re-directing business to other harpists

Posted In: Performing

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    Sylvia on #62495

    Update: The wedding I wrote about under “Industry Standards” was last nite. I got lots of nice complements on the music (I did my regular rep), and the groom (the guy who wanted all those songs I didn’t know) tipped me $50. (I checked with him to make sure a mistake hadn’t been made, just in case.)

    I didn’t want to spend the time and $$ tracking down all the songs (too many to memorize, and I don’t usually use sheet music anyway, and I don’t use it outdoors at all)…especially since the songs looked to be one-timers ….I’d probably never play them again. I thought it was more trouble than it was worth.

    As I said in my response to Tony’s comment, I’m a believer in re-directing undesirables (or a conflict…like if I’m already scheduled) to other harpists because it shows several things 1- I’m not afraid of competition 2- I’m not desperate for work 3- I care that they get music they’re happy with for their wedding….and I think because of those things it makes a good impression to re-direct. If they are thinking I’m a last resort because they don’t know of any other harpist and later find out there are several…well, that would make me look bad.

    Sylvia on #62496

    Mmm. Interesting. I guess people don’t like to discuss this. I know when I was new at this, I thought….I’m paying for the advertising, and I’m sending this job to someone else?? It didn’t seem fair, and I didn’t want to do it. I have definitely evolved.

    catherine-rogers on #62497

    If I can’t or don’t want to play a job, I try to refer the client to someone who can meet his or her needs. The only time I don’t is when it sounds like a situation (or client!) I wouldn’t wish on anyone!

    carl-swanson on #62498

    Sylvia- I don’t do gigs, so I’m not making the following comments from personal experience. But as a technician/ regulator/ rebuilder who talks to a lot of harpists(A LOT) the complaint I most often hear from harpists I chat with is that when they hand work they can’t take to someone else, that someone else never reciprocates. I can’t tell you how many harpists I’ve had tell me that they have given so-and-so several gigs, but have never received a job or referral from that person. So I’d be careful. I think I would also keep a score sheet for my own use. When you give a job to someone else, write down the details(date, type of gig, amount, and who you gave it to). Also write down the same details when someone gives you a gig. Then look over that list after a year or two and see how it all adds up. You may find that some of the people you handed jobs to do reciprocate and others don’t. You can then decide who it is worth working with. Also, armed with that list, if any harpist complains to you that you no longer give them work, you can answer back with the information on that list.

    The other complaint I have heard over and over again is that, if there are a number of harpists working in one area, there is always one who will charge 1/4 or 1/3 of what everyone else will just to get the job. That person is never NEVER going to give work to someone else. So I think I would try to develop a list of harpists to hand work to who are going to reciprocate and who are not going to undercut you. Just my thoughts from observations.

    Tacye on #62499

    I would expect passing gigs to be uneven in many cases – if someone has lots of calls they will be likely to want to pass some on. Perhaps to someone who does fewer gigs so is likely to be free, but much less likely to have double bookings to pass back.

    Sylvia on #62500

    I guess I’m too old to care. True, I seldom get referrals from those others I send work to, but that doesn’t stop me. I still refer.
    Neither does price. I charge what I charge, and if I don’t get the job, I wasn’t meant to play it. In contrast, when I was young, if someone called and didn’t call back or schedule, I was heartbroken.
    I just try to take the high road. I get a lot of work from my own referrals…people or places I’ve played for before, or people who have heard me somewhere.

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