Don’t Be a $100 Act!

Q: How do I convince them to hire me over the $100 option when they’re calling around?

How’s that for an opening? A reader sent this question in and it opens a big conversation.

Agent Smith booking a $100 ActAgents call you because in their mind this is the kind of gig you do. No matter what kind of gig they call you for, they are telling you how they define you. That’s who they believe you are. You have built enough credibility in their mind for this gig. It’s the box they have you in, and for better or for worse, that’s where you’re at with that agent. They trust that you’ll do well enough on this gig.

I don’t get called for those gigs, and that’s a conscious choice.

My question to you is why would they hire you when a $100 option would be just fine? What are you really hoping for when this call comes in?

It’s possible that this is just a $100 gig. They don’t want to spend anymore. There are a ton of these! Every day, every city, more than you can imagine.

What I would like to see you do is don’t worry about these. Don’t even spend the energy required to get them to hire you. Let them roll off your back. Use your energy to build your unique brand – your unique selling proposition.

What can get them excited about you? What can you offer that will change your place in their mind from being a $100 option to being someone they call their clients and say ‘you got to have this person – beg, borrow or steal the money but you have to have this person!’ You can get an agent to call all their clients and say you have to have this person, but they are not going to do that with a $100 act.

It’s possible that this agent is a $100 gig agent. There are a ton of them out there. It’s what they do day in and day out and as you change your unique selling proposition, your beliefs about yourself and where you want to be, you might shed a few of these agents from your life.

Just like you gave up diapers, training wheels, and Lego building blocks, $100 gigs and the agents that offer them will become a thing of the past.

Can you split market yourself? Can you be a $100 act some days and a $1,500 or more act on other days? It’s possible, but very difficult. Once you get inside an agent’s head as a $100 act you don’t come up as an option for them on the bigger dates. Keep that real separate and be careful if you split market yourself. At some point you will draw a line in the sand and that is the day you will be treated like a professional, paid what you’re worth, and these $100 guys will rise to the occasion (by beginning to actively market you), or disappear from your radar.

It’s our job to let agents know who we are. We have already done that and they tell us who they believe we are every time they call to offer us work.

The creative mindConsciously or unconsciously we’ve already told agents who we are. If you don’t agree with their assessment of you – change it. Create an image that says “I am not a $100 act – go sell your crazy somewhere else!” But then, so you don’t lose everything you have, define who you are and get the word out on this.

Over deliver, make yourself invaluable, get in with the people who book what you want to be doing and strive to be great at what you do. As word spreads that this is who you are, you’ll get the calls you want and you won’t have to convince anybody to hire you over the $100 option.

This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Don’t even think that this change is going to happen quickly. But I promise you one thing; it isn’t going to happen at all, no matter how long you wait, if you don’t make it happen.

While running the community site at I have heard from so many professional entertainers who have told me they can’t get through the ceiling. Agents see them at one price and it can’t be changed. They tell me this with such passion and conviction that I have no choice but to believe them. I believe them. That’s who they are in these agents minds. They’ve convinced themselves that they can’t be changed.

You’re here because you believe that you can change and that’s the first step. We all create our own reality – that’s the law. There are losers who have become winners and winners that have fallen to the ground in defeat.

Who do you want to be in an agent’s mind? Define yourself and live by it. Take baby steps and have a long term goal and you will become the person you want to be in your mind and in every agent’s mind who lifts the phone to call you.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Be a $100 Act!”

  1. Barry – I just received an email from an entertainer asking – Who do I charge for my gigs – Thanks for this article – I can now send them directly hear. Your right, you have establish what type of entertainer your going to be. Find a good role model and learn from them. It’s funny when we graduate from college we don’t settle for the lowest paying job, and if we do… it’s only week until we’re looking for a new gig.

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