comedy marketing

8 Misconceptions You Might Have About Social Media

It’s one thing to use social media, it’s another to understand it.

Comics spend a LOT of time using social platforms, but I’ve found most have some basic misconceptions about how social platforms actually work.

Here’s a few things you might incorrectly assume and what to do about it to get more out of your social media efforts.

1. You think your followers see your posts.

I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you.

The good news is that just because you don’t see a lot of interaction on your Facebook and Twitter posts, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s because they’re not good. The bad news is that not nearly as many people are seeing your posts as you think.

Most Facebook and Twitter posts only get seen by 10% or less of the people that are theoretically following you due to Facebook’s news feed algorithms and Twitter’s lack of an algorithm. As a result, you don’t have nearly the exposure you think you do.

This means your follower count is an overrated metric and you shouldn’t be so concerned about it – more on that in a minute.

2. You think your followers are the only ones who can see your posts.

There are a lot of ways to get people who don’t follow you to see your posts including using hashtags and tagging other pages on Facebook. This is another reason why your obsession with your follower count is unnecessary – you’re not limited to only being seen by those who follow you.

It’s also why it’s important to use hashtags and tag other accounts in order to expose your posts to the most possible people.

3. You think social platforms have made websites and email lists pointless.

Despite all the hype you hear about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, the best way to ensure your audience actually sees what you want them to see is to get them to subscribe to your email list. Only a small percentage of your social followers will actually see your updates, while a decent email list will have an open rate of closer to 50% or higher.

And having a website is crucial as well because it gives you a platform where you can control how you present yourself and gives you a way to be found in Google searches. Also, depending solely on social platforms is risky because you never know when they’re going to change the way they work or collapse completely (see: MySpace). Having a website ensures your content won’t disappear some day.

4. You think people share content because it’s good.

There are a lot of reasons why people share things on social media and the content being “good” tends to be pretty low on that list. Just take a look at the things your friends are sharing, and I’m sure you’ll find that to be true.

While it’s important to put good stuff out into the world, it’s also worth recognizing that’s not the only reason things get shared. People share things that surprise them, things that make a statement about something they believe in (or disagree with), things that provide value, and things that emotionally connect with them.

Most importantly, they share things that say something about them – what somebody shares is an expression of themselves as much as it’s a reflection of the content itself.

5. You think you shouldn’t repeat posts.

This ties back into the first item on this list – most people don’t see your posts. So, as a result, it’s fine to repeat those posts at different times and it’s actually a good strategy to do so.

Repeating posts will get your work seen by more people and it’s unlikely to annoy your followers since most of them won’t see the repeats in their feed anyway. Repurposing quality social posts is a key strategy that can impact the success you have on social platforms without requiring much more effort on your part.

This can also be done with old social media posts and you can read exactly how to do that here.

6. You think Facebook ads are a waste of money.

They’re not. Trust me. They actually might be the single most valuable feature Facebook offers and one of the least used by comics.

Here’s an example of what’s possible with even a small Facebook ads budget.

7. You think the goal is to go “viral.”

Forget about going viral – it’s probably not going to happen. And even if it did, it’s not going to get you anywhere near the benefits you think it will.

You should focus your social efforts on the long term as opposed to worrying about short term success. Use social platforms to find the specific audience you want to connect with (your target should never be “everybody”) and focus your efforts on them.

If your work happens to go viral, that just means that you’re reaching a lot of people that likely aren’t going to fit what you’re trying to do anyway, so all those views/listens/visits are ultimately meaningless. Building a relationship with the right 1,000 people will serve you better than getting something seen by the wrong 100,000 people.

8. You think social platforms are broadcast platforms.

Most people use social platforms to distribute their content to other people. But social media’s real strength is the ability it gives you to connect with other people.

The “social” part is more important than the “media” part.

It’s easy to get caught up in your follower count and desire to promote your creations, but don’t forget that social media also enables you to follow and interact with just about anybody in the world. That’s an incredible opportunity and one you should take advantage of.

Use social media to interact with people, to engage with potential fans, to develop relationships with people you admire, to network, and to connect. You’ll get way more value out of that approach than you do by using social media as a megaphone to scream about your own stuff.

READ THIS NEXT: Ranking The 9 Most Valuable Social Platforms For Comedians

5 New Facebook Tricks I Discovered Work Really Well

Facebook constantly changes.

As a result, the best ways to get the most out of the platform are also constantly in flux. But the good news is that means there’s always new opportunities being created for you to benefit from Facebook’s evolution.

Here’s a few tricks I’ve recently discovered that will help your Facebook posts reach more people and help you get more out of the time you spend on the platform.

1. Get Involved In Groups

As you’ve hopefully realized by now, most people that follow you on Facebook or like your fan page don’t actually see the stuff you post.

Because of Facebook’s news feed algorithm, only about 10% of the people who are connected to you will actually see your posts in their news feed.

That leads to a lot of frustration, but there’s another way to increase the percentage of people you can reach on the platform.

Facebook Groups are becoming an increasingly powerful resource you can use to connect with your own fans as well as to discover and engage with new potential fans.

Unlike Facebook profiles and fan pages, Groups essentially treat everybody equal – they allow anybody to post (though there are typically group moderators) and they function much more like communities than the broadcast mechanism of fan pages and profiles.

However, Facebook still pushes relevant posts from within a group into group members’ news feeds and gives them notifications when a new post has been made (depending on a user’s settings). As a result, I’ve found that often times I can get a lot more interaction and engagement with posts made within groups (such as those I make in our Connected Comedians group) than posts made from pages.

But the real benefit of groups isn’t starting your own (unless you already have a huge fanbase), but rather finding existing groups relevant to your niche and becoming an active community member in them. There are existing groups on just about every subject you can imagine within Facebook, and while the quality of them may vary, many are excellent.

You can learn how to search for groups here, but I’d highly recommend finding some that are relevant to what you do and getting involved in them – not just to promote your own stuff, but rather to build relationships with people who have shared interests.

2. Post More Often

The conventional wisdom used to be you shouldn’t post on Facebook more than a couple times a day at most because the platform’s news feed algorithm would penalize you for doing so. Well, things have changed.

Now, it seems like you’re rewarded for posting more often and using the platform much more like Twitter in terms of volume of posts. Of course, you still need to maintain a high quality of posts and get engagement on them – don’t just post crap for the sake of posting – but the more good stuff you post, the more success you’ll see.

If you look at the volume of posts being made by some of the biggest pages on Facebook, you’ll be surprised to see how frequently they post. For example, sites like Buzzfeed and Funny or Die post almost 200 times each week!

Of course, they’ve got a lot more content to share than you probably do, but the point is if you double your current amount of posts, you’ll probably see an increase in the number of people your content reaches – again, as long as what you post is good.

3. Write Longer Descriptions On Your Posts

Facebook recently tweaked its algorithms to take into account how much time people spend reading/engaging with your individual posts. The longer somebody looks at your post before scrolling down their feed, the more Facebook theoretically believes that people enjoyed your post.

It’s worth keeping this in mind as you construct your posts. For example, rather than just post an image with no description, add a clever caption that’s a couple sentences long so people will read it and increase their time spent with the post.

The other hidden advantage of using lengthier descriptions is that Facebook only includes an initial excerpt of the longer description in people’s news feed. If the person is intrigued by what you wrote, they will click the “Read More” button to expand the post.

This counts as a click on the post and shows Facebook engagement on your post, which in turn suggests it’s a good post, which in turn leads to Facebook to show it to more people.

Essentially, getting people to click that Read More button in your description is similar to getting them to Like, Share or Comment on your post – it helps it get seen by more people.

There are lots of easy ways to include long descriptions. For example, if you share a link to an article you can just cut and paste a sample paragraph or two from the article into your description. This is also effective because if it’s an interesting excerpt, it increases the chances somebody will click the link as well.

4. Set Up Pages To Watch

If you have a Fan Page on Facebook (and you should), then go to your Insights tab and scroll down to the bottom of the page to select other Pages To Watch. This is a cool feature that allows you to track the activity of other Facebook fan pages – it lets you see how often they post each week, how many new fans they’re getting, and even lets you see their most successful posts of the week.

This can be a valuable learning tool as you can see what other people are doing and what’s working (or not) for them. You can use it to track other comics whose Facebook success you admire, or the activity of comedy club pages or sites like Funny or Die who you may want to emulate.

Here’s a look at how to set up pages to watch.

5. Use A Call To Action On Your Page

Here’s a simple thing that will take you two seconds to set up and help you out. If you haven’t noticed yet, Facebook has a feature on your fan page called a Call to Action button that lives on your fan page cover photo.

Essentially, it’s a button that allows you to plug a link to some action you’d like people to take when they visit your page. You can set it up to drive to anything you want people to do – sign up for your email list, watch one of your videos, visit your website, etc.

Here’s a breakdown of how to set it up – it’s not going to get you a million new fans overnight, but it will help drive more people to take whatever action you want them to take on your page.

READ THIS NEXT: How I Got More Facebook Fans And Website Traffic For A Comedian

5 Hashtag Strategies For Comedians

There’s a lot more to hashtags than just the @Midnight game.

While just about every comic at this point has at least occasionally participated in the popular Comedy Central show’s hashtag wars game, the reality is there are a lot of other ways you can use hashtags on various social media platforms to further your career.

Here’s a breakdown of five simple things you should keep in mind when you use hashtags that will hopefully help you see some new opportunities for how you can use them to attract new fans, better promote your creations, and get more from your social media efforts.

1. Use Hashtags You Think People Will Search For Or Follow

The most common mistake people make when it comes to hashtags is they don’t necessarily understand how a hashtag can actually get their post in front of more people.

While everybody understands that posting about trending topics will get your tweets in front of a larger audience, that’s not the only way to leverage a hashtag to get in front of an audience.

When you’re going to use a hashtag on a post, you want to think about what kinds of hashtags other people are likely to search for and use those. That’s the key to getting additional exposure for your tweets beyond your usual followers.

Typically, the types of hashtags that people will search for revolve around broad topics tied to specific niche interests, professions, or specific things like sports teams, TV shows, etc. So those will also be the best ones for you to use.

For example, let’s say you tweet a joke about parenting. Using #parenting will likely serve you better than something like #funny because it’s more likely that people are following the parenting hashtag than the funny one – and also because somebody who does search the parenting hashtag is more likely to enjoy your post than somebody who searches for funny because that’s a much broader interest.

It’s worth experimenting with different hashtags to see which ones work best for you on different types of posts, but the key is to try to use hashtags that people search for because those will get you the most value.

If you want some help finding hashtags that are frequently used, here’s a tool you may want to check out.

2. Don’t Just Use Comedy-Related Hashtags

Just because you’re posting something funny, that doesn’t mean your hashtag has to be comedy-related. In fact, in most cases you’ll be better served to focus your hashtags on the topics your comedy is about as opposed to the fact that it’s comedy.

This ties back to my first point in that if you think about who is searching for comedy-related hashtags, it’s most likely other comedians. By comparison, the people searching for non-comedy hashtags are more likely to be potential fans who are interested in whatever topics you’re talking about.

3. More Hashtags = More Attention On Instagram

As a general rule, the more hashtags you use on an Instagram post, the more attention it will get. Using hashtags on Instagram is one of the best ways to get discovered on the platform so don’t be afraid to use a lot of them.

Also, since Instagram has no character limit the way Twitter does, you can really load up on the hashtags. It might seem a little obnoxious, but it works – as long as you use relevant hashtags.

Another tip is that you can post your Instagram hashtags as a comment on your post as opposed to in the original post caption. This can be a little cleaner because your comment will essentially be hidden once you get a few other comments on the post and you’ll still get the value of using the hashtags because hashtags register in Instagram’s search function whether they’re in a comment or caption.

4. Create A Unique Hashtag For Your Content

In addition to using hashtags that people search for, you can also create your own unique hashtag as a way to connect some of your content together over time. Specifically, by creating a hashtag that’s unique to your stuff, it gives people who discover one piece of your content and easy way to click the hashtag and see other related content.

For example, let’s say you do a series of YouTube videos that feature you ranting about your latest dating experience. Whenever you share an episode or anything related to the series on social media you could use a custom hashtag such as #MyCrazyDates.

This way, when somebody comes across one of your episodes for the first time and likes it, they can click that hashtag and easily see the rest of the series without having to switch platforms, Google it, or track it down elsewhere.

Creating a unique hashtag for your content is a great way to tie things together and make it easy for people who like what they see to quickly discover more of it.

This is something I’m currently doing for my Person You Should Know site with the hashtag #APersonYouShouldKnow.

5. Use Hashtags To Find New Fans

Here’s a spin on the advice I’ve given you up to this point. As opposed to using hashtags to help people to discover you and your work, you can use them to help you find new potential fans.

Specifically, you can use Twitter or Instagram’s search functionality to search hashtags relevant to the content you create and find other people who are posting using those hashtags. It’s an easy way to identify people who are interested in what you’re interested in and a great way to find communities that you can become a part of.

That doesn’t mean you should immediately tweet links promoting your stuff to those people, but rather look for conversations around those hashtags that you can jump in to and add value. Use hashtag searches as a way to find people you can have genuine interactions with that can start to build a relationship.

For example, if you’re blogging then you may want to search for #blogchat where you’ll find a community of other bloggers who are discussing their challenges and suggestions. It’s easy to become a part of that community by joining that conversation in an authentic way.

More Social Media Advice…

If you found this helpful, I’ve got a LOT more social media advice for you in my Connected Comedy VIP Members Program.

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Case Study: How To Optimize A Corporate Comedian’s Website

The following is part of my Case Study series of articles in which I offer specific advice to a Connected Comedy VIP member based on their personal goals. If you’re interested in being the subject of a Case Study article, email me.

Connected Comedy VIP member Rick March is a corporate comedian who recently reached out and asked what advice I’d have for him to improve his website. Following are my suggestions to Rick, which in most cases are applicable to any comic interested in getting corporate bookings and also is relevant to non-corporate comedians hoping to improve their websites as well.

Clarify Your Branding

The first thing that jumps out at me on your site is that it’s confusing what exactly the site represents. Is it a company site or your personal site?

There’s a lot of mixed messaging going on and that’s a big issue – especially when you’re trying to get companies to trust you enough to book you.

Clarity and transparency builds trust, confusion creates doubt.

The domain and header say Best Corporate Comedy which makes it sound like a company site, but surfing around the site makes it feel like the “company” is really just you – and that occasionally you bring in other comics as needed for particular gigs.

I could be wrong, but I assume your core business is not a booking agency, but rather this site is about getting yourself booked and occasionally including other comics as needed.

I think it’s important to think through whether you want your site to convey that you’re a booking company or revolve around getting yourself booked. Whichever you choose, focus the messaging consistently around that concept.

Assuming this is more about getting bookings for yourself than others, then the site should represent that. You want people to know Rick March, you want them to book you, and then secondary would be references to your ability to do group shows, etc.

Keep in mind that people like to know who they’re getting into business with – they want to know the person, not the company. The more they feel like they know who you are, the more likely they are to trust you, and as a result the more likely they are to book you – or hire you to book others for them.

The other thing that happens when a person tries to make their “company” seem like it’s bigger than just them is it can come off as a little sketchy. People pick up on when an individual is trying to make it seem like their company is more than it is and it leads them to question the transaction.

On the flipside, complete transparency will increase their trust in who they’re dealing with and that you’ll deliver on what you promise.

I’m going to make one other assumption here. I’m guessing some of this (the domain name for example) is being driven by an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy – you assume that certain keywords will help you get found in Google search by potential clients.

That’s ok, though in general SEO is a little overrated and likely won’t help you as much as you think it might in this case, but it’s still important to understand that even if you get somebody to the site via search, you are then going to have to build enough trust for them to convert to a potential customer.

So even if you keep the generic domain name as opposed to something like RickMarch.com, I’d still recommend having the site emphasize who you are as opposed to it feeling like a company site.

Every Word Counts

Little things make big differences when it comes to websites. In your case, there are several words used for different sections of the site that are a little misleading, confusing, or could be improved.

For example, your navigation menu has a page titled “Custom Comedy,” but it’s not clear what that actually is. In looking at the page, I think what you mean is that you have different kinds of shows you can do and/or that you can customize material to match the type of company that hires you. But I’m not sure people will get that from the Custom Comedy name.

Instead, you might want to call that page something like “Show Options,” “Choose Your Show,” or even “How It Works.” Try to think about it from the perspective of somebody who knows nothing about how the comedy business works and use the kinds of phrases they would have in their head.

I’d also recommend you have a paragraph at the top of that page that introduces the broader idea that clients can choose from several types of shows and get a custom performance to fit their needs. Then, you could lay out the various options.

You also might want to add a breakdown of the different benefits of each type of show and what makes each a good fit for different clients needs.

It’s also a little strange that you have a separate Roasts page in the navigation menu, but also on the Custom Comedy page. I’d recommend either putting all of the various shows you offer in your navigation and having a separate page for each, or moving all the Roast stuff to the page with the other shows.

Another example of word choice is on your Media page where you have a “Highlights” section. That section basically consists of just photos, which aren’t really highlights. If somebody wants to see highlights, they expect to see videos – photos don’t really tell them anything of value about your service other than maybe you’ve performed in front of crowds.

Anticipate (And Answer) People’s Questions

One page that isn’t on your site but would probably be a good addition is a Frequently Asked Questions page.

Again, keep in mind that the visitors to your website are (hopefully) there because they’re considering booking a comic for their corporate event. You want to use your site to provide as much relevant information to them as possible, and a great way to do that is create a simple page that answers all the common questions you anticipate they might have.

Everything from how much does it cost to book a comic, to what kind of material can they expect, to how long a typical show lasts, to a bunch of other common questions you get could easily be answered by you and put on the site. All of that information will build trust and move visitors closer to actually contacting you about a potential booking.

As far as cost goes, you don’t have to list the price you charge specifically, but you can list the factors that go into your rate – length of performance, location, number of comics booked, etc. – and encourage people to contact you for a specific price quote.

Make It Easier For People To Contact You

The number one goal of your site is to get somebody to contact you about a booking, so you want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

But if you look at your current site, there’s no email address, no phone number, and the only way people can contact you is by filling out a form on your Contact page.

I’d recommend posting your email and phone number on the site on the home page, About page, and contact page at a minimum. You might want to put it at the bottom of every page for good measure. Again, remember the goal of what you want people to do and make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

You Need To Tell People Where You Work

Here’s a basic thing that’s super important and missing from your site. It doesn’t mention anywhere where you are based or (more importantly) where you are available to work.

If people come to your site, one of the first things they’re going to want to know is if you even work in their city/state, so it’s very important to make that information clear.

It’s fine to say you’ll take on gigs anywhere, but it’s worth pointing out where the core of your business is based. Somebody looking to book a show in Pennsylvania is going to be a lot more likely to contact somebody whose site says they regularly perform in Pennsylvania than somebody whose site doesn’t say where they perform.

On a separate note, I noticed your Twitter account also doesn’t say where you’re based so you should update that as well. You might want to improve your Twitter bio at the same time.

A More Targted Content Strategy

It’s great that you’ve got a blog section of your site and that you occasionally write posts for it, but there’s a simple way you can turn it into a much stronger asset for you.

Again, every decision you make on the site should be geared toward the audience you hope to attract. In this case your audience is people who are potentially interested in booking corporate comedy shows so you want to create content designed to appeal to them or catch their attention.

For example, here’s some ideas of posts that would speak directly to your desired audience and possibly even draw more of them to your site.

• Why Every HR Executive Should Book A Comedy Show To Help Employee Morale

• How A Comedy Show Can Help Drive More Sales

• 5 Ways A Comedy Show Can Change A Company’s Culture

• 10 Things I’ve Learned About Non-Profit Organization From Performing Benefits For Them

• How To Triple Your Fundraising This Year By Booking A Comedian

There’s a million different directions to go, but the idea is to focus the content directly at the audience you want to reach. You can also extend this same content strategy to your email newsletter and give people a reason to subscribe to it because you’re providing valuable insights to them beyond just promotional material.

READ THIS NEXT: The Best Audience For An Unknown Comedian To Connect With

5 Questions To Ask Yourself When You Start Something New

You better get used to starting things.

If you’re going to have a long and (hopefully) successful comedy career, you will start all kinds of projects over the years. From the first time you step on an open mic stage, to the development of new material, to launching a website/podcast/web series, to writing a script, to any of another million things you may be inspired to create.

But no matter what your specific project is, there are a few questions to consider when you get started that can help you succeed.

I recently started a new project of my own – a website called A Person You Should Know where I profile one creative and inspiring person each day who I think you should know (thus the name). So, I thought I’d share with you not only five questions to ask yourself about your next project, but also how I answered these questions for my own.

1. How Much Time And Effort Will You Commit To The Project?

I assume if you start a new project you at least have some idea of your goal for the project (if not, you’ve got a bigger problem), so I’ll jump right to this question.

When you start something new, it’s important to consider how much time you are able to commit to developing the project and, equally important, how much you can realistically get done with the time you have available.

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question and you can (and likely will) spend more time than the minimum commitment you make to your project up front, but it’s important to think through what it will take to get the project going and to shape it in a way that fits your available time frame.

For example, it takes a lot of time to write a screenplay so if you only have an hour a week to commit to working on it,  your goal of completing a script in a month is probably not going to happen. It doesn’t mean you have to abandon your screenplay project, it just means you should reassess your time frame. If you can commit to work on it an hour a week, then maybe your goal should be to complete the screenplay in a year for example.

Being honest with yourself about your realistic time commitment is also important when you create a project that makes a promise to your audience. If you can’t commit the time to do a weekly web series, then don’t launch one – make it monthly instead.

Nothing will sink your project quicker than making promises you can’t fulfill – and it’s also a recipe for driving you to quit the project before it has a real chance to succeed.

How I Answered This Question:

In launching my site, I decided I was able to find time to feature a new person once a day, Monday through Friday. This would give me enough time to work ahead and schedule posts and give me the weekends to get most of the following week’s posts done.

It seemed feasible, while at the same time ensuring a steady stream of content and making a promise that the site’s audience could connect with. It’s simple, and people know exactly what they’re going to get – one new person every day.

2. What Is Your Key Success Metric?

No matter what kind of project you launch, you’ll have a lot of different metrics that seem important to you – everything from laughs, to likes, to shares, to subscriptions.

But it’s worth choosing a single most important metric to use as a gauge of the project’s progress. Which metric you choose depends on what you’re doing and what your goals are, but figuring out which metric is most important to you will help you succeed because it allows you to let that metric guide the various decisions you make as you develop your project.

For example, if you decide the key success metric for your blog is to get readers to share your posts, then you’ll want to structure your blog and your blog’s content in a way that leads to more sharing.

If your podcast’s key success metric is your number of subscribers, then you might want to focus on strategies to get more people to subscribe once they listen as opposed to just driving downloads of individual episodes.

How I Answered This Question:

My key success metric for A Person You Should Know is the number of email subscribers I get to the site’s email list, which sends a daily email with each day’s post.

I chose this because it reflects my goal – a direct connection to people who are interested in the content I post on the site.

If somebody signs up to get a daily email from me with that day’s post (and they stick around and don’t unsubscribe), then that speaks volumes about the “success” of the content I post. It also establishes a connection I have to them which can be useful down the road if I ever decide to monetize the site in some way.

While I care about the amount of raw traffic I get to the site, that’s not as important to me as the number of people that subscribe to the email list. That traffic will fluctuate as some posts get passed around, but those email subscribers will be constant – they are the “true fans” of the site and the core audience I’m building and care most about.

Using email subscribers as a key metric is also helpful because it allows me to judge the progress of the site. If lots of people visit the site but don’t subscribe, then I’ve got a problem with the site content.

If they subscribe but then unsubscribe, it tells me I’m not delivering enough to meet their expectations.

A good success metric not only helps you judge progress, but it also helps you identify what’s NOT working. And that can be even more valuable.

3. What Do You Want People To Do When They Discover Your Project?

This question directly relates to your answer to the previous question. You want to optimize your project to give you the best possible chance to achieve your key success metric.

For example, if the key success metric for your podcast is to gain subscribers, then why are you promoting your Twitter account in the podcast more than you ask people to subscribe?

If your key metric is merchandise sales at your show, then what are you doing to make it as likely as possible that people will buy your merch?

Every time a new person discoverers your project, an opportunity is created. You want to do everything possible to capitalize on that opportunity – specifically as relates to your key success metric.

Again, you may have multiple metrics of success, but you will do much better if you focus your promotional efforts around the ONE THING you most want people to do. For more on how best to do that, check out my one-action strategy.

How I Answered This Question:

Because the one thing I want people to do when they discover A Person You Should Know is to subscribe to my email list, you’ll notice the list is prominently featured throughout the site.

A plug to join the list is at the bottom of every post, there’s a subscribe button in the navigation menu, and I recently added a full page welcome screen to first-time visitors that encourages them to join the list to get inspired. [Side Note: I’m using the SumoMe Welcome Mat app to power that feature and it’s been amazing in the first couple days I’ve used it.]

I monitor all of these things and track what percentage of people who visit the site join the email list, how many subscribers are opening the emails, and how many people unsubscribe from the list because they don’t like what they’re getting (I’m happy to say that number is very low at this point).

To give you a sense of how the numbers break down, here’s where I’m at with that email list two weeks after launching the site: 2,288 people have visited the site, 153 people have subscribed to the email list, and only two people have unsubscribed.

I’m happy with the numbers at the moment, but could they better? Maybe. I’ll find out because I have a clear key success metric that I’m tracking and can measure what happens as the site evolves and I test out new techniques to improve the results.

4. What Value Will Your Project Provide And To Who?

No matter what your project is, it won’t succeed unless it provides value to people.

So, it’s important to think about what value your project intends to provide and to whom.

Unlike focusing in on a single key success metric, it’s good to think a little broader for this question. For example, if your project is a standup show, there are a lot of different people it could potentially provide value to including the audience, the booker, the venue, and even the other comedians if you create an opportunity for them to perform as well.

If you launch a web series, that could provide value to viewers, advertisers, actors, filmmakers, your representatives, and even TV development executives at some point. A podcast could provide value to all of those as well as the guests you interview.

Understanding all the potential value your project can provide and to who helps you sort through how to present it to those various constituencies and helps you find and build an audience.

The “value” of your show will be different to the audience than it is to the venue for example, so you’ll want to present your show to those entities in different ways that speak to the value it provides to each of them.

Too often, people start projects and are so focused on the value it will provide to themselves that they miss opportunities to attract others to support the project.

An audience doesn’t care what value something provides to you – they care what value it provides to them. That should be the focus of your pitch to get them to check out what you’ve created.

How I Answered This Question:

I see a lot of audiences that can get value from A Person You Should Know including people who want to be inspired, who want to learn, and who want to become part of a creative community.

The site also provides a service in finding these interesting people and boiling their key ideas down to a very quick, skimmable read each day. If you want to learn from these people, but don’t know how to find them or have time to track them down, this site gives you an easy snapshot to learn from them without a huge commitment.

But, by also providing the links to deeper articles and speeches from each person, the site also provides value to people who want to be able to take a deeper dive with any of these people that catch their eye.

And the site provides value to the people I feature on it by exposing them to new people who may be interested in supporting their efforts.

Essentially, I’ve crafted my project in a way to appeal to multiple audiences with different value propositions. Knowing this influences everything from how I construct the site, to how I promote it, to who I target with that promotion.

5. What Can You Learn From The Initial Feedback

Your project is not going to be perfect when you launch it – far from it. But don’t worry, that’s actually a good thing.

Rather than waiting to figure out every little detail of your project before you unleash it on the world, get the bare minimum you need to launch and put it out into the world.

But the key here is to pay attention to the feedback you get on the project because you will be able to learn a lot from those first few people who experience your new creation.

Don’t overreact to a single compliment or criticism, but actively seek out and pay attention to whatever feedback you get about what you’re doing. Just like a comic will pay attention to what gets laughs on stage, you should examine things like at what point in a video your audience abandons it, or which blog posts are being shared more than others.

Also, look for opportunities to engage with your audience.

Don’t be afraid to message somebody who likes your Facebook page, thank them, and ask them why they joined and what they’re hoping to see. Don’t be afraid to tweet at people and ask them what they’d like to see incorporated into your project, or to thank them for sharing it.

You’ll be surprised what you can learn from the feedback of even just a handful of people and it can have a huge impact on your new project which is ALWAYS a work in progress.

How I Answered The Question:

I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve learned in just the first two weeks of A Person You Should Know. Things that seem obvious now, were not really part of my initial plans.

For example, I was surprised early on when a couple people who discovered the site sent me suggestions of people to feature.

I was initially so focused on my own curation of the people featured, that I didn’t realize how compelling it would be for other people to offer to suggestions. I also realized the suggestions could help form a real sense of community around the site as well as introduce me to other talented people who I might not have otherwise known.

I also hadn’t initially considered the advantages of featuring people who in addition to being talented, often had followings of their own.

Several of the people I have featured already wound up discovering my site as a result and sharing it with their audiences. There’s essentially a built-in promotional loop to the structure of the site, which I hadn’t considered in the initial concept, but seems like an obvious strength of the concept now.

Again, I learned from that and started emailing people I feature to make sure they at least are aware that they were featured – I don’t just rely on them seeing themselves tagged in a tweet.

I don’t actually ask them to share the site with their followers, but I do ask them for suggestions of other people to feature and I’ve gotten some great tips as a result. And, several of the people I’ve featured have become subscribers and helped spread the word as well.

The point is that if you keep your eyes and ears open when you launch a project, you’ll be surprised what you can learn and how that can help the project ultimately succeed.

READ THIS NEXT: Case Study: How To Launch A Short Video Series

 

How To Turn Your Old Social Media Posts Into Your Best Website Content

I’ll let you in on a secret: The most popular article on this website over the last three months was nothing but a bunch of old tweets.

My article on 40 Ideas For Comedians To Think About was one of the most successful (and easiest) posts I’ve ever written and it simply featured a bunch of repurposed tweets I had posted over the past few years on my Connected Comedy Twitter account.

This wasn’t just a bit of luck – it was the result of a simple process you can use to turn your old social media posts into great content for your website.

Here’s how I did it and how you can do it too.

Step 1: Study Your Old Social Media Posts

The first thing you need to do is a little research.

Go back through your old social media posts on whichever platforms you use frequently – Twitter and Facebook of course, but you could do the same with old YouTube videos, Instagram posts, or anywhere else you spend time sharing content.

Twitter makes this easy to do because you can download an archive of all of your tweets (which is a good idea regardless of whether or not you decided to do something with them – it’s worth having a copy of your “work” that you can access in case the platform disappears some day).

It’s a little trickier with Facebook because you have to scroll back through your timeline manually, but it can still be done relatively easily.

As you review your old social media posts, pay special attention to the ones that were the most successful and start a list of what they were so you can easily find them again. Most likely, you’ll start to see some similarities and connections between the posts that clicked with your followers.

That leads me to the next step…

Step 2: Figure Out A Connection Between Your Best Posts

As you start to see what your most successful posts have in common, think about how you can create a single thruline that connects them all.

This connection will become the core concept of the new post you’re going to create for your website, utilizing your old social posts.

Sure, you could just gather them up into a post titled something like “My 20 Best Tweets,” but ultimately this will work better if you drill down more into something specific they have in common.

It’s ok if not every great post you have fits into the category – you don’t have to include it then.

In my case, I share a lot of links to interesting articles on my Twitter account, but I decided to focus my website article only on tweets that included advice I’ve given to comedians. Specifically, I focused on some of the “big ideas” I’ve tweeted about over the years and chose that as my framework.

There are countless ways to connect your old social posts to a single theme that appeals to a specific audience. It depends on what kinds of stuff you post obviously, but here’s a few ideas to get you thinking about how to frame your own post:

• 20 Crazy Experiences I’ve Had In New York Restaurants

• 20 Times The Chicago Cubs Made Me Say Something I Regret

• The 20 Worst Responses I’ve Gotten To @Midnight Hashtag Wars Tweets

• 20 Things That Seemed Like A Huge Deal In 2009 That Don’t Matter Any More

• 20 Photos That Prove Hipsters Need To Be Stopped

• 20 Ways To Handle Awkward Dating Situations

The connection between the social posts you choose to repurpose will ultimately lead to the headline of your post and have a huge impact on how successful it becomes, so give it some thought.

Step 3: Write The Post

Once you’ve got some of your best old social posts pulled together and you’ve figured out a good thread to connect them all, it’s time to write the post.

You can showcase them as a blog post like I did which is probably the ideal scenario, but if you don’t have a blog or don’t want to do that then you can try a different approach. You could upload them as images in a photo gallery for example or potentially even turn them into a slideshow video and upload it to YouTube.

But personally, I’d recommend using them as a blog post like I did.

The title of your post should reflect the connection between the posts you’re repurposing, but also should suggest an audience that will most likely be interested in them and hint at the value that audience will get from reading the post.

In my case, I titled my post 40 Ideas For Comedians To Think About because it reflects what the tweets have in common, speaks to the audience I thought would be interested in it (comedians), and hints at the value in reading the post (essentially saying, if you’re a comedian you should think about these things).

You’ll also notice I chose to include a large number of posts in the article – you don’t need to include 40 things for this to work and I didn’t have a specific number in mind when I set out to do this, but there definitely is benefit to including a large number of items.

It suggests there’s more value to the post than your typical Top 10 list, and increases the likelihood people will find something that resonates. There’s no magic number – I actually have about 35 more tweets I considered for the post, but will likely use those in a later post – but I’d recommend you incorporate at least 10 posts into your new article.

As far as the actual writing of the post goes, you’ll notice I chose to transcribe the tweets and make it seem as if it was new content, written specifically for this post. Rather than post screenshots of the original tweets or embed them in the post, I wanted this to come across as fresh content. It’s more impressive (and easier) to read it as a regular article than it would be to show I was just repurposing tweets.

You want your content to feel new, even if it’s not. There are some exceptions to that (for example if you’re doing something that’s purposefully nostalgic), but in general it’s a good rule to follow.

And for what it’s worth, I don’t think any of my readers realized I had previously tweeted what was in that article – even if they had read much of it before while following me on Twitter over the years. And even if they did realize it, it’s still helpful to give it to them all in one place for easy reference.

While I didn’t make it clear the post’s content was repurposed tweets, I did reference several of my social accounts in the introduction to my post. That’s because I want people to be aware of my social accounts since this content is the kind of thing that I post.

If they stumbled across the article and liked what they saw, I wanted them to be aware of my social accounts because they’d probably like what I post there as well.

Step 4: Promote Your New Post

Once you’ve published your post, the next step is to get it seen.

In addition to the usual promotional channels – your social media accounts, email list (hopefully!), and telling every friend and family member you have to check it out, you should look for ways to expand your reach.

Because you will have created a piece of content that has a built-in niche (that connection that you found between all the social posts you chose is essentially a niche), you can look to promote it in places where people interested in that niche hang out.

Using the examples of post titles I listed above, here’s some examples of where else you could promote that content.

• 20 Crazy Experiences I’ve Had In New York Restaurants – Send the link to New York food blogs.

• 20 Times The Chicago Cubs Made Me Say Something I Regret – Use Cubs hashtags on Twitter or send it to Cubs blogs and fan sites.

• The 20 Worst Responses I’ve Gotten To @Midnight Hashtag Wars Tweets – Tweet a link to the @Midnight account and see if they’ll share it.

• 20 Things That Seemed Like A Huge Deal In 2009 That Don’t Matter Any More – Find retro/nostalgia blogs and send it to them.

• 20 Photos That Prove Hipsters Need To Be Stopped – Promote it with an image and use relevant hashtags on Instagram and Tumblr.

• 20 Ways To Handle Awkward Dating Situations – Offer to contribute the column as a guest post on a relationship/dating blog.

And all of these could be easily promoted using Facebook ads, which would be incredibly effective and inexpensive with this kind of content. Here’s an example of how I’ve done that in the past.

Step 5: Repeat

While creating your repurposed content article and promoting it will take a little time and effort, it’s really not that difficult.

Again, most of the hard work (creating the material in the first place) has already been done by you on your social accounts!

This is just a way to take some of the work you’ve put in over the years and get a LOT more benefit from it. Plus, ideally you’re using old social posts you already know people enjoyed because you’re choosing some of your best stuff which means there’s a high likelihood people will enjoy this post even more.

And the real beauty of this strategy is that after you’ve created the article, promoted it, and reaped the rewards from it – you can do it all again!

This is a repeatable strategy you can use as often as you’d like, assuming you’re posting enough good content to your social platforms to pull from. Once you get this first repurposed post out of the way, go back into your archive and find some more stuff that can be repurposed and find other connections you can make.

Will this automatically reach millions of people? No. But, it definitely will work and it will get you a lot more attention for content that is otherwise just lost in the ether.

And if nothing else, it justifies all that time you’re spending tweeting away when you should be writing.

Good luck and if you give this a shot, send me a link to your post and I’ll be happy to share it with my Connected Comedy followers.

More Social Media Advice…

If you found this helpful, I’ve got a LOT more social media advice for you in my Connected Comedy VIP Members Program.

Join here to get instant access to 100+ of my most valuable articles.

 

5 Ways To Improve Your Twitter Bio

If you’re a comedian, you’ve probably got a Twitter account.

But you’ve also probably got a Twitter bio that could use some work.

That’s why I’ve put together the following simple tips to help you make some quick changes to your bio that will help you get more followers and value from your Twitter activity.

1. Understand The Purpose Of Your Twitter Bio

Most people misunderstand the true purpose of your Twitter bio.

It doesn’t exist to tell people a little bit about who you are, it exists to tell people WHY they should follow you.

That’s a subtle, but important difference.

When somebody checks out your Twitter bio they’re doing so because they’ve come across something interesting in one of your tweets or saw your name mentioned in somebody else’s tweet.

They’re looking at your bio specifically because they’re considering whether or not to follow you!

That’s great and it creates a real opportunity to add a follower, so you want to put things in your bio that are designed to convince them to follow you – not just a random joke.

Write your bio in a way that tells people exactly what to expect if they follow you – explain to them who you are, what you do, what the value is to them, the kinds of things you tweet about, and whatever else you think will convince them to hit that Follow button.

Usually, that’s not a joke.

Your Twitter bio to sell yourself – it’s fine to be clever/funny with it, but don’t treat it like just another content tweet. Make sure you give people the key info that will encourage them to follow you.

For example, here’s what my Connected Comedy Twitter bio looks like:

Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 1.24.40 PM

2. Reference What You Want People To Know About

I talk to comics all the time who ask me how to promote their podcast, web series, or other projects and then I go to their Twitter bio and see they haven’t even referenced that project there! Big mistake.

If you have something you want people to know about, make sure you reference it in your bio.

Again, people are checking your Twitter bio because they’re already interested in you on some level so that’s a prime opportunity to let them know about something else you do that you want them to check out.

Also, references to your most important projects helps you stand out because it reveals some specific details about the value you provide and separates you from people with more generic backgrounds (more on that in a bit).

3. Use @ Account Names When Possible

When you reference your projects or other entities in your Twitter bio, use the @ account names whenever possible.

This not only saves you some valuable characters (allowing you to get more across in your limited 140 characters), but also the @ account handles are clickable, so you make it easy for people to click and learn more about that particular project.

Plus, it encourages people to follow your other relevant accounts.

This could work in a lot of different ways. Here’s some examples of how you might use account names in your bio:

“Host of the @MYPODCAST podcast.”

“I’ve performed on @Conan & @JimmyKimmelLive.”

“I host the weekly @MYCOMEDYSHOW.”

“On tour with @THISCOMEDIAN and @THATCOMEDIAN.”

4. Be Specific, Not Generic

In writing your Twitter bio, you want to say things that are as specific as possible to you – look for ways to separate yourself from every other comedian’s bio out there.

It’s good to include basic important details about yourself like mentioning that you’re a comedian, but try to qualify it with some specifics that tell people more about what separates you from every other comedian on Twitter.

For example, rather than just saying “Comedian,” maybe you say “Standup Comedian for 10 years,” or “Political comedian,” or “Comedian obsessed with sports, movies & music.”

Instead of just saying you “tell jokes,” maybe say “I tell jokes that Republicans hate and Liberals love.”

Instead of just saying you’re a “Writer,” maybe say “Writer of things that Dads can relate to.”

It doesn’t really matter what the specifics are, but the more you drill down past the generic terms that anybody can use, the more you’re explaining to potential followers who you are and why they should care.

That will help you find and connect to your niche.

5. Use Your Actual Location

If you only do one thing after reading this article, make it this one – put your actual location in the location section of your bio!

Again, the purpose of your Twitter bio is to give people information about yourself so they can make a decision on whether or not to follow you and the more specific, the better.

Listing your location as things like “Everywhere,” “Your Mom’s House,” or the less-jokey-but-equally-meaningless “The World,” “America,” or “Everywhere” is a complete waste of space.

It doesn’t make you seem clever, it makes you seem like you don’t care (which, if you think about it, doesn’t really encourage anybody to follow you).

Your location should be the city you live in.

Not only does that provide helpful context about who you are, but don’t you want somebody who comes across your bio and is interested in you to know where you’re located in case they want to come see you perform live?

Or, wouldn’t you want somebody to know you’re local in case they are looking to hire a comedian in that town?

Not listing your city as your location does you no good and only prevents some potential opportunities from happening.

More Advice About Twitter…

I’ve got a lot more Twitter tips available to my VIP MEMBERS (join here for instant access) including a look at How To Get More Influential Twitter Followers and 5 Ways To Get More Out Of The Jokes You Post On Twitter among others.

5 Simple Ways To Make Your Email List More Effective

I’ve given a lot of advice over the years about how to get more people to join your mailing list, but how can you get the most value out of your list once people subscribe?

Here’s a few simple things you can do to maximize the results you get from your mailing list, no matter how many subscribers you have…

1. Ask Questions

I recently made a change to my Free Tips Newsletter mailing list and it’s had a remarkable impact.

I used to have it set up so that whenever somebody subscribed to my list they would get a confirmation email that thanked them, told them to expect the first tips soon, and invited them to connect with my various social media accounts.

That email was fine, it worked well, but I decided to experiment with something else – asking a question that was about them more than it was about me.

Now when people subscribe to my list, this is the first email they get:

Hi [NAME],

I just wanted to reach out and say thanks for your interest in Connected Comedy!

To kick things off, I’d love to hear a little about your background, goals and challenges – it’s different for everybody, so the more I know about what you’re looking for the better the advice I’ll be able to give you.

Let me know – thanks!

Josh

The result has been that almost every person that subscribes to my list responds to that email and tells me a bit about themselves and what they’re looking for.

Most people also comment about how surprised they are to see that I actually care who they are and how unexpected it is to get an email like that after subscribing to a mailing list.

This one simple question has changed their entire perception of what my mailing list is about and what to expect from me in general in a positive way.

That’s great, but that’s not all it’s done.

It’s also given me helpful information about my subscribers – who they are, why they subscribed, what they’re looking for, etc. – that allows me to provide them with more value and things they’re more likely to find helpful.

I typically respond with some specific suggestions and it takes what initially was a very passive relationship – somebody who subscribed to a mailing list not knowing what to expect – and turns it into a legitimate personal connection which is WAY more valuable for both parties.

While the people who subscribe to your mailing list most likely won’t be seeking advice the way my subscribers do, you can easily come up with your own relevant question to ask subscribers when they first sign up (or at any point for that matter).

It’s really about starting a conversation with them so you get to know the people that are interested in you enough to join your mailing list and give them a chance to get to know you better.

You might want to ask them how they heard about you, why they subscribed to your list, or even something as simple as who are their favorite comedians.

Anything that can start a conversation with you and that could give you some insight that could help you provide value to them (and you) down the road.

2. Deliver What You Promise

Here’s a simple suggestion that most people don’t follow – make sure you deliver what you promise to people who join your mailing list.

If you tell people you won’t just send them spammy show promotions, then don’t just send them spammy show promotions.

If you promise them no more than one email a month, then don’t send them an email every week.

If you promise them a free album download, then give them the free album download.

Whatever you promise a subscriber at signup, make sure you live up to it. And if you have to change your promise – for example, maybe you planned to send a monthly email but now want it to be weekly – make sure you tell your subscribers.

Be open and transparent with them so they don’t feel tricked.

A successful mailing list is based on trust (as is a career by the way), so you want to make sure people know your word means something.

3. Use Targeting And Segmentation

Hopefully, you’re using a mailing list provider like Aweber (this is my recommendation and here’s why) or Mailchimp to manage your mailing list.

If you are, it will allow you to easily segment your list so that you don’t have to send every email to every person on your list.

You want every email you send to people to be relevant to those people. Don’t send emails promoting your New York show to people that live in Miami – that’s just begging them to unsubscribe.

It’s fine to send some emails to your full list, but use targeting and segmenting of your list to ensure nobody gets things that aren’t relevant to them  in order to retain your subscribers.

And even if you don’t use Aweber or Mailchimp, you should look for ways to segment your list – even if it’s as simple as keeping a spreadsheet to track where your subscribers live or where they were when they joined your list.

4. Make It Interactive And Fun

This is somewhat related to my suggestion that you ask questions to your subscribers. Again, instead of thinking of your mailing list as a one-way communication platform (you blasting out your message to your subscribers), think about it as an opportunity for two-way communication.

It’s easy for your subscribers to hit reply to your email and respond with whatever you prompt them to do, so look for interesting and fun ways to take advantage of that.

There’s no shortage of things you can do to spark interaction – have them suggest topics for your podcast, ask you questions you can answer in future emails, send you bizarre things they’ve found online that you then share on your blog, or any other creative thing you can come up with.

Making your mailing list more interactive will once again show your subscribers you care and are paying attention to them. It will also make your emails more fun and help you use them to build community. You want to get to the point where your subscribers are excited to get an email from you, not just putting up with your emails.

And one of the best ways to get them excited is to make them feel like they’re a part of it.

5. Don’t Worry About Starting Small

No matter how many subscribers you have, you’ll always want more.

But don’t confuse that desire with a false belief that there’s no value to be had from your list unless you have hundreds or thousands of people on it.

Even if you only have a handful of subscribers, you can still get value from a good email list. Remember, email is still the most effective way to get people to actually see what you send them (the percentage of people who see your emails is roughly 10x as many as see your social posts).

Instead of focusing on all the subscribers you don’t have, focus on the opportunity to engage with the ones you do have.

Those people are the beginnings of your fanbase and the more connected they are to you, the more supportive they will be, and the more likely they will spread the word about you.

A lot of this is about perspective.

For example, a comic may have 100 people on their mailing list and never send them any emails other than the occasional show promotion, even though it’s likely that 50+ of those subscribers will see whatever they send.

Meanwhile, that same comic is promoting their new video on Twitter non-stop to 500 followers, but not realizing that only 25 of their followers actually see their posts.

Recognize the opportunity you have in your mailing list and don’t get distracted by the illusion of social media as being a more effective platform for reaching fans – it’s not.

And remember that all things start small, but the ones that provide value eventually get big.

READ THIS NEXT: The Email List Building Challenge

Ranking The 9 Most Valuable Social Platforms For Comedians

Social media can be overwhelming.

There seems to be a new “must-use” social platform created every day and the pressure to leverage them to attract fans and grow your career can quickly become frustrating.

But the reality is you don’t actually have to use any of these platforms and you certainly don’t need to use all of them. To help you sort out which ones are worth the effort, I’ve put together a breakdown of what I see as the top nine platforms in order of value to a comedian’s career.

While the exact order may vary a bit depending on your specific career goals, this is a general ranking that I think fits for most comics. Whether you’re just starting out or 20 years into the game, these are the places I’d recommend you put your time into – in order from most important to least important.

1. An Email List

Don’t be fooled by the hype around the latest and greatest social platforms – email is still king. It’s the single best way to ensure people who are connected to you will see something you want them to see.

As great as social networks are, the vast majority of your followers on them won’t actually see your posts – you’ll be lucky to reach more than 10% of your followers with any given post and in most cases you’ll only reach about 5%.

By comparison, roughly 50% of your email subscribers (or more depending on the quality of your list), will open and read your email blast. Even a bad email list will still likely get at least 20% of the subscribers to open your emails, which is still a huge improvement over what you get on social networks.

Email lists are also the most valuable social platform because they’re completely in your control – you don’t have to worry about companies like Facebook or Twitter suddenly changing the rules of who sees your content and you also don’t have to worry about users abandoning the platforms entirely, making your connection to your audience on them disappear (see: MySpace).

An email list is without a doubt the most powerful social connection you can build to your fanbase and even the social networks themselves know it.

Have you ever thought about why Twitter and Facebook send so many emails to their users? It’s because they know you’re more likely to see those notifications in your email inbox than on their own platforms.

Recommended Reading: How To Get More People To Join Your Mailing List

2. A Website

The second most valuable platform also may seem a little old school to you. Too many comics believe a Facebook page is good enough and having their own website is an outdated concept, but that’s wrong.

Just like an email list, having your own website is something that you can 100% control forever and it’s not subject to the whims of a company who can block you, delete you, or make things difficult for you with tweaks in their algorithm or a loss of their own user base.

Your own website is also a blank canvas that allows you to create whatever best suits your personal needs and how you want to present yourself. It’s much more flexible than having to fit what you do into the constraints of somebody else’s platform.

There’s a million different easy ways to create a website (WordPress, Tumblr, etc.) and there’s really no excuse at this point not to have one. Plus, a website will get you found in Google search (and help you control what people see of yours when they search for you) and will make you look like a professional.

Not having a website – even if it’s just a simple one – sends a clear message to the world that you’re not serious about your career.

Recommended Reading: How 5 Successful Comedians Used Their Website Before They Were Famous

 3. A Facebook Fan Page

Comics love Twitter, but the reality is that Facebook is a WAY bigger and more valuable platform for you.

Facebook has gotten so big that it practically is the Internet these days, and I’m sure you probably already have a Facebook account. But, if you don’t also have a Facebook fan page for yourself, you’re doing it wrong.

Having a fan page has several advantages including the ability to have an unlimited number of fans connect to you – regular profiles are capped at 5,000 friends, which may not seem like an issue now but will be if you ultimately have the success you want.

Most importantly, Facebook fan pages allow you to run Facebook ads to promote yourself and your content. Here’s a look at some of the amazing things that are possible with Facebook ads and how inexpensive they can be.

You can’t run Facebook ads without a fan page, and not having the ability to run Facebook ads is like taking the single most effective marketing tool out of your arsenal. It’s stupid.

Recommended Reading: 5 Free Ways To Get More People To See Your Facebook Posts

4. Twitter

Even though its value is below Facebook, Twitter can still be a valuable platform for comedians. Comedy content plays well on the platform and if you’ve got the ability to put funny stuff into the world in 140 characters or less, you can find some success and get noticed.

But, the real value in Twitter is often misunderstood. The way to get the most out of Twitter is not by using it as a broadcast medium or an always-on open mic, but rather to use it as a way to connect with other people.

The ability to follow and interact with anybody on the platform is powerful if used in a smart way and Twitter’s search functionality is one of the most overlooked and underused aspects of Twitter. You can use it to find people who are talking about the exact things you’re interested in and become a part of those conversations. Here’s some simple ways to get more out of Twitter that might make you think about the platform in a new way.

Recommended Reading: 5 Ways To Get More Out Of The Jokes You Post On Twitter

5. YouTube

If you’re creating videos, you should post those videos on YouTube (you should also upload those videos to Facebook’s native player as well by the way).

This is because YouTube is not only the biggest video hub on the Internet, but it’s also the second biggest search engine of any kind. Not uploading your videos to YouTube is the equivalent of telling Google that you don’t want to be found in their search results.

YouTube is the ultimate video platform, a place where you can get discovered, where you can build an audience, and where you can even monetize your work. People are building huge careers off the platform and it’s a must-use for anybody creating videos in my opinion.

Recommended Reading: Building A YouTube Audience

6. Vine

It’s appropriate that my sixth most valuable platform for comedians is a social network built on 6-second videos. Vine, which is owned by Twitter, has built a large user base and has a huge audience for funny content.

Comedy on Vine certainly has its own unique form and language, but if you can crack what works on the platform you can get discovered and build a following relatively quickly. There are also lots of relatively unknown comedians who have managed to monetize their work on Vine thanks to brands looking to reach audiences on the platform.

And the aesthetic of Vine is a lot more forgiving than YouTube, meaning that you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money on equipment or have a real professional look to your videos on the platform for them to work. Just shoot something funny with your phone and you should be fine.

Recommended Reading:5 Things You Can Learn From Vine Star King Bach

7. A Podcast

We’re still in the midst of a podcast boom – especially in the comedy world. At this point it may seem like every comedian has a podcast, but the truth is that the vast majority of them have barely any people listening to them.

However, there is still lots of potential value there for comics because the podcast audience continues to grow and there are still opportunities to grow an audience over time through a podcast.

The other hidden value of doing a podcast is that it can help improve your work as a comedian overall – it can help you work through new material, find your voice, or function as practice for future work in radio, writing, or hosting.

It’s not the same as stage time, but it is an opportunity to be on a mic and entertain people. It also can give you an excuse to interview and learn from other people, and if you’re smart enough to design your show in a way that it appeals to a specific niche audience that you’re trying to reach (as opposed to being just another inside baseball show featuring comics talking about comedy), it can help you attract and develop an audience that pays off in other ways down the road.

There’s definitely value in doing a podcast, but it’s important to remember that a podcast is a long term play and not a short term one. Whatever value you get from doing a podcast is likely to come years down the road and you have to be willing to put in the significant time and effort it takes to get there.

Recommended Reading: Stand Up Invades Podcasting

8. Instagram

Instagram is a great social platform and it’s growing very fast – it might surprise you to find out that it’s already bigger than Twitter.

There’s definitely value to reaching the Instagram audience and if you’re doing anything with your comedy that’s image-driven, I’d probable rank it a little higher for you.

But, for most comics, Instagram is significantly less valuable as a platform than the other options I’ve listed above. It’s just that what Instagram is about doesn’t really lend itself very well to what most comics are looking to put out into the world.

Also, as a promotional platform, it’s very limiting since you can’t incorporate links anywhere on the platform except for in your account bio. It can be helpful with the right kind of content and the ability to dip into certain hashtags and attract attention for your content that way can be useful, but overall at the moment it’s far from a must-use platform for comedians.

Recommended Reading: 4 Things You Can Learn From Social Media Stars

9. Snapchat

Snapchat is growing…fast. It’s already hugely popular with teenagers, is seeing lots of engagement from users, and its Stories feature enables you to string together content in a way you can’t on other platforms.

However, the platform still has a lot of issues that limit its value to comedians.

Since the content you post there is only available for 24 hours at most you lose the value of building a library of archived content, discovery on the platform is pretty terrible (you essentially have to know a person’s username to find them), you don’t get to see how many people are actually following you (only how many actually view a piece of content), and there’s no simple way for your fans to share your content with their friends.

So, at this point, Snapchat is far from a must-use platform for comics, but it’s growing so rapidly that it’s still worth being on this list and keeping an eye on as it evolves.

More Advice About Social Media…

I’ve got a lot more social media tips available to my VIP MEMBERS (join here for instant access) including How To Get More Influential Followers On Twitter and 7 Reasons The Stuff You Post On Social Media Should Also Be On Your Website among others.

10 Things To Consider Before Asking A Website To Write About You

It’s one thing to create something and post it online, but it’s another to get websites to actually share what you’ve created with their audience.

No matter what you’ve created – a video, a podcast, a funny image, a tweet – the best way to get other websites to feature it is to reach out to them directly and make the ask. But you need to be smart about how you do that and there’s a number of things you can do to make yourself feel more comfortable making the ask and to increase the chances of success.

To help point you in the right direction, here’s some things to consider before you reach out and try to promote yourself around the web.

1. Don’t Be A Spammer

When you decide to promote your content, your first instinct is going to be to post it everywhere and send links to every site you can find. Don’t do that.

No matter how awesome your creation may be, not every piece of content is right for every audience. You should think about what audience is most likely to enjoy the content you’ve created and only send it to sites that reach that audience. It will be much more effective and you’ll be much less likely to piss off bloggers who are wondering why you’re sending them content that doesn’t fit their site.

2. Don’t Be A Stalker

In addition to not spamming people, you also don’t want to stalk people. If you send somebody a link to your latest video and they don’t respond or don’t choose to post it, that’s ok. Most times, that will be what happens. But that’s ok.

What you don’t want to do is keep bugging people about the same video and nagging them to respond to you – eventually you’ll get annoying and they’ll stop considering any of your future videos. Instead, just send them the next video you have that you think their audience will enjoy and be patient.

3. Provide Value

The best way to get somebody to feature your content is to provide value to them beyond just giving them your content. For example, if you’ve got a Facebook or Twitter following of your own, you may want to plug their blog as a way of thanking them for considering sharing your content with their readers.

You might even want to volunteer to help a particular site find funny content or contribute some posts to them, in exchange for them posting some of your own content on their site. The more value you can provide to a site, the more likely that site is to feature your stuff.

4. Become A Member Of A Community Before You Promote To It

The best way to ensure success in promoting your content to a community is to become a member of that community first. This is especially true on social media sites and message boards. It seems obvious, but shockingly few people actually do it.

If you’re thinking of posting your content on a site like Reddit or a message board, it’s a good idea to first join those communities and let people get to know you before you just start asking them to check out your stuff.

Plus, the more you get to know a community, the better sense you’ll have of what that community likes (or hates) which will ultimately help you know whether you’re stuff is a good fit for that site or not.

5. Build A Relationship, Don’t Just Ask For A Favor

This is a HUGE one. If there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be that ongoing relationships will serve you better than one-off hits.

In all of your promotional activity, you should think in terms of building an ongoing relationship with sites as opposed to just asking for short-term favors. Your goal should be to get to know the people that run the sites you target, or the most influential members of a community so that you’ll have a real relationship with each other as opposed to you just asking them for a favor.

The stronger a relationship you can build, the easier it will ultimately be to promote your creations.

6. Not Everything’s For Everyone

A lot of times comedians make the mistake of thinking that the whole world should/will like whatever they create. That couldn’t be further from the truth – even if what you’ve made is “good.”

You need to be realistic about who your potential fanbase is and concentrate your promotional efforts on connecting your content with that fanbase. Don’t waste time working to get your stuff in front of an audience that’s not likely to enjoy it anyway.

7. Be Honest With Yourself

No matter how brilliant you think you are, you probably know deep in your heart that not everything you create is awesome. Well, here’s a tip: you don’t have to promote everything you create just because you created it.

Rather than trying to promote a video you made that you know is just mediocre, you’re better off waiting to promote the next video you make that’s great. Every time you promote a piece of content, people will judge you. You want them to expect your next video to be amazing, not that there’s a 50% chance it will be amazing.

8. Headlines Are Huge

Whether on social media sites or in the subject lines of emails you send to bloggers you’re trying to get to post your videos, the headlines you write are extremely important. You want to write headlines that capture people’s attention, tease your content, and make people so curious that they absolutely have to click the link and watch the video.

Here’s some more suggestions on how to write great headlines.

9. Write Guest Columns

One of the best ways to get attention for yourself on other websites is to offer to contribute content to those sites for free. Whether it’s writing a guest column, shooting a video specifically for that site’s audience, most sites will accept contributions from outsiders.

And when they post those contributions, they will allow you to plug your own website, Twitter account, or Youtube channel. It takes a little work, but it’s a great way to introduce yourself to a new audience.

10. Don’t Send Mass Emails

Ok, you’ve read these tips and you’re all fired up and ready to go. So you go compile a list of sites that you want to reach out to and fire off a mass email to 20 sites and ask them to post your latest video. Don’t do that.

It may take a little longer, but you’ll get much further by personalizing each email to the individual recipient and demonstrating in your email that you actually are a reader of their site. And don’t fake it – actually spend some time reading their site so you know what you’re talking about because people can tell when you don’t.

It’s sounds cheesy, but just be a real person looking to connect with another real person and you’ll find that you wind up having a lot more success. If you can’t be bothered to take a couple minutes to send a personalized email, then why should the recipient bother to take a couple minutes to actually post your content?

Want A Little Extra Help From Me?

If you’ve got something in particular you want to pitch to other websites to feature and want a little extra help in figuring out who to reach out to and what to say to them, just shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to give you some personalized tips.

READ THIS NEXT: How To Promote Your Comedy Show In 5 Simple Steps