Post image for Connected Comedy Podcast Episode 47: Share Good Shit

Connected Comedy Podcast Episode 47: Share Good Shit

September 30, 2013

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On the “nothing new” episode of the podcast, Jordan Cooper, Chelcie Rice and Josh Homer talk about growing your fanbase without self-promotion through curating content, pushing others as a form of networking and developing relationships with peers, and aiming to build a community that matches your comedic voice.

In addition, we discuss the concept of platforming, using social media more as a telephone and less as a bullhorn, why you shouldn’t be focused on getting people out to shows, the weight of a recommendation and how maintaining a solid reputation is more important than helping your low-talent friends.

Links from this episode:

How To Grow Your Fanbase By Not Promoting Yourself
Nashville Stand-Up
Daring Fireball
Jim Romenesko
CC Podcast Episode 34 – Look For The Yes

Participate with the community in our Connected Comedy Facebook group or post your questions, suggestions or topics to cover in the future on our Facebook page. We always welcome your comments!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Justin Matson January 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I’m new to CC and still trying to figure out how to build a fan base, etc. I’m still trying to go through all your episodes and articles, but I love this podcast so far and find it very helpful. However, I have to admit I’m not sure I agree with all your points. In fact, this episode totally blew my mind!

I’m one of those comics who uses Twitter solely to tweet out jokes to the world. I started this last year and wrote 1900 joke tweets, about 5 a day. I did it to practice the craft of joke writing, and start to build my “brand” as a comedian (a distinct Twitter voice/style/flavor of humor).

Twitter has been great for forcing myself to write everyday, and helpful in learning to craft short, punchy jokes in 140 characters. THAT’S WHY I USE TWITTER. I’m proud of my tweets and see myself getting better as a writer. I’ve started adapting some of my tweets into one-liners or longer bits for my stand-up act. I’m still struggling with how to fully adapt them, as I wouldn’t say I’m a “one-liner” comedian, though neither would I rule it out just yet… I’m still trying to define my voice.

On the one hand, I feel weird keeping my tweets completely separate from my act, since there’s some funny stuff there that’s relatable to my life/character. On the other hand, I don’t want to be a comic who just stands on stage reading tweets. I’d love to find a way to create some synergy with a good balance in between, perhaps by expanding tweets into crowd engaging bits that work for the stage.

In terms of followers, I basically have none. I rarely get favorited or retweeted, and only get a few likes on my FB page (which feeds from my Twitter). It’s frustrating when you write 1900 jokes but no one reads them. That’s why I’d like to make more of an effort in social media.

So far, I only spend about a half hour a week to favorite, follow, and refollow funny tweets of people I like. I’m pretty generous with my favorites, I just don’t surf twitter as much as I should and could definitely do more. I’ll take your advice and spend more time surfing and engaging in the true “social” aspect of Twitter.

I rarely retweet… not because I don’t like the tweets or that I don’t want to support other comics, but because I view my Twitter feed as MY brand, and I don’t want to cloud it with spammy posts or content from others. I’m worried that if people come to my twitter page looking to read some of my jokes, they’ll only see posts I retweeted from others and never see any of my own original content.

From what you’re describing, it sounds like you’re encouraging people to become content “curators,” as opposed to “creators.” I definitely agree that the most successful social media stars seem to prioritize curating good content rather than creating their own. That is essentially, the “social” part of it.

But I question how being a great curator fits in with being a comedian. I feel like curators are a dime a dozen…. every day there’s a new “top ten list” or buzzfeed article or list of the funniest Tweeters to follow. Sure, it’s engaging, and it gets results, but does it really help that curator become a better comic? Aren’t they essentially just riding the coattails of funny people?

What’s the point of having a million followers if people only come to your page to see other people’s posts? At what point do you stop curating and start creating? I imagine once you’re “famous” you don’t have to spend all your free time panhandling and sucking up on twitter… you can finally post lame fart jokes all day, getting a thousand retweets every second. Until then, what percentage of your time should be spent curating (with the intent of engaging new followers) vs. creating (with the intent of being funny and building new material)?

My strategy so far, as with all these unknown twitter comics you’re criticizing, has been to spend my “social media” energy trying to get established curators to share my stuff. Rather than trying to build a following from scratch through curating (i.e. PURE MARKETING), I’ve been trying to create great original stuff that curators enjoy and would be happy to share with their followers, thus building my fan base through creating.

Now, I’m not saying I’m right. In fact, the truth is I’ve failed to get any social media buzz or followers, so I definitely need to rethink my strategy. Perhaps you’re right in that I should be using social media “…less as a blow horn and more as a telephone.” But I still don’t understand how curating content has anything to do with being funny, or establishing yourself as a comedian.

Should I NOT post my jokes on Twitter, and just keep them in a private journal until I adapt them for the stage, while focus my Twitter account on curating? What about overwhelming your followers? I’ve definitely noticed that if I post too many times in one day I’ll see a decline in responses/viewership, and maybe even lose a few followers. It comes off as spammy.

I wonder if it might be best to create two separate twitter profiles, one for my own original jokes, and one for curation? Assuming the curation account takes off, I can then use it to occasionally self-promote my own content, while leaving my joke feed distinctly my own, unique, original content. But then I’m spending hours and hours each week surfing twitter instead of being a comedian! It was never my life ambition to be an excellent curator.

I guess I only use social media in a purely selfish attempt to self-promote. I appreciate others’ content and consider myself a “fan of comedy,” but as you said before, watching funny stuff on Netflix all day isn’t going to make you a comedian. I guess I’m having trouble finding the balance. I had hoped that tweeting funny jokes would be synergetic in getting new followers. Was I wrong?

What do you think? Am I completely missing the point?

Anyways, just trying to join the discussion. Thanks for posting all this helpful stuff!

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