How To Get Paid To Gig
Gigs are much like leaves, they come in a variety of shapes and colors. Getting the ones you get paid for is not magic nor is it hard, you just have to know where to look and position yourself to get them.
1. Let People Know You Perform
Even if you haven't done so yet (as long as you definitely have the skill), let people know you are a musician or singer and are available to entertain. If no one knows you perform, you're missing out on prime opportunities.
Take it one step further and advertise. No you do not have to have a large ad in your local entertainment weekly or the most popular blogs but you do need to find somewhere to let people you don't already know, know what you do or are capable of doing.
3. Go Support Other Musicians
Loyalty and comradery are qualities that are attractive to almost everyone. You want people to support you so support others in your field. Doing so, you'll develop a network of really great artists in your field or genre and even vendors. They will likely want to support you when your time comes around or even let you know when an opportunity that fits you is available. Think less competition and more partnership.
4. Make It Easy To Pay You
Make sure people have different choices on how to pay you. Cash is great but not everyone will have cash available. They may not have had a chance to stop at the ATM or any other number of reasons. Have a way to accept credit cards or open a paypal or amazon account that accepts payments.
5. Have Your Agreement in Writing
Once you come to an agreement with your client on the specifics of your services, etc., make sure you include details of your payment. Having established ahead of time the deposit (if you require one) remaining balance and when and how each will be paid will eliminate any question when it comes time to payment. You'll be able to pin point exactly when, when, how and by whom you will be paid.
6. Make a Good Impression At the Gigs You Get
Once you have a gig whether paid or not, give it everything you have and talk to people that are there that you don't know. Your work does not stop when you step off stage. Get to know and make as many connections as you can with as many people as you can. You never know what type of doors open with any crowd. You may even get a house gig out of talking to someone in an audience or a new listener or fan.
7. DO NOT PAY TO PLAY
This is a rule I have. I refuse to pay anyone to have me entertain other people. It's like asking a news anchor to pay viewers to watch them at 6 o'clock. The one exception to this rule is if you are in a position where you are looking for exposure and it's for an application to perform at a festival or something else along those lines. Generally, do not dish out your money to entertain anyone. Grandma's are not included in this. lol