In this podcast you’ll discover:
- Graeme’s fears, apprehensions and general thinking behind transitioning from semi- pro to full time professional.
- How he decided when was the right time to make the jump into being a full time pro.
- How Graeme successfully gets the full support and backing of all the band members and how it’s such a key part of the bands success to date (this is so simple, yet so effective).
- How he cleverly created multiple packages for his band that gets prospects engaged and interested in booking the band.
- Graeme’s seriously clever use of social media that ensures guests are talking about the band for days and weeks after every event.
- His advice to musicians looking to go full time professional with the band.
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Listen to the Podcast:
Brad: I’m here today with the very switched-on Graeme Nash from !daft!, the band. How are you, Graeme?
Graeme: Very good. Very good. Thank you, Brad. How are you?
Brad: Not bad. It’s the end of a long working day. Have you had a good day?
Graeme: Yeah. It’s been a good day. Very busy.
Brad: Bookings, bookings, bookings?
Graeme: Yeah. A lot of ongoing bookings that we’re working on and new inquiries continue to come in, so yeah, good day.
Brad: Excellent. I came across Graeme’s website which is at DaftOnline.co.uk. It just stood out. As you can imagine, I look at a lot of cover band websites with what I do with Gigging Success. Graeme’s website just absolutely stuck out a mile being absolute top quality, not only in terms of the design and the imagery, et cetera, but the way that you’d actually presented what the offer was, what the band was, the way that you structured packages, the way that you communicated your song list and your general use of cover band music marketing strategies.
Everything on there was just screaming quality. I got in touch with Graeme. We’ve been talking a little bit generally about cover band marketing. I had to get him on the podcast. I’m really pleased that you’re here. It’s been about six weeks in waiting. It’s been a bit busy, isn’t it, lately?
Brad: Tell us a little bit, Graeme, a little bit about your background. Actually, before we go to that sum up what !daft! is as a band.
Graeme: Purely and simply, !daft! is a rock pop party band. It’s a band that’s put together and developed over quite a few years now into an act that’s there to have fun, to provide fun, but at the same time, to provide a really good standard of musicianship and quality as far as the stage output is concerned.
But first and foremost, when people have parties, when they want to have a good night, I’d like to think that !daft! is the kind of band that fits in well to that kind of mentality.
Brad: You get that point across exceptionally well in your marketing as well, which is great. We’ll go into some of the elements of that in a little bit more detail. Give us a little bit of background. Prior to working on !daft!, you’ve been a full time sales professional?
Brad: You were employed by SAP, was it?
Graeme: Yeah. Yeah. That was, I think, the biggest chunk of my career life. My working career life was with SAP, so just under a decade with those guys. !daft! has been a band that really comes from school days. I’m 36 as of this recording today. The band originally started back in school.
When you’re that kind of age and as you go through your 20s and so on, unless you really decide to make music or creative art of any description really your full time occupation, I think it’s pretty common for most people to have some kind of regular stroke day job, a regular source of income through which they would typically work let’s say from nine to five.
But like a lot of musicians, come the evenings, come the weekends, we turn out with the band and play. !daft! has been a hobby for many years, then it turned into quite an interesting and serious hobby. As of today, it’s now my full time occupation. It’s been a real growth.
Brad: When did it become full time for you? Because I think this will be interesting. A lot people will be looking at moving from semi-pro into pro. When did you go pro on this?
Graeme: To put a date on the very day I became full time, I guess it’s been about 18 months ago. It’s an interesting point really because the attitude we’ve had towards it, not just me but the rest of the guys in the band collectively, the attitude towards it has always been that of a full time, dedicated, professional outfit. My physical time per day has become full time in the last 18 months.
I still think the workload and the input that we had with the act has probably remained fairly consistent for quite a long time, for the last decade or so. Certainly, today, yeah, it fills up my days. I’ve managed to make it a full time occupation certainly from a time management point of view.
I could literally spend eight until six every day purely on !daft! activities if I could and was able to. There’s other lines of work I’m involved in as well, music related, self-employed and self-driven. But certainly, the band has taken up now quite a large chunk of my day-to-day life now.
Brad: Right. What was the process of moving? What made you decide that you wanted to go from semi-pro and turn !daft! into a full time thing?
Graeme: I think it’s a whole collection of things. I think, fundamentally, the bottom line has to be are you confident that you can take your current workload, increase it some more, and ultimately, put food on the table and survive and get by. I think if you can answer yes to that, could I do this today, and can I do this tomorrow with a little bit of change and maybe tweaking a few things here and there, but could I do that? I think that was the point that I felt I could.
I looked at our client base, I looked at the gigs we had in the diary and the kind of inquiries that we were continuing to get. I also looked at what I wanted the band to be. What did I want !daft! to be and what the guys in the acts want !daft! to be?
It’s not just about me, is it? It’s not just about the individual that you may speak to in the line of your podcasting. It’s always about the acts collectively and those involved with it. You need to have this core. It’s imperative. If you were driving really, really hard trying to fill every night with some kind of booking, but nobody else in the band wants to do it that way, then it’s not going to be long before the metaphorical car crash happens.
What I was able to do was … for many years, in fact, have been able to do is get the support of the guys in the band, understand what it is that they want from the act and tie that in with what I needed to do. I just felt that, all things considered—income, workload, objectives, and so on—all things considered, I was able to do it. At this stage in my life and this stage in the band’s life, it felt like the right time to really make it something dedicated and full time.
Brad: Right. I mean in terms of … because I think people would be curious to know what that transition point is in terms of maybe … in terms of gig numbers. Where were you two years ago when you were thinking about making this decision in terms of how many bookings did you have in the diary?
Graeme: Well, I mean, for us, it’s quite simple. We, as !daft!, typically fell somewhere between 50 and 70 bookings per year. Now, I know, in comparison to other acts, that maybe isn’t very many. I’m aware of acts, I’m friends with an act that maybe do 100, 120, 150, I don’t know, even a couple of hundred bookings a year. Our primary focus area is weekends.
There are exceptions to that rule, but our primary focus is weekends. Through that strategy alone, you’re restricted. There are only approximately 100 days in a year, given holidays and times where it’s simply not possible to gig, approximately 100 days in a year that you can actually perform on.
For us, it’s about striking the balance between volume and value. You can be a really high volume band that operates at a fairly low value, and your outcome is going to be the same than if you were a band who operates on let’s say a lesser volume overall, but has a much higher value.
The trick for !daft! and the trick for me was try and find … and continues to be to try and find the balance where we’re not overcommitting and we’re not putting people in difficult positions, primarily those in the band, but that we’re able to function and operate on the income that we generate from the gigs that we do. We’ve struck the balance somewhere around about the, like I say, 50 to 70 gigs per year.
Brad: It’s important to know as well that the other guys in the band are semi-pro.
Graeme: Yeah. I mean …
Brad: How do you get buy-in from other band members or is !daft! your band?
Graeme: I’m quite delicate about that particular line of conversation and answer because I think it’s fair to say I drive it. I take the responsibility, but I wouldn’t do what I’m doing without those guys. If we’ve done a good gig and we’ve generated an inquiry from it and some interest from somewhere else because of that gig, then in reality, I’m only 20% responsible for that.
It was the performance of the rest of the guys that helped put the band in that position. Yeah, I feel like I make the decisions. I think we’re in a position these days where I’m able to make decisions and we don’t have to have big, long debates about it.
Brad: Yeah, sure. Decisions by committee.
Graeme: Yeah. I mean we’re very consultative with each other, but ultimately I know that if I need to make a decision fairly quickly or do something productive for the act, I can go ahead and do that. We have various other systems which we may or may not go into on this conversation that maybe facilitate it.
But ultimately, yes, it’s a band I started with some friends. The lineup may have changed over those years, but I still consider !daft! a jointly-owned venture. It’s something that everybody involved which they hopefully feel proud of and part of from the point of view of the owners as well.
Brad: Sure. Another kind of question, another kind of bugbear if you like that does come up along a lot amongst the Gigging Success audience and the listeners is this idea of getting buy-in from the rest of the band members, which is really the secret sauce to moving the band forward. How do you structure that? What’s the story behind that?
Graeme: I think if you look at it over a long period of time, and it was a fairly dedicated decision on my part some years ago, it’s one about taking responsibility. It ultimately falls down to taking responsibility. That, in turn, is defined by what action you take.
It wouldn’t be uncommon for bands to sit around in a room or rehearse in a room or having a beer somewhere and discuss until the cows come home where they should play, what songs they should play, how they should play, what money they should go out for, what they should wear on stage, what equipment they should buy, who owns the PA, blah, blah, blah, blah.
These subject lists go on forever and ever. But ultimately, if you put a bit of a stop to all of the speculative, almost irrelevant lines of conversation about things like that and do it, look at your client base, look at what it is they’re asking you to do, then you sit down, in front of your computer, have a visionary moment, put yourself on stage and put yourself working with this particular client you might be thinking about or a wedding inquiry that you’ve had, and think, what is it that I need to do for them?
What song is it that they’re going to want to hear? How are they going to want me look? What’s the best way for me to really meet the needs of my client? Then you need to do it. Once you get these ideas formed, it can be literally anything from a song going on to the repertoire or an image adjustment or whatever the case may be, but do it.
If you are the one that comes forward and says, “Look, guys, this is the thought I’ve had. This is the reason I had the thought. This is what I think we should do about it,” it’s easier to get some of these buy-in to an actual example, an actual request, than it is to come up with an agreement from five or six different people after a three-hour long discussion.
To summarize, over a long period of time that we’ve been together, I guess I’ve just gone ahead and done things with permission and with consultation. But by doing it, I … and position, I suppose, when the guys just trust me to get on with it and look after them and look after the act.
Brad: Okay. That’s really interesting. There’s two approaches you take there. You can either sit down for three hours in a bar over three beers and decide to speak strategy and then divvy up the different jobs. But you’re actually taking a different approach which is saying, “Look, I’ve got this and this idea, tactic, or strategy. Can I run with it?”
Graeme: Yeah. I think that would be more the way. Over time, you may find that there are tasks that you can ask for help on and, even in some cases, delegate whenever you might want to put a medley together or you might want to put a little show piece together and you might ask for the creative input from one of the guys because you feel he’s particularly good at that, for example.
But I think all the tedious stuff, the admin, the functioning as the act, the war, the day-to-day stuff, can be quite difficult to manage if you’ve got five people trying to do it all with their own different methods and their own different ways and ideas. Ultimately the people that benefit the least from that kind of setup are the band themselves and the clients. I tend to feel that if you start to live with that kind of vision and that kind of task lists and ask for some help, you tend to get it.
Brad: You’re very much acting as the driving force and everyone is bought in at that point now.
Graeme: Yeah. I think so. Just get on and do it. It’s all about action at the end of the day. There’s no point sitting around, discussing and arguing whether Guns n Roses are a good band or not or whether you should play more funk. If that’s the kind of booking you’re getting, you decide. You decide it needs doing.
To be honest, once you’ve done it and the case is being proven through experience, you come to the end of a gig and you get feedback or you get comments that say, “That was great. That was exactly what we ask for. We know perhaps funk isn’t your strongest point, but you really tried and you really pulled that together and it was really appreciated that you did that.”
Then it feels like a big pat on the back and it goes down as a mark of success for the band. Next time around, it’s never as hard to get that job done again. Everybody has seen the evidence of that being successful.
Brad: Interesting. Right. Okay, that’s great. It gives people some really good ideas of how to move forward because I know that can be a big issue. Listeners, musicians that are listening to this podcast inherently have a vested interest in the band and are looking to move things forward.
Otherwise, you wouldn’t be listening to this podcast. Hopefully, that rings really true for them. That’s great. Just moving on to your website which I’ve always been very impressed with.
Graeme: Thank you.
Brad: It really stood out a mile. I think everybody should go and definitely have a look at it. How long has the website been up?
Graeme: As a domain name or the site?
Brad: In its current form?
Graeme: In its current form, it’s only really been there since late January of 2014, just over six months ago.
Brad: I just want to pick out some of the clever things that you’re doing on there. Obviously, people are listening to this so they can’t see the website. I think the concepts are something that we can definitely explain. One page you’ve got is packages. Now, cleverly, you’ve broken down what you do basically as a six-piece band into three different packages. Do you want to just talk us through what your thinking was there?
Graeme: Yeah, of course. I mean that was a result of, again, many years of inquiries, many years of discussions with people. When I redid at the end of 2013, I …
Brad: Sorry, Graeme. Before we go now, I think it’s going to make more sense if I tell people what those packages are. Very briefly, what Graeme’s done is he’s broken down silver, gold, and platinum packages. Silver has a number of different elements to it, which is one song request, an hour and a half of live music, acoustic duo, perfect for approximately 50 guests. People are almost self-selecting which package is right for them, aren’t they?
Brad: The gold will move up into 150 guests, two hours of live music, disco included, et cetera. There’s some other elements on there. Obviously, then, we move up into platinum where there’s two and a half hours of music, and basically you’re layering up the offer really from silver, gold, to platinum, aren’t you?
Brad: That’s all right. I just wanted to mention that because I think it’s important that people understand what we’re talking about.
Graeme: Yeah, of course. In many ways, it’s unique. There’s many other bands and there’s many other industries that offer their products in various packaged forms. The reason I did it for us is that’s the result of, like I say, many conversations over many years. You tend to find yourself, with all intents and purposes, having the same conversation again and again and again.
It’s a wedding. It’s local. It’s 100 people. It’s a typical evening affair. What did seem to change was people’s budgets. Primarily, I still think people book bands based on what they can afford in a lot of cases. It’s a huge amount of file and gets me up out there every day. The prospects are talking to their customers, potential customer, about what it is we can do for their event.
That potential customer could be an absolute newbie to the world of live music. They could be somebody in their mature years who’s maybe booked a band a couple of times for other events and other purposes. The range of experience that you get in your client base is tremendous. It can literally be everything and anything.
The packages were defined and put together based on what I feel are the most commonly booked options. Now, the packages are not supposed to be definitive and final. They’re there to give the client a starting point for conversation. Like most bands … This is always a problem to me because I like to put prices in front of people. I think it’s always better when I’m a buyer, when I’m purchasing or browsing the Internet for a product.
It’s not very easy when you’ve got absolutely no idea what something costs. You also tend to get a lot of emails that just simply say “How much do you charge?” That question is never very easy to answer because, as any band will know, any inquiry process has to have quite a large set of information and data available alongside the inquiry to help people with price together.
We all know that a booking five miles down the road on a first … in February is going to be a different price to a booking 300 miles away in the midst of wedding season. It’s just a different scenario. Rather than just having the situation where people say, “How do you charge?” and continually asking the same thing over and over again, we put the packages together so that it gives people a general understanding of what kind of service, what kind of range of services are available to them.
The band has to be able to diversify as well. Being in a cover band is not just about that couple of hours you play for, from set one to the end of set two. There’s a whole host of other things that you are able to do if you want to do them. There’s a whole customer service element associated to running a band as well.
With the packages, like you identified already, it goes through a rising scale. If somebody is a bit of a newbie that perhaps not flushed with the best bunch in the world, we as a band still want to help them. We still want to play for them and be part of their day and obtain a booking.
We put together the silver package to offer what is still actually a very standard and I feel very good amount of service to the customer. That’s still 30- or 45-minute sets there with our sound engineer involved and our lighting packages and a huge investment we’ve made in production equipment, from house equipment, PA, and monitoring and so on. We still have all of that. Nothing is sacrificed there, but then, we build on that.
If the budgets are slightly more and perhaps you’d like us to provide the disco as well, perhaps you’d like us to play for a longer period of time, perhaps you’d like us to travel farther, then we’ve got the gold package for that. Again, same principle for the platinum. We play for longer. We travel farther. We provide more in the way of services.
We can actually take with us a separate deejay to provide a fully independent deejay service when the band isn’t performing. Today, the virtual deejay setup is very common. The iPad, strobe, laptop playlist service, a lot of bands do that. The platinum actually includes a separate standalone deejay. It’s a great way of initiating conversation. If it does nothing else other than get conversation underway, that’s what it’s good for.
Brad: No, it’s great. As a user on the website, it’s very engaging, because you’re looking to see which package is right for you rather than just wondering. I think it draws people in definitely.
Graeme: It does, and you still get the question how much is the silver package. Just that question alone gives me a much clearer understanding of where the client is. It helps me understand immediately the kind of input we’re looking for from us when it comes to their event. It’s a really great way of starting the conversation.
It’s also a good way to leverage and obtain a discussion around providing additional services, the concept of upselling or cross selling to different kinds of products and things that we do. Once you start talking about packages, you can recommend moving to the gold package. It sounds like the gold package might be actually the best package for you.
Brad: Now, out of interest, which one do people mostly go for?
Graeme: Gold, without question. It’s the gold package. It’s displayed on the website in a fairly classic way and cliched way of being the central column there that’s bigger than the other two columns. Yeah, gold.
Brad: Is that the most profitable for you? Have you engineered that?
Graeme: I think if you look at the amount of additional services that go with the package, the profitability, from a margin perspective, probably remains fairly consistent throughout all three of the packages. We’re not a particularly expensive band, actually.
The pricing structure we’ve had is always designed … has been designed to be fair and reasonable, but a bit more than perhaps the up-and-coming bands and bands that haven’t maybe grown and invested as much as arguably we have over the years. But even then, it’s still a pretty reasonable price. I’m not sure if I should mention prices on the podcast.
Brad: No. There’s no obligation to talk about money here.
Graeme: Genuinely speaking, the ethos of the band is and has always been to provide a great service without some ridiculous price tag that comes with it. I’ve worked with a lot of other bands. I’ve seen a lot of other bands. A question sometimes, the prices that people expect people to pay for them … I think if you’re reasonable, you’re realistic, focused on service, you’ll get bookings.
Brad: That’s great. Just moving on to your social media, because I know this is a big area for you. You’ve worked really hard on this. I’ve noticed you’ve got about 2,500 Facebook likes, which I’m sure most of us know, it isn’t easy to get to 2,500 Facebook likes. What do you do? They’re using some clever strategies and tactics with images and what have you. Talk to us about that.
Graeme: I think, first and foremost, I was a very early adopter of social media. Through my line of work, it was very common and very normal for people to be engaged in new technology, certainly new web technology. The day I heard the word “Facebook,” I was one of … I remember being one of the first people within my circle of friends and general colleagues that I’ve opened an account with Facebook.
I brought it very early on. It didn’t take long for people to catch up obviously. It’s a very, very simple concept and it works very, very well. But I mean we started to see there’s a couple of things that we can do here to take advantage of or to use these platforms as they’ve been designed to be used.
One of those is photography. One of my bugbears, actually, is when I look at other bands, you can often find bands with lots of galleries, but they tend to be exactly the same shot over and over and over again. It’s the guitarist playing a guitar. It’s the singer singing into a mike. It’s the drummer playing the drums.
Then, there’s another gallery with exactly the same thing and then exactly the same thing two or three or four or five times over. What I actually found was more appreciated by people, including potential clients, was shots of the wider events of the people that were at the gig.
From day one, I like to capture what actually happened at the gig. I want the people to see that … We come away with 200 or 300 or 400 photos from every gig we’ve ever done. Nearly every single one of them has got somebody dancing or laughing or messing around or singing or just general photos of what goes on at the gig. Somebody jumps up on stage and sings with us or there’s a funny moment that occurs, somebody’s in a fancy dress costume.
We capture it all and we put it straight on to the Facebook page the next day. We have a member of our team call Annie. A big shout out to Annie, who runs around like an actually mad woman throughout the course of a gig, snapping away. She goes and takes photos of individuals, of couples, and she asks them, “Hey, can you smile for the camera?” We get their pictures.
The next day, I go through them all and I edit them and give them a bit of a general retouch so they’re not quite so bland straight out the camera, get rid of all the ones that are no good or generally unusable. Then, we put them onto Facebook. We’ll also go ahead and share that folder, the album with the venue that we’ve played or perhaps with the client that’s booked us.
Within a couple of hours, almost religiously, you’ll find people have started to tag themselves. They started to share the photos. They started to comment on it. It’s quite funny watching the comments come in really, because you see how lines of conversations taking place between groups and individuals and friends. It’s just quite revealing and funny sometimes.
The thing about it is the … For all the people that see the shots, a good percentage of them then go ahead and like the page, because now, remember, you’ve got to move quickly with social media. There’s no point putting the photos up.
To be honest with you, anything more than 24 hours off you took them, it becomes a bit of a distant memory and other things have started to happen on social media for that person if you missed the boat. Literally, the very next morning, get them online, get them shared, and let social media do the work after that. After so many years …
Brad: A lot of people might feel quite daunted doing what you’ve explained here. They can take the system that you’ve evidently perfected and do that with two or three photos which you could take with a half-decent camera or a decent iPhone.
Graeme: Yeah. We just use a simple point-and-shoot camera, just a Panasonic Lumix from PC World. It’s not an expensive model. It’s always good to have. It’s usable across other purposes as well, but it’s always good to have a bit of a photo-editing package just to, like I say, give those photos a bit of a crop or a realignment or whatever.
Brad: I noticed you’ve got your logo on each one of the photos as well.
Graeme: Yes. It’s a function of the software that I use. I happen to use Adobe Lightroom. I’m sure many other people have got that product. It’s an excellent product. When you export photos, you can attach your watermark and have it put the watermark on all of the pictures. It’s just a nice way of virally and organically spreading your little logo amongst usually quite a large audience base.
Brad: Fantastic. It’s brilliant. Do you know how many inquiries you’re bringing in from that activity? Can you measure that or have you?
Graeme: The vast majority of inquiries that come in are usually from people who have been referred or have seen us perform at an event somewhere. I don’t think you can put an actual conversation figure onto how many photos do you post versus how many inquiries do you get. But I think it helps reinstate the situation.
Given that in many circumstances, not to generalize too much here, but usually, by 11:00 at night, most of our gigs, it’s fair to say the audiences have usually had a couple of drinks. It’s usually a case of like the night is in full flow. I’m pretty sure that, come the next morning, they’ve got absolutely no idea what the name of the band was that played last night.
But by 11:00 on Sunday morning, I’m taking the bride or I’m taking the groom or I’m taking the people at the park or the venue or wherever, that’s when they go, “Oh, yeah. It’s !daft!, wasn’t it?” I tend to feel that that might help stick the name in their mind for a bit.
Brad: You’re right. It certainly seems that way. Okay. That’s great. Now, just one last thing that I wanted to cover. You obviously got a sales background. I know that a lot of musicians struggle with the whole selling thing. How have you … What process do you go through, an inquiry comes in. Just talk us through the kind of process, briefly, that you go, because I haven’t got too much time left. Talk to us briefly through the process that you go through when an inquiry comes in.
Graeme: Well, the first thing and the most important thing is that you’ve got to be quick. If you get an inquiry, stop whatever it is you’re doing. Turn your focus to the inquiry and make a response. I think, generally speaking, responding to inquiries is a fairly straightforward process.
The hard bit is getting the inquiries in the first place. But when you get an inquiry and you’re in place to respond to it, be quick. Get back to that client with … There’s likely to be a question or some kind of request or view in the original inquiry received, focus on the point in hand, make sure you answer the customer’s question.
Do it within five minutes, literally, if you can, five minutes, certainly, within a few hours and certainly no more than 24 hours. I think it’s just another little … little elements that make up the whole term of customer service. I think, these days, there are a lot of bands out there.
It’s much easier to find bands these days. They’re very easy to find on web searches and via various directories. But if you’re the one that comes back quickly, professionally, with a customer service driven attitude, I tend to feel that works quite well.
Brad: What happens once you’ve sent your offer, you’ve spoken to that prospect? Are you then following up? What’s the next step?
Graeme: If an inquiry does need to go through a development process, we have developed a follow-up procedural system that allows me to touch base with that client, check in with them from time to time, and see how things are going. You’ve got to be careful. A lot of people don’t like to be pressured and pushed. In looking for a band, it’s quite common that that person may spend some weeks going to see gigs, going to different venues.
It could be quite some time before you got a decision. I’ve structured, like you say, these touch points that … We drop an email. We drop a call to the client on a periodic basis just to see how they’re doing. We’ll also drop into them any kind of additional useful information that could be relevant.
I mean it’s not uncommon for us to be playing the same wedding venue three or four or five times a year in some cases. In those circumstances, if I’ve just done a wedding and we’ve just done a gig or a wedding at avenue that I know another client is inquiring about, I may share the photo album with them and show them how this wedding looks at their chosen venue.
Brad: So you’re leveraging on these photos again. They’re know what’s going on.
Graeme: Yeah. We’ll piece a video or … They’re very much marketing tools. You can use them even years after the event. I mean Halloween comes around once every year. Again, we’ve made quite a lot of effort to gather loads of Halloween related media over the years.
We’ve got Halloween gigs because, today, quite recently, I put together a Halloween blog post and I was able to fill out that blog post with archived footage and photography from previous events. You let the pictures and the media do the talking for you. People’s biggest scare is what they’re going to look like, what they’re going to sound like, how they’re going to be.
Brad: Will they even turn up?
Brad: Yeah, and the rest. Excellent.
Brad: No, that’s fantastic. Just as a final thing, just going back to your transition from semi-pro to pro, have you got any advice for anyone that’s thinking about making that transition? Because I know there’s a lot of semi-professional musicians that listen that are looking to make that transition. Is there any couple of things that you could recommend they think about?
Graeme: I’d love to. I also just say, at this stage, I really enjoy working with other bands. I’ve never felt this town is only big enough for the one of us. I’m quite the opposite. I think when bands work together when we join forces and share information and learn off each other, that’s a good thing. I’ve never been opposed to that.
I would even go as far as saying if anybody ever wanted to draw me a line or say hi or whatever, they’re very, very welcome to. They ask you a question. It’s not just about the transition from semi-pro to pro. I think this is just general. If you’re in a band, I think you should always try and have that “can do” attitude, that flexible attitude, that customer-focused attitude.
It’s common and too boring hearing how musicians don’t want to play a song or this is selling my soul and this is no good and I’m not going to play that or I’m not going to turn up at this. Your business, people are paying you usually. They get used to the fact that you charge a grand or a couple of grand or even 500 quid for your services. That’s still a lot of money to a lot of people.
When they pass over that money to you, they’re not giving it to you because you happen to play a guitar. They’re giving it to you because they want you to do the job. You’ve got to have that customer-focused attitude of making it work. Whatever the situation is, you make it work and you do what it is that’s being asked of you.
You roll over, but you provide a professional, “can do” attitude. I think once you combine all of those elements and work ethic, and get out there and play, if you’re not booked this weekend, go and play somewhere, even if it’s a very low fee, because somebody will see you.
I mean the amount of gigs we’ve done in small little places where someone, at the end of the night or following the gig, has written to me and says, “Oh, yeah. Hi, I’m the event manager of …” I mean we’ve had the even manager of Aston Martin, Ducati, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, Fujitsu, we just bumped into these people along our travels. They booked us for their events that follow up. I just think do it, be customer-focused, perform well, and do what’s asked of you and you should be okay.
Brad: The results will come.
Brad: Excellent, Graeme. Thank you. It’s been … I can’t believe that’s 40 minutes already gone. I could speak for another hour and a half and … I’d certainly do. But listen, thanks so much. I really appreciate your time. We didn’t really talk about your new agency venture, but I’m going to get you onto the podcast in a few months’ time.
Brad: We’ll have a bit of a chat about that and see how it’s going. In the meantime, thanks very much and we’ll catch up with you again soon.
Graeme: Thanks, Brad. Listen, good luck to all the bands out there. I wish them all really well.
Brad: Brilliant. Thanks, mate.
Graeme: Cheers, mate. Take care.