In this episode, Jared offers some tips on how to advance your music career. He recommends trying a venue tour, where you visit with different venues (outside of their normal performance hours) and build relationships with the owner/manager of that venue, event planners and booking agents. He also suggests networking with other professionals in the events industry in order to learn more about how they run their businesses.
What's up gigging pros. Welcome back to the Gigging Musician Podcast, it's Jared. And I am excited today to share you some of the hidden findings from my venue tours. So if you haven't listened to this podcast in a while, we do something called the Venue Tour. And I've shared exactly how to do it. But I'm just gonna do a quick recap, if you are a new listener here, or if you are a seasoned listener, and just want to make sure you're on the right track with it. So in order to market our music, because we really like live performances here, that's what we do. But we realize that we have to market it to get it out there, people aren't just going to come to us and say, Oh, my gosh, you're a fit for our next blank, you got to come play. So we have to market it, get the word out there about us, and then use some sales techniques to actually sell a gig. That way people are comfortable spending lots of money on a musician, which in their mind typically has a reputation for being a little less reliable or not worth it. So we market to them, get them interested in what we're doing. And then we sell to them and increase the perceived value of what we do, and convey confidence and convince them to take the action of actually booking us with a contract and money in our account before we set foot on stage. And so in my opinion, one of the best ways to market yourself is by building relationships with the other members of the events team, that the people who hire the band or the string quartet or the whatever, who they work with. So, you know, this might not necessarily work for bargains, but it will definitely work for the higher paid private event gigs. So we build these relationships with other members of their events team. And the easiest one by far, and probably the most effective is venues. So if you have a corporate event that's held at the metropolis ballroom, then you know that other corporate events, also probably hire the metropolis ballroom to host their events too. But you won't have access to those other corporate event planners, because they don't necessarily like search on Google. For a band, they might, but they might not. But the one guaranteed place that they're going to be, you know, associated with is the venue that they're hiring. So you build the relationship with the venue manager at the metropolis ballroom. And you introduce yourself. And you do this for many different ballrooms all across your city. And you can even go outside your city, and you schedule a tour, you say, Hey, I'd love to come in, and check out your space, hear how it sounds, because I'm going to bring my instrument or I'm going to sing, and just hear how your acoustics are. Which, you know, be earnest. And you do want to hear how the acoustics are, because that impacts how you perform. But understand that, you know, that is your foot in the door. That is one of the ways that they'll be like, Oh, totally, I get that you want to hear my space. And I'd love to hear you play. So you're getting a chance to show them how you play. So I've been doing a lot of these, and following up after them. And I've discovered a lot of hidden benefits to doing this. So, you know, there's it's not just the fact that they now know, and like you and trust you. But there's some other really cool things that happen once you start doing this. The first of which is well, one, you get to understand and see these venues at a very detailed level. Like I take pictures at these venue tours of the different spaces inside these venues. Like there's one really cool one, the Milwaukee War Memorial Museum. And they have like two different indoor spaces that are wildly different. So taking pictures of them, keeping those on file, like in a Google Drive or something just makes it so much easier for when later say a wedding says, Hey, I'm getting married at the War Memorial, then you can tell them oh, yeah, it was just there chatting with the venue owner and I took some pictures. Which space are you getting married in? And then you can tell them? Oh, yeah, I know that that place has these amazing glass walls that the acoustics are pretty ringing and beautiful. This string quartet will sound amazing in that space. And so you know, I do that for every single one. Plus, if you're an amplified band, then you can actually see where are the power outlets? What is the power situation in each space? And you'll know like if this space has a difficult power situation, then you need to discuss that with the client before they hire you. And they will trust you so much more if you tell them. Oh, yeah, that you know so and so ballroom has a very difficult power situation. But I've already chatted with the venue manager about how to handle that and they would run extensive and chords from the other side and tape them down. And no other band is going to say that because no one else is doing these kinds of venue tours. So if you do this, you're going to be one of the only ones in your city. And that much more respected because of it. Some of the other cool things is that you can ask the venue manager about their venue. And this is going to build more connection with the venue manager, because they're going to want to share with you their best work. But also, you're going to discover some more cool things about this venue that you might not have discovered otherwise, I just did a three venue tours in one day last week, it was a lot, it was probably too much because there was a lot of driving involved. But it was really amazing. Because I got to ask all these questions of the venue managers, including one of my favorites, because it's going to be, you know, this will, this question will arm you with a lot of knowledge. And the question is, how much does renting your venue cost? And so this question really helps you understand a lot of things about this venue, one of which is what kind of demographic does this appeal to. Because you know, venues don't all cost the same. There are some wedding venues that people will drop $7,000 on a venue. And then there are other venues like in the the same day that I did three tours, I went to a $7,000 venue. And then later in the afternoon, I went to a venue that only charges $300 for their rental. And those two different venues are going to attract wildly different demographics. You know, people that are interested in spending $7,000 for a lavish event, are probably going to spend more on a band, whereas people that spend $300 on their venue, probably are a little more budget conscious and might not spend as much on a $7,000 band, for example. It also helps you understand where like what their busy season is because people, the venue managers will answer that question like, well, we have peak season from June to September where the rentals are, you know, $10,000, but in the colder months, October all the way to May, or whatever, you know, the rental goes down to $3,500. So I understand what the busier times are for them. And if they charge more for peak days, like Fridays, and Saturdays, or versus like in the middle of the weekday, they'll charge less. So what you're doing is you're discovering how this member of your events planning community runs their business. And that accomplishes so much builds so much connection with them. And also makes you way more confident about being a member of this community yourself. Because when somebody is trying to hire you, yes, they're looking for the amazing results of having live music that enhances their event in a way that nothing else can. But also, they're looking for an expert in the events industry. And so if you're only just keeping your head down in the music, and you're ignoring everything else out there, then you're not going to come across as an expert in the events industry, you'll come across as an expert in the music industry, perhaps. But really, the value is when you can be that expert for them in the events industry, too. So there's so many other hidden benefits to this. I can't urge you enough to try even you tour. I I've told a lot of people about this. Because you know, I don't really keep secrets. I am the worst secret keeper in the world. That's why I put a whole book of them Gigging Secrets. So I've told a bunch of people about this venue tour. And sometimes I get this objection, people saying like, hey, but I don't have all this time to go and network with people and play at venues that's beneath me. And I have to ask to them like, Do you not have time to build your career? Because this, this is how it's done? Like, are you more focused on? I don't know, not not music at some other job. And if that's the case, that's fine. But if you want to build your music career, you will make the time to do the things that actually advance it. And do you think that meeting with these venues and tell showing them how good you are? And building this relationship with them and then asking them hey, if a client is looking for a jazz band, would you recommend mine and put my website on your your website? Do you think that that would help you and advance your career? If it does? If the answer is yes or even if the answer is maybe I just give it a try. You really have nothing to lose like it's free to do these venue tours. Sure a couple of dollars and gas to get you here and there but you If a couple dollars is a lot for you, then I don't know find find somewhere else to make that money back. Because I promise you the gig that you booked from building this relationship, it's gonna pay for that literally hundreds of times over. Just even one partnership with a venue will pay for it hundreds of times over. So give it a shot so many hidden benefits to doing these venue tours. And yeah, that's all I got for you today. So thanks for listening to the Gigging Musician Podcast. If by now you haven't heard I am giving away my Gigging Secrets Book. It is available for free you just have to pay a little bit of shipping. It is at GiggingSecrets.com You'll go there and put in your address, hit the send me my book now button and a few days later it'll arrive on your doorstep and you'll get to see some more really cool things about gigging. So get your copy free copy today at GiggingSecrets.com And just remember you are just one gig away.