BookLive Blog

Why I Started Taking Credit Cards for Performances

Feb 9, 2019 3:29:05 PM / by Jared Judge

adolescent-bag-beautiful-919436When I started my group Dream City Music when I was a grad student, I wanted to make enough money on the side to support my studies and afford to go out a few times a month. I also wanted to make my family proud and to prove to myself that I could do it. I very quickly learned that starting a string quartet is not as easy as learning a few tunes and playing gigs.

All of a sudden I was swamped with tons of admin work that I had never learned how to do. I quickly learned enough marketing to get the word out there, and soon enough, I had a few couples approach me asking for the quartet to play at their wedding. I was so excited to have our first potential booking, but then I realized I had no idea how to take their deposit. I had already created a contract for them to sign.

Back when I was teaching private violin, my students' parents would pay me with a check, cash or sometimes Venmo, so I figured this would be a good place to start. When I told my clients what payment methods I accepted, I could feel their skepticism rise – would a legitimate business accept Venmo?? (At the time, Venmo was not pushing their business options).

None of them felt comfortable sending me a fat wad of cash through the mail – and I don't blame them. Most of them chose to send a check, but this caused me several new problems. I was a busy grad student (and I also took on a lot of extracurriculars) so I didn't have a lot of time to go off campus to deposit checks every week. They kept piling up and my clients would start to ask if I had received their checks. There also were a few checks that did get lost in the mail.

I had an epiphany – what if I started accepting credit cards? This would mean the money would get in my account faster, and I wouldn't have to spend extra time each week going to the bank. I created a plan to send a PayPal credit card invoice to each of my clients.

This plan immediately saved me hours each week! Clients were already used to being sent invoices for other items (their venue, florist, etc), so they didn't question it (plus it made my quartet seem more legitimate). They also did not mind the additional convenience fee because, well, it was convenient!

While this was an improvement, it did create a little extra work setting up invoices for each client (an extra 5-10 minutes per each client). Ultimately, this led me to build a credit card payment option right into BookLive so that when a client signs their digital contract, they are prompted to pay either their deposit or full balance right on the very same webpage.

Since I added this option, I saved myself an additional hour per week because all my payments are automated! That's why I'm so excited about BookLive Pay because it gives other musicians the ability to take credit card without having to set it up themselves!

Topics: Freelance Music, Gig Payment, BookLive Pay

Jared Judge

Written by Jared Judge