How to Book Gigs that Pay More for Life

In For Entertainers & Performers by jcsum6 Comments

Share this Post

In a previous article, I explored how to book more shows and make money as a live musician, comedian, magician, juggler or entertainer.

If you want to take your career to the next level and book gigs that pay more for life, the business framework outlined in the previous article alone is not enough.

While the definition of success is debatable and there can be many aspects to what makes an entertainer successful, in this article, I’m referring solely to commercial and financial success.

To earn a high income (six figures or more) as an entertainer and live the lifestyle you want, you need a more sophisticated approach.

My business philosophy is to adopt the “Big Money” approach. The Big Money approach advocates that you focus on getting high value shows that pay more. The only way to get Big Money shows is by creating a differentiated quality product with high value in a niche market.

Identify a Niche Market

As an entertainer, your product (your show or act) is fundamental and is your defining quality. However, as a commercial entertainer who performs for money, the right approach is to first examine your market viability and potential business opportunities.

It is the understanding of your market opportunities that guides the creation, presentation and marketing of your product. Most entertainers work the other way around.

The most common approach is for an entertainer to work on an act first and then try to find work with the act. This is the traditional way.

The problem with this approach is that there is a large possibility, especially in today’s market, that you might have an excellent act but no viable market to perform it in. You want a market that will give the desired financial returns for all the time, effort and skill required to perform the act.

This is one reason why some entertainers are not as successful as they can be or why some businesses fail in general. They fail to research the market and end up creating a product that does not have a place in the market or does not add great value to the market.

Book Gigs that Pay More

Have a Differentiated Quality Show or Act

Only after identifying a viable market should you look at the product you can offer this market.

Having a quality product is a “given”. This means it is a basic expectation and the minimum
standard needed. So even if you have a quality product, in order to book Big Money shows, it is not good enough.

You must have a differentiated quality product. It is good to be great but great to be different.

Differentiating your product is one of the most effective ways of increasing your value in the eyes of consumers and the market; which directly increases your performance fee. Therefore, being different is essential for being able to secure Big Money shows.

Some entertainers have it; that natural artist eye and performance flair that gives them the coveted ability to create fresh new artistic products. This can be referred to as pure creativity.

The good news is that being different does not mean you have be a pure creative artist. You can be different in any way that is of value in the marketplace.

You can be innovative in the way you present an act, apply your art to a specific market, introduce your art to untapped markets or even market yourself.

The most important thing is to identify what makes you different.

If you cannot seem to find anything that makes you inherently different, you need to identify an area that you can work on to make yourself different.

Market Your Show or Act with a Strategy

To be highly successful, you need more than just good marketing. You must have a marketing strategy to guide your tools and tactics. A marketing strategy starts with trying to create a position you can own in a market, also known as positioning.

Jack Trout and Al Ries introduced the concept of positioning in the late seventies/ early eighties. Although the approaches to the concept have been refined over the years, the basic concept remains the same.

Positioning deals with creating a ‘position’ for your business in the minds of the consumers. It has got to do with communicating a ‘position’ that comprises of your brand values and perceptions that you want consumers to have about your business.

Successful positioning means making your name/ business synonymous with a particular product category. When you think of creative tech devices, you think of Apple. When you think of fried chicken, you think of KFC. When you think of hamburgers, you think of McDonald’s.

Your positioning is personified by your brand and image and your positioning strategy is king. It dictates what marketing tools to use and how they are used (tactics). And the tools and tactics you use strengthen your position in the minds of the consumers. Different niche markets will require different marketing tools and tactics to effectively sell your product and brand.

There is no cookie-cutter approach that can be applied to all markets. However, your positioning strategy and niche market will determine which tools and tactics to use at the right time.

As you can see, while it takes just three steps to be a successful entertainer making a living doing what you love, it takes much more thought, finesse and effort to set yourself up to be a highly successful entertainer. And, it all starts with a shift in thinking.

For more insight, download my free ebook on how to make big money as a entertainer.

Think BIG (Money)” is a small but powerful business and marketing book for musicians, comedians, variety artists and performers that will change how you think about generating your income as a live entertainer.

Think Big Money ebook

It will transform your mindset from being a gig-to-gig entertainer to developing into a business-oriented creative entrepreneur.

Discover how to make the mental leap from just wanting to book as many shows as possible to building a money-generating brand that dominates your niche market and sets you up for creating wealth.

The book also includes a bonus chapter on how to find and work with agents, show bookers and talent managers.

This book was written to benefit all types of entertainers such as:

  • Aerialists
  • Balloon Artistes
  • Bands
  • Circus Acts
  • Comedians
  • Contortionists
  • Dancers
  • Escape Artists
  • Face Painters
  • Hypnotists
  • Illusionists
  • Impersonators
  • Instrumentalists
  • Jugglers
  • Magicians
  • Mime Artists
  • Musicians
  • Singers
  • Variety Artists
  • Ventriloquists
  • Vocalists

To download this book, simply enter your email below to get the link.


  1. very informative material JC !! looking to download the ebook.. think BIG, I hope I find it.

  2. the first time iam reading an information about this subject. very much encouraging

Leave a Comment