In this interview you’ll discover:
- How Baz took some basic mobile phone footage and created a fantastic promo video.
- How he effectively leveraged time with his photographer to create even more promo material.
- What simple website changes generated enquiries from SEO.
- How he contacted and started relationships with local event planners that are set up for long term success.
- How he uses other company brands to enhance his bands brand.
- Why Baz realises it was a mistake to not network and talk to other similar bands.
Brad: Hello and welcome to the Gigging Success podcast where you’ll discover the tactics and strategies of some of the world’s most successful cover bands that will help you fast track your way to more of those better-paid gigs you deserve.
So just a few announcements for today. My previous partner in crime, Del, is no longer part of Gigging Success. His franchise business has started to take off and he was finding it pretty tricky to put the time into Gigging Success, so we have decided to part ways. I will be bringing Del into the podcast to give us a bit of an agent’s perspective on things.
But for the time being, no more Del. So the … What we’ve got coming up in the podcast today actually is an interview with a great guy called Baz Edmondson, who runs a band called The Benedicts. He’s been working at The Benedicts for about 18 months and has made some massive strides in that time.
So I really wanted to get to the bottom of what he’s been doing and how he’s been able to effectively be gigging every single weekend at weddings, pretty much weddings actually, for about the last three to four months. So we dive into that, so stick around for that.
I should mention also that on this interview—I apologize for this—there’s going to be a few dropouts of sound because we record it over Skype. So there is the occasional dropout, but stick with it because the bulk of the info is there, so it’s well worth having a look … having a listen all the way through even if it drops out for a few seconds.
So again, thanks for everyone who’s been emailing in with some feedback. It’s really useful to know. I’m really pleased that people are enjoying the podcast. If there’s anything else that you want us to cover or if you feel as though you might be worthy of an interview on the podcast, you’ve made some great success over the last year, 18 months or so with a band, then get in touch with me. And you can just actually email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.
One final thing before we get into the interview, if you haven’t done so, head over to GiggingSuccess.com/CBE and you can download my free guide, Five Free and Easy Tactics and Strategies To Get More Bookings and Dominate Your Competition in the Current Economy. Really useful, people that are really serious about taking their cover band to the next level.
If you’re not doing any sales and marketing actively at the moment, this is the best first step for you, so get over to GiggingSuccess.com/CBE. Let’s get straight into the interview.
Okay. So here I am with a lovely guy called Baz Edmondson from a band called The Benedicts who are doing some great things here in the UK. Hi, Baz. How are you doing?
Baz: Hey, Brad. Yeah, good. Thank you very much. How are you?
Brad: Yeah. Very well. Thank you. Very well. Thanks for spending the next half an hour or so with us. We obviously had a chat a couple of weeks back now, I think, didn’t we?
Baz: That’s right.
Brad: And just so, I was really impressed with your kind of commitment and focus to the cause of your band, The Benedicts. So I think what you’ve done with it so far has been fantastic in such a short space of time. So I was really keen to get on and see what’s going on in your head as much as anything.
Baz: Ha, ha. No. I appreciate it. Yeah. I know, of course. Let’s do this thing.
Brad: Yeah. Cool. Cool. Okay. Well, look, tell us a little bit about your kind of backstory where … How did you kind of start out? How old are you now? Let’s start with that.
Baz: I’m 29 going on a hundred, whatever, so …
Brad: Okay. Excellent. Okay. And what’s your … Where did you start out? How did you get into this thing?
Baz: Well, the function band scene.
Brad: Well, let’s go back a little bit further.
Brad: Where did your music start from?
Baz: Music. I mean I’m probably like most, I imagine. I just sort of … young age, dabbled with the guitar and things and … Initially, for me, it was just a case of wanting to play in bands and appeal to as many women as possible. You know, like everybody … rock star when we first started, I was about 15, 16.
And initially, for me, it was all about just playing the guitar and performing. There was never any sort of classical background for me. I just loved to get up and play other people’s music, then playing my own. Then, I guess at about 17, 18, I became a bit more serious. I got the opportunity to pursue, I guess, some sort of career.
Then I went to the ACM. I sort of became a little bit more serious, so it became a career direction. And I’ve been pursuing that ever since, really. It’s just sort of naturally progressing, just the case of wanting to play music to seeing whether it was actually a viable option to actually consider it as a career of some sort.
Brad: Okay. Just for people outside of UK, what’s ACM?
Baz: ACM is the Academy of Contemporary Music. It’s basically a pop and rock school its base is in Guildford, in the UK. Just a rock school, really.
Baz: Yeah, teaching always students all sorts … I went there based as a guitarist initially. I am a singer and guitarist now. So yeah, I mean, I did … We can do all sorts of academic kind of courses there, so I had an H & D and a degree. Yeah, and it’s very good. It’s very good.
Brad: Okay. Cool. So you went from there and you went in … And you said you’re a metal band. Is that right?
Baz: Yeah. I’m a metal band.
Brad: We love that. Yeah, go on. Tell us about that.
Baz: Yeah, In Perfect Silence. That … Again, that was me pursuing like the whole original kind of set up. I wanted to kind of make, play my music and … At that time, I really had very little interest in playing cover stuff. And I wanted to become … Like I said, at the beginning, I wanted to be a friendly rock star.
So yeah, at the university, you find a couple of guys who are into similar sort of music or not, actually, which is why I thought we sounded pretty, pretty dissonant to a lot of stuff. We just sort of hit it off and started doing the whole kind of playing all these horrendous shows to no one but ourselves.
Brad: Oh, yeah.
Baz: Oh, you know the drill.
Brad: Sure, that will sound familiar to a lot of listeners. Yeah.
Baz: That’s right. Spending money on all … and not making anything. But it was great fun. I think we wrote … did some really great stuff. And it’s sort of a shame that there’s sort of hiatus or whether it’s dead. No, I don’t know. But we stuck it out for a good four years or so.
And then I think we sort of put ourselves on the map to some extent. We never obviously never made it a huge-enough thing, but we supported Funeral for a Friend. And there’s a fake murder and some pretty big acts actually in the whole metal scene. But then again, the metal scene is not a particularly big scene anyway. So yeah.
Brad: So that kind of … And that … So what, did that take up to what … When did you finish In Perfect Silence?
Baz: In Perfect Silence really … Yeah, it’s the jump from that to the function bands, the thing that I’m doing now was directly afterwards. It was almost like fill in the void because In Perfect Silence took so much of my time and effort and so much of everything that I … As soon as that sort of came to an end, I had all this—I don’t know what to call it—just need to do something. I have no way to put it. But then, out of that, out of the ashes, sort of came The Benedicts.
Brad: Right. So when was this? This was about 18 months ago, right?
Baz: I actually don’t remember that.
Brad: What was it that made you go from kind of being in a metal band to being in a straight-up part … four-piece party band? What was the reason for that decision?
Baz: I don’t know. I honestly don’t know how or why it actually happened. But if I could think … try to think back … I mean, like I said, again, it was about fill in the void, really, for me, musically, and also the fact that I had done it in the past. I’ve always tried to stay away from the whole cover scene and actually, I … quite wrongly, really considering it a silly move and against really what I wanted to do. And in reality, it definitely wasn’t that.
Brad: Because there’s a lot of … I speak to a lot of musicians that are really kind of torn between this idea of creating their kind of original stuff and then it’s quite … I mean, it’s quite a contrast to kind of go from where you went to, to go straight into a straight-up four-piece kind of party band, so … But you obviously felt comfortable with that, right? What do you think … Where did that come from? Is it just a kind of a love of just performing?
Baz: Well, I’ll tell you what. In reality, my time at the ACM and my time at … doing my degree and actually pretty much all my training as a musician is actually being … setting me up to be a … in a function band. That’s what it’s really done. It’s only … I guess since I … on both sides came to an end and I started pursuing it.
But I realized that’s what I’ve been actually trained to do because all those Tuesday morning sessions I used to have where we were given a song to learn identical to the record, and then come in and perform it with people we had never played with before. That’s essentially a function band stuff. That’s what we do now. I spent years and years and years doing that with my … in my courses that I was involved in.
Brad: I think I lost you there.
Baz: Yes …
Brad: Sorry. We lost you there. Carry on. Yeah.
Baz: Okay. Yeah. At this time, it was … It’s always been there for me. Don’t get me wrong. The whole kind of jump from being … playing metal music, hard-hitting kind of head-bang stuff to suddenly being, for example, at someone’s wedding playing Sex on Fire, Kings of Leon, or whatever you want to call it, or even actually in our case, playing and suddenly finding myself singing Take That, Greatest Day or The Proclaimers, 500 Miles. I mean, it’s also that.
You think like less than six months ago, I was playing in some horrible, dingy pub somewhere, really cool heavy metal music, my stuff with all this. And suddenly, I’m singing this stuff. I mean that sort of flipped. It was pretty hard … not hard, but it was a very strange to some….
Brad: Yeah. How did you … Yeah. Is that how you felt about it?
Brad: Was it a bit of strange to be in that situation?
Baz: Certainly. Yeah. It was …
Brad: But were you happy with that?
Baz: Yeah. It was just different. And I think …
Brad: So what made you kind of happy being about in that situation with The Benedicts playing in a wedding having come from … What was it? Was it the fact that you were performing? Was it the fact that you were stretching your kind of musical chops in terms of playing or …
Baz: Yeah. All of those. All those, definitely. I mean as most musicians, just the fact that we’re performing, it means … It’s everything. Now, we definitely believe it doesn’t matter what I’m singing or what I’m playing as long as I’m playing.
I’m actually enjoying it, because like I said the songs that I would literally have turned my back on straightaway being The Proclaimers 500 … I’m not a big fan of the song, but actually, when you’ve got a crowd in front of you going absolutely crazy for the song, regardless of the fact that it’s not yours and not particularly a song that you would necessarily like listening to, is … That just fills you with actually everything you would get anyway and I love that.
And so it’s actually, like I said to you the last time we spoke about it, is I’m getting … It’s sort of a compromise, really. I may not be playing my music as music I want to play. But I am playing actually good music. It’s well-written good music, and I’m playing it to people who actually really want to hear it.
And that was the big difference in my original bands that actually a lot of people we played to didn’t even want to hear us. That’s the sad truth, and it’s completely the opposite now. People want to be involved and sing along. And they know the words.
Brad: When you got that booking, you got a captive audience there, didn’t you? They were much kind of at a wedding in particular. They want to have a great time.
Baz: Absolutely. That’s right.
Brad: You know, so …
Baz: Yeah. It’s already set up, ready for you.
Brad: So are you working …? Sorry, Baz. We lost you there. We have a slight problem with the line. Are you working pretty much full time as a musician now, then?
Baz: I am, yes. As you imagine, the next month or two are going to be a bit of stretch for me given that January and February are actually quite dry months. But this is how I live my life. I live off the money that the band makes, which is great.
Brad: Now, you’re pretty much been doing that for 18 months and you … Well, did you make a decision 18 months ago that you were going to go full time?
Baz: It’s sort of just happened. I mean it’s going … I think, for a lot of people, that is the case. I was working a full-time job up until May of this year and it was a 12-month contract. And the plan was either to keep me on or to obviously look for similar work afterwards or just look forward that the contract ended.
And it ended and I sort of just found myself making plenty of money doing what I was doing. So I just thought this is good enough find out to make that job really. I’ve been wanting to do this forever, so why not just go for it, you know?
Brad: Right. So you’re splitting your kind of time in terms of where you income is coming from as being a party musician. It’s from the band? From any other areas?
Baz: Well, yes. There’s other things like going on … And I actually do that work for other bands. And in fact, that’s how I’m going to be surviving this Christmas. I’ve got a show, two shows, New Year’s and on the 29th, for the band. So it’s not The Benedicts. It’s another band. So I just rent myself out to all the bands I’ve needed.
Brad: Sure. Well, I mean, that’s … There’s a lot of people listening to this who are kind of potentially on the verge of deciding whether they want to go full time or … I mean how … You know, to kind of understand where you’ve got your income streams coming from …
Brad: … is a good thing. So really, is it second after the band, is the dep work that you do on the side?
Baz: Yeah. Absolutely.
Baz: The band is my full … a hundred percent focus.
Baz: And that’s what I spend my time doing. And there are the projects I haven’t … like I’m involved with or other ones that are in the pipeline, just little things, sort of just decided …
Brad: Sorry. We lost you there, again, Baz. Sorry.
Baz: That’s all right.
Brad: We’re going to persevere because we haven’t gotten any … many other options. But yes, so I mean, just to go back to this idea of kind of going from a standing start with The Benedicts to where got to now, which has worked best, how many gigs have you had this year?
Baz: This year?
Baz: Top of my head, I really don’t know. Probably…
Brad: You mentioned when we spoke last time that you were pretty much kind of gigging every weekend for the last three, three-and-a-half months. Is that right?
Baz: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah.
Baz: We’ve been working ourselves to the bone. We do have the other weekend off.
Baz: Enjoy the time. It’s week in, week out. So …
Brad: Right. So what do you feel has though … has kind of contributed to the kind of success of the band so far?
Baz: Most important thing, I honestly think, is having four other guys or three other guys or having people in the band who are willing and able and are going to slow the train down or whatever, because, like you just said, we’ve been doing this … We haven’t really been doing this long at all in comparison to a lot of function bands.
But if you’ve got one who’s sort of saying, “I can’t do this, I can’t do that,” then you’ve got real issues from day one. I’m lucky enough to have three other guys who essentially allow me just to book shows or take on shows as I see fit. And so that’s enabled me to kind of fill up the calendar really.
Brad: And 90%, 95% of that filling up the calendar is weddings, is it?
Baz: A lot of them. I mean, probably the parties, too.
Baz: We have pledged one or two corporate shows, but not all that many. But hopefully, obviously, I’m hoping with things that we’re doing now, all that will have changed because we definitely want to be more involved within the corporate scene. So yeah, I mean … but a lot of them are weddings. Yeah. That’s right.
Brad: Okay. So I mean just talking about … Because, obviously, there’s a bit of a … with what we’re doing here at Gigging Success is a bit … coming at it from a bit of marketing angle on how success has happened for certain bands and what they’re doing to achieve that.
So you know, what are the kind of … You’ve got a great looking website basically. That was the first thing that really kind of hit me when I saw The Benedicts is it really kind of … You’ve got some great imagery. There’s a great logo. You’ve got a really nice kind of strap line there, “Your friendly neighborhood party band,” which you mentioned kind of came by … came out by accident almost.
Baz: Yeah. It came out through … I don’t know if anyone’s watched Spiderman, the Sam Raimi version.
Baz: “He’s your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.” And I don’t know why it just suddenly popped in. We were talking about having that little catchphrase and stuff for the band. I just thought “friendly neighborhood.” So I’m not completely to … we have sort of borrowed something from a film. But yeah, that’s where that came from.
Brad: No, that’s great. Everybody borrows everything from everyone really.
Baz: That’s right. Yeah.
Brad: So that’s cool. I mean, you’ve also got like … What was interesting about and it’s worth going on to TheBenedicts.co.uk. And we’ll put the email address in the show notes. But what was really interesting as well about your promo video is you’ve made it look very professional, but actually, you don’t have a lot of footage in there of the band performing.
Baz: Oh, yeah. You’ve noticed. Yeah.
Brad: Yeah. It’s a great trick and I’ll use it with one of my bands when we have a little bit of … Right at the beginning, we were just … All we were doing was wanting to get things up and running really quick. And what we had was a little bit of mobile phone footage.
But actually, we created a 90-second video with about four seconds of mobile … of actual footage of the band performing and the rest were cut with images and stuff. But you’ve got one better than that with yours, actually, haven’t you, because you guys have gone into a studio.
Brad: Tell us a bit about that then?
Baz: Well, according to the other persons that questioned me on that is it’s quite funny.
Brad: Oddly enough. Yeah.
Brad: It wouldn’t be like me to notice that stuff. Yeah.
Baz: We were massively, massively restricted in terms of the live footage that we have or had even. We have a bit more now. But at that time, I actually did that. I created that, what, the video. We had a tiny bit of pretty amateur footage from one show.
And it’s probably … I think it may have been our first show as a band. So that’s how early on it was. And I don’t … And the rest of it, we had a little bit of … We did this time-lapse thing that we … I’m sorry. There’s a time lapse thing that we did when we had our promos done with a photographer.
That’s where the … There’s some better quality video stuff in there in terms of like it looks that we’re in a studio. That’s where that was done. So that was very small.
Brad: Okay, so that’s … That’s huge there. So you basically went into the studio to get some professional shots done with a photographer.
Brad: And then you used that time to leverage into … and get some stuff for your promo video.
Baz: That’s right. Yeah. I mean, actually, I’ll be honest with you. It would have … It would sound great if I said I planned all that. But actually, I didn’t. When we arrived for the photographer, he suggested, “Would you like to do this time lapse thing?” which was basically him slowing down the camera.
So basically, moved around incredibly quickly, as you can see on the video, or very slowly. It was either-or. So yes, we came away with this tiny little bit of live footage of us just walking around in a studio. And I didn’t know what to do with that at that point. It’s what I’ve got there.
So it looks really cool. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. And then, obviously, we realized … We were very much aware that we need some sort of video and that we need more than what we have got at the moment. But yeah, I basically put that together. I think it’s decent considering what I had to work with.
Brad: No. I think it’s worked out really, really well. And I think it’s really … people listening to this, if they’re struggling to put together a promo video, because they think actually getting a performer to the band together and stuff is kind of holding them back. Then, go and have a look at Baz’s video for The Benedicts because it really is a great example of how you can create something almost out of nothing, really.
Baz: Sure. Yeah.
Brad: So it’s really worth taking a look at. So in terms of the kind of repertoire that you play then, you’re pretty much a straight-up kind of party band. But there’s a little bit of a kind of a slant towards the rock side. Is that right?
Brad: And that comes from you, presumably.
Baz: Yeah, I’d say so. So I mean that more so comes down to when we started. And I’m sure many people in the function band sort of scene would kind of appreciate this. We started … We choose a bunch of songs, 30-plus songs, put in our set, without any kind of idea as to how they will go down.
And initially, we were being … without really realizing we were slightly biased in choosing songs because we thought they would be … go down well and maybe because we enjoy playing them. But actually, in reality, as time has gone by we amended our repertoire and stuff and added new songs in.
We’re sort of actually coming more away from the rock stuff because there’s plenty of people out there that rocky stuff scares for some reason or others. So then, that’s where we throw in the more funky stuff of James Brown and … But primarily, it wasn’t … It was actually really rocky-based, but we’ve added a whole lot of funk songs more, more up-to-date pop songs. There’s some rapping in. And then …
Brad: So you’ve done that pretty much. You’ve watched the reactions, previous reactions.
Brad: And then, adapted accordingly?
Baz: Yeah, that’s right. And I think that’s the way most bands go about doing it.
Baz: So you’ve got to be so … kind of on the board and engaging how audiences react to songs. If you ever … which it happens … some has happened on so many occasions where we’ve had a dance floor absolutely packed with people absolutely loving it. We play a song, and then suddenly they all just disperse, not because it sounds bad or anything. I hope not.
But more so just because they either don’t know the song or they’re … it’s not just got that sort of dancing beat or that rhythm that people need to enjoy or dance to. Oh, they say no, they can’t sing along. So it’s about … If we realize that the song is doing that, then it ain’t ever been played again pretty much. So yeah, it’s just about kind of identifying those, really.
Brad: Excellent. And what else have you done to actually kind of … Okay, so we’ve had a look at your website and you’ve got some great stuff on there. You’ve got some really nice testimonials on there as well. You’ve got other bits and pieces in terms of kind of like some great shots in the gallery. The imagery is looking really good. So you’re doing kind of all … ticking all those boxes really nicely. How are you actually getting the shows? Where are the actual bookings coming from?
Baz: Well …
Brad: You mentioned a bit of both, yeah, agents and direct.
Baz: That’s right. Yeah. Absolutely. We’re involved with both Warble Entertainment and Function Central who are two highly-ranked entertainment agencies.
Brad: That’s in the UK, we should say.
Baz: That’s right. Yeah, absolutely. And they’ve been fantastic for us, especially for the first year of starting out. And I would certainly recommend the same for other function bands starting out is to get involved with good agencies first and foremost, because the whole point being is while that’s happening, we’re generating our own business, creating or starting our own business with our own website, and everything is becoming more private.
And therefore we’re allowing the SEO on our website to improve, so our ranking slowly get … creeps up the ranking on Google. And that’s exactly what’s happened. Now, I’m pretty confident if you were to type in “wedding band” or “function band,” Hampshire” Dorset, Wilshire, all these surrounding sort of counties in the UK, we will come up very much so, not on the top, I believe, but within the top five.
Brad: Okay. And you’ve done that. Presumably, you’ve created separate pages for each of those target locations. Is that right?
Baz: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah.
Baz: And I’ll let you know how all that kind of … the wording works in creating the website. I mean, those are … SEO is obviously so important and the fact of the matter is, really … is that people call in when they’re looking for a band for their wedding, they’re not going to look any further probably than the first page. So if you’re not on the first page, then you’ve got issues. So …
Brad: Okay. So let’s just get that right, just in terms of kind of like, if anybody else wants to kind of go and replicate what you’re doing …
Baz: Hello. This is …
Brad: Sorry. We’ve got you back again, Baz. What we’re saying there is you’ve gone out and you create … you’ve targeted … you’ve looked at what your individual locations are that you want to target. You’ve created separate pages on your website for each of those target locations. And you’ve put the keyword in the page title and the URL of the page. And you’ve also referenced it in the copy of the page. Is that right?
Baz: That’s right. Yeah.
Brad: Right. Okay, so you’re kind of doing basic kind of location-targeted SEO stuff. Literally, was that easy? And you’ve just let it run, have you?
Baz: No, it wasn’t actually easy at all.
Baz: Yeah. You imagine it’s … Funny enough, the job that I had up until May actually sort of was … because I didn’t have a clue what SEO was before that job. So the job that I had up until May has sort of enabled me to … It involved all this kind of stuff, digital marketing and stuff like that. So it’s been great. It’s enabled me to kind of realize the importance of SEO.
And SEO, especially in my case, in doing The Benedicts stuff, hasn’t been immediate. It’s something that kind of evolves over time and your ranking slowly improves. And like I said, we’ve used the agencies in order to kind of fill the void there in between perhaps, but we haven’t got many shows.
So it’s tough, honestly. I mean, for the people that already are familiar with SEO and understand how to sort of get a good ranking on Google and all that business, that is a huge kind of side of the battle in some … for getting shows because where …
Brad: It’s all about being relevant to the person searching.
Baz: Yeah. Sure.
Brad: That’s really what it is, isn’t it? And if there’s relevance there, Google will reward you for the relevance …
Brad: … and then give your page a higher ranking when somebody searched on that specific keyword. So look, that is … We don’t want to get in too deep into kind of SEO here, but it’s … I think it’s … just doing that basic thing has evidently kind of worked for you. And you’ve got so many inquiries trickling in off the back that, right?
Baz: Certainly, it has. Yeah. I mean it’s predominantly … At the moment, it’s one of the … band’s main source of getting clients, because I mean … I know that if I was looking for a wedding band for my wedding, the first place I would go would be Google. So there’s always the options of doing other ways of promoting or marketing a band. But for us …
Brad: Yeah. Well, there’s hundreds really out there.
Baz: Yeah. Sure.
Brad: You’ve kind of got to start somewhere. And I think by getting your website kind of looking the way it has and then getting some basic SEO stuff on the go is a good start. So then just briefly kind of take us through the relationship that you built with these two agencies. What did you do to kind of make that happen?
Baz: I mean that’s a fairly recent thing that we’ve pursued. We know … As you know, when I speak and … actually to yourself, Brad, realize that we need to offer clients when they come to our website, when they come to us … What are they looking for? What is it can we offer them?
I thought from talking to yourself, like it would be so great to offer, tick all boxes, and to provide … When a client comes to our website or to us, we can give them absolutely everything they can need in order for them to throw their event or have their wedding or whatever it is. So when we’re talking about these, I might be sidetracking a bit, Brad.
Brad: No. I think I was going to … I was asking about the agencies, but I think what you’re leading on to now is building a relationship with the wedding planner and the event management company, which is cool. I was going to come on to that.
Baz: I’m sorry, Brad. I’m sorry.
Brad: No, no. That’s cool. So you basically got in touch with the wedding planner and a local event management company.
Brad: And what … How did you approach them? What did you say?
Baz: So now …I had no idea sort of the response I was lucky to get. I sent a kind of a … not a generic email. I wouldn’t call it spam, but I sent the same email to some companies that I looked from the Internet, looked in Google. And they obviously appeared right at the top of the search engines, so they were doing well.
I checked out their websites to see what they offer. And if they look to me like they’re definitely someone that I would like to be affiliated with or I’d love my band to be affiliated with, I gave them buzz and sent them email at no extra cost to them. In fact, the only thing … They’re gaining. They’re not losing anything and they’re gaining extra exposure through us.
So my suggestion was to them was that, “If you don’t mind, we’d love to create a page on our website that solely sort of promoting your services.” And therefore, we establish an affiliation with yourselves and you can do the same especially … I just wanted get on top of all these corporate shows.
It would be … A lot of businesses go to these event companies. And then you have companies therefore get the bands. So you first to get on top of … get on … or get affiliated with an events company. Well, hopefully … I don’t know. We haven’t seen any sort of rewards from it yet because it’s still in its infancy. But that’s the idea, to sort of become affiliated with these companies.
Brad: So let’s just kind of … Let me just kind of break that down for anyone listening that wants to kind of, again, want to replicate that kind of tactic or strategy. You’ve effectively … you know your local market and you’ve got your various location. You’ve got Dorset, Hampshire, which is all the areas around you.
You’ve then gone to an event management company in one of those areas that services those same areas, a wedding planner that services those same areas. And instead of going, which most people do, most bands do, is go to those … to that wedding planner or event management company and say, “Please give us a gig.”
Brad: You’ve actually gone to them and said, “Look, we’d like to help you.”
Baz: Yeah. Yeah. That’s right. For them, I imagine, it sounds … It may sound like that, but the way I’m looking at it is sort of potentially. And that’s what … sort of advertising from their perspective. It would …
Brad: And I’m saying you’re exactly right.
Brad: Most people would just go, cap in hand, and say, “Please give me a gig.”
Brad: You’ve actually gone and you said, “Look, I want to offer you something before … I want to offer you some value before you actually book us or suggest us to any of your clients.”
Brad: I think that’s exactly right and that … I think it’s a brilliant kind of strategy in that sense. And it builds a relationship. You give to receive, effectively.
Baz: Sure. Sure. I mean we obviously get the benefit of—hopefully, in the long run then—these businesses suggesting us or using us and also the fact that when their clients come to our website directly. It just makes us so much more appealing, I think.
Brad: Yeah. So you’ve got … so effectively, what you’re doing there is you’re almost kind of riding off … you’re enhancing your brand through riding off the back of their brand.
Baz: Yeah. That’s sneaky and that really …
Brad: No. It works perfectly well. So no, I think that’s a great way to go. Well, listen, let’s take a look at … In terms of kind of like the … what you would ideally have … I mean, obviously, you’ve learned a lot. And I can see in the last 18 months, you’ve kind of, knowingly or unknowingly, put some … put in some kind of great kind of strategies and kind of tactics together. What do you wish you’d kind of known 18 months ago that you know now?
Baz: Yeah. Exactly that …
Brad: From everything.
Baz: Which I knew now, what I knew … Sorry. I wish I knew then what I know now. Exactly that. So … But at the same time, from the minute we started this, like I said, I was in a metal band playing my original stuff. Then I jumped into this scene, doing this stuff.
Every single show we’ve done, every decision we’ve made as a band, everything we have done has been about learning and … for us, because we have started without any knowledge of how to do this thing, run this … maybe a little bit of knowledge in terms of how to maybe market an act a little bit.
We realize we need to be everywhere and anyway. We plan to be very active in all this business. But in terms of actually how to run, we don’t have a clue. Everything we’ve done has been … This has been trial and error apart from a … simple things as picking the songs like I spoke about and realize they’re not working to changing those and then to planning our website out, realizing we’re on the fifth page of Google.
And we’re not getting any sort of response and therefore using other means of … on the Internet of advertising our service. Initially, in the early days, in fact, we went as far as using Gum Tree. And we had a few … Gum Tree is just like … I don’t know. We call it the …
Brad: I think it’s like … It’s the US equivalent of like Craigslist.
Baz: Yeah. I expect so. Yeah.
Baz: It’s not ideal for promoting bands or anything. But actually, we got a few … We did get a few shows from them in the early days. So again, just … while all that SEO and all that businesses creeping up and we’re improving, it was literally just about just learning everything you do.
We got so much stuff wrong, man, seriously like … From the early days, we’ve done some horrendous things. And luckily, I think, 99% of the time, the client would have no idea. That’s the important thing. But the thing is, we’re still so young, like in terms of … not that I don’t feel young, age-wise, but in terms of the band’s … you know, 18 months or whatever has been … As actually a working band, it’s still so early days really.
And we expect this coming, in 2014, to be so much easier in terms of what to expect to diverse and how to do things … and it already is. I mean compare now to how I was … respond to emails today and deal with all the things I’ve got to do today to the way it would have been a year ago.
Man, it’s just like … It’s just not so breezy comparison, not like … I didn’t even … literally, I was so new to it. I wouldn’t even know how to respond to clients back in the day. I wouldn’t know how to … because you know Brad and I’m sure plenty other people how important it is to actually just how you communicate with people when they’re sending you emails.
That is so important. The simple things are so important, I think. And back in the old days, I wouldn’t even have known how to do that. So it’s just have been about that.
Brad: So it’s been a bit of a trial and error, the …
Baz: The whole process.
Brad: … situation here. Right. Right.
Brad: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I should say if people want to kind of cut the trial and error down, they should continue listening to these podcasts. Or you should be because …
Baz: Yeah. I think so. Obviously, like, again … but if I had initially known that there was people now giving this advice out on your podcast and stuff previously, then seriously, you could have saved us so much hassle. But yeah, I mean, I … That’s great.
I think this is an opportunity for people to listen to people that are doing this and that have experience from yourself and perhaps me as well to some extent. I think it’s so important and it’s great.
Brad: Yeah. I know. It makes a huge difference when you kind of learn from other people’s mistakes and successes.
Brad: Makes a huge difference.
Baz: It’s been the hardest thing actually just doing this on our own without any support. We haven’t really … I mean we’ve considered going down the road of emailing other bands, of finding out how they do other things. And we haven’t. I’ve always said more so because I’m a stubborn kind of guy and I …
Brad: Yeah. I was going to touch on this. I had a note to teach about this because I think this is quite … for you about to kind of talk about the fact that you actually don’t like to talk to other bands.
Baz: Yeah. Yeah.
Brad: Which I think a lot of people … resonate to a lot of people because you almost … you go into yourself a little bit and you … It’s just your world. This is how you’re doing it and nothing else kind of matters. You don’t want it … You almost … What was it that kind of drove you not wanting to speak to other bands? Was it fear that they might be doing better than you or just …?
Baz: Well, I’ll be honest with you. I mean I … Speaking to you now, Brad, and I always tell you everything that we see on board. Actually, there’s every chance that I may do. I don’t feel that there’s much point talking to a band unless they are clearly doing incredibly well.
Brad: Interesting. Sorry, Baz. We lost you there again.
Baz: No problem.
Brad: Carry on. Yes. So you …
Baz: Yeah. I’m very much open to hearing about what the bands are doing. In fact, we have just recently … My drummer was at a wedding and obviously another wedding band played. And they had a few things we’ve actually not considered going on the live set.
So we are going to steal some ideas from there. In fact, that’s the beauty of obviously asking other bands or just watching other bands do what we do, because then you can take ideas from them and incorporate them into your own sort of thing.
But in the past, just being the guy that I am, which I think is incredibly wrong—actually, I do, I’m very aware of that—is that you probably should have contacted other bands and actually find out how they’re doing. I’ll tell you what. It would have helped us out a lot because I’m thinking, specifically, when it comes to our pricing, we got it so wrong.
And we’ve just been … pricing has been all over the shop for the last 12 months because we haven’t actually decided how much we’re all probably worth realistically and how much people are going to pay for us. So we’ve had shows where we charge tiny pennies and we’re … Actually, in reality, we’re worth double that.
And that’s all because … unless you’ve taken bookings and not realizing and not recognizing how much … really, not actually knowing how much people spend on bands. I mean that’s … we don’t know. We’re now assuming that people will spend the amount of money we charge.
But don’t know because we haven’t contacted other bands. So actually, my advice to anyone, if you want to skip all the stuff we’ve sort of done, you know, the months we spent trial and error, dealing with the stuff, is to probably contact other bands and to bite the bullet.
It may be original thing, been an original fan, and everybody is competition. I mean they are. I mean we are actually competing with every other function band out there now, even in this band. But … so therefore, I’m sort of … I am being me, being me just a little hesitant to sort of even become affiliated or even … which is, again, is actually really a silly thing to do because even getting affiliated with other bands probably would be positive.
Brad: Well, the most basic form of kind of affiliation is to pass on any inquiries that you can do because you’re booked on that day.
Baz: Sure. Sure.
Brad: That’s how you build a relationship with a band. I think there’s a common misconception that everybody … Yes, you are all competing with each other, but you know what? There’s enough work to go around for the ones that are doing and building relationships with other bands. You all … It’s almost like you go up … There’s a place in London called Tottenham Court Road where all the electronic shops are.
They’re all in one street for a reason. It’s because people go there because they want that type of thing. Now, if you’ve got a network of other bands that you passing leads on to and referring each other to, you keep the client or the prospect in your world, in your sphere of influence. It’s definitely kind of worth building relationships with other bands for that reason alone, really, because you all learn from them and get work from them as well, I think it so.
Baz: Okay. If there’s one thing I regret doing is probably that and, well, just from here you say that, I just think I’m such an idiot, really. If any bands ever are hearing this, then get in contact with me. And honestly, I’ll stop being an arrogant, self-centered human being.
Baz: And I would like to establish some affiliations with some other bands and definitely hear some other people’s advice …
Baz: … because it’s just a direction, I think, we initially took. It was like, we’re doing this. We’re doing it our way. We’re doing it … It may actually stem from the fact that I come from an original because, in that scenario, we were very much us up against the world and every other band. So perhaps maybe I’ll transfer that into this band, but …
Brad: Yeah. I think with an originals band … I think bands, in general is they’re kind of a gang mentality. And you kind of, as you rightly said, us against the world kind of thing.
But it doesn’t to be that way and I think it’s almost … you’re almost kind of cutting your nose off, really, to spite your face if you kind of think … if you think that way, because any great business … and you’ve mentioned this before, it’s just the idea that you want to … if you want to make the band proper and run it like a business.
Business doesn’t always have to be boring. It can be kind of fun for anybody that’s listening that thinks, “I don’t want to run my band like a business.” But that’s how you get success with your band, is to treat it like a business. And other businesses outside of our function band marketplace, they all network with each other.
They’re all talking to each other whether they feel as though they’re competition or not. They’ve all got relationships and that only drives them forward, really.
Baz: Yeah. That’s true.
Brad: So definitely worth it. But, listen, we’re out of time, Baz. It’s been great. We’ve picked … I think you’ve really kind of shared some great stuff with us, so I really appreciate that. And we’ll get this … we’ll get some of the links and stuff we talked about to your website. Where can people kind of contact you? Is the best place to go to The Benedicts website?
Baz: Yeah. I mean you’ve got the www.TheBenedicts.co.uk. You just go to the contact page with telephone numbers. There’s email. There’s all sorts. You got to contact us or me directly via the website.
Brad: Okay. So that’s email@example.com.
Brad: Obviously, you’re on kind of Facebook and Twitter as well. So if you go to The Benedicts website, you’ll find a lot of info. So listen, Baz, it’s been great. Thanks very much. Hopefully, we’ll catch up with you in maybe a year’s time or so.
Baz: Yeah. Who knows where we are? Cheers. I hope for them … Anyone listening, I hope that what I’m saying is making sense and is valid, it’s valid to you. So cheers.
Brad: Excellent. I appreciate it.
Baz: Cheers, Brad.
Brad: Speak to you, again. See you then.