What is Your Value Proposition as a Musician?

What is Your Value Proposition as a Musician?

The primary reason to create a value proposition is so that others can benefit from your musical efforts.

If you can make mutual benefit the goal for every negotiation, you will find decision makers responding more favorably towards you.

If your mindset does not allow for others to win, what I’m about to share won’t be of much benefit to you. But if you’re ready to take your eyes off yourself and look at the bigger picture, read on.

Value Proposition: What is it?

Consider how you could create a value proposition in the realm of live performance.

Musicians often talk about how music venues and events aren’t paying as much as they used to. Some aren’t paying at all. Worse yet, some are asking musicians to pay for the “privilege” of performing at their venue.

I think the message here is that musicians don’t feel like they’re in control.

When a venue or an organizer dictates how much you get paid for your performance, you are at their mercy. They can hire you and fire you at will.

That drives a musicpreneur nuts, because they don’t want to put their opportunities into someone else’s hands. I know it drove me nuts when I played a gig the day after St. Patty’s Day at a local bar.

A proper proposal will allow you to be in control again. By creating terms that are value-adding, both for you and for the event coordinator or music venue, you can begin dictating your own provisions again.

A value proposition is a proposal that entices music venues to want to book you. And, simultaneously, if you think this way, you will stand out from the crowd.

Of course, value propositions don’t just apply to live performance. You can create them in any area of your career.

Creating a Value Proposition

There are plenty of musicians out there that are willing to play for free. Perhaps they simply want to take any opportunity they can get. Maybe they don’t care about the money. Maybe they don’t understand why that might be bad for other musicians.

For the following example, I’m going to assume you are an experienced musician. Fair warning: if you aren’t there yet, you might find it challenging to create the type of proposal I’m talking about here.

So, assuming that you’ve had considerable experience under your belt, you need to affirm the fact that you’re not just starting out. You need to see yourself as a professional. You are worth paying for, because you’ve put in the time and effort to be the best you can be.

Then, you need to figure out what a venue owner or event coordinator might consider added value. Here are several ideas worth considering.

When they book you:

  • They book an entire night of music, courtesy of two other acts you’ve made an agreement with.
  • You agree to create and distribute a press release so that the event gets media coverage.
  • You bring your own volunteers or team to handle the little things: door, merch, sound, cleanup, teardown, etc.
  • You agree to display a graphical banner on your website promoting their business.
  • You send them a promo pack (posters, pamphlets, cards, etc.) that includes a few extra goodies for the staff.
  • You give them a handwritten “Thank You” note at the end of the night.

These are just a few examples of what you could do. You can mix and match to your heart’s content.

Just remember: the greater the value you create, the more demands you can make. The above examples are small gestures; you can go bigger if you want. Just remember – small things can make a big difference.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

You don’t have to take every opportunity that is offered you just because you can. When you are first getting started, there may be value in exposure. But as you gain more and more traction, you should begin selling yourself at incrementally higher prices.

It’s the way inflation works, and no amount of complaining is going to stop it from happening. Every year, on average, the cost of goods increases in price by 3%.

Don’t let organizers get away with murder. I know that’s kind of a graphic thing to say, but you know as well as I do how much time and effort goes into preparing for a performance. You don’t have to prostitute yourself out to get a gig.

You could just as soon approach a local business about performing and set your own terms. You could book a show in a community centre and set the ticket prices at a fair value.

Don’t act as though you don’t have options, because people who are good at negotiating can smell it when you can’t walk away from a bad deal.

The biggest hurdle to seeing yourself as worthy is self-image, and the only way to improve your self-image is to work on your mindset.

Conclusion

Oftentimes, there is a solution to the problem you are facing. I’m not saying that a value proposition is a cure-all, but it is an entrepreneurial way of looking at things.

Entrepreneurs train themselves to problem-solve, and in the competitive world of music, any edge you can gain is helpful.

Don’t be a jerk, but at the same time, know your value. Don’t give in to unfavorable terms just because others are.

How to Target a Market with Your Podcast

How to Target a Market with Your Podcast

Hey everyone! This week’s post was written by social media curator Kira Dineen, who is also a fellow blogger and podcaster. In this post, she discusses the power of podcasting and how you can effectively target a market through your podcasting efforts.

She gives several examples of people who have been able to achieve outstanding results in the podcasting realm, and discusses what you can do with the platform you build as a podcaster.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! – David

Who is your audience?

The key to having a successful podcast is to find your niche. Once you find it, narrow it down even further.

Now I know what you are asking yourself, because I asked myself the same question when I started podcasting: Why would I want to reduce my audience? Here’s why….

A Loyal Audience

A loyal audience beats out a large audience in almost every capacity. Let me provide you with an example of a podcaster who started his career with this idea.

Andrew Sims was one of a few hosts who started the widely popular Harry Potter Podcast titled Mugglecast. That’s right, an entire podcast on just one book series. And this show produced regular episodes for eight years and continues releasing episodes every now and then.

Today, Andrew produces multiple podcasts, one about popular culture entwined with stories from his personal life. This podcast, Hype After Dark, requires a paid membership to be a listener.

Why do people want to pay him to hear about his personal life and his views about pop culture stories? Because he built a loyal audience, or to be more accurate, a fan base. These fans, and yes, I am one of them, are invested in hearing what he has to say.

As a podcaster this is a goal you should be striving towards. To have your audience want to hear your opinion on debates, issues and stories.

As a podcaster this is a goal you should be striving towards. To have your audience want to hear your opinion on debates, issues and stories. Share on X

Let’s look back at the show that started Andrew’s career, Mugglecast. It has a very narrow target market, but this is what made it so popular.

If he and his fellow hosts decided to have a podcast on literature instead, it would not have been nearly as popular. Literature as a niche is not nearly narrow enough. Readers are in to a variety of genres, and most of the time you will not be pleasing most of your audience.

Isn’t it better to narrow your focus and appeal to every audience member? When you are identifying your niche, narrow it once more. This is where your true audience is waiting for you.

Andrew isn’t the only one who has found success through effective podcast target marketing. I have my own podcast solely about The Hunger Games series, Nightlock Podcast. I’ve had this show for nearly three years and have built a fan base around my show. Listeners of mine are as passionate about the series as I am. This is vitally important for your listeners to not just be listeners, but to be fans.

Now that I have convinced you that a loyal audience is the way to go, let’s find out what the benefits of having a loyal audience are.

Gain Trust

This audience can help you gain trust with your customers and fans. If you are a die-hard fan of a podcaster, you feel like they are one of your friends. You listen to them religiously. Because of this, you trust them. If they recommend a new product or service, you are going to check it out. Once you make an impact like this on someone, they are going to follow what you are up to. You don’t even know what this could entail for you down the road.

Montenize

This may be why you really want to get your hands dirty with podcasting. If you are looking to make a little dough, then you need a loyal audience. Fans of your show will want to support you.

One way they can do this is through donations. Another method of making money off your audience is by getting sponsors. This is your best bet, as your audience can receive good deals or free trials on products and services and you get a cut. It is much easier to advertise a service/product to listeners if they are actually interested in it. Having a narrow target market allows you to partner with companies that provide a service or product that appeals to your target market. Everyone wins in this situation as your audience gets free or discounted service/product, you receive a check, and the company has new customers.

Advertising on podcasts do not work as well when your show is advertising a service/product that most of your audience is not interested in. This means they would not go for that free trial.

Final Thoughts

How narrow is your target market? Share in the comments and I will give you feedback if your target market is small enough to reap these benefits.