Money-related issues are undoubtedly the most-shared frustration among all independent artists. Its hard to fund your art while also trying to fund yourself through your art. This post offers suggestions on how and when to ask for money
Asking for Compensation
Don’t be afraid to ask for money! If you’re providing a service to people, you shouldn’t be ashamed or feel awkward about asking to be payed for your service. I also don’t think you should be stingy and refuse to perform just becuase you’re not getting paid. Its really a case by case thing.
When asking for money, be tactful. The way you ask will sometimes make all the difference in if you get paid and how much you get paid (believe me). Here are a few examples.
- Bad example:
Thanks for asking me to do this gig. I’d love to. How much will I get paid?
- Good example #1:
Thanks for asking me to do this gig. Can you let me know if there is any payment for the artists involved? Since I am persuing music full-time, this is always necessary for me to ask
- Good example #2:
Thanks for asking us to be a part of this event. We’d love to play! Please let me know if there is compensation for participating bands. We would truly appreciate this.
You may receive a response from the booker 1.) telling you that its not paid, 2.) asking how much you normally charge, or 3.) offering you a specific amount.
When to Ask…When not to
I don’t know that there’s a general rule of thumb for this. Again, I think it is a case by case thing. If the organization asking you to perform is not making any money off of a specific event, then maybe you can forego making money as well. For example, if all the money is being raised for a charity, this might be a good time to pass on asking for money. But still ask if you can put out CDs.
If the venue you’re playing at is charging a cover, making money at the bar and not giving you a thing, then you should certainly address this. It’s just not fair.
If you have any good tips on asking for money, or disagreements to the above post, feel free to add your comments.