It is not always about the fee. I’ve negotiated for gigs and the fee was the least important part of the negotiation. Sometimes the peripheral items you can get thrown into the deal turn out to be far more valuable than the actual fee.
But first, you must know what peripheral items are valuable to you before you jump into any negotiation. And remember, each negotiation is going to be unique, so the peripherals in one situation may not be the same in another.
So how do you handle that? It’s all about preparation before you negotiate any deal. Take some time to really understand each situation and what you want for it as well as what they may want from it. Then think about how this particular situation can work for you on multiple fronts. For instance, there is the money or fee certainly. Then there is the marketing and how this instance may help you break into this market. You must ask yourself 3 questions:
- Why am I playing this market?
- What marketing benefits might this venue have to offer?
- How can I partner with the presenter to maximize the marketing opportunities in this area?
When you view the marketing peripheral, you may find that the opportunities being offered, matched with your desire to increase your recognition in this area, far outweigh any fee that is being negotiated.
Another important peripheral to examine is, who is the audience that this event will introduce you to or impact? Perhaps you want to reach a specific niche audience or audience demographic and this event gets you in front of your target audience in a way that another performance opportunity may not. In that case, again, this peripheral far outweighs the fee.
These are just two examples of how to include peripheral items into your negotiations and realize it is not always just about the fee. For your upcoming tour negotiations, make a list of peripheral items that are meaningful to you. Maybe it’s hotel accommodations or meals being provided to offset your expenses. Perhaps media access is important on the next series of dates. In some markets, it might be opening or sharing the stage with the right headliner. Every situation remains unique and it is up to you to fully understand each one before charging into your negotiations. When you prepare for all the options, you will begin to negotiate much more effectively and much more profitably. If you want to move your career forward, this tip can have the greatest impact on your future. Start on your very next gig and begin to realize a lifetime of benefits.
What are the peripherals you look for in your negotiations? Please leave a comment with your top three items.