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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Gigsalad....not worth it (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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drosenbe0813
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Long Island, NY
402 Posts

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I cannot work with gigsalad anymore. I was a paid member for several months. I got very few requests, but then I just found out today that in addition to the fee that they charge me, they ALWAYS charge my clients a fee, almost 7%. That's probably the reason I never got some of those gigs. They're taking almost 10% of any booking (and that's if you're a paid member, otherwise its 12%) And there is no way for me, if I wanted to pay the unreasonable fees, for me to pay for the clients side.

On top of that, they make communication between you and the clients very difficult.

Adios
Mindpro
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I couldn't agree more. I have never had a good experience with them. I know some that work consumer markets claim they do, and that is great but it really is more of a one-sided arrangement rather than a win-win.

Not being able to contact the client or provide information to the client to inspect outside of their system simply isn't good business. Many prospects that would see me would then contact me direct and want to book going around their system. This puts the performer in a non-inviting position. I don't need the nonsense. Either get me a lead, and let me process it as I would normally do within my own business operational system and let me do what I do best, and receive your commission, or don't, but don't expect me to change the way I operate and my business systems that are in place to accommodate you and your lead. Not user or business-friendly as far as I'm concerned.

Those without such systems in place and who are willing to play their game may have a different experience.
stempleton
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I've had different experiences. I've never had a problem communicating thru their system, and once a quote is made the client phone number is shown (if they have provided one.) After booking you're free to email or anything else you'd like... and no one has never not found my website after finding me through Gigsalad. Even so, if I'm found through Gigsalad I ALWAYS direct the client to book through them... that's just how I work. The annual fee has at this point always paid for itself, plus the search engine rankings are always to be considered, and repeat gigs always come to me directly. As far as close ratio, that's always going to be low in this type of model, but using any of these services can not be your sole marketing strategy. These services work for some, and no so well for others... it's something I feel you have to try out.
thomasR
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532 Posts

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I've been a paid member for years and never gone through gig salads booking system, I confirm, book, and get paid directly just like always.

The people that book me on gig salad are business looking for entertainment for a company picnic or holiday party, and fairs and festivals that are managed by cities or local arts organizations. These are the people that type in "hire magician, circus, juggler" into google and then Gig Salad pops up.
Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
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I did not know that GigSalad charges the client as well. How long have they been doing this? Its been over a year since I secured a booking with them. Maybe this is why.
thomasR
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I e-mailed gig salad to make sure my understanding was correct and yes, paid members are allowed to book off-site. It's only free members that are required to use the gig salad booking site. (Although Gig Salad naturally encourages you to use their system.)

For me, Gig Salad has been VERY worth it every year. But Gig Masters didn't get me a single booking. I'm sure for some it is the complete opposite.
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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I never use these sites for reasons I have explained many times. But my question is does anyone think they should provide their services for free?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Cleverpaws
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Northern California
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Danny. I am guessing it’s a rhetorical question. I use a similar type of site for custom wood projects. They take 10% from my price and require payment through their site which takes another ~3%. Sure I wish they didn’t charge a fee, but I would not be getting ANY of those jobs without it. All I have to do is add that percentage into my price to the customer. If someone does not hire me because of a ~13% difference, then they’re not going to hire me at all anyways. People complain about companies making money on them but aren’t we all trying to make money? I value the site I use and if I know someone has contacted me initially through the site and wants to bypass it, I still send that company a percentage because they provide a valuable service.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Dec 19, 2017, thomasR wrote:
For me, Gig Salad has been VERY worth it every year. But Gig Masters didn't get me a single booking. I'm sure for some it is the complete opposite.


Out of curiosity, from which did you receive more leads? Or were they pretty equal?
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Dec 20, 2017, Cleverpaws wrote:
Danny. I am guessing it’s a rhetorical question. I use a similar type of site for custom wood projects. They take 10% from my price and require payment through their site which takes another ~3%. Sure I wish they didn’t charge a fee, but I would not be getting ANY of those jobs without it. All I have to do is add that percentage into my price to the customer. If someone does not hire me because of a ~13% difference, then they’re not going to hire me at all anyways. People complain about companies making money on them but aren’t we all trying to make money? I value the site I use and if I know someone has contacted me initially through the site and wants to bypass it, I still send that company a percentage because they provide a valuable service.

It is not as rhetorical as I would like it to be.

So few get the concept you are laying out.

Although I will say that those who do price shopping like on these sites are those most likely to balk at a 13% difference. Depending on price point 13% is a lot of money.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
thomasR
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Quote:
On Dec 20, 2017, Mindpro wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 19, 2017, thomasR wrote:
For me, Gig Salad has been VERY worth it every year. But Gig Masters didn't get me a single booking. I'm sure for some it is the complete opposite.


Out of curiosity, from which did you receive more leads? Or were they pretty equal?


Short answer is - way more leads through gig masters. But none of them ever turned into a booking.

Gig Salad doesn't send leads the way Gig Masters does. On GigMasters clients give a date and check boxes of the type of entertainment they want, and then GigMasters sends that "lead" to whoever they feel is a good match, and then you get to "bid" on that lead. So Gig Masters sent me lots of leads, but they were mostly private parties who wanted a magician or clown for a couple hundred. There were some ideal leads that came my way, but none of them turned into an actual booking.

Gig Salad relies on the client to contact the entertainers they want directly through the Gig Salad site. While it comes in the form of a bid, you can message the client directly right away to get / offer more information.
Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
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Quote:
On Dec 20, 2017, Dannydoyle wrote:
I never use these sites for reasons I have explained many times. But my question is does anyone think they should provide their services for free?

Any company/person that helps you secure a booking deserves a fair and reasonable return. Businesses would be smart to make it a REASONABLE fee. I seem to gravitate toward the GigMasters business model. They seem to be fair and reasonable and seem to reward my time and effort the most. I wish I could disregard these sites, and maybe some day I will. But I think you need to keep an open mind to companies and people that help created a win/win situation.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Dec 21, 2017, Ken Northridge wrote:

Any company/person that helps you secure a booking deserves a fair and reasonable return. Businesses would be smart to make it a REASONABLE fee. I seem to gravitate toward the GigMasters business model. They seem to be fair and reasonable and seem to reward my time and effort the most. I wish I could disregard these sites, and maybe some day I will. But I think you need to keep an open mind to companies and people that help created a win/win situation.


I quite agree with you Ken. I think these sites can be beneficial in several to many ways, depending on the type and level of performer. My ideal business model would more be a combination of GM and GS.

I like the GM model much more, but I like the offline opportunity from GS and more targeted leads. If you are listed as a hypnotist you only get leads interested in hypnotists or other categories you are listed in. You wouldn't likely get kids birthday parties, juggling or balloonists leads. So many of GMs leads are inappropriate, unwanted and not specific enough. So to me a hybrid of the two would be quite interesting. I really like GMs search positions, even more than GS. I too have no problem with fees and I like having the option to pay rather than the client.

What I don't care for is the fact that most customers that signup do not really know or understand what they are signing up for or getting. This could be better represented. I have always spent a great deal of my time clarifying it and educating the prospective clients so it begins to make sense of what is happening. For example, they don't really understand they are signing up to get matched and bombarded by 10, 15, 20 or more performers ready to jump on them like feeding time at a catfish pier. They don't get why their gig is in Jersey City and yet they are getting responses from entertainers in Texas, Chicago, Des Monies, California and so on.

When properly used, understood and operated, they still can be quite beneficial to many types of performers.
cbguy
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I am a paid member on GS and personally, I don't care what they charge people. I know they get 2% of whatever I get booked for and without giving an exact number, I have made well over what I pay them (as a member) to make it worth using their service.

In 2017 I have received 42 requests and I closed 8 of them. I Do Not expect to close much higher than that, since the majority of quote requests were for audiences I don't perform for or people looking for the lowest price. I do not negotiate on this site. I give one price, it's firm and it's not cheap.

If you use the service as I do, which is just another advertising tool among many, you will find it worthwhile. If you depend on it as your only source, you won't be happy.
markkyoung
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GigSalad has been an inexpensive way for me to be found by prospective clients. I book with the site and I book directly with clients who found me on the site. I don't have to pay for leads that might not book. For me Gigsalad is worth it. I pay the lowest membership fee (semi-pro) which they may not offer to new performers.
Dr. Delusion
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Eugene, Oregon.
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I also use Gigsalad. I don't make a ton off of it, but more than enough to make it worth while. I checked out my year end review yesterday, I made a little over $900.00 from it last year. I think I made maybe half of that amount through Gigmasters.
Bob.
WitchDocChris
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York, PA
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They sent out an update today. Apparently they will not censor contact information from messages for free members now. That could help some folks.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Mindpro
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Yeah, I just saw that too. The reality is, as it pertains to the topic of this thread, is this isn't really a "worth it "or "not worth it" type of thing like many seem to think. There are in fact many variables at play here - how you are choosing to use the service and the leads - do you just list and hope to respond to leads and get bookings, or do you work the system? What type of performer are you, what markets do you specialize in or are targeting, how are you listed with these serveices, what are your price points, the type of bookings you are seeking, your location, your level of expereince, your business practices and how you are fielding these leads and inquiries, are you just using their system, what are you leading them to and what are the results of your listing, how are you positioning yourslef with these services, is your listing artist-based (about you) or benefit-based (aboutthem), your competition, and sooooo many other factors.

It is virtually impossible to answer such an over-simplified, general question as there are many variables and it is also subjective. Same for a post in the kids section about advertising in Parents magazines. You tend to get only surface perceptions and responses. These are not real answers to the actual question and likely intent of the OP asking. These are rarely of any help.

Also members here each view the question as it pertains only to them and their own context, so they may be a kids party magician, yet the person asking may be quite different, so do your answers given without context really help the OP or actually mislead them based on a not the same foundation?

This often happens here almost every time when someone asks about their website or video.
MikeClay
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Atlanta GA
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Ok so I am not a full time entertainer anymore.

I'm a consultant and speaker.
But these types of sites only have market reach and power if YOU as the community give it to them.

I had a friend call me this last week about them, she is having an issue that every time she starts to get market share with her digital marketing she suddenly tanks and Gigsalad outranks her.

So I took a quick look and YEP someone was randomly spamming her site with spammy backlinks (negative SEO).
So I did a disavow and helped her add a lil more OMPH to her site and 4day later she outranks them for 15 phrases.
If she gets hit with negative seo again and I can figure out who is doing it I will repay it in kind and see how they like it.


JUST OUT MARKET THEM - They don't have that good of reach to begin with.
thomasR
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Would probably be a good idea to flip the tables and think why clients like using Gig Salad. 2 reasons that I think could be a factor...
1. They don't really know what they are looking for. They don't know if they want a juggler, a magician, a stilt walker, or a clown.... A list like gig salad provides a variety of entertainers they can quickly (emphasis on quickly) scan to see what is available.

2. Ratings. People check the ratings of a coffee house before going to buy a latte, they want to read reviews before they make a purchase. Gig Salad provides customer ratings and reviews and again, a quick glance and you can see who the highest rated entertainers are.
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