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  1. #131
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelwingsdevilhorns View Post
    Hope I am not being a pain asking all these questions but this is kinda why I came back on here so I can get advice from other dancers
    Not a pain at all - ask away

    I agree with Darshiva about the charity events. It's OK to do a few for free, if it's a cause you really care about, or if you'll definitely get worthwhile advertising opportunities out of it - but choose which ones you do carefully, and plan them so that you get the most possible benefit out of it.

    For example, make sure your actual business name & website address will be on any fliers etc rather than just 'bellydancer', make sure you will be able to give out your own promotional materials, try to get them to link to you from their website and facebook page if they have them. Make it clear to them that you are donating a service that's worth a lot of money, that they should value and promote properly. Otherwise, if they just see you as a random freebie, you can end up getting shoved in a corner with a crappy soundsystem and ignored.

    If it is something like a charity fundraising ball, then you should almost certainly be getting paid - these events raise money for charity, but they have an entertainment budget, sometimes quite a large one!

  2. #132
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    I have always done charity and it's great, it's totally ok to not charge if the other artists don't charge either. I see it as a donation. And it's a great way if you can't donate money wise, you can still donate. Beware a lot of charities are not very charitable: they make a lot of money and it goes to richly paid CEOs and other paid employers. I recently saw a list of charities where they showed how much they collect yearly and how much gets spend on their employers and what ends up actually going to the charity itself. It was shocking, the percentages left were tiny and these were all big well known charities! So I don't dance or donate for such charities.

    With advertising, where do you advertise? Some places are not the greatest for getting clients that will pay you properly (local newspaper is great for classes but maybe not for gigs, although, you can mention it of course)
    Maybe try entertainment agencies, see if they list dancers. Do you have good promotional material? Roshanna's tips is a good one. You can get someone to design you nice business cards that stand out and maybe post cards as well, they are great to give to people at parties as a memory and people might book you again. Some people get business cards with magnets made, they could also be handy to give out as memory (they are more expensive so if you hand out business cards at other places give them normal ones, keep the magnet ones for special occasions) people tend to put them on their fridge and it's not easy to forget you
    Do you have professional photos yet? They make a huge difference on a business card, web site or post card. I think we have some topics on that here on the forum. And we have some topics on advertising as well and Shira.net probably has info too.
    And if you have a design for a business card you want us to give opinions on, post it on the forum some other people have done before, do a search to look at some ideas
    Last edited by Amulya; 07-25-2013 at 03:21 PM.

  3. #133
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Someone on Bhuz a couple of years ago looked up what it cost to hire a guy in a novelty gorilla suit. Quite a lot, apparently. Who wants to rate their value below that?

    And for charity events, what Darshiva said. They might be useful publicity if the audiences are likely to want to hire a dancer or go to your classes, but I can't help wondering if they are just as likely to generate interest from other organisers after a free performance.

  4. #134
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    That's a good point, although people that visit a charity event might not know that you did it for free. But organisers will know. However if you're clear about that its only for free because its charity it's different. I never had any issues, but I have always been very careful with who I danced for.

  5. #135
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    I've read that some dancers write a reciept for the donated performance, so that it is visible what the worth actually was. Perhaps also for tax purposes, if it works that way.

  6. #136
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amulya View Post
    Maybe try entertainment agencies, see if they list dancers.
    Good point. Almost all of my gigs are through an agency, PM me if you'd like my agent's details. She's looking for more acts in quite a few regions at the moment, I think, so that might be worth a try. I like working for her as she's a bellydancer too so understands what we need.

  7. #137
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gisela View Post
    I've read that some dancers write a reciept for the donated performance, so that it is visible what the worth actually was. Perhaps also for tax purposes, if it works that way.
    I do that. That way I can claim it on my tax and they know the exact dollar amount of worth they are getting for my "free" performance. I also keep my free performances short - a LOT shorter than the ones I get paid for. Usually if it's a charity I will offer a substantial discount (say cover the cost of my travel & food) and in that case I will do a proper show. But I don't perform long freebies. They aren't worth my time and the audience can usually tell that I am a bit stroppy about being unpaid for this long performance. The exception, of course, is that I sometimes do a free demo at the markets (I did a 20 minute one recently) but I've found that doing the local markets like that is essentially free advertising, so my performance feels like a paid one!

  8. #138
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Darshiva do you need their signature on it to prove you actually did do that gig? (Just thinking otherwise it would be easy for people to write up fake ones for non existing gigs)

  9. #139
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    I've never been asked for it by my accountant. But I usually print out the email concerning the agreement and staple it to the receipt.

  10. #140
    Junior Member angelwingsdevilhorns's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone this is all really interesting and helping me a lot. I think I really need to take another look at my charges and decide what I wish to do if contacted about a charity event. The reciept idea is a good idea actually.

    Darshiva, so appoximently how long would you do a free performance for a charity gig?

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