Tired of Low-Paying Gigs with Unappreciative Audiences?
By Kenny Love
Are you still playing your heart out to small audiences on gigs at unappreciative dives (excuse me, I meant to say nightclubs) that feel paying you a couple of hundred dollars for a 3-4 hour gig is also paying you about $150 too much?
Unless you are a masochist, why do you continue to take such beatings? Is it due to laziness, complacency, cynicism, your now being jaded, or a combination of any of the above?
Are you aware that you could dramatically improve your live performance income by making simple changes in the types of performances that you accept?
For instance, see the below list of gig types and the average earnings possible, compared to traditional nightclub work:
- Weddings ($1,000 *minimum* for 2-3 hours work)
Instead of working yourself to death, so to speak, by chasing wedding performance opportunities on an individual basis, consider approaching a number of area caterers and offering your services to them as an add-on to their own services as, obviously, they will have significantly more client opportunities.
Not only will your music service now give catering companies more value, as the client can now also purchase the wedding entertainment through a single source as opposed to contracting performers separately, but this single joint venture alone will dramatically increase your income, and on a more consistent basis.
And, the best place to seek caterers is in your local Yellow Pages under the categories of “Caterers.”
As additional potential wedding income sources, you would also do well to leave your portfolio and/or business cards with area bridal shops, tuxedo shops, bridal consultants, wedding planners and wedding supplies and services.
- Ship Cruises
Talk about getting paid to, literally, travel the world! This is exactly what this amounts to … a paid vacation! There are a minimum of seven major high paying cruise lines that are actively seeking you to work with them. Truthfully, I cannot do this any further justice, other than telling you to immediately visit the ProShip Entertainment site below to fall into a musician’s paradise.
- Corporate Functions
When I say corporate functions, I am speaking of getting incredible gigs with such companies as; Microsoft, IBM, and that ilk. Corporate functions are fairly regular, as they readily lend themselves to employee motivation.
Without a better point of reference, I suggest your starting with these types of companies’ Human Resource department, which can better direct you to an appropriate department that coordinates their corporate events if the Human Resource department does not. You will likely need to send your standard media kit for consideration.
- Private Parties
One of the best places to seek private party entertainment opportunities, is through the Society Pages of your local newspaper. The Society Page usually lists private events held by the wealthy and philanthropists who host fundraisers, charities, etc. You may also wish to consult your local library for possible local society directories that can also provide you with additional contacts.
- Grand Openings
Best places to check out your opportunities for Grand Opening performances are, again, your area newspapers, as well as Chambers of Commerce. Practically all new companies host grand openings in order to alert the public to their new business venture.
They also go “all out,” so to speak, in terms of media coverage through television, radio and print media advertising, as well as interviews. Any and all of this can serve to make far more people aware of you when you perform at these locales.
By the way…in any of these situations, *ALWAYS* request permission beforehand from your employers to sell your music, as this peripheral sales income will only increase your overall take. In some cases, you may be allowed to do so while, in other cases, you likely will not be allowed. However, it never hurts to ask and, by all means, ALWAYS ASK!
Hopefully, these several income outlets can give you a much better income base while, eventually, taking you out of the hardworking, yet, low-paying nightclub arena.
Kenny Love is president of MuBiz.com, a radio promotion and media publicity firm that also provides business and career services to musicians.