Today’s free tips are for sketch group Dizzy People’s Comedy, who sent me the following email:
I’ve been reading your blog and thought I’d write in. I’m part of a sketch comedy group at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. We built a strong campus following (and even some online) during our first two years with a sitcom called “College is HARD” (youtube.com/collegeishardtheshow) and now we’re working on sketches as Dizzy Peoples Comedy (facebook.com/DizzyPeoplesComedy, youtube.com/DizzyPeoplesComedy).
We’ve tried to make the most of the campus audience and the people who have found us online and we’re wondering how to reach more people and build an audience we can keep after graduation.
Thanks a lot for reading and for your blog,
I checked out Dizzy Peoples Comedy’s videos and came up with the following 5 Free Tips for them:
TIP #1: Get A Website
I know it seems simplistic, but the first thing you need to do if you’re looking to build a following is to get your group a website so that you have a hub for people to find information about the group and your work. It’s great to be on YouTube and Facebook, but you should also set up DizzyPeoplesComedy.com (it’s available, I checked) and make that your base of operations.
Having your own website is important not only because it makes it easier for fans to find you and information about what you do, but it will also come in handy as you grow and want to start interacting with the industry and people who can give you new opportunities. Not having a website just looks unprofessional and conveys that you’re not really serious about what you’re doing – even to casual fans.
On a side note, your website doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. You just need something functional that explains who you are and what you do. Ideally, you can also use it to attract new fans and grow your following by posting other content (blog posts, funny pictures, etc.) on your site that you currently have no outlet for.
TIP #2: Use YouTube Annotations
It looks like you haven’t been using annotations on your YouTube videos and that’s a missed opportunity. Here’s a basic overview of how annotations work, but they can be very effective in driving more views to your videos and subscribers to your channel. They can also be used to plug your new website once you’ve got that up and running.
There’s no set rules for how to best use annotations, but I’d recommend checking out how many of the most subscribed comedy channels use them on their videos and you’ll likely get some good ideas of what’s possible with them.
TIP #3: Convert Your “College Is Hard” Fans
I noticed that your previous YouTube channel, College Is Hard, has 900+ subscribers while your new Dizzy Peoples Comedy channel only has about 100. You should do everything you can to convince those College Is Hard subscribers to sign up for your new channel.
I’d suggest messaging the subscribers individually and/or commenting on their pages to tell them about the new channel, and you also may want to consider putting a new video on the College channel that’s a promotion for your new channel and asking people to subscribe by clicking an annotation that you can place on the video with a subscribe link.
Another thing you can do is to send a bulletin to your College Is Hard subscribers telling them about your new channel and new videos. You put a lot of time and effort into gaining those 900 subscribers on your first channel I’m sure, and it would be a real waste to leave them behind.
TIP #4: Brand Everything You Create
If your goal is to increase the exposure for Dizzy Peoples Comedy, then you want to do everything in your power to associate that brand name with your work. This means that if somebody who doesn’t know about you guys happens to come across one of your videos and likes it, they should be able to easily see that it was a Dizzy Peoples creation. There’s a lot of ways to do this, but a couple things I would suggest is to include a watermark on your videos that says the group’s name and to include the group’s name in the title of all of your videos.
For example, your “They Were Dead The Whole Time” video should be titled “They Were Dead The Whole Time – Dizzy Peoples Comedy.” When somebody who doesn’t know you sees one of your videos and likes it, you want them to know who made it and ideally to go seek out more of your work. And when they do, they’ll find other videos with your brand name in the title and when they search Google, they’ll (hopefully) see your new official website which will be a great entry into becoming a Dizzy Peoples fan.
TIP #5: Encourage Your Existing Fans To Help You Gain New Fans
You’re lucky that you’ve already got a bit of a fanbase because you’ve been doing this for a little while and people like your work. You should try to come up with creative ways to encourage your existing fans to help spread the word about you to people who may not know you exist.
For example, you could have a contest or promotion where any of your fans that gets 20 of their friends to like your Facebook page will then get to have their name mentioned in one of your sketches. This will encourage your fans to be more active in spreading the word about you, as opposed to just sitting back and enjoying your work.
There’s lots of different ways to do this, but the main takeaway is to think about things you can do to get each of your fans to spread the word and to feel like they want to help you grow and succeed.
I hope these tips help you guys, and if anybody else would like to get 5 Free Tips, please let me know.