Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 227 - Strategic Moves: Venue Tours, Expos, and Unexpected Gigs

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

Friday, March 29, 2024

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared shares his recent adventures and successes in the gigging world, highlighting the power of venue tours and strategic partnerships. From an unexpected bar gig mix-up to a fashion show opportunity, Jared navigates the complexities of the music business with persistence and an open mind. He emphasizes the importance of embedding oneself in the events industry, leveraging partnerships with venues and event planners, and the unexpected opportunities that arise from being active in the community. Jared's stories from a venue tour gone awry to a successful expo showcase the unpredictable yet rewarding nature of the gigging musician's life. He also introduces exciting feature updates in BookLive that empower musicians to track the performance of their lead sources, offering invaluable insights into where their efforts are most profitable. Jared's enthusiasm for his craft and his strategic approach to building a sustainable music career are both inspiring and instructive for any musician looking to make their mark.

Best Quote

"And some of you may recognize that as a networking group for private event venues and event planners and other people in the industry, because, again, I'm super consistent about this. This message does not change. Embed yourself in the events industry, and you will prosper."

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Transcript

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

Here it is. Saturday, March 1, I believe. What is it? I don't know.

March 1 or second? I don't know the dates here. But that doesn't matter because I'm playing a crap ton of music lately at different venues, and I've got a couple stories to tell you about out a venue tour that I took yesterday and then about a little expo that I played for today that I believe has turned into a fashion show gig in the future.

All right, so with that in mind, on Friday, you all know if you've listened to the Gigging Musician Podcast for a while, you know that my favorite strategy to break into the private events market, meaning weddings, corporate events, nonprofit gigs, the higher paying gigs, is by partnering with the venues and event planners, literally just making them aware that you exist.

And then they put you on what's called the preferred vendor list, which is a list of different companies that they recommend. When their clients say, hey, I want to host a corporate event at my venue, who should I book for music? Then? If you're on that list, they will recommend you. And I've been extremely consistent about this message of get on those lists because this is the most profitable way for musicians to make a living doing what they love.

But it does take work. It takes a little bit more planning and, I guess, persistence. So a lot of musicians are resistant to it, or they don't believe that it works.

But I'm partnered now with 23 venues here in Denver, and I'm already making a full time living off of music just from 23 partnerships. So that's pretty darn cool. But anyway, I want to tell you a couple of stories.

Actually, before I tell you the two stories, I want to tell you something that validated this strategy of partnering with venues and event planners. I also host a podcast called the Denver Nace Podcast. Nace stands for National association for Catering and events.

And some of you may recognize that as a networking group for private event venues and event planners and other people in the industry, because, again, I'm super consistent about this. This message does not change. Embed yourself in the events industry, and you will prosper.

So I volunteered to host their podcast because, obviously, I host one podcast. Why not a second? And I just recently interviewed the director of membership for the Denver Nace podcast. His name is Joe Kum.

He is owner of studio JK Photography here in Denver. So he's a high end luxury photographer. He actually photographed John Elway, famous Denver quarterback and manager.

He photographed his wedding, and so he's like the perfect person to ask, how do we book high paying gigs? And I got to chat with him and I really just treated it as, I want to get to know you, Joe, better and how you grew your business.

The crazy part is he told me the stories of how he became partners with venue owners and event planners, got on their preferred vendor list, and he said that's the easiest way to break into the luxury market. And he said, I'd never put two and two together.

But probably the reason why I've gotten such high end gigs is because my marketing strategy is this whole partnerships thing. I do have listings on gig salad, wedding wire, the knot, the bash, et cetera. And the crazy part is, while I do get some gigs from those tends to be a lot of extra work, a lot of low quality leads, and I'm just spending a lot more time on them for not as much pay.

But the gigs that come from my partnership strategy do tend to be luxury gigs from my standpoint. From a musician standpoint, they pay a lot better than what most musicians are used to making. And I think it validated a lot of what I talk about on this podcast, what I coach in Fulltime Music Academy, and even the features that I've built in BookLive to help musicians get these high end gigs.

And so it really validated so much, and I'm grateful for that. That episode will be coming out soon. I also had the chance to interview Alan Berg, who is a big name in the wedding sales industry.

Like, a lot of wedding vendors look up to him for advice on how do they grow their wedding and events businesses. And so I feel truly privileged and honored to have interviewed the one and only Alan Berg. So those podcasts are going to be released soon on the Denver Nace podcast.

So with that being said, let's get back to the other story of the venue tour I did on Friday. So there is a venue about ten minutes away from me in old Town Arvada called. Well, should I say it? Sure.

Flights wine cafe. It is a wine bar, which, if you know me, if you've listened to my podcast, you know that I don't really play public gigs. I don't play winery gigs, I don't play bar gigs, I don't play restaurant gigs.

But somehow this venue wound up in my gig vault inside of BookLive, and I have my virtual assistants reaching out to every venue that's in my gig vault on my behalf. And so they reached out to this place, which is awesome. I've been there a couple of times with my wife.

We've had some glasses of wine there. And they do have live music, and they also do host private events there. Maybe like two or three weddings every year, a couple of private parties.

And so it's not, like, unreasonable for them to reach out to them, but it's not a typical type of venue that I would reach out to anyway. My virtual assistants sent a template email that I use a lot in the private events industry that talks about, I'd love to take a tour of your venue. I'm touring, whatever.

And so I think there may have been some confusion because it secured me a tour there. Like, they said, come check us out Friday at 02:00 and then I said, okay, sounds great. I show up with my instrument and my bose s one pro, my wireless setup.

And when I get there, one of the co owners says, great, you can set up over there. Let me know if you need anything. I'm like, wait, what? I'm here to chat with you.

Like, this is only going to take 1015 minutes. It's like, oh, yeah, no, we've got you on the schedule from two to five. I'm like, what? This is crazy.

I don't do bar gigs. What are you talking about? I didn't say it exactly like that, but I was super confused. And apparently, because my virtual assistants had sent out the typical venue tour email that I send to my private event venues, this place interpreted it as if I was a touring musician and I wanted to add flights wine cafe as a stop on my tour.

So again, you're on the schedule from two to five. Luckily, I was able to talk them out of expecting me to play a free gig for 3 hours, which, honestly, it would have been kind of fun. They offered me free wine and food afterwards, but I was like, I have a date planned with my wife.

I actually have a meeting. I got to get back to my apartment. And they understood and they weren't pissed about it, but I did actually play a couple of tunes for the owner.

He called the other owner, put me on speaker, had me play for them, and they loved what I did, which was great. And the interesting part, too, was they actually weren't supposed to open until 03:00 on Friday. But it was such a nice day here.

March 1. Oh, yeah, today is March 2. Because yesterday was March 1.

It was such a nice day, 68 degrees out, that there was a couple probably in their who came early before the wine cafe was open and asked, like, hey, are you open? The guy said, no, but I'll open early for you. What do you guys want to drink? And they ordered wine and a Coors light. And that couple, they heard me play for the owner, and they actually called me over to their table and said, our daughter is getting married up in Boulder.

Are you available June 1? And I said, let me check my calendar. Checked my calendar. I'm free.

And they asked, well, how much do you cost? I told them. They said, that sounds great. Let's add that to your calendar.

We'll email you. We'll get a contract. So I got a wedding booking out of a venue tour that was kind of supposed to be a bar gig that I had no idea that I was supposed to play also.

So a lot of cool things. Then out of that tour, they also said, we do live music Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and we would be interested in having you. But here's the rub.

They pay $125 for 3 hours of music. So there's a huge difference between the bar scene, Barwinery, whatever scene compared to the private events market, which as a musician, I got to admit it's super tempting to play a public gig because there's a lot of status that comes along with that. It feels like, oh, I'm a real musician because I play bar gigs, but at the expense of making a decent living as a musician.

So I don't know. I got to come to terms with that. I might play, like one or two in the summer just because it does sound like a lot of fun.

I totally get it. I get why people do these gigs. But at the same time, if a higher paying opportunity comes up for one of those dates, I think I have to prioritize the higher paying opportunities just to stick to my standards as a full time musician.

All right, so then second story today, there is a vendor. They're a bar, a mobile bar. Here in Denver, if you're not familiar with what a mobile bar is, then you haven't played many weddings.

But basically they have, like, a little airstream. It's not an rv. It's like a motorhome trailer kind of thing that they've converted to a bar.

So you walk up to the airstream, and there's a big old hole cut out with a bar counter. And inside there's a full service bar. Liquors, wine, beer, garnishes.

And so this vendor, they're pretty new at doing this whole mobile bar thing. And they said, what better way to kick off our business than by doing a little miniature expo showcasing what we do for weddings and private events. And so they posted this opportunity in one of the Facebook groups for weddings here in Denver that, hey, we're doing a little mini expo.

We're looking for vendors in different categories. If you're interested, reach out. I was like, hey, I'm pretty new to Denver.

Why not? This sounds awesome. I don't have to pay for a wedding expo. I didn't expect it to be big or anything, but I thought it was a great way to showcase my work to other vendors in the wedding and private events industry.

I said, sure, why not? And so I did it. I showed up, and turns out it was in this really cool venue called Void Studios. V-O-I-D.

Check that out on Google Maps, because the pictures on Google Maps are incredible. And I checked it out today. It was like the first time I actually looked at it on Google Maps.

Because I'm not much of a planner. I kind of do things a little bit last minute, much to the dismay of my wife. But that's just kind of how I work.

Looked at the pictures, and it is awesome. They do a ton of fashion shows, photo shoots, music, video filmings, and it's a cool space. So check it out on Google Maps.

Void studios in Denver. So I showed up. Did it.

It was tiny, like I expected, but that's okay. I had an amazing time. Got to collaborate with the DJ.

They had a dj playing for most of the time, so I actually just jammed on top of whatever the DJ was doing, and I got to network with a bunch of the other vendors. There was one new venue there opening up in Estes park, who invited me to play for their open house in April and said, sure, sounds awesome. And so these are, like, great ways to build those partnerships that I was talking about at the beginning of the expo.

All right, now, there's one final kicker. That was an unexpected thing that came out of tonight's expo, which was, I got to meet the owner of this studio, and he is the guy who has a lot of fashion shows and things coming in, and he asked me, he said, you'd be perfect for a fashion show. How much would you charge? So I think I got a fashion show gig out of playing tonight's expo, which that is pretty awesome.

My wife is a big fan of. There's this reality tv show in the fashion industry called making the cut. And I think I told her about this right before I recorded the podcast, and she was really excited about it.

You get to play for a fashion show. Can I come and watch? It's like, absolutely. So I don't know.

I'm on a kind of a high right now because I had so much fun. It's been a very eventful weekend. Friday and Saturday.

March is awesome and I just can't wait. I just feel like I'm building so much momentum here in Denver and through all the professional stuff I've been doing, it feels really good and I don't know, I just want you to feel that too, because you deserve it. So that's why I am advocating for you to do what I'm doing.

Not exactly because you are you. You have your own personality. I have my own personality.

Nothing's going to be exact, but I want you to try some of the things that I'm trying because I feel like they will work for anybody, regardless of instrument or personality type. And I just want you to experience the same level of fun that I'm having. I don't think I've had this much fun with my music career ever.

So yeah, take that and enjoy it. All righty. That's all I got for you guys today.

By the way, if you didn't know we build websites for musicians, obviously we are experts at marketing for musicians. And I got my start building websites for myself back when I was in middle school and got better and better and better at it. Learned more of how to actually market yourself.

What text do you put on the website? How do you strategically guide a user to take the next action with you? Whether that's to reach out and ask you if you're available to play a corporate event or download your album or join your newsletter. And if you're interested in learning more about the websites that we build, I would encourage you to check out performingsites.com. You may have to put a www in front of it.

So www.performingsites.com to learn about how you can get your custom built music website done completely for you. All hands off.

I interview you kind of like I interview people on this podcast so that I can learn what's the best content that's going to work best for your marketing. So go to www.performingsites.com, check that out, and then you can book an appointment with me and we'll go through what it looks like to get your website done.

All right, that's all I got for you guys today. Thanks for tuning into another episode of The Gigging Musician podcast. Remember, my friends, “Your music will not market itself.”

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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