Make more Money Selling Shorter Shows

Posted on February 4, 2015 by

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Make More Money Selling Shorter Gigs

Artists: GlitterGirl & Zihni
Photo: Dalton Chan

Prospects contact us asking for anything from 5 minute to 2 hour shows.  I tend to wonder if they’ve thought it through when asking for 2 hours because that’s longer than most movies these days and probably akin to going to a broadway show. While the extremes happen, one of our most common requests if for for 30 minute shows.
At weddings (where people are drunk), corporate events (where timing is often an issue) and other events where the audience isn’t necessarily of the mindset or physical capacity to have a long attention span, we tend to do 2 shorter sets with a break between because it allows for a few things we thought you might want to know to help you make more money selling shorter shows:

  • Serving a broader audience: Have you ever been to a party where you missed the important moment because you were in the bathroom or had to take that call or got caught up with someone or a myriad of reasons that just happen at events? Well, you’re not alone. When you have two shorter shows, the people who miss the first set get a second opportunity to see you. This can also help with events where the crowd is constantly filtering through because some people are there earlier and some people are there later. This allows the client to book one entertainer for the whole night may seem different because the attendance is different.
  • The crowd starts marketing you: Overheard at many parties, “Oh, did you see the fire dancers? OMG — they were so amazing!” This is some of the best hyping you can get and it works incredibly well to make the second set even more exciting because people are craving more — not just those who missed you but those who are you newest and loudest (if not drunkest!) fans.
  • Less is more. When you give them a shorter show, you leave them wanting more. A 15 minute show is not enough time to be revealing all your tricks. We’ve found it’s better to leave them wanting more than to fulfill their desires, especially as a sales technique. They are more likely to want to buy you for a future experience if they haven’t gotten their fill.
  • Post adrenaline marketing times 2! As a result of doing two separate sets, you have an opportunity to network with the crowd between the sets to hopefully acquire business cards and leads for future gigs. If you didn’t get to everyone between the shows, or if they somehow weren’t convinced after the first set, you get a second opportunity to work the crowd and garner more leads for future gigs.
  • You’re a more essential part of the event. Because they have to schedule you twice (or more if you can get it) over the course of the night, you become a part of the event in a deeper sense — and more so the more shows you do. The reality is, you become a part of the program and the event gets planned around you because you’re appearing multiple times. As a result, this can give a greater sense of importance to your shows, giving you a spotlight that helps promote you not just in the moment but after the fact as well.
  • You can charge more: You may be wondering why doing two shows with a total time equal to a single show would warrant an additional fee. Look up one paragraph! If you’re a more essential part of the event, they are more likely to invest more of their budget into what you bring rather than splitting their entertainment budget on multiple vendors. In addition, keep in mind that you have to stand around and give up your valuable and irreplaceable time to do nothing in between the shows, time for which you should be charging. If you weren’t at the show, you could be doing any number of money making tasks. Instead, you have to be at their event and while clients are often quite gracious and invite you to join in their festivities, it’s often not quite an easy interaction. It’s not like you can drink when you’re on the job either because, after all, you’re handling fire.
  • Shorter show sometimes means fewer artists which means more profit: Although you can do a 3-person 30 minute show, in my experience, it’s physically easier to do two 15 minute sets with time in between than it is to do one continuous 30 minute show. Depending on the competence of your artists, it may be that you want four artists for a 30 minute show, whereas you can more easily do a three person 15 minute show. If you use fewer artists, then each artists gets a greater share of the profits — a win for everyone.

Want more fantastic money-making tips for marketing your show? Consider our marketing and sales modules in the Building Your Business series starting Sunday and be sure to inquire with GlitterGirl about scholarship opportunities if you really want to participate and are struggling to find the funds.