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About GigSalad

GigSalad is the largest, most diverse marketplace for booking bands, performers, speakers and services for events, parties, and gatherings of all types and sizes. With millions of users across the U.S. and Canada, provides an easy and secure way for event planners to book ...

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Odette Scott

Please, Quit Your Day Job!: GigSalad Turns Artist Hopefuls into Full-Time Performers

There’s a lot of talk about the disappearance of the middle-class creative, about the end of steady gigs and reliable income. Yet a young generation of performers is bucking the trend, leaving their day jobs behind thanks to the traction they’ve gained on GigSalad, the online marketplace where event planners can discover just the right talent.

Take Austin Ellis, a former competitor on The Voice. Though he gave the popular TV show all he had and followed his on-air run with a standing gig in Vegas, eventually things slowed down. “My advisors told me there would be a hangover,” recalls Ellis. “You have an existential crisis, and you have to come back to reality. Right around when things calmed down, at a rehearsal with a band I was trying to put together, I asked a buddy what gigs he was doing. He said, I joined this thing called GigSalad.”

Ellis went in for a $300 featured profile. That year, he earned around $30,000. “Take that to the stock market!” he laughs.

Of course, someone who spent a season on a widely watched national show might make it seem too easy. However, many performers without that media boost behind them, from meticulous face painters to heartfelt musicians, are seeing similarly impressive streams of income from the relationships they’ve built on GigSalad.

Zach Freedom is a Cedar Rapids-based musician who, after moving to the area from Des Moines, wanted to continue pushing his music career. A father with a family to support, he had worked side jobs as he made inroads into the new scene. He gave GigSalad a try, and the leads began pouring in. “I reached a whole new, national audience,” he reflects. “I got leads from as far away as Oklahoma. It’s resulted in about $12,000 of income directly via GigSalad and at least that same amount of income from leads to my personal site.” Zach credits the increase in traffic to GigSalad. He has had to turn down inquiries, as he had prior performing commitments.

Austin and Zach are not alone. In 2015, more than 2000 GigSalad members received at least two leads a week. Around 125 members made more than $5000 last year in deals closed via the marketplace. That number has more than doubled over the previous year. This is a rapidly growing segment of working performers.

“There has been a quiet shift going on in how artists and performers find gigs and make a living,” reflects Mark Steiner, GigSalad CEO and veteran talent agent. “More and more people are realizing they can book unique, thoughtful, affordable live performances that fit their life event or celebration. The artists who can tailor their creativity to enhance these moments are feeling the benefits, and it’s making a difference in their day-to-day lives.”

To be more exact: they are quitting their day jobs and making more art. Thanks, in part, to GigSalad.