One of the things I’m excited to be doing here on Connected Comedy is providing specific advice for comedians, bloggers, and video creators about how they can get more attention for their creations. That’s why I’m introducing a new feature on the site called 5 Free Tips where I will offer some free advice specifically tailored to one person’s content.
If you’d like me to give you 5 Free Tips, just shoot me an email and tell me about yourself.
The first beneficiary of my 5 Free Tips is aspiring stand up comedian Alex Kummert, who sent me the following email:
I’m a 17 year old high school senior from Washington State. I’ve been doing Stand-Up Comedy for about 3 years now. My material is on a couple websites (Rooftop Comedy, Punchline Magazine) and I was lucky enough to win an online contest.
Despite this, I still think I could do more. I’m not sure what that entails, but I’m sure you would give me a better idea.
Here is some of my recorded material (please let me know what you think!)
More from Alex:
I checked out Alex’s work and came up with the following 5 Free Tips for him:
TIP #1: Have A Goal
The first tip I would give you is that you should think about what your goal is and why you’re posting these videos online. Is it to get views and exposure for yourself? Is it to try to build a following and gain subscribers? Is it to try to get bookings on stand up shows? Is it just as a calling card for people who you want to show your act to?
Most likely your answer is a combination of all of the above, but I think it’s worth thinking about which of these things is your #1 goal because it will impact whatever strategy you take with the stuff you put online. I’m guessing that since you’re a relatively new stand up comedian, that your main goal is to try to start to get some attention for yourself and hopefully have a few people start to become fans of the funny stuff you create. I’ll assume that’s the case for these next tips.
TIP #2: Use Your Name
This is a common mistake that I see lots of stand up comedians make online – they seem to hide from their name. As a stand up, you want people to get to know your name so you should be using it as your account name on everything you do if possible.
Your YouTube channel shouldn’t be “AKummert,” it should be “AlexKummert.” And your Twitter account shouldn’t be @Kummert_442, it should be @AlexKummert. It’s a little thing, but that consistency can really help people find you, connect with you, and remember you. While you’re at it, you should go buy AlexKummert.com – even if you don’t use it, you’re going to want to own it at some point so that you can.
TIP #3: You’re 17. Use That.
All successful comedy is about voice and usually the more unique the voice, the better the comedy. In your case, what makes you stand out from a million other comedians is probably that you’re 17-years-old. I’m not suggesting that you turn yourself into some kind of gimmick, but you might want to think about ways you can play off your age online to attract an audience.
For example, I’m sure there’s a lot of other 17-year-olds who are interested in performing stand up even if they’re not actually doing it. They’d probably be interested in reading a blog or seeing videos with you talking about your experiences, more so than they would an older, more established comedian.
Your age, combined with a blog or video series about those experiences, also has the extra benefit of giving you an interesting story that could get you some attention elsewhere. No newspaper or local TV station cares about the fact that you’re doing stand up comedy, BUT… I bet a lot of media would be interested in a story about a 17-year-old stand up comedian who has a following of other kids that want to be stand up comedians. With a little clever positioning, you go from just another guy in the crowd to the “leader” of the crowd.
TIP #4: Turn A Stand Up Joke Into A Video Blog
This is another opportunity that I see lots of stand up comedians ignore. Just because you do a joke in your stand up act, that doesn’t mean that the joke can’t be done in other ways. Stand up works ok on YouTube, but a lot of times the same joke told in a different way – acted out as a sketch or just said as a video blog rant – can play much better. I’d suggest looking at some of the jokes in your act that work well and shooting some simple videos of you telling them as video blogs.
This also allows you to title the bits specifically and market them to an audience that’s predisposed to enjoy them. A full stand up set is much more difficult to get attention for because it’s about a lot of unrelated topics.
For example, you could tape yourself telling an extended version of your Mario Kart joke, post it as a standalone video titled something like “How Mario Kart Stopped Me From Getting A Driver’s License,” and then post the video on video game message boards or fan sites where people will be likely to get the references.
Here’s an example of a Mario Bros. video blog to get you in the mood:
TIP #5: Decide What One Action You Want People To Take
This ties into whatever your overall goal winds up being, but you should have one consistent action that you want people to take and promote that action across everything you do online. For example, if the #1 thing you want people to do is subscribe to your YouTube channel then that should be the URL featured on your Twitter page and not your Rooftop Comedy URL which is what’s there now.
If you have a blog or website that features all of your creations, then you should be asking people to go there from Twitter and YouTube and whatever else you create. If you want them to join an email list so you can give them a heads up about your activities, then ask them to on everything you do.
There’s no right or wrong one thing you want people to do, but I would recommend coming up with one main action that you want people to take and figuring out ways to encourage them to do so.
Hope this helps Alex, and if anybody else would like to get 5 Free Tips, please let me know.