Since registration for the next session of my Connected Comedy CRASH COURSE is now open, I thought I’d give you a sense of the kind of information you can get from the course.
In addition to 1-on-1 consulting, the chance to learn from advice I give other comics, exclusive audio downloads, and much more, the course includes more than 20,000 words worth of advice about everything comedians need to know about the business and marketing of comedy.
Here’s a few brief examples of the kind of information you can expect to get in the course – if you like it, you can sign up here to join the next session which starts on Oct. 22nd.
SAMPLE TIP #1: Be Personal. Be Informal. Be Available. Be Real.
Most comedians’ instinct is to position themselves as bigger, or more successful, or more of a celebrity than they are when they’re showcasing themselves on their website and social media channels. Instead, focus on being real.
People want to connect to other people and they want to relate to them – the more you’re willing to put yourself out there and be honest, the more people will connect to you. Real is always better than fake – in videos, in blog posts, in everything.
I also think it’s worth noting that this represents something of a generational shift. Back in the day, before technology like YouTube allowed literally everybody in the world to reach everybody else in the world, the average audience member assumed that the people who had broadcast power were better than them. They gave you the benefit of the doubt because they assumed if you were able to get to the point where you were given the chance to reach an audience, that you had some talent.
But now, when anybody can reach everybody, that has shifted and audiences are much more skeptical. Now, if they see you trying to pretend to be bigger than you are, they resent it. You no longer have the benefit of the doubt.
But the flipside of that is that if you are real and allow fans to see you for where you’re really at in your career, those same people will rally behind you, support you, and want to help you and be a part of your journey to success. They will become invested in you.
SAMPLE TIP #2: What Facebook Is Good For And What It Isn’t
Facebook is a tremendous resource for building a fanbase because of its inherently viral nature. The average person on Facebook has 150 friends, so any time somebody “Likes” your page or a piece of your content, theoretically they are exposing it to 150 of their friends and doing so in a manner that conveys that they think it’s great. That’s powerful stuff.
It’s also a great way to attract new fans if you’re willing to invest money in some ads, because you can target the ads to get the exact audience you expect to be interested in what you do.
However, Facebook actually is overrated as a promotional tool. The vast majority of your fans won’t see your updates and because the key to a successful page is engagement, that in some ways go against the idea of using it to promote your stuff.
Your overall goal should be to use Facebook to introduce people to what you do, help them spread the word about you, and build a community of fans around your creations. That’s how it works best.
SAMPLE TIP #3: How To Find Your Target Audience Using Twitter Search
Twitter search is incredibly powerful and you can use it in a variety of ways. Here’s a few searches I could see being helpful for you in finding relevant people to interact with and hopefully get to follow you:
• Search for people who reference the venues or places where you perform – especially right after you’ve been there. This is a good way to find and connect with audience members and potential audience members.
• Search for people who reference things related to a recent blog post you may have written or video you posted.
• Search for people who are bored and looking for somebody to entertain them. For example, search for “tell me a joke” and look at all the people that are literally asking for somebody to tell them a joke.
• Search for people who have similar interests to you so you can have a genuine interaction with them. TV shows, movies, politics, sports – there’s plenty of people out there interested in what you’re interested in and they’d probably be interested in what you have to say about it. You can use Twitter search to find them.
SAMPLE TIP #4: Why It’s Important To Have A Website
Let’s start with an explanation of why it’s important for you to have a website in the first place. Since social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become so popular, there are a surprising number of comedians who question whether it’s even really necessary to have a website any more. I hear comments all the time like, “I just use Facebook as my website” or “Nobody goes to websites any more, do they?”
This is a huge (and dangerous) misconception. Websites are alive and well and your own website (ideally at your own domain name) is absolutely essential for any comedian that’s serious about their career. Here’s a couple reasons why:
It’s the only platform you can 100% control. When you rely on using a social media platform like Facebook as your hub, you don’t ultimately have control of how the platform may change, you’re limited to only doing things that service allows, and you can get screwed if the world’s tastes change (as they often do) and they abandon that platform. The perfect example of this is all those comics who built up huge followings on MySpace a couple years ago and then were forced to basically start over from scratch when their fanbase abandoned the platform. If they had instead used MySpace to build their own email list and/or website following, they would have been fine no matter what the new platform of the moment became.
It’s your calling card. Comedy club booker Matt Komen explained in a recent podcast episode that a comic’s website is crucial for getting booked because it’s often what bookers turn to for more details about the comic, clips of their work, etc. If you’re looking to book more gigs or attract the attention of anybody else in the industry and/or potential new fans, your website is going to be the place where people decide whether or not they care enough about you to connect to you.
SAMPLE TIP #5: Why It’s So Hard To Get Somebody To Say Yes
Years ago I remember meeting with a big-time Hollywood movie producer and talking to her about why it’s so difficult to get studio executives to ever say yes to buying or making a project. And here’s what she said:
“Because every single time somebody in this business says ‘Yes’ to a project, they are risking their job. And nobody ever gets fired for saying ‘No.’”
That quote always stuck with me and I’ve found it to be very true over the years (and also slightly depressing). The reality of this business is that when executives decide to invest their company’s time, money, or resources in you or your project, they are essentially risking their job if it doesn’t work out. And while they might get in trouble for passing on a project that goes on to have success elsewhere, it won’t be nearly the same kind of trouble they would get had they invested in you and crapped out.
This is why it’s so hard to get people to say yes to you, but it’s also why it can be so important to have some kind of proof that your project is likely to succeed.
Development executives are buying projects based on Twitter accounts and blogs because it at least gives them something to show there boss that makes the decision about more than just their own opinion (which puts their own neck on the line). It’s an easier sell for them to say to their boss, “We should buy this because it’s a great idea AND it’s got a big YouTube following,” as opposed to just saying “We should buy this because I think it’s cool.”
It may seem childish and crazy, but keep in mind that whoever you want to buy your projects will have their own boss they have to answer to and you want to try to give them as many reasons as possible to say yes – and as few as possible to say no.
Did you find these tips helpful? They’re just the tip of the iceberg of what you will get in the CRASH COURSE. Click here to learn more about it and sign up – registration is limited and the next session begins on Oct. 22nd so act quickly!