I'm not sure I'd touch any of these services with a 10 foot pole. But I can't say from experience, so I appreciate the info. I'm just skeptical.
If you want to find success as a live musician in the 21st century, making use of online platforms to increase visibility is a necessity. Luckily, there are a myriad of options available to accomplish this, and GigSalad has become one of the more prominent options musicians are flocking to. But what sets it apart from the others? And more importantly, is it a worthwhile investment for your unique path in the music industry? In this article we will address 2 questions: 'is GigSalad legit?' and 'is GigSalad worth it?'
As a gigging musician, you need every advantage you can get. At Band Pioneer we've used all of these major platforms, and have currently used GigSalad for over 2 years to add additional high-paying gigs to Exit 85's calendar. But we have no ties to them, and will give you an honest opinion of this platform and its competitors. Keep in mind these solutions are not one size fits all. You may have different goals and level of commitment that makes it more or less useful for you. To help you find out if GigSalad is the game-changer it's made out to be, we'll dissect everything it offers, analyze its key features, its usability, pricing, and mention some alternatives you should checkout as well.
So, is GigSalad legit? Is GigSalad worth it? Let's find out!
What is GigSalad?
A Peek into the Live Music Industry's Online Marketplace
GigSalad places performers on a virtual stage, uniting event planners with the live entertainment they're shopping for. On it you can find a spectrum of talent from musicians, DJs, and comedians to magicians and inspirational speakers. The platform enables artists to illustrate their abilities, experience, and charisma, showcasing themselves to event coordinators that are actively shopping for entertainers. On the flip side, event planners find an Amazon-like digital marketplace of performers to choose from, complete with client reviews and messaging, to help find the right match for their event. By bridging the gap between artists and event planners, GigSalad creates a dynamic network in the entertainment industry, facilitating the employment of creative talent.
GigSalad for Musicians - A Gateway to More Gigs?
For musicians, this marketplace is the cornerstone of GigSalad, where event planners are actively seeking talented bands and individual musicians with their skillset. This direct connection can be instrumental in securing more gigs and broadening the musician's audience base.
The primary tool musicians use to showcase their music is the PromoKit. This digital resume allows musicians to create a portfolio of their music in an organized, professional manner. They can upload high-quality videos, audio samples, photos, and a list of their past performances, providing potential clients with a comprehensive understanding of their artistry and capabilities. A PromoKit can be linked to the artist's website or social media, thus driving more traffic to their work.
The GigSalad platform also offers a calendar feature that can prove to be invaluable for musicians. It helps them manage their gig schedule and avoid double bookings. The calendar automatically updates with new gigs, ensuring a smooth, organized management of the musician's time and performances.
For communication with clients, GigSalad provides an integrated messaging system. This allows for efficient, timely communication between musicians and event organizers, ensuring that all gig-related details are discussed and finalized effectively.
Collecting payment can be a hassle for live bands, making the secure payment system on platforms like GigSalad one of the more substantial benefits. It offers online payment methods, which are typically more secure and reliable than handling payments directly. This not only ensures prompt payment after the gig is completed, but also protects musicians from payment-related disputes or issues. The messaging and notifications are a huge benefit as well, leading gig leads directly to the artist's inbox. If their messaging and invoicing benefit you, then the answer to the question 'is GigSalad worth it?' is likely 'yes'.
Musicians can also use these tools to grow their fan base, as well as the options for receiving reviews to build the artist's credibility on the platform. Presumably the longer you use the system and do well by those who book you, the more demand you have, and the more you can charge. These features collectively create an environment where musicians have the opportunity to boost their career, secure more gigs, and establish a solid presence in the industry.
GigSalad Reviews - The GigSalad App
A Deep Dive into User Experience
User experience is an essential element of any app's success, and the GigSalad app indeed caters to this need with its robust and practical features. But is GigSalad worth it based on the GigSalad app and GigSalad user experience? One of the prominent features is the calendar synchronization, which allows users to link their GigSalad calendar with Google or iCloud. This seamless integration helps users track their events and ensures they stay updated without switching apps.
The GigSalad app further helps users with effective lead management. It provides options to block specific leads if a user finds them bothersome, offering control over incoming inquiries. Notifications for messages and potential gigs are sent via SMS or email, making sure users don't miss out on any opportunity.
The GigSalad app also includes a feature for verified booking reviews, allowing users to build credibility and trust among potential clients. The EPK-like PromoKit enables performers to create a webpage showcasing their videos, images, setlist, and schedule. This feature helps to enhance their online presence and attract more potential event organizers.
Users can also earn badges based on their activity and achievement on the platform, which helps to stand out and gain recognition. The platform provides options for generating gig quotes, streamlining the process of negotiations with event organizers. Further, the secure payment system of GigSalad guarantees that all transactions are safe and secure, including deposits.
So, is GigSalad legit based on its website? With its intuitive design and practical features, GigSalad generally receives positive feedback from its users. However, whether or not it will work for you depends on your level of commitment to it, and how you plan to use it. It's not just about listing performers and connecting them with event organizers, but providing a comprehensive solution that addresses various needs of the users, making their journey smoother and more productive.
GigSalad Reviews - Pricing
Pricing is a significant consideration when asking 'is GigSalad legit?' or 'is GigSalad worth it?' GigSalad offers two primary paid membership plans for entertainers and vendors: the Pro and the Featured memberships. Each of these plans offers different levels of visibility in the GigSalad app and access to potential clients, and choosing between them can significantly impact your success on the platform.
The Pro Membership, the more affordable of the two, comes with a substantial set of benefits. For a fee of around $20 per month, users get a listing on the GigSalad marketplace with a promotional profile. This allows entertainers to showcase their talent to a broad audience, increasing the likelihood of securing gigs. This plan also offers some promotional tools and access to a customer service team for support.
On the other hand, the Featured Membership, costing approximately $40 per month, provides users with everything that comes with the Pro Membership and more. With the Featured Membership, entertainers get top placement in search results. This can significantly increase an artist's visibility to potential clients, making it much more likely for them to secure high-paying gigs. The Featured Membership also includes advanced promotional tools and premium customer service support.
When comparing the two, the Pro Membership can be seen as an excellent choice for those who are new to the platform or those who are looking for affordable access to the GigSalad app. However, the Featured Membership is often seen as a worthwhile investment for entertainers who want to maximize their visibility and increase their earning potential.
While the price difference might seem significant, it's important to consider the potential return on investment. The increased visibility and promotional tools offered by the Featured Membership can lead to more gig bookings, potentially offsetting the higher cost. So, is GigSalad worth it? To answer this it's essential to evaluate your individual needs and budget when deciding between the two.
Is the GigSalad Free Option Worth a Shot?
GigSalad's Basic (free) plan is an entry-level option for newcomers to the platform. It allows users to create a profile and receive a limited number of leads, offering a glimpse of GigSalad's potential. However, its functionality is vastly overshadowed by the paid memberships. With limited visibility and lacking advanced promotional tools, the Basic plan serves primarily as an exploratory phase for new users. For those serious about maximizing gig opportunities, a paid plan is typically the recommended route.
GigSalad Reviews - GigSalad vs GigMasters
The Bash GigMasters
The Bash, formerly known as GigMasters, is a prominent event-booking platform in the entertainment industry. Established in 1997, it has a solid history and a large user base, providing a platform for entertainers, from musicians and DJs to magicians and speakers, to connect with event planners.
When compared to GigSalad, both platforms aim to bridge the gap between entertainers and those seeking their services. However, there are several areas where they differ, which could impact your decision on which platform to use.
In terms of securing gigs, while The Bash has a broad range of categories and potentially a larger user base, it doesn't necessarily guarantee more gigs. GigSalad's promotional tools, especially with its paid memberships, can potentially offer more visibility, leading to increased bookings.
Both platforms offer Electronic Press Kit (EPK) in The Bash and GigSalad app, with features allowing artists to showcase their talent. However, GigSalad’s PromoKit is often hailed for its user-friendliness, with simple customization options making it easy for artists to curate their profiles.
User experience differs slightly between the two platforms. The GigSalad app offers a streamlined, intuitive interface, while The Bash also provides a user-friendly experience but with a different layout. Personal preference plays a role here.
Comparing pricing models, GigSalad offers monthly subscriptions, while The Bash requires a more substantial annual membership, which could be pricier. However, considering the potential return on investment, either could be worth it depending on your specific needs.
When it comes to client interactions, both platforms provide robust tools for lead management, messaging, quoting, and notifications. However, GigSalad’s interface often gets a nod for its simplicity and effectiveness.
Choosing between GigSalad app and The Bash depends on individual needs and preferences. For those seeking a monthly subscription and a user-friendly interface, GigSalad might be the right fit. On the other hand, if an extensive range of categories and an annual subscription model are more appealing, The Bash could be a better choice. As always, consider your specific requirements and budget before deciding.
GigSalad Reviews - Other Competitors
While GigSalad and The Bash dominate the space, there are other platforms that are worth considering. There are also a alternative approaches that musicians use beyond entertainment-niche marketplaces. Which one is best for you will ultimately depend on your specific needs and goals as a performer.
10 GigSalad Alternatives:
- Sonicbids: This platform specializes in providing electronic press kits (EPKs) and is renowned among artists eyeing opportunities in music festivals and large-scale events. Its unique selling point is the link to high-profile events, but it doesn't offer the same breadth of client base as GigSalad.
- Bandcamp: Bandcamp is geared towards musicians looking to sell their music and merchandise directly to fans. It's more of a music distribution platform than a booking service, making it a different kind of resource compared to GigSalad.
- Reverbnation: Reverbnation is a comprehensive platform offering services from music distribution to gig booking. Its wide range of services makes it a versatile choice, although the booking aspect is not as focused as GigSalad.
- Gigmor: Gigmor operates similarly to GigSalad as a marketplace connecting musicians and bands to gig opportunities. It's smaller in scale, so it may offer less competition but also fewer clients.
- StagePlotPro: This is a tool for creating stage plots and input lists that's widely used by bands and musicians. It's not a booking platform but can complement services like GigSalad by enhancing communication with venues and sound engineers.
- Talent Agencies and Managers: Hiring a talent agent or a manager is a traditional approach in the entertainment industry. They typically have extensive networks and can secure high-quality gigs, but they come at a price and might be more suitable for established artists.
- Social Media Platforms: Sites like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram can be effective for self-promotion and networking. They offer direct contact with fans and potential clients but require considerable effort to build and maintain a strong presence. If you're already using or considering using Social Media to promote your music, we have an entire section devoted to Social Media Music Marketing. It's an ideal place to learn how to make an impact, while avoiding the mistakes man succumb to.
- Craigslist and Other Classifieds: While less formal and more general, these platforms can be sources of gig opportunities. However, they lack the focused networking and promotional tools provided by GigSalad.
- Fiverr: Fiverr is the leading online marketplace for freelance services, where musicians and bands can offer their performances for events. It's a much broader platform, not devoted to only entertainment, so the competition can be high, and the gigs can get quite diverse.
- UpWork: UpWork is another leading freelance marketplace, with similar services and approach to Fiverr. However, some prefer it over Fiverr, so if you're interested in this approach you should look into both.
Is GigSalad Worth It?
My Personal Experience
We've used all of the options mentioned in this article, and are currently using GigSalad with the 80s & 90s rock cover band Exit 85. So we can confidently answer the question "is GigSalad worth it". We renewed our subscription multiple times for 2 years, because for many months it paid for itself. That's a pretty easy test for any performer to do if you have a $140-$170 to spare. Just try one for 3 months and see if it brings in more money than the subscription costs.
We started with The Bash GigMasters and did not have great results. The leads were slow to come in and not the higher-quality shows we were looking for. But this is where I want to emphasize that every band's goals are different, and therefore each one will have different results. In our case, we were already an established band with gigs coming in directly. We didn't want more gigs, we wanted higher paying gigs! So we only targeted larger events on these platforms, with budgets of $2000 or more. And that is NOT what I would recommend others to do, as it results in most leads being unqualified.
It's hard to get traction on these platforms if you're new to them, do not have reviews, and are charging a high fee. On Amazon and other marketplaces, shoppers look at the highly rated products with lots of qualified reviews, first. When trying The Bash we didn't get enough leads to justify the costs, and our lack of reviews and high price tag may have been why. However, with GigMasters we did get enough leads for a couple higher-quality festivals, HOA events, and corporate parties, to convert a few of them each cycle. Paying a fee of $140-$170 and then making $2000-$5000 from one or two additional shows made us confident when considering the question 'Is GigSalad worth it?' — yes, it seemed so. However, in those months when no new gigs came through, had someone asked us 'Is GigSalad worth it?', our answer would likely have been no. Our expectation was the more shows we performed, the more verified reviews we'd get, leading to more opportunity. And because of that we turned down nearly every lead that came in under $2000. A smarter approach would have been to take lower paying shows at first, so that you can build up a large amount of verified reviews. This will make you stand out from other performers and pull in more leads, and then with higher demand you can raise your prices and be more selective. But regardless, keep in mind that every month will not be productive. There will be ebbs and flows.
The Final Verdict!
So, is GigSalad Legit? Yes! But is GigSalad worth it? Probably not. If that sounds contradictory, let us explain... GigSalad is not a scam. It is a platform with tools that can legitimately help you get more exposure and gigs. But that doesn't mean you can sign up, sit back, and watch the gigs roll in. You need to have a marketing plan, respond to leads quickly, and provide reasonable quotes. The value of GigSalad comes down to the specific requirements and commitment level of musicians or entertainers using it.
In our experience we were able to beat GigSalad's performance simply with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Exit 85, the band we focused our GigSalad use on, got more new gigs from people who found the band on Google than on GigSalad. However, we are SEO professionals, and had Exit 85's website performing better than most band's websites. If your website has a good amount of organic traffic, paying for a tool like GigSalad will probably not help much. But if you don't, it may be worthwhile to give it a try, at least at first while you're building your brand and reputation.
Ultimately, the GigSalad app is a well-rounded platform that, used wisely and strategically, can be a valuable tool in a musician's arsenal. But the decision should be made after carefully considering the platform's features, costs, how they align with your career goals, and the alternative solutions.
Band Pioneer exists to help you succeed socially and financially, with marketing and social media strategies, financial planning, advice and reviews. If you have any questions about GigSalad or anything else music related, feel free to contact us.