In this episode, Jared shares his #1 tip to making sure gigs don't go poorly. By preventing them from going poorly, you prevent a whole slew of consequences for your music career.
What is up gigging pros. It's Jared. And again, I apologize for the audio, I left my microphone at the bottom of the mountain on my next hike. Today, I wanted to chat about how to protect your gigs. You know, gig is a experience, experiences have a ton of unknown factors. And there's so many moving parts that there is a lot that could go wrong. And so most musicians, you know, we all kind of have, even if you're not a band leader, you're not the one who coordinated the gate, you're just playing in it. Most musicians have some backup plans in case of emergencies. Like, I know that every string player has an extra set of strings in there violin cases or guitar cases. And, you know, we have backup systems for certain things. But you can't anticipate everything. Which is why it's important to try as hard as you can to anticipate what could go wrong at a gig. And this is really what makes the difference between an amateur group and a more professional. Because even you know, things do go wrong at professional groups gigs, but it's less because they've played so many times that they know what can go wrong, and they have a plan for that. And the more you play, the more issues you encounter, the more things you know, to anticipate. So, for your own gigging, think about what could go wrong at a gig. And for each thing, you know, it's probably even helpful to to write them down, what could go wrong, list out everything. Like, what if there's bad weather? What if one of my bandmates gets sick and can't show up? Or there's a car accident on the way? Or what if my sound equipment doesn't turn on? Or what if my iPad that I'm using for sheet music runs out of battery? Or what if there's wind and it knocks over any equipment? Or what if the people that we're playing for have a delay that causes them to start the music late? So write out each of those things. And, you know, in any business, which live music, you know, the way we do it as gigging pros, we treat it as a business. Every business has weapons that they use to attack, not physically attack, but you know, accomplish their goals faster. And they also have shields that they use to defend against these things that could go wrong. Like what if you don't get paid? And all of these items that you've just written out? Now, the second step is to brainstorm how could I prevent that? What is a plan I can make, to, you know, handle anything that comes my way? For example, you know, if I take the example of bad weather at the gig, well, a shield that I could have in place for bad weather is in my contract, I have a weather clause, you know, the musicians require a performance location that is protected from inclement weather, whether that means a tent, or an indoor location for, you know, as a backup location, we will not play in inclement weather. Also another shield like what if the organizer of the event doesn't pay me? Well, the shield I haven't placed for that is also in my contract, that I need to get paid in full before I even show up to the gig. Other shields like, it's hard to plan for everything. But if you can, it's great. Like for the iPad situation, if my iPad dies, and I'm reading music off of it, well, a backup plan could be printing out the physical sheet music, or for me, I just actually have the music on my phone too. So the phone is my backup for the iPad. Yeah, and there for each of those things, you know, just come up with possible solutions, some of those solutions will not be possible. But it's worth writing them down anyway, you know, just throw spaghetti at the wall. This is kind of like, you know, if you treat it as a startup, then you go through an ideation phase, where, you know, if you're brainstorming a business opportunity or a business idea, you start out with problems, like what problem do people have, which in our case, the problems would be things that go wrong at a gig. And then you just start brainstorming every possible idea, throw that spaghetti at the wall. And, you know, even if it's crazy and outlandish, like, you know, I don't know if somebody doesn't show up to your gig. Well, you know, have an on call roster of musicians who could serve as substitutes. So throw every single idea at the wall, sir are the ones that are actually possible. And think about the ones that are not possible. And what would it take to make them possible because the more shields that you have that can protect your gigs, the more consistent you're going to be, you know, the better your reputation is going to be, the less chance there will be of something going wrong, that completely destroys your performance, which then impacts your reputation. And so the whole story of why BookLive the software was created was because at that point, I, this was several years ago, there was a gig that I was still staffing manually. And I forgot to staff this one gig. And as a result, the bride or the wedding planner called me screaming at me when I was an hour away, saying the bride walks down the aisle, and 10 minutes, where's the string quartet. And at that point, I had no shield, even calling my available roster of musicians, they couldn't get to the gig in 10 minutes. And so at that point, there was nothing I could do. And so that's why in the software, the shield that I created for me and for other musicians, is that it will staff your gigs for you automatically. And it will yell at you if you're at risk of missing a meeting. So, again, it's a pretty interesting topic that I heard at that marketing conference I went to several weeks ago was every business has weapons, and shields, weapons help you grow faster, you know, in our case, book more gigs and do things more efficiently. And shields defend against negative things that could happen. And so we need to be building up our arsenal of both weapons and shields. And I know I talk a lot about building up the weapons, which is you know how to sell more gigs, becoming better at marketing for your gigs. Don't talk as much about shields. And so I thought this was just a good way to open up that discussion. And get everybody thinking a little bit of how can I protect my gigs and my reputation from things that are outside my control. So I hope that helps. If you have ideas of shields or you want to share your list of what could go wrong in a gig. We would love to hear it. Join the Gigging Musician Facebook group, just go in Facebook search for the group Gigging Musicians, and we'll be the first one that shows up. And make sure to like and subscribe to this podcast. And if you have not heard, we are giving away a free copy of the Gigging Secrets book. It is yours for free shipped to your doorstep. You just have to pay a little bit of shipping and handling, Get Your Free Copy at GiggingSecrets.com And remember, you're just one gig away.