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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Fake Gig Leads on GigSalad? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

SeattleSteve
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Seattle, WA
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I'm a relative newbie as a performer so I don't have much experience with getting paid gigs but I have noticed a strange trend this year on GigSalad. I get a few gig requests and when I reply I get no response at all, even when GS says "this lead selected you specifically." Being a rookie performer, I thought it was just me so I asked a very experienced professional mentalist (PEA member) here in the Seattle area and he is getting the exact same gig requests as me in GigSalad and they are not responding to him either. These leads typically have a name but no phone number or email address to contact them. I am starting to suspect that GigSalad may be creating fake gig leads just to keep us paying their membership fee ... like the online dating sites that create fake female profiles to string guys along and keep them paying the monthly membership fees.

Am I just paranoid or has anybody else noticed an increase in the number of non-responsive gig requests on GigSalad?

I get almost no leads from GigMasters, fake or otherwise. This seems to be unique to GigSalad.
JoshLondonMagic
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Welcome to competing for low paying gigs. This is the biggest problem with these types of sites (and the #1 reason my clients come to me).
SeattleSteve
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Josh, do you know if they are creating FAKE leads?

I know that most of the leads on GigSalad and GigMasters are low-paying gigs, but I wonder if many of them are not even REAL gigs.
Mindpro
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Hey Steve, glad to see you are still around. There will always be some shadier people that try to find ways around a system, ways to exploit or use a system other than as intended, or to use a system for personal gain other than as it is intended. I do know GS seems to struggle for the traffic both in booking leads and also I believe in memberships and especially renewals, so it wouldn't surprise me that this goes on. I do not know factually of any examples in the context of which you are referring.

However, I know for a fact in other contexts where fake bookings are created not my GS itself but from performers. A bit different than you are asking about, but similar in certain ways.

I disagree that all GS and GM gigs are low paying leads, as I have personally booked many 4-figure bookings from GM. I don't care for the GS system and process as compared to GM although I tried them once they still have me listed and receiving leads all these years later. They have even offered to create my own category for me if I would renew with them.

It is more about how you use these services that determines your outcome. It also depends on the type of performer you are. Many here tend to only see it as things pertain to them, not the bigger picture of these services. It is also important to understand that most legitimate prospects that use these services have no idea what they are really doing or about these services at all. It almost happens frequently by mistake.

Now, once this is understood, AND you know how to work their system, this can be a great benefit to you as a performer. However, most don't understand this and therefore only see these services at surface levels and typically receive disappointing results and which often low-priced leads.

I think there is much more "shadiness" in consumer market, highly-competitive areas such as kids parties, around the holidays for holiday events, etc. These ares tend to have more perormers competing for the bookings and of course many report to low-balling just to get the gigs and prevent others from getting it.
SeattleSteve
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Hi Mindpro!

Thanks for the feedback.

I'm interested to know if anyone has actual; proof that GS is creating fake leads.

I got some paid gigs through GS last year but this year has been very different.
stempleton
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I get a lot of rfq's that are not even read...so it does make you wonder. I renewed because the results have more than paid for the fees, especially because of the discounts GS frequently offers.
thomasR
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I get a lot of gig requests that never reply. As Mindpro says, most people who use gig salad really don't know what they are doing so I figure they are contacting multiple types of entertainers for their event, taking the quotes to the committee, and then responding to the performers the committee is interested in.

Magicians think way too small sometimes... They think if they lose a gig salad gig it was because another magician offered a better price. I am sure that happens, but it could be that a juggler, musician, or entire circus show was able offer something more appealing to the client.

As to the original question, I do not feel that gig salad has ever sent me a fake lead, and I am pretty sure that if they made a habit out of that they could face legal issues, so they most likely do not.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Aug 11, 2017, thomasR wrote:
Magicians think way too small sometimes... They think if they lose a gig salad gig it was because another magician offered a better price. I am sure that happens, but it could be that a juggler, musician, or entire circus show was able offer something more appealing to the client.


This is so true. I have a guy I work with who regularly and I mean consistently generates 25-30 bookings a year through Gigmasters and 85% are for leads not even looking for his specific type of service. We have worked together to find a way to utilize and monetize these leads he gets that have nothing to do with his performance type. Initially he was frustrated because he would get all these leads that didn't pertain to him. Yet he came to me said it was a waste to simply ignore or discard these leads. So taking into consideration two key factors, combined with what I know from an agency's perspective about the way people buy or shop for entertainment (especially int the consumer market), together we came up with a way and tweaked it over time to generate bookings out of these otherwise not interested leads.

But at the root of it as thomasR said, many magicians only think as magicians, and always default to not getting or "losing" the gig, as they think, to another magician due to price. What is funny is on many of these leads he ends up converting, they end up willing to pay far more than they believed the would or were originally thought they'd spend.

In reality as the poster said abpove, Gigmasters should really be a no brainer for most performers as even their nationwide coverage package is what $250 or $300 per year? That's one booking that pays for itself. The SEO positioning alone is probably worth that. If you have a system in place to respond and convert GM leads it can really be quite a good investment in yourself or your business. As I always say, it is not the marketing where most perofrmers fail, but they have no system in place to handle, present and convert any leads once they do get them. GM is a prime example of that.
Ken Northridge
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Quote:
On Aug 11, 2017, Mindpro wrote:
Gigmasters should really be a no brainer for most performers as even their nationwide coverage package is what $250 or $300 per year? That's one booking that pays for itself. The SEO positioning alone is probably worth that.

I'm glad to hear you say this. This is how I feel but its not the convention thinking here.

Speaking to the OP, these sites do take up some time whether the leads are fake or real, but looking at the big picture I think its worth it.

However, I'm getting frustrated with GigSalad. I had someone who wanted to book me. I was following the rules of not giving the client my name and contact information until after they booked. (I know they monitor these conversations and have dropped entertainers from their site for not following this rule.) But GigSalad's new policy is to have the client pay 100% up front at the time of the booking! This is the exact opposite of my business style. The client eventually changed their mind and declined my quote. I have a free listing so maybe that's the problem.
SeattleSteve
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Thanks for the feedback on my post.

I don't question the value of sites like GigSalad and GigMaster for SEO purposes and marketing exposure.

I was just wondering if anyone had reason to believe some of the gig requests are fake. I know some people put up gig requests just to see what their competition is charging, but I was starting to believe some of the gig requests I was getting were not real at all. So far, I don't see anyone saying that they know some gig requests are fake, so I guess I'm just being paranoid. Smile
Mindpro
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As some know here (I've posted some of his provided info here before) I have a coaching student who used to work for GM and had provided me some very unique insider's insight to them. I posed this question to him, and he said in the years he was there he was unaware of this taking place and believed it never would. He said there might have been a time in their first 30 days (launch) when the initial system was being tested and checked for proper operations, but not since then.

He didn't know abut GS but said it wouldn't surprise him based on their format, procedures, system and operations, but again he didn't know for sure.

But I was unable to confirm anything for sure Steve.
SeattleSteve
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Quote:
On Aug 15, 2017, Mindpro wrote:
As some know here (I've posted some of his provided info here before) I have a coaching student who used to work for GM and had provided me some very unique insider's insight to them. I posed this question to him, and he said in the years he was there he was unaware of this taking place and believed it never would. He said there might have been a time in their first 30 days (launch) when the initial system was being tested and checked for proper operations, but not since then.

He didn't know abut GS but said it wouldn't surprise him based on their format, procedures, system and operations, but again he didn't know for sure.

But I was unable to confirm anything for sure Steve.


Thanks for the info Mindpro!
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Aug 13, 2017, Ken Northridge wrote:
I'm glad to hear you say this. This is how I feel but its not the convention thinking here.


It is important to keep the right perspective and separate fact from opinion as I have always said. Where it gets cloudy for some is when their opinion to them is what they think or accept as fact, when in reality it could have just been created by their own personal limited experience or efforts.

I still think many falsely believe all they have to do is pay for the membership and bokings will come in form the source. This is not how any of these services work, this is a misperception.

Any investment that breaks even or yields a return for minimal efforts on your part is something that I see as a good thing. If someone joins for a year and gets 50 - hundreds of leads and isn't booking something, you should first turn inward to yourself as to what you are doing and not doing to first determine WHY, instead of just deeming the means ineffective.

I too have always found GS's system very odd and difficult to work, for both the performer and the client. While I choose not to waste my time with it, many that I work with choose to still be part of it, all with varying results.

You only will get out of it what you are willing to put into it. Also one must first ask, are these lead-gen services (Gigmasters Gig Salad, Party Pop, Thumbtack, etc.) right or congruent with my business model and business operational system? The answer to these can usually determine your level of success even before you begin, and can let you know if it is a worthwhile investment for you and your particular business or not.
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