Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 138 - Google Shut Me Down!

Episode 138 - Google Shut Me Down!

Thursday, May 18, 2023

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared talks about the importance of reviews in getting high paying gigs. He shares his own experience of starting his musical act and the struggles he faced in building trust with potential clients. Jared emphasizes that reviews are the most important factor in building trust and credibility with clients. He talks about his process of engineering reviews by playing gigs at lower rates and asking for reviews after each performance. He shares how he built an automated review collection system and how it has helped his business grow. Jared also shares his recent experience of setting up his business on Google My Business and the challenges he faced. He ends the episode by offering free breakthrough strategy sessions to musicians who want personal help with marketing their acts and booking high paying gigs consistently.

Best Quote

"Reviews are so incredibly important that when people are researching you online, they see that review, even though it was just one person who had a great experience and wanted to tell the world about it. So future people who are researching me, said, 'Yes, I want to say the same experience.' And so that makes the sale easier. That makes the trust factor easier."


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Hey, what's up gigging pros its Jared Judge welcome to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

Today, I want to share the importance of reviews. If you want high paying gigs, you got to have reviews of previous customers. So I discovered this very early on, in my journey of marketing my musical act, his way back in 2016, started Dream City Strings, to the time was just Dream City Music.

And, you know, I was learning all this marketing stuff, because I'd gotten over my skepticism of marketing, I saw, you know, we're doing online marketing here. And over and over, I kept seeing the people teaching marketing saying, Do you have any testimonials? Do you have any reviews? And I was like, No, I don't.

So they kept saying like, that is the most important factor to build trust of what you do. And he's like, well, crap, how do I how do we get reviews, the only way to get a review is by actually performing the service, and then asking somebody for it.

And that, in and of itself is a lesson right there is like, you have to ask somebody for a review. So like, okay, when I'm just starting out, I don't have any street cred. People are not going to trust me to do the job.

And I got to engineer a process for me to get reviews. And so I started out by playing. Well, actually, first, before we play, you have to have a good grade. So I started marketing my group, listing myself on all these directories.

And in fact, one of the very first gigs I ever booked for my string quartet was a solo act, me playing solo violin for a wedding, in, in Elgin, Illinois, which is kind of three quarters of the way from Milwaukee to Chicago, is that this park, that was under gazebo is a very big gazebo, but it was kind of a small, small wedding. It's pretty cool.

But like the idea was I got a gig first, at a lower rate than I normally would have accepted. Just because I wanted to engineer that review process, the reviews are so important that I was willing to pay for it by offering a deal on my services.

But you know, I didn't want other musicians to take the hit. So I did it as a soloist. And we got our first review. So I got the gig played the gig, got our first review. And in fact, I think the review was from, I think it was the platform thumb tech.

And I think they hired me on Thumbtack, and then thumbtack automatically asks for reviews. And so I got a review on Thumbtack. And it was like, Whoa, I got five stars. This is pretty good. Yeah, the time, it felt like, you know, as I hit the lottery, I got a five star review.

I didn't know, you know how, how to expect reviews to go. And they wrote some nice things, a nice little paragraph about me. But then that became like, I didn't just stop there. I said, Thank you so much for this review.

By the way, we are listed on all these other platforms. And we are just getting started with our business, would you mind copying and pasting that review to some of these other platforms, that would really help me out when I'm starting my act.

So they said, Yes, they pasted that review over to our Wedding Wire profile, our profile and the knot. And then we also set up a Google business, Google My Business Profile for the act.

And they left us reviews there too, which was awesome, because all of a sudden, it looked like we had five star reviews all over the internet, even though it was just this one gig of me playing solo violin. And so over the time, I've built that up and actually built a process around reviews.

So that one review definitely helped us book, so many more gigs in the future, because people looked at our profiles, they researched us online, as they will be researching you online. And they see that review, even though it was just one, one person who had a great experience and wanted to tell the world about it.

So future people who are researching me, said, Yes, I want to say the same experience. And so that makes the sale easier. That makes the trust factor easier.

And so since then, as I was starting to share about earlier, was that I engineered a process to get reviews after the gig. At first, it started out with me just keeping a spreadsheet of all the gigs that I played.

And after each gig, sending them sending the person who booked me an email saying thanks so much for having me. What did you think of that performance? And if they reply saying yeah, it was awesome. That's great.

Would you mind leaving a review here? On this one? platform. And I would choose whichever platform had the least amount of reviews. And I would have them start there. Because you know, the goal was to have an insane amount of reviews on every platform.

And then once they posted that review, on that one platform, I would say thank you so much, I'm so glad you had a great experience, would you mind copy pasting that review to this other platform, so it kind of became this chain of, you know, you get one review, that leads to another that leads to another, in essence, it is kind of a funnel in itself, a review funnel.

And so that worked, it really did work. We got like dozens of reviews in our first season. And then it became so much work that I outsourced some of that work to my virtual assistant. So I do have a virtual assistant who helps me run some of my act.

And I give them the keys to that spreadsheet and the email templates. We've had them request reviews on my behalf. And they started doing that. And then it became too much work that we then actually, inside of BookLive, we built in an automatic review collector that does essentially the same thing.

But in a more automated way that once the gig happens, it then reaches out to the client asking how they did present some of the brief survey how many stars would you rate the act one to five, and then the act can determine if it's a four or five star review, then send them a link to post that review publicly on one of your your platforms.

So that works amazingly well. Dream City Strings is up to like 80 reviews on WeddingWire, and TheKnot. Whereas like a lot of the other groups in Milwaukee who've been around for decades, they have 20-30 reviews, one of them has 83, I think they're competing with me, we haven't really chatted, but I think they're competing with me for a number of reviews.

But I've got an automated process. So they're working 10 times as hard to collect reviews, as I am. But these reviews are so incredibly important that when I moved to Denver, you know, had didn't have any gigs.

So again, once again, starting from scratch. However, I did leverage the fact that I came from Wisconsin, and in Wisconsin, here are all the reviews that I personally got for my services. So that has broken down some of the trust barriers.

And then I got my first review from my Valentine's Day gig. The person who hired me loved it so much she posted a review on one of my platforms. And then within the last couple of weeks, I launched a Google My Business Profile for Extreme Strings here down in Denver, which that in and of itself was a hassle.

I'll tell you why. I filled out the profile information that takes like 10-20 minutes to fill out a profile on Google. And then they can approve it, or they can decline it. And I submitted it. And they declined it saying that this looks fraudulent.

It's like why does it look fraudulent? What does that do? So I got it took some time in between resubmitting. And then maybe three weeks later I I decided I'm going to try this again, go to Google My Business Profile from scratch.

And it filled out the form anxiously anticipated their response. And then immediately, it's like an automated system, shut it shut down the profile and said, fraudulent activity detected. It's like crap.

I mean, I'm literally just trying to get my electric violin act on Google. It's not fraudulent. It's me. I've played all the gigs. And so I researched into the appeals process.

And so I found a nice little YouTube video that basically walked us through how the appeals process works, and that you need to fill out another form and tell Google why you're not fraudulent. And so I did that.

One of the questions was like, you know, submit your, your business documents for, you know, they really do treat everyone as a business, which is why I emphasize so much on this podcast, you got to treat what you do as a business.

So they like submit your business documents. That could be a letter from the IRS, your Articles of Organization. And I mentioned to them, like here, here's my business documents, uploaded them, and then hit submit, and hoped and prayed that the appeal was successful.

And so after maybe a day or two, I got an email from Google, saying your appeal was successful. We apologize. We made a mistake. So Hurray, my Google My Business Profile is now live.

And then I played that on the farm gig a couple of days ago. And I was like, I want that to be my first gig. We'll review. So what I did was I went back to the old days, the Wild West today's where we do manual review requests.

And I sent the organizer, Mickey, a thank you email for having me play it on the farm. And just saying how beautiful of an event it was hope I added to the beauty. And I'm just getting started on Google. Would she kindly mind writing a review for me?

And then I put the link that Google gives you to ask for reviews inside that email. And then I hit sent the send it and hoped and prayed. And then with within a couple of hours, I got a reply back from her saying, yes, absolutely.

We loved you so much. We want to have you back. And then she actually asked me for another gig there at the end of October, which is amazing. So one term, one gig into many. But then 10 minutes after I got that email, I got another email from Google, saying you just got your first review, which was awesome.

So I looked at that review, shared it with my wife, it's like, hey, look, we got our first review on Google. And it was super cool. The review itself was awesome.

She mentioned that not only did my performance, reveal my soul, or something like that, like she wrote some really cool stuff that I think is very powerful. I'm gonna put that those words on my website, too. But she also said, he's a great guy.

And we can't wait to have him back. So it was just a great review. And I'm very proud to have that as my first one. And this is just the beginning. Because I'm going to now have her repost that review to my multiple platforms, which will give me reviews everywhere. And then it'll just keep building from there.

And eventually, I will automate that process. In fact, it is automated for all future gigs with BookLive. But this one because it was a public gig, I didn't use some of the automations available in BookLive, because they do work really well for private events.

But I'd say it's got a little work to do to be perfect for public events. But that's okay, because the private events make us way more money and make the musicians like us, way more money than public gigs.

So I think it's okay, that we have always to go for, for public gig domination. Alright, so that is the power of reviews. And I hope you enjoyed this episode, but give you some inspiration, some ideas to apply to your own act.

And let me know as always, what you think about it. And if you have applied it to your your own act, I'd love to see your reviews and how you're leveraging and using them all over your marketing to. So let me know.

By the way, if you want personal help on your musical act on marketing it and getting it to the high paying private event gigs, I do have a limited number of free. I'm sorry about that.

I do have a limited number of free breakthrough strategy sessions with me where you and I will get on Zoom one on one at will work through the challenges that you might face in booking high paying gigs consistently.

You know, we'll figure that out. What are your hurdles? What is getting in the way of your success? Is it external factors is the internal factors are there belief patterns that are actually holding you back? We'll work through those come up with a solution and the game plan.

And that's it. So I only have a couple of those left on my calendar. And you can go to That's and hop on a free Zoom with me, but grab those before the other slots are taken.

So thanks for listening to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember, "You are just one gig away!".

Episode 232 - From Bar Gigs to High-End Events: The Renegade Musician's Guide to Success

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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