Last week I talked about the trouble with assuming there is a limited amount of work available. It isn’t true. Events happen every day. Yes, they even happen near your location. You just need to open your eyes to the fact.
I talked briefly about competition that charges less. I want to dive a bit deeper into that. There will always be people who charge less than others. Never compete on price. You can lose a show for charging too much – but I’ve actually lost shows because I wasn’t expensive enough.
People equate value with cost. If you are cheap, you must not be very good. You don’t want those clients – UNLESS – you aren’t very good and need experience.
If you are losing shows based on price, you have a couple of problems:
1. You are targeting the wrong type of client. Think about your advertising and marketing. Do you really think people who are looking for a bargain on Craig’s List are looking to pay much? Same with Thumbtack, the online bulletin board. I know there are some who might say – I got a show there and they paid my price. The odds aren’t that good. Imagine if you put the same time into marketing where better paying clients hang out. Where is that? Depends on your market my friend.
2. You aren’t showing the client the value of your act. Let’s go back to the buying a car example. Pretend you don’t know anything about cars. You walk onto the car lot and there are two similar cars side by side. One is $50 and the other is $5,000. If you are shopping based on price, you would buy the $50 car. BUT – if the salesman took the time to educate you on the value of the $5,000 car – you might well change your mind. The more expensive car has new tires and rebuilt suspension. It has had regular maintenance. It passed a 500 point inspection and comes with a 10,000 mile warranty. The $50 car is sold as is and has no engine or brakes. Which one do you want to drive?
Now – it is time to talk about ways to get shows.
Do you remember my list from last week? There is something all of those events have in common. They all need a location to hold the event. Some could be held at home. Many more are likely held at restaurants, banquet, civic or convention venues.
Is there anything else they have in common? They all may involve some sort of food for guests. They may need to decorate. Some might need to rent party supplies – or buy them at a bulk outlet. Some might use event planners. Some might use a DJ and be looking for other entertainment. Some might involve alcohol. Some events require formal wear.
You need to find these commonalities and form friendships with other event suppliers. It has to be a two way street. You recommend their services when a client needs something. They recommend you. And when someone gets you a gig, you thank them! A note, a gift, a commission. Give them a reason to recommend you. Take care of and nurture that relationship.
Sound like work? Yes it does. That is why this is called show business. It is time to stop complaining there is no work and go create some!