In order to get more fans, the first thing you have to do is figure out how to get found by potential fans.
There’s no magic formula for getting yourself discovered by people who are likely to enjoy what you do, but there are several things you can do to increase the chances that somebody will find out about you. Here’s a few of them…
1. Create Something People Will Share
Lots of comics post all kinds of content online (blog posts, videos, photos, status updates, podcasts, etc.), but a lot fewer comics actually think about whether or not what they’re posting is something that people will want to share. There’s a difference between what somebody likes and what they share (see: the popularity of porn online vs. the amount of porn in your Facebook feed). The more shareable the content is that you create, the more likely it is to be shared and the more likely it is that potential fans will discover you.
2. Create Something People Are Searching For
Another way to get discovered is by creating content that people are searching for in Google. I’ll spare you the lengthy dissertation on SEO (search engine optimization), but if you’re curious how it all works you can learn about it here. But in its simplest form, think about how you can create content that addresses the kind of questions that people are likely to ask Google and you can wind up getting people driven to your content for free.
3. Contribute To Relevant Communities
Instead of always trying to get people to come to your website or listen to your podcast, you might want to try instead contributing to the other places on the web where those communities already exist. Appearing on other people’s podcasts, writing guest blogs for a popular site, being active on message boards, or even posting good comments on other websites can be an effective way of getting yourself noticed. Think about it – a Huffington Post article will attract thousands of views and if you leave a really great comment on it, that’s thousands of people that will be introduced to you at no cost to you.
4. Advertise Yourself
If you do have a little money to spend, you can get yourself noticed by the right people using Facebook ads. A couple years ago I used Facebook ads to initially grow my Connected Comedy audience (and detailed exactly how I did it here) and it continues to be an incredibly effective way to attract new fans.
5. Do Something Newsworthy
Another shortcut to getting exposure is to do something that will catch the attention of the media. This doesn’t mean just sending a press release to somebody about your upcoming show that nobody’s likely to care about, but rather think about what kind of noteworthy stunt you could pull off that would create a great story that media would love to write about.
6. Capitalize On The Attention You Already Get
Sometimes comics spend so much time trying to figure out how to get found by new people that they forget they haven’t even fully captialized on the people that currently see them. For example, if you perform for 50 people, that’s 50 opportunities to get an email address or convert a fan. How many contacts do you have in your personal email address book and how many of them even know that you do comedy? How many of the contacts in your phone actually know what you’re doing? I’m sure there’s people you have contact info for that you could reach out to and re-introduce to what you do with comedy.
7. Cross Promote With Peers
One of the greatest things about comedy is that there’s a true network of your peers that you can work with to help introduce each other to new potential fans. Look for opportunities to cross promote yourself with other comics’ fans – it’s a great way to get introduced to new potential fans.
8. Keep Showing Up
No matter what content you create and what you do to promote it, you shouldn’t expect to attract a ton of new fans immediately. Building a fanbase is a long term project and you will only be able to succeed if you keep showing up – keep producing content, keep experimenting, and keep trying to find new ways to introduce yourself to new potential fans. None of the suggestions listed above will be effective if you’re not willing to keep doing things consistently over a long period of time.