It’s been a pretty amazing year for Connected Comedy and I thank all of you for your attention and for helping to spread the word about the site. I’ve published more than 150 articles this year featuring all kinds of different advice for comedians, and I thought I’d take a moment to share with you what have been the 20 most popular articles on the site this year.
Here they are with some excerpts…
Here’s what Reg had to say about what he looks for in new talent, how he thinks comedians should approach their career, and the role that social media and digital tools can play in getting you discovered and improving your act.
According to studies, typically less than 5% of a Facebook user’s fans or friends actually receive their status updates in their news feed. Obviously, this is bad news for most comedians, but the good news is that there are some things you can apparently do to increase that percentage.
Too many comedians perform and then let people who like them and would potentially come see them again walk right out the door without having any connection to them. This is a huge wasted opportunity. Think of each of your shows as not only the culmination of your promotional efforts, but also as the first step in the promotion of your next show. You’ll find things start to get a lot easier if you do.
There are lots of Tumblr users who are either searching for content based on tags or have actually subscribed to “track tags” that are of interest to them. This means that if you tag your posts with something they are tracking or looking for, they’ll be introduced to your content and potentially share it.
Too many comedians spend too much time worrying about other comedians stealing their material when it’s ultimately meaningless and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it anyway. It’s amazing to me how many comedians will hurt their own career by refusing to share material online (in videos, tweets, Facebook updates, blogs, etc.) for fear that somebody else may steal their material.
You’re not going to put something you don’t think is funny on YouTube, so why would you let your fear of a negative comment prevent you from sharing material that you truly believe is funny? And can you ever really know if something is funny if you don’t put it out there?
It’s easy to get caught up obsessing about the sheer number of Twitter followers you have, but what’s really more important is the quality of the followers you have. It’s much better to have 100 true followers that will help you achieve your goals (whatever those may be), than it is to have 1,000 random followers that won’t ever buy tickets to your shows, book you gigs, or really care about what you have to say.
Instead of seeking validation from bookers, you should seek validation from fans. My guess is that if comedians spent as much time worrying about how to attract and connect with fans as they did with bookers, they’d wind up with much more successful careers in the long run.
In almost all cases, comedians who have successful careers have also paid attention to the business side of their career – even if they did so in a way that may not have necessarily been public knowledge.
Here’s what Eric had to say about how he determines who to book, how the booking business has changed in the past few years, what comedians can typically expect to get paid for different types of gigs, and the biggest misconception that comedians have about booking agents among other things.
Besides using the Internet to grow your fanbase and promote your projects, you can also use it to directly make money from your comedic talent. There’s a lot of different ways that you can monetize your ability to be funny online, but relatively few comedians actually take advantage of these opportunities.
When you define yourself as a standup comedian, you’re essentially saying to yourself and the world that standup comedy is what you do and how you make a living. The problem with that is that in order to make a living as a standup comedian, you’re going to have to succeed at doing something other than standup comedy.
Too many comedians treat social media like a performance. This may not be a popular opinion, and it may not be one that many of you want to hear, but it’s true. Your social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. – are not intended to be an extension of the stage. They’re not a glorified open mic where you get unlimited time and they’re not a bringer show where you don’t have to bring any people to see you perform.
A promoter or venue’s clientele isn’t comedians – it’s the audience. The audience is where their revenue comes from and therefore the audience is who the venue is trying to please. Most bookers, promoters, or venues could care less about your needs as a comedian when it comes to getting stage time because that’s not the business they’re in.
Comedians rave about how great Louis’ current television series is, but rarely do they talk about the reasons he’s able to make the show he makes. The biggest reason Louis is able to make his show his way is because he was willing to give up money in exchange for control.
Just because you have the ability to invite all of your fans to your show next weekend, doesn’t mean that you should. Like most people who are fans of comedians on Facebook, my inbox is flooded with event invites from comics who are performing thousands of miles away from me.
I think the biggest reason for Epic Meal Time’s success is that its concept appeals to multiple distinct audiences. It’s funny and will appeal to comedy fans, but it’s just as likely to appeal to foodies who are interested in cooking. And, it’s just as likely to appeal to fans of crazy Internet videos as well as people that are into “extreme” culture. These are four distinct audiences, each of which would be enough to create a hit individually, but Epic Meal Time has created a show that appeals equally to all four of them.
Here’s a few observations I’ve made about how most comedians treat their careers, and one question at the end for you to think about.
Did you know that more than 3 million people a month search Google in an attempt to figure out how to be a comedian? But while millions of people want to become a comedian, significantly fewer understand what it takes to actually become a successful comedian.
For some, the end-game will be to make a film. For some, just having people read what they have to say about a subject they love is good enough. Regardless, the smart ones will always find a way to earn off it. Because once you’ve got a taste for working for yourself, doing what you love doing? You’ll work 10x as hard as any brick-layer or paralegal, but you’ll NEVER feel it, never recognize it. And let the cranks cat-call from the sidelines; they lack balls of any element, let alone brass.
Thanks again for reading! Feel free to leave a comment with links to other great articles you read about the comedy business this year…