It’s Not Always About The Fee

– Posted in: Biz Booster Hot Tip! Negotiation

It's Not Always About The Fee - by Jeri Goldstein     

It’s not always about the fee when you are negotiating your gig deals.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve negotiated 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 preparing before you negotiate any deal. Take some time to really understand each situation and what you want from 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:

  1. The Fee:

Do you need a certain fee to make your budget for the tour work?

Is this a tour where the fee is not the main focus, but media attention is more important, such as in a CD release tour?

2. The Marketing:

How can the marketing in this instance help you break into this market.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why am I playing this market?
  2. What marketing benefits might this venue have to offer?
  3. 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.

  1. The Audience:

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 is a reminder that it’s not always about the fee.

These are just a few examples of how to include peripheral items into your negotiations and realize it’s not always 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 or act.

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.

Do you consider peripheral items when negotiating your gigs? Have you realized that it is not always about the fee over the course of your career? What great peripherals have you gotten during your negotiations? 

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I can’t wait to hear about your success.

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