4 Lessons on How Much to Charge for Your Performance

This guest post was written by David Roth of the band Mighty Groove (Boston, MA).This post originally appeared on the GigMasters blog. Entertainment pricing: It’s a conversation that every performer needs to have, whether they work for tips or charge $10,000 a set. David’s got some good advice.

A lot of things come into play when setting a price. Your price says a lot about you. It says a lot about what you think you are worth. It says a lot about the service you intend to provide.

Let’s take a for instance, Band A quotes $1500 per event while Band B quotes $5500 per event, which one did you think will perform better? What about a DJ who charges $100 compared to a DJ that charges $850?

Lesson 1: You will only ever get what you think you are worth. 

If you think your band should only make $250 per show, then that is probably all you will ever make (and that is the case in a lot of original groups).

On the other hand, if you think your band is worth $3000 per show, you will more likely to get that amount. Now I am not saying that all you need to do is believe in yourself, but I am saying that unless you actually believe you are worth what you are charging, you will never get it.

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Lesson 2: Research what your competitors are charging.

A lot of that information is available online (GigMasters lets you see the price range that your competitors have been quoting). Take your top 5 competitors and look at their last 5 quotes. What are they charging on average for weddings? For birthday parties? For gigs that involve travel?

You should be able to know what prices your prospects are getting for their quotes, otherwise you stand absolutely no chance. You might realize that you are charging too much or too little. If you are below your competitors, you can research if you can raise your price a little, especially if you will get just as many gigs. If you realize you are charging much more than your competitors, you may want to restructure your pricing so that it is more competitive.

Lesson 3: Know where you fit in and use it to your advantage.

Now that you know what your competitors are charging, where do you fit into the scheme? Are you priced lower or higher? How do you justify your pricing compared to the competitors? If you know your prices are higher than your competitors, then don’t shy away. It is your job to prove to your prospective clients that you are worth what you charge.

Lesson 4: Pricing shouldn’t be a Win or Lose situation.

You should figure out a price range that you are comfortable working within and find people who are willing to hire you for that price. You will always lose if you feel like you are trying to get the most money for your service and the clients are trying to get you as cheap as possible. If you are not comfortable taking a show for less than your minimum, pass it up. You devalue yourself, your brand, and service when you take shows for less than you are worth.

Dave Roth is a the founder of Mighty Groove in Boston, MA. Mighty Groove features vocalist John Stevens (American Idol Finalist) and Gretchen Bostrom. Dave Roth writes about topics related to music on his blog: www.mightygroove.com/blog

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