One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a comedian is to figure out how to grow your fanbase from scratch. Especially when you have limited stage time, or if you’re performing at open mics for small crowds that consist mostly of other comedians, it can be difficult to figure out how to introduce new people to your comedy.
Creating content online and posting it on your website gives you the ability to reach people all over the world and expands your potential audience way beyond the people that happen to see you live, but even then it can be difficult to figure out how you get people to visit your site or view your content.
But, if you have an idea of who is likely to enjoy your style of comedy, there’s actually a few easy places to find those potential fans. Here’s six places that you can go to find new potential fans for yourself…
1. Relevant Blogs and Websites
The backbone of the Internet is blogs and content websites – the vast majority of which are themed around a specific niche topic or sensibility – and those sites are one of the easiest places to find people who may be interested in your comedy. And the best part is, they are relatively easy to reach.
Think about who your comedy is likely to appeal to and track down various blogs and websites that attract an audience interested in those similar topics. If you need help finding these sites, my 100 Places To Promote Your Comedy Content eBook may help.
Once you’ve identified some sites, then spend some time interacting with those sites and their readers. Comment on articles, participate in discussions, communicate with the bloggers or writers that run the site, and become a part of the existing fan community for those sites.
What will inevitably happen is the other fans of those sites will start to get to know you, and in turn be interested in what you do (i.e., your comedy). Plus, since you chose these websites specifically because they have similar appeal as that of your comedy, the chances are that when these blog readers are introduced to your comedy they will enjoy it.
2. The YouTube Comments Section
Obviously, it’s worth setting up your own YouTube channel and posting videos, but that’s not what I’m referencing in this post with regard to finding fans. Once you’ve set up a channel, start looking around YouTube to find other videos that you find funny and – more importantly – that you think may be similar to your comedy.
Then look at the comments on that video and get involved – post comments, interact with the other commenters, and join the conversation. Every time you leave a comment on a YouTube video your username shows up as a link back to your channel – so leaving valuable, clever, and funny comments actually serves as promotion for your own channel.
You can even message commenters on other people’s videos directly, introduce yourself, and mention that you read their comment on a video and thought they may be interested in your stuff. Don’t just spam people obviously, but recognize that YouTube comments are a really easy way to identify new potential fans for your comedy.
3. The Facebook Ads Section
Most comedians spend all their time on Facebook talking to their existing fans and don’t realize it’s an incredibly powerful source to find new fans. If you’re willing to invest a little bit of money in Facebook ads, you can target the exact demographic of potential fans that you think will be most likely to enjoy your comedy.
For example, if your target audience is 25-45 year old Moms who live within 10 miles of Chicago and are fans of the Improv comedy club, you can run a Facebook ad to just target those people! And, you only pay when somebody clicks your ad. Again, Facebook ads are incredibly powerful and potentially the best way for a comedian to find new fans.
If you’re planning to give Facebook ads a shot, you should definitely read my post about how I increased my Facebook fans by 470% for $20.
4. Other Comedians’ Fanbases
Whether you go looking for fans on Facebook, YouTube, or websites, here’s another trick that most comedians don’t consider – target other similar comedians’ fanbases. Think about what your style of comedy is and then think about which more established comedians have a similar style to you. If they’re more established, they probably have a bigger fanbase. And if they’re similar to you, their fanbase will probably also enjoy your comedy – so go after them.
For example, if I were a political comedian looking to grow my fanbase here’s what I would do: I’d run Facebook ads and interact with YouTube commenters targeting fans of Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Lewis Black, etc.
Just like you would try to get a booking as an opener for one of these big comedians because you want their audience to see you, you should try to do the same thing online. But the great thing is that you don’t need to be booked to do it online – you can just find these fans, target them, and reach out to them.
5. Look At Those People Sitting In The Audience At Your Show
This one seems obvious, but it’s amazing that most comedians ignore it. Every time you take the stage to perform you’re staring at a crowd full of people who could potentially become your fans. But most comics are so busy trying to make them laugh in the moment, that they completely forget to give them any reason or opportunity to become fans beyond that moment.
Whether it’s asking people to join your email list, visit your website, get a free copy of your album, or anything else, you want to make sure that you take advantage of the opportunity to convert people who see you and like you into actual fans. The goal isn’t to make an audience laugh once – it’s to convert as many of those people who laughed into actual fans who will come see you again and spread the word about you. Remember the 10% goal?
Obviously, these aren’t the only ways you can find new fans for yourself but these are five simple things that are sitting right in front of your face. Experiment with them and I’m sure you’ll find that it’s easier to grow your fanbase than you may think.