Working at GigSalad brings us a lot of joy for many reasons, but one of the most gratifying aspects of our job is hearing stories of successful and personal events. We see Facebook videos of proposals, Instagram posts of kids’ birthdays, and event hosts contact us directly to rave about the talented and professional performer they booked on GigSalad. Every week, we’re honored to share in someone’s amazing moment.
As a performer, you’re immersed even deeper into these intimate moments. But in the drudge of back-to-back gigs, parties, and weddings, it’s possible to lose sight of the impact you have or even the purpose for being a part of the event. So how do we keep the fulfillment and fun of gigs alive?
I reached out to GigSalad member and alumnus of NBC’s The Voice, Austin Ellis, to ask how he maintains his enthusiasm, passion, and more importantly, his client relationships. Through Austin’s experience and reflection, you’ll find some vital tips to build a stronger connection to your clients.
Think customer happiness.
Never forget, the money that comes from this gig lets you do what you love. Performers can have a crucial role in weddings, christenings, proms, first birthdays, and many other milestone events. It’s a privilege to be chosen for an event they’ll remember forever, and keeping this in mind will help you continue your career.
Austin says one of the most important things you can do is “Take care of your clients and prepare for those moments, and you’ll know and feel that you’ve really made a difference in a group of peoples’ lives, including your own.”
Show up on time, be flexible, and keep a positive attitude no matter what the situation brings. The event is about the client and their needs, and it’s important to be mindful of that.
Join the celebration.
“There is something special and sacred about sharing someone’s personal and life-changing event, be it a proposal, ceremony, or first dance,” Austin notes. “When your voice and rhythm are guiding that couple’s first steps into the rest of their lives together, with their families and friends there to witness, it’s an incredibly rewarding experience.”
Match your energy and mood to the event. If it’s a corporate speaking engagement, be professional and friendly. If it’s a class reunion, be the life of the party! Event hosts are looking to you add the extra flair and spice to take their get-together to the next level, so your demeanor will set the stage for the whole event. And if something goes wrong, or isn’t just so, find a way to make it work. The show must go on!
Customize and craft.
One way to build a lasting connection to your client is to work together. “Performing gives you the opportunity to create lasting memories and relationships with your clients,” Austin shares. “What starts as an inquiry about your services can quickly become a friendship and collaboration, creating some pretty magical moments.”
Take time to master the song that your client has requested of you; it can have a significant meaning. Or, if possible, get to know your client’s story in depth so you can write them a song of your own. Make sure you’re educating your clients as well. Whatever your talent or services may be, you can provide tips that only an expert would know. Ask questions, share ideas, and create the event together.
Engage with the guests.
Every event is a potential opportunity to create new clients or strengthen your fanbase. And how do you leverage that? Not by ham-fisted or strong-armed promotion, but by home-run performances and connecting with people.
According to Austin, “The hugs, laughs, and gratitude that come afterwards are the icing on the cake, so to speak. Not to mention the endless referrals and invitations to future family barbecues!”
If your host allows it, share the event on your social media. Many events have their own hashtags, so photos of the event and your performance are included in everyone’s memories! Take it up a notch and bring little party packs with download cards and branded swag. And always remember to send follow up thank you notes or shout outs after the event. Like Austin says, “The fortune is in the followup.”
All of us want to do the things we love, and if we’re lucky and persistent, we get paid to do it. Part of that persistence is enjoying the people you work with and work for. Collaborating with our clients helps create lasting memories, keeps our spirits up, and leads to more Peace, Love & Gigs!