One of the most frequent bits of feedback we’ve received from musicians is “When I’m quoting I just want to enter my take-home (Net fee) rather than the total quote”.
We also heard that sometimes you need to quote over the customer’s maximum budget to get the right Net fee.
We’ve listened and made a number of updates to how you quote on Encore.
- Simpler quoting: You now enter your desired take-home (now called “Net fee”) into a single field
- More flexibility: You can now quote up to 25% over the customer's budget (unless the customer opts out)
- Higher take-home: We’ve raised the minimum budgets customers can enter when creating an enquiry
What to expect
You enter your Net fee (take-home), not the total quote when quoting.
In the previous system, we asked you to quote including our commission. We heard that musicians were often opening Chrome tabs and calculators when sending Encore fees to work out how much they should charge. You now just need to enter how much you need to take-home and you’ll see the overall quote to the customer.
You can now quote over the customer's budget
We heard from musicians that they often needed to quote slightly higher than customer budgets to get the right take-home. Now by default, all jobs are flexible on budget - meaning you can quote up to 25% above the customer’s listed budget.
Customers are able to opt out of flexible pricing, but we anticipate that many customers will be happy to receive some quotes above their initial budget range.
Note: We recommend you only quote outside their flexible budget range in exceptional instances - quotes within their range will be more likely to get booked.
Customers are now able to opt in or out of flexible budgets. You'll be able to quote up to 25% higher than their budget when switched on:
Expect to quote higher overall
Customers will now see higher expected price ranges when they initially search for music. On average customer budgets have gone up by 15%.
We’ll be closely monitoring change to ensure raised prices don’t lead to a drop in bookings.
Make sure you include your travel expenses in your take-home
While some musicians found having a separate travel expenses field useful, we found that most musicians were used to other platforms where both fees and travel are quoted within a single field. Having two separate channels of payments also was creating problems for our accounting team. So on balance, we’ve decided to include travel within the overall take-home fee. You may need to raise your quotes very slightly to accommodate this change (see example below).
Note: the Encore Terms and Conditions have been updated in line with this change.
While from our discussions we know some of you found it useful having a separate commission-free field to input your travel, there are a number of reasons why we’ve decided to merge this into the Net fee.
Firstly, we heard from some musicians that they were used to entering their Net fee inclusive of travel on other platforms and found the Encore system unnecessarily complicated. Some even said that they ignored the field altogether. Looking at other platforms and agencies, we found that 8 of our 10 closest competitors had a similar system of including travel within the commissionable fee.
We’re also planning to move to a regional quoting system (which some of you will have tried in the Instant Quotes beta we are currently testing), which requires a single take home figure per region. So this change lays the groundwork for a simpler quotation system that will remove much of the admin of quoting for jobs.
To be transparent, there were also hidden costs to a commission-free travel field which as a platform we’re no longer able to sustain. Every time we transfer money through Encore, we are charged payment processing fees by Stripe, our payment provider. When we introduced the field, we were managing around 20 bookings per month, but now around 2000 bookings go through the platform each month so this cost is a large sum which we need to cover.
I’m worried that my take-home pay will be lower with all these changes
Most of us on the team are musicians, and fair pay to musicians is at the core of our mission. We’re closely monitoring this change and if it negatively impacts musicians’ pay we’ll review rolling it back.
On average, putting travel expenses in the Net fee, means that the total quote will be £15 higher, with your take home fee staying the same.
We’ve also increased customer budgets by around 15%, so overall your take home fees from gigs should go up.
Here’s an example:
Average Booking Size on Encore in July 2023:
- You quote £539 performance fee (= £431 Net fee) + £62 travel
- You take home £493
- The customer pays £601 total
- You quote £493 Net fee
- The customer pays £616 total
We don’t think that this is likely. Our bookings team make around 500 calls per day to people wanting to find musicians and they find that customers prioritise finding the right musician, and will generally pay fair rates to secure their preferred act. That said, we’ll be closely tracking conversion rates to check that our musicians aren’t booked less as a result of this change.
What is a “Net fee”?
We have now changed any references on the Encore site from “earnings” to Net fee. This refers to the amount of money transferred to your bank account after the gig. We’ve moved away from ‘take-home’ and ‘earnings’ as we had feedback from some musicians that these terms were ambiguous, particularly for musicians who are VAT registered.
Will this make it more difficult to quote for gigs further away?
This change means that gigs which are further away will be more expensive to quote for. We’ve heard that this may cause problems for some musicians, so will be looking into this over the next few weeks to ensure this isn’t a blocker.