Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 197 - On Booking Corporate Gigs

Episode 197 - On Booking Corporate Gigs

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared Judge delves into the world of booking corporate gigs, sharing insights and strategies that will elevate your music career to the next level. He emphasizes the importance of understanding your audience—the event planners and decision-makers—and how catering to their needs and mindset can lead to more successful bookings.

Best Quote

"A gig is not just a gig, especially when it comes to corporate events. To succeed, you must consider the mindset of the event planner and make it easy for them to choose you."


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- Fulltime Music Academy (Gig Vault): 24,665 High-End Venues + Event Planners: Use this directory to book your highest-paid gig to-date.


Hey, what's up gigging pros! It's Jared Judge. Welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

It's been a while since I've recorded one of these. However, I know that we're still releasing previous episodes that I've recorded. Sometimes I record two episodes in a day. And they get spaced out over quite some time.

So I'm sure this will be actually released quite a ways away from when actually recorded. But I am just under a week away from hosting the Corporate Gig Challenge, which might be the first time you're hearing of this, because I think I might have mentioned a couple episodes ago that I'm posting the Fulltime Music Challenge.

But I ran a survey on our Business Tips For Gigging Musicians Facebook group, about what kind of challenge you guys would like me to host next, as in like, what area of a music career did you want to work hardest on in a short amount of time, and the overwhelming majority voted for the Corporate Gig Challenge, which tells me a lot of you are interested in corporate gigs, which makes me very happy, because they are one of my favorite gig types.

Although I will say probably every gig type isn't my favorite. But corporate gigs are awesome. I did a whole podcast episode on corporate gigs. So not gonna go too deep on that.

But, you know, for those of you who have never played a corporate gig, and want to where those of you who have played some corporate gigs, but want to play even more of them, then you know, the appeal of corporate gigs, you know, those events hosted by a company, whether it's a gigantic Microsoft type company, or even if it's hosted by a mom and pop computer repair store down the street, and they just want a solo acoustic guitarist for their holiday party.

Corporate gigs are awesome in that they pay very well. Why? Because they're bankrolled by a company, companies have budgets, you know, that's the one of the main purposes of a business is to make money, which is part of, you know, one of the thesis of this podcast is your music career as a business.

You can impact and get your music out to more people, the better funded you are, which is why I suggest going for the jugular, getting some of these high paying gigs.

So corporations have money, they've got a budget, it is not unlimited, but it is a lot bigger than a personal occasion. So they got money.

They also tend to have a professional event planner for these events, especially like the bigger companies, they have a dedicated staff person whose role is event planner, oftentimes, there's a designation after their name, like CMP, certified meeting professional, which is a great way you could just search up people who have CMP, in their job title, or in after their name.

That's how you find some corporate event planners. But I wanted to kind of loosely talk about a very important issue, which I will be talking about in the corporate events, Corporate Gig Challenge coming up in under a week, which is the fact that gigs are booked by a human.

I know it's shocking, but gigs are not just gigs. This was one of the very first episodes I put on this podcast, a gig is not just a gig, while it may be a gig to you, because, you know, you essentially, you know, as musicians, we tend to fulfill the products that we serve.

In the same way. Maybe with subtle tweaks, you know, regardless of what gig type it is, we're still going to bring our instrument, bring our PA system, if you run your own sound, you're gonna play relatively the same way at a wedding as he would a corporate event.

Perhaps there are subtle tweaks to it, like at a wedding. If specially if you're a reception band, you're going to be leading the reception, you're going to be emceeing announcing the first dance, maybe even providing the microphones for toasts and speeches, whereas that most corporate events is just start at the downbeat and end at the finish beat.

And so start started the downbeat and at the end, no interruptions, you're not necessarily running the show, they typically hire their own emcee to do that. But aside from that, you know, to us, the way that we play our instrument and sing is relatively the same from gig to gig type.

However, from the perspective of the person hiring us, each gig is totally different. A corporate event planner has a totally different mindset, and a reason for hiring a musician than say, somebody planning their grandmother's funeral.

We'd be hiring any trumpet player to play taps, you know, very different mindset, very different purpose. Very different motivation.

And so the big thesis of this is the you will be more were successful booking gigs if you consider your audience. And I'm not talking about the people who are in the audience hearing you, I'm talking about the person with the credit card or the checkbook, who's going to be paying your salary.

So you'll be more successful booking these gigs if you consider your audience. One of my favorite, like, I just recently read a book. And I'm reading it again, because it was so powerful.

It is called $100 million leads by Alex or Mozi. He is a marketing guy, he helps people with their marketing he started off in the gym space.

You know, I think I talked about this the other podcast episode, but his big, his company gym launch, they help gym owners launch their gyms at full capacity within a month.

Which Why am I talking about gyms on the podcast for musicians, not because you need to work out more, which I'll be honest, I need to work out more.

But because if you treat your music career as a business, you are almost exactly like a gym owner, in the fact that you need to market your services, and you need to sell them. And you need to consider your audience.

So this book 100 million dollar leads in the cover page. Actually, a lot of people skip the cover pages and books. But maybe I'm one of the few nerds who actually read every word including the copyright information, the legal disclaimers and all that.

But one of the very first pages that is so easy to skip is, it's like a quote from Alex, where he says, you know, the big thesis of this book is do more. Which is interesting.

Because a lot of musicians, we don't want to do more in the business side, I myself included, and resistance to sometimes picking up the phone or sending out an email, which, you know, if we want to get as many gigs as possible, or we want to raise our rates, just like Alex wants to fill people's gyms to full capacity.

And he wants the people that are filling that gym, to pay the gym owner, enough to keep the lights on and more than enough to keep the lights on but enough to make a profit, and feed the family and pay the bills and all that live comfortably, then we need to be doing more.

And that is a harsh reality for a lot of people, especially if you don't want to do more, which is why I always suggest having systems in place.

Yes, even as musicians, having systems in place to allow your act to do more without you necessarily having to be the one to do it. I touched on that a while ago about having an assistant in your career, where you could hire a virtual assistant virtual assistant is a real human doing a job for you that you pay them an hourly rate to do.

And you could hire them either in the US or overseas. A lot of virtual assistants tend to come from the Philippines. But I'm kind of getting away from the original point of this episode. Sorry, I'm still waking up here.

That's why I'm rambling. But either consider your audience for a corporate event gig. It is a person who has a very strong motivation for putting on a great event, especially if it's the job title, their literal job is at stake, depending on how good of an event they put out.

If they screw it up, they might get fired. And so that is their big motivation. And that is the mindset they have when they're coming looking to hire entertainment for their for their event.

Now, I mentioned in a couple episodes ago, our DJs our competitor, I mean, not really but in a lot of cases DJs are the default option for these events. Why? Because they make it easy for that corporate event planner to do their job successfully.

You know, they know that a DJ is a prepackaged set of sound equipment, and music, playlisting and emceeing services that are almost guaranteed to make their men go smoother and fulfill on the promise that they've made to their employers that they will do their job very well.

And so when you're considering your audience, that is honestly one of the reasons why DJs get more of the gigs that live musicians should. It's because they're packaged as the easy option.

And so I always ask how can we package ourselves as the easier option? How can we make it seem less risky to hire a live musician than to hire a DJ? And a big part of that is trust.

Right, these DJs they know that they're in a very competitive space. They're probably like a Five DJs to every solo acoustic guitarist and every city because, you know, the not to rag on DJs or anything, but I've done it.

For the most part, the job is as simple as coming up with a great playlist and hitting play. I'm gonna offend some DJs there. And no, there's an art to it. There's also an art to emceeing, yes.

But the barrier to entry is a lot lower than learning an instrument and learning how to sing. And also balance well and play with great rhythm. And be a good member of a group that plays tight together.

You know, anyone with a laptop to in a couple of speakers can start out DJing and sound better than somebody who just picks up an acoustic guitar for the first time and tries to play Wonderwall.

So, hope that honestly doesn't offend you. And if it does, you're probably a DJ. So anyway, the barrier to entry is a lot easier for these DJs. And as a result, there are more of them. And so the landscape is more competitive for them.

So they have to learn how to survive in a very competitive environment. And the way that they do that is by going all in on marketing.

And they're considering the mindset of the audience, the person with the the checkbook, and how can I make this person's job easier?

How can I give them every piece of information possible, that overcomes their objections, gets them to trust me, it gets them to like me, and makes it so easy for them.

That when they have a corporate event coming up, they reach out to me, instead of going on a directory website, and putting a request in for a DJ and then getting 1000, bottom feeders all trying to compete for the same job.

o that is what a lot of these DJ companies focus on is marketing. You know, I'm a member of all those networking organizations for event planners, I have tons of corporate event planners hanging out in them, especially MPI meeting professionals International.

And at these meetings that I go to, there often are a lot of DJ companies, they're rubbing elbows, you know, they're not coming across as fake or inauthentic or just interested in business.

They're coming off as really charismatic people who are interested, genuinely interested in your life and life. So the event planners, and essentially they become friends with them.

And what does this do? Like? You know, this is kind of genius, in that in the most authentic and organic way, in markets that the crap out of their services, because it breaks down that barrier of trust.

With these corporate event planners, as I mentioned before, it's all about trust, how can I trust that you're going to do the best job? And how can I rely on you make it the easiest option.

And by becoming friends with them, then that trust is built. And you don't necessarily even have to put any marketing messages in front of them, you just you being you is the marketing message. And that overcomes that barrier.

Makes them trust you. So it's circling all the way around to this. It's like what happens if you don't know any of these event planners?

How do you build that trust, there is a saying in marketing, that it takes roughly seven times of you contacting somebody, for them to start to trust you or for them to take action on your marketing message.

And so, to me, I like I like, Well, seven sounds like a lot. And this circles back to you have to do a lot Alex, Rosie said, do more stuff. Seven contacts before somebody starts to trust you.

This doesn't necessarily mean seven emails might mean getting one email from you getting a phone call from you, seeing one of your posts on Facebook, seeing another one of your posts on Instagram, seeing you comment on somebody else's post.

It all adds up over time you being at a networking event, being a networking event is kind of like six all in one because they get to really see you and chat with you and build that trust. But that seven number. I think it's fairly true.

And to me that seven means optimism, because I now have a checklist, kind of like a health meter in a video game. That if I can fill it up seven times, then boom, there's another source of gigs for me.

And so to me, that is optimistic and hopeful. Because I can do seven things. I can send an email Go to the corporate event planner, I can call them, I can visit them in their office, I can play at a networking event that they're at.

So they can hear me play before they actually put some money behind me, I can do seven things. And you can too, which, you know, that's kind of the whole thesis of this, this podcast is that you can do things that impact and influence the world around you and persuades people that you are the right option for their event.

It's all in your control, you are in complete control of it. Sure, you might be competing against DJs, or other people like you who fulfill the same need. However, don't worry about them, don't focus on them.

Focus on what you can do, because you are the one in control. And if you waste your time focusing on what others are doing, then that is valuable time that you could be spent, that you could spend doing your own marketing, doing your own reach outs doing your own networking.

So yeah, sorry, this was kind of a long, rambling one, but hope it was helpful. Like, I truly believe that we are completely in control of our music, careers, and our lives.

And, sure, you may have some external circumstances that make it more difficult. But regardless, you're still in control of what you do. So go out there, do more stuff, as Alex or Mozi would say, and get these corporate event gigs.

And thanks for tuning in. Listening. By the way, if you get any value out of this podcast, you know, we I've been doing this podcast for almost 200 episodes now, which is awesome.

It's been such a great way for me to find my voice, and learn how to how to convey the ideas that are in my head. Some of them are more complete than others.

But if you get any value out of this, then I'm sure there are dozens of musicians in your sphere of influence, that would also get some value out of this. Perhaps, you know, some musicians who, you know, they feel like the deck is stacked.

The deck is stacked against them. But, you know, maybe it is but maybe they need some strategies and tactics to stack the deck in their favor.

And instead of feeling that they're your competitors, that you'd be equipping them to compete against you realize that a rising tide lifts all ships.

And so what I'm gonna ask for you is to share this podcast with them so that they could experience what it's like to be in control of their music career.

At some, please send them a link to this podcast, share it in Instagram messenger and tick tock an email send them a text message, or even just that next practice that you guys have next gig.

Let them know hey, you got you got to check out The Gigging Musician Podcast, got some good tips and nuggets that you might find useful. So I would appreciate it. That is my only pitch to you today.

And thank you for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

Remember, "Your music will not market itself!" Bye everybody.

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Episode 231 - Leadership in the Music Industry: How to Secure High-Profile Gigs and Take Charge of Your Career

Episode 230 - Unlocking the Secrets of Consistent Networking and Modern Sales for Musicians

Episode 229 - The Power of Networking and Recommendations in the Music Industry

Episode 228 - Navigating the Gig Economy: Venue Tours, Expos, and the Power of Numbers

Episode 227 - Strategic Moves: Venue Tours, Expos, and Unexpected Gigs

Episode 226 - Maximizing Gigs: New Tools for Tracking Success and Boosting Bookings

Episode 225 - Unlocking Gigs: Venue Tours and Strategic Partnerships

Episode 224 - A Day in the Life: Venue Tours, Unexpected Gigs, and Networking Wins

Episode 223 - Landing Gigs Post-Wedding Expo: A Musician's Success Story

Episode 222 - Navigating the Wedding Expo Scene: A Musician's Journey to Success

Episode 221 - Maximizing Success at Wedding Expos: A Musician's Guide

Episode 220 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: Venue Tours and Virtual Assistant Strategies

Episode 219 - Maximizing Your Music Career: The Power of a Personal Assistant

Episode 218 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: A Musician's Guide to Preferred Vendor Success

Episode 217 - Gigging Musician Podcast: Joe Deninzon Interview


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