I write a lot of inspirational stuff on Connected Comedy designed to encourage comics at all levels to think about what’s possible in their careers and to understand that your fate really is in your own hands these days.
This is not going to be one of those posts.
Instead, I want to explain why it’s just as important to be a realist as it is an idealist.
While I firmly believe you should constantly experiment with different forms of comedy, marketing, and approaches to build an audience and further your career, you also need to be honest with yourself.
If you’re doing all these things and they’re not working, if you’re not making any progress despite your hard work, then you need to face another possibility – maybe you’re just not good enough.
I know that probably hurts to read and hurts even more to think about, but it’s important to allow yourself to consider that possibility. Maybe your jokes, your live performance, your videos, your podcast, or whatever else you’re creating just isn’t good enough to catch on with potential fans.
Great content can’t succeed without great marketing, but it’s also true that great marketing can’t succeed without great content. So no matter how much you listen to my advice and no matter how much work you put into trying to attract a fanbase, if your content (online or on stage) isn’t good enough, you will fail.
But the point of this article isn’t to depress you and it’s not to convince you that you need to give up if you’re not good enough.
The point is that you need to honestly assess your comedic talent and recognize that the reasons things aren’t clicking for you may have more to do with your skills than your lack of marketing prowess. And if that’s the case, you need to focus your efforts on figuring out how to get better as a comedian (or blogger, podcaster, video creator, writer, etc.).
You don’t need to give up on learning how to use social media and all the things I preach about to attract new fans, but you need to understand that none of it will work if you don’t have the quality content to back it up.
I can teach you how to get people to see your videos, to visit your website, or to come to your show, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to like what they see. That’s up to you to deliver and if you do, then all the stuff I discuss will pay big dividends.
So what should you do if you’re not good enough? The simple answer is get better – but of course, that’s not that simple. But it’s also not impossible.
You can always get better with work and I hope you come away from this article understanding that.
But if you can’t be honest enough with yourself to realize that you’re not good enough and you’re wondering why none of the things I discuss are working for you? Well, then you’ve got a bigger problem.