which means I bring several other musicians who all deserve to be paid, I deserve to be paid, there's preparation that goes into it, there's logistics, we have to spend money getting there, we have to make sure our instruments are in good condition. And what happens if one of them breaks when we were playing a gig where we're not making money off them? And so that's why I run it through my filter, the filter is one, is this an opportunity? Is this something that I would donate my own money to? Anyway, the equivalent dollar amount, which is in the 1000s of dollars of range? or two? Is this something that is a good marketing opportunity? So that's where it kind of gets a little tricky, because this is a nonprofit that I would support. But it's not one that I personally have budgeted for that dollar amount that they're asking. So I would say in general, that does not meet my first criteria, it is not something that I would put the equivalent dollar amount into as a donation anyway. And the second thing, the second part of that criteria, is is this a genuine marketing opportunity, which she tried to use that as the specific reason that I should go is that this is a really good marketing opportunity for your business. And so running it through that filter. This is probably where I didn't dive deep enough in the first podcast. But I want to dive deep right now, what constitutes a genuine marketing opportunity? You know, as musicians, we don't have time to wait for things to happen years in the future. Like, if we plant a seed now we kind of need to reap what we sow, immediately. And so in this situation, that means are there people in that audience who can book me immediately and knowing this specific nonprofit? It's typically geared towards parents of children. And it's typically run by educators. And so what that means, think back to one of the other podcast episodes where I talked about narrowing down your niche and your avatar, who do you serve with your music, and for my group, we specifically serve couples getting married. Now, if you think about who attends this nonprofit gala, I mentioned its parents of children, and it's also educators, teachers of children. Specifically, those two avatars do not match with my avatar of the young professional, the young person who is engaged and planning a wedding. And so with that in mind, does it meet my second criteria? The answer is no. And so that's why I had to craft a response and had to craft it delicately because I don't want to offend anybody. But I also have to stick up for my value my worth my time. And I hope that you feel that way too about your stuff. Don't give away your music for free. Don't play gigs that just aren't worth your time. So I just didn't have enough information to give her a yes or no. But I said, Hey, thanks so much for reaching out. I'm looping in one of my colleagues is going to help out with administration, would you please be able to provide more information on what compensation or publicity opportunities are available for us at this event? COVID has been especially hard on musicians. So we want to understand a little more if this opportunity is financially feasible for our musicians. Now, that's at that point, the person who reached out looped in another member of the nonprofit, after get going here, that's the Music cue, they lived another member of the nonprofit I'm waiting to hear back, but you might think that that was too harsh of a response. But that's the kind of boundary setting that we need to do to establish our value as musicians. What we do is valuable, it changes people's lives. And we need to be charging our rate to value our time and show that that's what we're worth. So I hope you got some value out of it. hope you got some confidence to say no to some gigs that aren't worth your time. And I hope you use that to say yes to gigs that are worth your time. So if you got any value out of this podcast, go ahead and get your free copy of Gigging Secrets. The book that helps you learn how to make a living from performing at GiggingSecrets.com and remember you are one gig away.