This is a point I’m going to make frequently on this blog. Price is a direct reflection of value. People are proud to pay in full for a 100k sports car – it shows off their worth. People buy designer clothes not due to functionality, but due to BRANDING. Why do you think H&M gets a away with charging $200 for a blazer, that is really just Indonesian cotton that is beat up and dyed an obnoxious color?! (I will admit H&M does have great sales…but you get the point.)
If you consistently try to engage your competition a price war , the only thing you offer is a LOWER PRICE. Price becomes your BRAND. Think – what are some companies known for low prices – Walmart? McDonalds? Sam’s Club? Their entire business premise is around practical goods or services at the lowest price possible. What about high prices – Whole Foods? Banana Republic? Fogo de Chao? These companies charge high prices for their goods due to perceived value and higher quality. Value – whether real or not – and offering a higher quality of service is their brand.
As a musician you can use this concept to your advantage. You want to be the Rolex of your field, whether playing a wedding or corporate event, small concert series, or doing a recording session. You want price to reflect your value – not how low you’re willing to go. There will always be someone offering to do the job for less. Don’t worry about your competition’s fees – if somebody wants to pay Joe Schmo $100 to play their wedding, well, that’s their choice if they want the music for the big day to sound like a total hack job. Instead, offer a fair price that reflects your value – and offer a superior service. Be punctual, friendly, easy to communicate with and make the performance about THE AUDIENCE .
In the coming posts I will detail exactly how I negotiate contracts and what you can do to leverage simple business concepts to your advantage as a working musician.