My Honest Experience with GigSalad and GigMasters

Speaking Gigs

 

I often see questions or threads regarding the validity of two online booking website, “GigMasters” and “GigSalad”. I’ve belonged to both for several years as a speaker and clean comedian and here is my honest experience and advice on investing in either.

The Difference I Found Between the 2 Sites:

GigSalad:

Easy platform to use

-Most often much lower paying gigs compared to GigMasters

-Most gigs are direct inquiries so you are not competing against other people to be booked

-Easy to target certain areas of the country

-I met REALLY nice people who booked me through this platform that have become dear friends. Not sure why this site draws really personable people, but it does.

-You can contact the person making the inquiry before sending a bid. I ALWAYS contact them first to find out more about the event, budget, audience, etc. I really appreciate this feature.

GigMasters:

-Higher paying gigs. Often professional companies hiring through here.

-A lot of Gig requests come in due to their auto adding feature. I’ve booked several gigs from that.

-Have to bid against 5 or 10 other people without knowing who they are or what they charge. Rarely get direct inquiries.

-Can pay for a “featured” profile to bring more traffic. I have done that during peak hiring season.

Why I Invested in the Sites Originally:

-Although I have been performing for years as an actor (I have a degree in theatre), I stumbled into stand up and these two sites are how I started my career. I took every gig that came my way to learn the “ropes” and get paid while doing it. It forced me to learn the business side of performing very quickly and taught me a lot about events, professionalism, what my niche was, and what people need from you in order to book you. It was my fast track way of becoming a professional.

-If you google my name, Stacy Pederson, the sites make me look important and gives me clout.

-They gave me backlinks to my website

-As a speaker and clean comedian,  was an easy way to get gigs without me having to self promote and sell myself, which I am utterly TERRIBLE at.

-By researching who else was on the site, I learned who my peers were which allowed me to make great, very dear to my heart, connections.

Things I Learned from the Gigs I Booked:

-Most people booking off of these sites honestly don’t know the ins and outs of putting on events. They’re not jerks-they just don’t know. You have to be VERY specific about your needs when it comes to sound, audience set up, sound checks, staging, etc. because most are not professional meeting/conference/wedding/or party planners. They don’t think about noise levels, audience size, or the flow of events. You are often walking into a difficult situation when it comes to how the event has been set up physically and flow wise. You have to be quick on your feet to make adjustments and flexible in working with them to get things in order before a show. Another words, you NEVER know what you are walking in to. This can get old after a while, but it also makes you wiser and more professional at what you do.

-I hate outdoor events. Hate them. Sound is terrible. Audience is too far away and distracted. You can’t control the environment or the elements. They suck and I have to REALLY be talked into it-Like R-E-A-L-L-Y talked into it to even considering it.

-I’m not right for everyone. I turn down, or refer out, approximately 95% of the gig requests that come my way now. I know what my niche is, the type of audience I am right for, and what I’m willing and not willing to be paid. It took A LOT of learning and doing every bad gig (boy do I have stories) to get to this point.

Should You Invest in These Sites:

It depends. I’ll say right off the bat, if you are strictly a speaker I don’t think it’s worth it. If you scroll through other speakers’ profiles on the sites, you’ll see most don’t make decent money off of their bookings.

You Should Invest in the Sites IF:

-You can also invest in professional photos. If not-wait. Spend the money on the photos first, THEN spend the $ on the sites.

-You can invest in a website. You need additional social proof when you are trying to outbid others.

-You are able and willing to respond NO LATER than 12 hours to each gig request. If you really want to book, you need to be able to respond as soon as possible. During peak season, it can be annoying because your phone is going off all the time with text alerts that you NEED TO RESPOND TO. (Yes, that can be exciting, BUT if you’re busy doing another gig or just life it can be a challenge keeping up.)

-You need to be able to follow through with paperwork. If follow through is not your strong point-than I’m sorry to be blunt-but you’re going to have a tough road making money at whatever it is you’re doing. You need to be able to get contracts, promotional material, W-9’s, etc., in a timely manner from when a person requests it. I sometime struggle with the details (ok a lot of times) but I DO IT ANYWAY. I’ve learned I can’t book too many gigs in a short time because I don’t keep up well with all the paperwork and communication. I get confused over who needs what, and details slip through the cracks if I overbook myself.   (I can’t WAIT until I am able to hire an assistant. I’ll be able to take more gigs, be less stressed, and focus more on my presentations and communication that counts.)

-You need to be honest and utilize their contract system and pay them their fee. It’s for your benefit in the long run.

-You need to be good at what you do. I didn’t say great, but you need to be decent. Solid. Prepared. Professional.

You need to be nice. You also need to be flexible. You need to be good under pressure. You need to have a “How can I help THEM have the best event possible even if it’s an inconvenience to my comfort” mindset.

-You need to be willing to learn. I spent A LOT of time investing, not just learning about my craft, but learning about the business. How to bid and win, what people want and need, how to dress, present yourself professionally, keep tabs on your equipment and even how to travel inexpensively and efficiently. I’m always learning, reading, researching, and rehearsing. Daily. It’s annoying sometimes…but this is business.

-You’ll eventually need video.

If you have or are willing to do the above things, I say, “Yes” invest in the sites. The above things will set you up for success and your investment will more than pay off.

Will I Personally Continue Using the Sites:

Both my annual dues are coming up and, to be honest, I’m debating. I’m at a different place in my career where I’ve discovered being a humorist (funny speaker) is much more rewarding to me than just being funny. I want to entertain, but I also want to deliver meaning to the audience. Both sites don’t bode too well for booking those types of speaking events. I’ve also done so many hard gigs to learn the ropes that I’m not willing to take any and all gigs anymore. This past year I stopped taking most gigs that came through these sites, as I mentioned above, because of that. Both sites served me VERY well in the beginning and I’m FOREVER grateful for them. I’m just not sure they’re still worth the financial investment for me anymore in attracting the right type of clients for my new niche.  I’d love people’s thoughts and opinions on this.

 

Here is a GigMasters sign up link if you are interested. (It is an affiliate link): https://www.thebash.com/signup?referralCode=M94090

You can Subscribe to my YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGaaeAPT9-y6y-A9J30qG2Q

I’ll be posting more speaker and business tips for entertainers wanting to break into the corporate market.

28 thoughts on “My Honest Experience with GigSalad and GigMasters

  1. Thank you Stacy for your info. Very insightful, as a motivational speaker, trainer and coach I was debating if its worth joining these sites.

  2. I’ve tried both.It’s been a while since Gigmasters,so it may have changed,but for me,it was way overpriced and difficult to use. I’m still using Gigsalad because it’s fairly simple and at least makes back it’s cost (rarely any or much more than that).I get most of my gigs myself through cold calls and word of mouth,but Gigsalad introduces me to gigs at private venues I might not be able find on my own.

  3. We are an A Capella group named Tune Up in Northern Va… and booked 2 gigs over 2 months on gigsalad without much social presence. We had 66 views over 90 days which resulted in 8 requests for quote, of which I submitted 6 quotes and landed 2. One of those was a gig we did for NBC 12 in Richmond that was for a commercial for their charity! All of that was on their ‘free’ account. Yesterday I decided based off of that ‘success’ to triple down and pay for the premium for a year (it was 40% off). I’m anxious to see how traffic goes over the year – but feel i have pretty good metrics to go off of. Thanks or the article – I was wondering if I made the right investment. We have a lot of work to do to improve our social platform: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/07/todd-gurley-rams-extension-leveon-bell-steelers-contract

  4. Great information and a very detailed review!! It’s truly all I needed to understand. Thanks for taking the time!!

  5. Thank you for this very well laid-out review and realistic breakdown and how-to. It is much appreciated!! I’m going to give a go to both for a few months and see what happens…To be followed!! 🙂

  6. Hey, guys/girls. I’m a pro children’s entertainer. I’m here because after working with Gigmasters for several years I’m considering GigSalad to “Put a few more vegetables onto my plate”. I’d be very interested in networking with other professionals and discussing marketing approaches. Also, I’m looking to start using more professional video production to promote my business. Any advice there? Thanks, Stacy. You’re an inspiration!

  7. GigSalad offers an advantage over GigMasters, which is that GigMasters requires performers to book on their platform, but GigSalad allows their “featured” performers to book directly through their own websites, for a higher subscription fee, of course.

  8. We vastly prefer GigSalad. When COVID19 hit, all of our jobs cancelled. Since large assemblys of people were banned at the local/state/federal levels, we were not getting any new leads or bookings. We asked TheBash-Gigmasters to “share the burden” and suspend our account for a couple of months, and let us reinstate with the same account credit later. They refused, saying “you can suspend your account, but will continue to debit your annual membership”. In other words, THEY CONTINUE TO MAKE PROFIT FROM VENDORS DURING THE COVID19 crisis. (By the way, their competitor GigSalad offers this “suspension” feature with no hassle to the vendor.)

    Avoid TheBash-Gigmasters . They are driven by profits. Vendors are at the bottom of the food-chain.. They even sent all Vendors a notice, “encouraging” us to refund non-refundable deposits for the cancelled events (which we had already done), “so customers can use it for a future booking”. TheBash would have Vendors pay ALL the burden for the COVID19 crisis, not customers, and certainly not The Bash. Gigmasters, it would seem, is mostly a Profiteer on the backs of its vendors!

    1. I, too, have lost all of my events from Mid-March to Mid-May. I went from having the most profitable few months of my life to zero income. Having said that, we’re all a little thrown right now but it’s important to remember this is temporary. I don’t necessarily agree with refunding non-refundable deposits. What I do agree with is making sure you treat your clients (the people who hired you for events) VERY well during this time. They will remember your response. I am assuming this is why GigMasters is suggesting returning non-refundable deposits. Many of us are not in a financial position to do so. Instead, think of other ways to help your clients, (people who booked you) because they are struggling too. They are most likely out of venue deposits, catering deposits, etc. You can say something like, “I’m financially unable to refund your deposit right now, but should you re-schedule I’m happy to add x-amount of time to our original contract so you can get some added value.” Or, “I know this is a hard time for you as well. Because I’m unable to ____, I can offer _____ should you choose to reschedule.” I’ve taken this approach with ALL of my events and am already re-scheduled for the fall with three of them. GigMasters is a software. They are not your customer service. You are your customer service so respond to each of your cancelled events accordingly. That’s just my two cents. I am assuming GigMasters will be adjusting but they are probably scrambling right now to deal with all the inquiries and cancelations and come up with new policies.

      1. Yes, Stacy, thanks for your inputs. We have excellent direct relations with our customers. The problem here is GigMasters. It is pitiful that GigMasters-The-Bash is PROFITEERING ON THE COVID19 crisis. GigMasters does not treat their Vendors as well as GigSalad.

      2. I wrote to Gigmasters, the Bash and told them there is no excuse for not giving their vendors (artists) a price break during the pandemic. What performers are booking anything right now? Told them they are the perfect example of corporate greed. They never responded.

  9. Stacy, I agree with most of what you state but wanted to share my experience for anyone visiting this link as well. I utilize 4 services, GigMasters or The Bash” as they are calling it now is one of them. Solo Musicians in Event Entertainment don’t get much volume on any of the services but GigMasters is hands down the WORST! I have a very Professional, up to date profile with Audio and Video on all the services. I received 57 lead notifications, responded to all in a timely fashion and quoted 43. It has taken in excess of 1 year to receive these. Clearly an indication of how little business they generate. Of the 43 I quoted, I have booked exactly ZERO gigs. And yes I have contacted them to tweak my profile on several occasions and it made NO difference. None of the services I use are great and I would hesitate to recommend any of them. However GigMasters stands alone as the only one that has NOT produced at the very least a single gig. I can see why they changed their name as they certainly were not GigMasters! Anyway if you are in my line of work as a Solo Musician I would highly recommend you look elsewhere. I have wasted much time, effort and $ with GigMasters and will NOT be renewing my subscription to their services. Hope this helps someone!

  10. Stacy,

    Thanks for your informative review of The Bash (formerly Gigmasters) and GigSalad. I am a Sr. Project Manager who manages all business activities, i.e., administrative, marketing, promotion, bookkeeping, etc., for Vincent Gross Music (The Bash Member ID #: 164263), a jazz musician and entertainer in Houston, TX. Your advice for success is on point! A business owner must have a good understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to determine their products/services niche. Then identify their target audience and where to find them. My research revealed that both The Knot and Wedding Wire, owned by The Knot Wedding Wire Worldwide (TKWWW), are the most popular wedding planning sites for brides and planners searching for artists/bands. Understanding business is “risk”, I invested in this high risk, expensive, 1 year subscription to gain exposure to leads/referrals, you keep 100% profit from all gigs booked, you can collect those coveted reviews from clients both on and outside those sites (thus earning their revered “Best of” logo badges to place on the business website, as well as being searchable on Google. Worst case is 2-3 gigs will at least recoup the investment. I also invested in The Bash 3-month 100 mile business radius subscription because of their 90 days money back guarantee (or so they say), which is less risk, a lower cost and short-term subscription. So far, the only down side I’m aware of is that they take 5% profit from all gigs booked on their site. Worst case is 1 gig will recoup the investment, or get a 100% refund in 90 days. Also, what I discovered is The Bash is also a part of TKWWW. In conclusion, you must have a good marketing strategy that includes advertising, promotion and branding elements targeted to your audience that fits your budget to help move your business to the next level.

    Thanks again,
    LM

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