Our goal has always been to connect great musicians with great opportunities.
We've just revamped the Encore bookings process, so we thought this was a great chance to outline exactly how it all works.
If you are a musician, keep reading to learn what to expect when applying for gigs, and we'll also touch on how to improve your chances of being selected.
If you are looking to book musicians, this guide will explain how to compare and select the best musicians for your event using our sleek new tools.
So, Ray needs a violinist for his session...
Ray is looking for a violinist to join his recording session. Let's step through what happens when Ray posts his job on Encore.
Step 1: Job is listed
Ray first goes to joinencore.com/jobs/add. From here, he can post his request to Encore in under a minute.
Filters: Ray adds tags to the listing, which determine the musicians that will be alerted to the post. Multiple tags can be added e.g. “violin” and “keyboard”.
Ray's request is now ready to be matched with relevant musicians by the magic of Encore.
Fee: Ray adds the session fee and expected number of hours. He has three options when deciding on a fee for the job:
- Flat fee - Ray already has a set fee in mind for his chosen player. If we think the hourly rate looks too low, a warning will be displayed (based approximately on Musicians Union rates)
- Request quotes - rather than entering a fee, Ray can ask to receive quotes from interested musicians. In this case, the 'hours' estimate is sent to musicians to help them decide a fair total fee.
- Unpaid - Encore also allows unpaid projects to be listed, but alerts are only sent to musicians who have explicitly asked to be notified about them.
If the gig is paid, we'll add a small service fee at this point - usually 15% - onto the booking. As well as covering our costs, this means we can help Ray find another musician if anyone drops out at the last minute, and covers any extra expense caused by this. So it's a bit like insurance for the booking. Of course, we only take this fee if a musician is actually booked. No booking, no fee.
After giving us his contact details, Ray reaches the status page for his newly listed job. At this point, a member of the Encore team will double check the job before it goes out to our musicians.
Step 2: The job is published
Step 3: Relevant musicians are alerted
As soon as the job is published, every musician on Encore who matches the requirements will instantly be alerted, either by email or in our app.
Musicians have a huge amount of control over which alerts they receive through their settings page.
For musicians: To learn more about configuring your alert preferences, check out this handy guide.
Step 4: Alice & Matt apply for the gig
Let's say Alice and Matt are violinists who are interested in joining Ray's session.
They'll be asked for a brief application message which will be sent to Ray, as well as a contact number (if not already set) for use by the Encore team in the event that we need to urgently contact them.
For musicians: When applying for a job, it's best to include only details relevant to the listing, since the client will see all other details on your profile anyway. Here's an example of a good application:
"Hi, Ray. I'm a professional violinist with ten years of session experience. In the last month, I've recorded at Abbey Road, Maida Vale and Air Studios, and am familiar with the tracks you're recording next week. Please take a look at my profile for further information about me."
To maximise your chances of being booked, you should make sure your profile is up-to-date with:
- A video of your playing, or an audio recording if you haven't filmed any videos yet (we support currently YouTube and Soundcloud)
- An accurate bio so that clients can learn more about your experience
- Details of upcoming performances so that clients know when they can next hear you live
- Details of your musical training
- Involvement with groups and ensembles
Not only does having a full profile move you further up the search rankings, but it also makes it easy for clients and fixers to quickly gauge your suitability for their project or event.
Step 5: Ray decides who to book...
Ray receives an alert each time a musician applies for his gig. A status page shows that Matt and Alice have applied:
From here, Ray can sort the list of applications (through filters), compare the applicants and respond to musicians.
With this page, he is able to:
- Find out more about the musicians by clicking on their photos to see their profiles
- Read their application messages, with quotes and distances alongside each message
- Sort the musicians by price quoted, distance and average review
- Contact, dismiss and make offers to each applicant
Step 6: Ray stops receiving applications and offers to book Alice
Once Ray is happy he's received enough applications, he can click "Stop receiving applications" and the job will no longer be visible to musicians.
By clicking "offer", Ray is promising to book the selected musician once they have confirmed the booking with him. It's very important not to send out more offers than the number of musicians required.
Ray can also click "dismiss" beside the musicians he's decided not to book, and we'll notify those musicians that they didn't get the gig on this occasion.
Ray decides to book Alice, and she receives the booking offer from Ray via email and app notification.
Step 7: Alice accepts the booking
At this point, Alice can accept or reject the offer. If she accepts, both she and Ray have now agreed to the job. If Alice pulls out after accepting the booking, it will count as a cancellation. Likewise, Ray is obliged to honour the job listing and pay the specified amount for Alice's musical services.
Step 8: The booking is confirmed and the job is closed
Once Ray has booked Alice he can mark the job as "finished" and dismiss any other musicians still awaiting a response. Alice puts the date in her diary, and Ray can relax knowing that in the unlikely event Alice is forced to withdraw, Encore will guarantee to find a replacement.
The Musicians' Perspective
Now, let's walk through how this played out for Matt and Alice:
- Matt and Alice are notified that Ray needs a violinist for his session
- They both apply for the gig
- Alice receives a booking offer (by email and in-app) from Ray
- Alice confirms the booking
- Ray marks the job as finished, and Matt is notified that he wasn't chosen for this session
We've also added some new automatic "chasing" emails to ensure a swift resolution of every enquiry, which will send a gentle reminder if either party hasn't responded within a certain timeframe.
This makes life easy for everyone, and ensures nobody is kept waiting.
So there we have it. Booking musicians has never been so fast, transparent and fair.
Encore is one of the world's largest musicians' networks and the fastest way to find great musicians. Join now for free at www.joinencore.com