If you’re a comedian, you don’t need me to tell you how many other comedians there are out there trying to carve out a career for themselves. It can be overwhelming to consider how many thousands of people you’re competing with for opportunities and attention from audiences.
As a result, one of the biggest challenges you face is figuring out how to stand out from the crowd.
I have an audience of more than 10,000 comedians from all over the world who regularly read the content I create through Connected Comedy and I certainly can’t know all of those comedians personally. However, there have been several comedians who have managed to stand out from the Connected Comedy crowd and I thought I’d share with you who they are and how they managed to catch my eye.
While catching my attention is certainly different than catching the attention of fans, the principles of what they’ve done to stand out from the crowd of comedians is actually very much the same.
Be Active, Be Present, And Provide Value
Lots of comedians contribute their thoughts, suggestions, and expertise to the Connected Comedy community, but those comedians that have done so the most (and the most consistently) have definitely gotten noticed. For example, comedians Chelcie Rice and Josh Homer have been very active in the Connected Comedians Facebook Group – sharing great links to valuable content for others to check out, answering other people’s questions, sparking good discussions, and even helping to monitor the group so that it doesn’t get too spammy.
As a result, I’ve taken notice of them and their comedy – their activity and consistent presence in the group has made me notice them and likely made everybody else in the group notice them as well.
Being active and providing value in online communities of any kind is a great way to get yourself noticed. Figure out where your niche audience lives, seek out those communities online, and participate often. The more value you provide, the more you will be noticed, and the easier it will be for you to stand out from the crowd.
Create And Lead Your Own Community
Another great way to separate yourself from the crowd is to create your own community by frequently producing targeted content. That’s how Jordan Cooper has separated himself from so many other comedians.
Cooper, in addition to regularly posting content on his website and interviewing me for his podcast, has recently launched LouisvilleComedy.com, which I believe is the first site specifically dedicated to that local comedy scene. As a result, Cooper has positioned himself as the center of that comedy scene and gotten himself noticed by me, other local comedians, local clubs, and local comedy fans.
All because he took the time and effort to create that site and regularly produce content for it!
What Jordan has done in positioning himself at the center of the Louisville comedy scene, you can also do by leading any kind of community that you are passionate about and you think will be interested in what you do. It takes a little effort, but it will be well worth the time you put into it.
Have A Unique Voice And Don’t Be Afraid To Put Yourself Out There
One of the keys to standing out from a crowd of comedians is to have a unique voice, viewpoint, and be willing to expose your talent to the world by posting videos online. Jamie Ward, a young comedian out of Atlanta, is one guy who definitely caught my eye by doing this.
I’ve seen multiple videos of Jamie in action and his unique perspective as an Asian, ex-soldier combined with some really clever material really caught my eye. Plus, he’s got a great Mitch Hedberg joke.
The reason Jamie has stood out to me is because his material and performance feels unique – it feels like he’s telling jokes and stories that only he can tell based on his own real life experiences and perspective. To put it simply, he’s talented.
But most importantly, Jamie has also been willing to put his stuff out there – he has multiple videos online of him performing, he writes blog posts, and he’s putting stuff out there for people to see. If he wasn’t doing that, I never would have even had the chance to notice him.
Take A Chance, Win A Contest
Several months ago I teamed up with Squabbler.com to host a contest where any of my readers could win a prize by submitting a simple video to their site. Lots of people entered, but lots of people didn’t.
Those that actually took the time to do so and give it a shot inevitably got exposed to more people. And the eventual winner, Derik Boik, was a comedian who submitted multiple videos, clearly put a lot of thought and work into what he submitted, and it paid off.
Not only did Derik win the contest and get himself featured on the Squabbler home page, but he also got himself noticed – by me and by others. Now, whenever I have conversations with somebody in the industry who asks me who I’ve seen out there amongst the mass of comedians that make videos that’s worth checking out, I also include Derik’s name. Because he stood out to me when he entered that contest.
There’s opportunities everywhere you look for you to stand out from the crowd if you’re willing to pursue them. You’re not going to just magically be discovered – you need to put yourself out there and put in the work to get yourself seen.
Please note that the comedians listed in this post are not the only comedians that have caught my eye – these are just a couple examples, so if you didn’t get mentioned in this post, it doesn’t mean I haven’t noticed you too.