Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 223 - Landing Gigs Post-Wedding Expo: A Musician's Success Story

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

Friday, February 02, 2024

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared shares his exhilarating journey from participating in a wedding expo to booking his first gig as a direct result of his efforts. He dives into the nuances of making a memorable impression not just on potential clients but also on other vendors and venue managers. Jared's experience underscores the importance of live performance opportunities, the power of automated booking systems, and the strategic advantage of building relationships within the industry. He also discusses the significance of being proactive in networking, the benefits of partnership with event centers, and how these strategies are paying off in real-time bookings and opportunities. This episode is a testament to the effectiveness of combining traditional gigging strategies with modern marketing techniques to secure gigs and establish a strong presence in the music industry.

Best Quote

"Being on a directory will get people who are like the low hanging fruit, the ones who aren't really super serious about it. That's why they attract so many tire kickers. They're just looking for the lowest price option. Whereas if a venue or a wedding planner recommends you, the price doesn't matter, you're recommended. You are like an absolute essential to the experience of their event."


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

Alright, I'm gonna do some even more follow up from that wedding expo I did this past weekend because I want to let you know that I have officially booked my first gig that came directly as a result of this wedding expo.

So yay. Congratulations. Me.

It is a wedding in September of this coming year, so it is currently January. So nine months out and it is at. What's the name of the venue? I'll have to look it up.

I don't remember off the top of my head, this is annoying me that I can't remember it, but there's so many new venues and things in the Denver area that I just can't remember all of them.

But it's a ceremony at a cocktail hour and they're both in the same location, so it's going to be pretty easy. I don't have to do a second setup or anything like that.

What was interesting is that first thing that I noticed about this gig before I even chatted with the couple, and I actually didn't chat with the couple.

I chatted with the parents of the bride. First thing I noticed was that I had a lead on my website saying somebody just requested some more info.

And then a couple of minutes later, I noticed that I had gotten a payment in stripe, a down payment for a wedding.

And so I looked up the details and I noticed that it was the same email address as the person who became a lead just a few minutes earlier, which was super cool because this was an automated booking. And I love these automated bookings.

They are rare. I will admit that it is rare when somebody just puts down a deposit after visiting your website because most people just don't trust you enough to do that. But this couple actually did.

And then they had scheduled a meeting with me the very next day to chat. So even though it was an automated booking, they still needed that hands on touch to make sure I'm real and whatever.

And so when we had this meeting, they chatted and they were like, oh, you were the one who played at the Rocky Mountain Bridal show.

We heard you in the lobby as we were walking in and we just thought it was beautiful and romantic and wonderful. And yeah, we think it's perfect for our daughter's wedding, which is interesting because I don't know if the daughter had any say on this.

I hope she did because I don't want to just force my music on somebody who doesn't want it but I imagine if they were at the bridal show, they were with their daughter, and they probably said, hey, mom and dad, can you take care of the music for me? So anyway, we had the conversation.

They walked me through their wedding, and I mentioned, here's how my music is going to fit during it. And you guys have already paid the deposit. I'm going to send you over a digital contract, and that will just secure the details.

And then we'll have a music planning meeting with the bride and groom to start to pick their music. And they're like, that sounds lovely. We just loved hearing you play so much, and we know it's going to make the most romantic experience for our daughter because she really deserves it.

It's like, yes, she does, and she's going to get it. So that was cool. Let's see, other really cool things that have happened because of the wedding show was that I mentioned Villa parker is a wedding venue in Parker, Colorado.

It's about an hour southeast of where I live, and I've played a couple weddings there. And then I emailed them to try to get on their preferred vendor list. And then the person I'd been in touch with, they had been either fired or did a job change.

And so it was somebody different who I'd never met before. But I did still email them and did get on their preferred vendor list before this wedding show. And then after the wedding show was over, I noticed my Instagram had a new tagged reel.

So I was tagged in somebody else's reel. I watched it, and it was the new venue manager for villa Parker. And the caption underneath the reel, it was a video of me playing, by the way.

So she had taken a video of me playing in the lobby of this wedding expo, took a video of it, and then captioned it, saying, like, I need to host a party and have dream strings, extreme strings. Because this performance was lit and she used the fire emoji, which was awesome. So I reshared that.

That's on my Instagram if you want to check that out at extreme strings violins. And then later, I got a DM from her saying, hey, I'm the venue sales manager for Villa Parker. I just want to let you know I am obsessed.

Do you have a couple minutes to chat? So she sent me that yesterday. So I replied, yes, I do. How does 01:00 sound? Didn't hear back.

So at 01:00 I just took the initiative and called her. Anyway, she's like, I'm so glad that you called. I just want to say, I loved hearing what you did at the expo.

Then she starts comparing me to all these other musicians. I don't really know the names that she was mentioning, but they sounded like big names. And she's like, I think you're better than them.

It's like, oh, that's so sweet. I really appreciate it. And then she starts asking me, like, do you have information you can send to me? I need to send her.

That reminds me, I need to send her my one pager. So I'm going to have my virtual assistants send her over my one pager. And then she mentioned that she's going to be having a little bridal show of her own at the Villa Parker event venue, and she wants me there.

And I'm like, yeah, I'm really happy to do these things. That's one of the best ways for me to get my name out there for weddings. So that was really cool.

And, yeah, the other thing that I wanted to share on this podcast is a couple weeks ago, I chatted about forming a partnership with the Lionsgate Event center, and this is actually the wedding venue that I played, the lifetime tv show married at first sight.

I played for a reality tv wedding at this venue, and then I played a real wedding. Not to say that the reality tv show wasn't a real wedding, but it was very different than the normal what you would do for a wedding.

So I played one of their regular clients, did a great job, got a fantastic review on GigSalad from their clients. Then I decided, like, I need to reach out to this venue, get on their preferred vendor list. And that was actually a little trickier than I expected.

They're a bit more guarded about their preferred vendor list, and then there was actually a contract to sign, and it chatted about this.

The contract stipulated that they will handle all of my bookings for this venue, and then in exchange for them providing me all these gigs, I will give up 15% of those gigs, which I'm happy to do, as I mentioned, because booking agents would take 25%. And these are gigs I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Like, they're providing me value by doing this. And that's kind of one of the big lessons of Fulltime Music Academy. What I do is recognize the value that people are providing you so that you provide value, and people will recognize it in you and be willing to pay for it.

So, anyway, I'd signed that contract a couple of weeks ago, and then one of the other parts of what they asked was for me to meet their team, so they asked if I could come and stop by, and today is that day. I'm actually driving on my way to the Lionsgate event center right now. And so I said, yeah, I'm happy to do it.

Should I bring my instrument? Not sure what you're wanting. And she said, yeah, bring your instrument. That would be so fun.

So I've got my electric violin, which I did replace the chin rest. For those of you who listened to the episode I did right after the wedding expo. I told you that at the expo, I actually dropped my electric violin and it cracked the chin rest.

So I bought a new one off of Amazon and put on my music instrument repair hat, replaced the chin rest, and tested it out, and we're all good. So I'm bringing my electric violin and my Bose s one pro, my iPad for some backing tracks, and I'll play a couple of tunes. I'll probably play golden hour by Jake because that's a super popular wedding song these days.

And Despacito is another one. That is a big hit. That was actually the clip that the Villa Parker sales manager posted on my Instagram.

So I'll play two tunes and see what happens from this meeting. But I think it's just like a, hey, so good that we're working together. Maybe they have a couple of questions that they'll ask me.

I'll ask them some questions, and it'll be a good time. Also, I am confirmed to play for their mini wedding expo. They call them date nights on February 8th, which I think is either a Tuesday or a Thursday, where they're going to invite couples that they've booked and also potential couples that have not booked yet.

And they'll showcase what their spaces are like, and I can potentially get some bookings out of that, too. All right, so those are some updates. I know this wasn't a very, like, step one, step two kind of podcast, but probably just as valuable to hear how I am in the trenches doing this.

And I have such a firm belief in the way that I'm doing this, the networking, the building connections. And it's really showing, especially this year, since January.

It's what, January 23 now, actually, I have no idea what the date is, but January 20 isn't a lot of I'm not sure what's going on today kind of things, but we're only just a brief way through this January, and I've gotten so many inquiries, so many positive pieces of momentum on my social media and with my partnerships that I know that I'm on the right track, and it's just going to keep snowballing from here.

So here's to an amazing 2024. I, of course, will update you guys after this meeting with the venue tour. Let you know what happened, and I hope this really inspires you to pursue your Gig Vault strategy.

Because this is the way, right? Like signing up for a directory like GigSalad. Sure, you should do that. You should be on all of them.

But I kind of feel like they're short term, small potatoes types of strategies. Whereas this long term building true relationships with the other vendors in the events industry is such a long term strategy that will pay off, I imagine, at least like tenfold, maybe 20 fold or more compared to these directory websites because I'm literally embedding myself as a necessity in the events industry. That's not something being on a directory can do.

Being on a directory will get people who are like the low hanging fruit, the ones who aren't really super serious about it. That's why they attract so many tire kickers. They're just looking for the lowest price option.

Whereas if a venue or a wedding planner recommends you, the price doesn't matter, you're recommended. You are like an absolute essential to the experience of their event. And the price, most of the time, really is not a factor in that decision making process.

All right, that's enough of my rant. So hope you guys got some good stuff out of this. If you're ready to open up your Gig Vault, it is ready to be opened.

It's waiting for you. We're almost a twelve of the way through this year. That's almost 10% of the way through.

And how much longer are you going to wait to make this happen for you? So go to, get your free trial of the Gig Vault, and start to build these long term partnerships that pay dividends. All right, thanks for tuning into another episode of The Gigging Musician podcast.

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

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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