Encore Blog

Introducing: Price Guides

We’re really excited to announce our latest and greatest improvement to your Encore profile: Price guides!

Your prices guide is a new section on your profile containing an accurate breakdown of your rates. We know every job is different, so you’ll still be able to provide a bespoke quote for every enquiry you receive. However, displaying transparent pricing to your potential clients gives you a number of big benefits:

  • Get more gigs. Clients love transparency. Our research shows that clients who see upfront prices are much more likely to enquire than those who have no indication of how much the quote they receive will be.
  • Your clients will be more likely to book. Displaying all your pricing options increases the chances that you’ll be matched with a ‘qualified lead’ – someone who can afford your services and is therefore much more likely to end up booking you.
  • Reduce speculative enquiries. We know that some clients in the past have used Encore speculatively, submitting enquiries just to get an idea of prices, and then not responding when you send them a quote. If clients can see this information up-front, they can continue browsing Encore until they’re ready to enquire, rather than wasting your time asking for quotes.

We’re certain that pricing information increases the chances of a client booking you – so if you complete your pricing, we’ll boost your profile in our search rankings.

If you haven’t already, we recommend heading to your profile to update your pricing now.

Let’s take a look at how it works… 

Contents

  • Why add the Price guide?
    • The problem with quotes
    • Transparent pricing increases booking
  • The Price Guide
    • Standard prices
    • Custom prices
    • Add-ons
    • Travel
  • How is my pricing displayed to clients?

Why add the Price guide?

The Problem with Quotes

When customers come to Encore, they usually have one question in mind – how much does it cost to book a musician?

It sounds like a simple question, but we know answering it is far from easy. Every time you quote you need to take into account line-up options, length of performance, travel, the time of year, the time of day, the list goes on… In short, it’s complicated.

So, we built the quotes model you’re familiar with. We ask clients to provide their budget range (which have to be above strict minimum rates), and then ask musicians to respond with as accurate a quote as possible.

This system works, but it has a number of major drawbacks.   

Clients don’t like waiting for quotes to arrive and get frustrated if all the quotes they receive match their maximum budget. Here’s a quote from one client who was looking for a function band:     

“Bands starting prices appearing from £500 then the bands quote at £1500. I was like, ‘No way. I’m not paying that’.”

It also wastes time if musicians end up quoting to clients who can’t afford their services. Upfront pricing solves this problem by filtering out the unsuitable clients before they get in touch. With the new Price guide, you can display your prices for multiple line-ups and timings, so it’s clear that you can serve clients with different budget sizes.

Transparent Pricing Increases Bookings

Showing pricing upfront doesn’t just save time and effort on the part of clients and musicians, it also increases the chance a client will book. Research from the Harvard Business Review recently suggested that consumers are more likely to purchase a product if they see it transparently priced.

“transparency actually works in the seller’s favour by protecting buyers from questionable prices and ensuring they know how the cost structure works”

We anticipate that musicians with complete pricing information will be booked more often on Encore. So, once you’ve completed your Price guide, we’ll give your profile a boost in our search ranking.

Walkthrough

Standard pricing

This is where you list your typical price for your services. Note, these prices should include everything you need to put on a typical performance. If you usually bring PA, they should include this cost. If you are VAT registered, they should include VAT.

We know it’s unusual for musicians to perform longer than an hour without a break, so all performance durations include one 15 mins break per hour by default. For example, your quote for 2 x 45mins would be under the performance duration “Up to 2 hours”.

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Time-sensitive pricing

We know that you might vary your pricing depending on the time of year, the day of the week, or even the time of day. For example, most musicians would charge less for a 2pm gig on a Monday in February than they would for 7pm on the Saturday before Christmas.

So we’ve given you the option of including information in your Price guide to let us know when your prices might be slightly lower. At the moment this won’t be displayed to clients, but we will be building a client-facing feature based on the information you enter here in future.

By default, we’ll list a message on your profile during peak seasons like weekends in the summer or bank holidays to let clients know your prices might be higher than usual.

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We want to be careful when it comes to lowering prices as we don’t want to encourage undercutting. For the moment, if you do lower your prices during certain dates or times, please check the box “[]” and explain how. We’ll use this information to build a more sophisticated calculator for your time-sensitive pricing fluctuations in future.

Custom prices

We’ve built custom prices to allow to add your fees for booking types which don’t fit into the standard rate format. Typical examples might be events where you have to perform multiple times in successions like wedding ceremonies, or unusually short gigs (like piping in a haggis on Burns Night).

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Add-on prices

Use add-ons to list all the additional services you can provide alongside your standard performance. Here are a few examples of add-ons.

  • Cosmetic add-ons: bringing a grand piano shell, or an extra outfit change
  • Upgraded AV: louder PA, a lighting rig, a smoke machine
  • Additional music: composing or arranging a song for the client
  • Upgraded service: giving your client a Skype consultation call or inviting them to listen to a rehearsal before the event

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Travel

Your travel expenses are likely to vary from gig to gig depending on how easy it is to share lifts, or how good the transport links are to the event. But to give your client an idea of how much your travel arrangements will cost, we’ve made a simple calculator. Simply add in your typical price per mile and we’ll automatically show you how much your travel expenses would be for a 10-, 50-, or 100-mile roundtrip. Note: a 10-mile round trip would be for a gig 5 miles away.

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 How is my pricing displayed to clients?

Once you’ve completed your Price guide, it will be displayed on your public-facing profile. These prices won’t appear on your profile when you’re applying for jobs or after you’ve quoted. They only appear for customers who are searching and haven’t made an enquiry yet.

Though we’ll update this in future, currently some of the information we ask for won’t be displayed publicly. We wanted to release this as soon as possible, so in this first version, clients only see the most essential info.

Information we’ll display with the next update:

  • Travel expenses – we’ll use this in future to estimate how expensive your travel would be based on where a client’s event is.
  • Time-sensitive pricing – we won’t display this information to the client but will use it in future to improve the way pricing works.
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How your prices appear publicly to clients

A Short History of Encore Pricing

If you’ve been on the platform for a while, you might be aware that the new Price guide is replacing two previous pricing features: Standard rates and Starting prices. Back in 2017 we added “Standard rates”, which is now no longer displayed anywhere to clients – if you filled in this feature, you can find it on the “Other info” tab in your profile for your own reference.

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Starting prices were added in June 2018 and the price you added has now been merged into the Price guide.

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These features helped guide the development process for the Prices guide, so don’t worry – completing them was not in vain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonny Venvell

Encore Community Manager, singer, oboist, jazz gig goer.

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