When you’re a comedian your main goal is to perform. You want to entertain as many people as possible, showing off your talent and abilities. The inherent problem with that is that if you are going to be successful, you have to let people know you exist. I mean, you may be talented, but you’re not born famous. Well, maybe you’re born famous if you’re a celebrity’s kid, but that definitely doesn’t mean you’re talented. Ask any of Will Smith’s kids.
So, there you are. A performer with no audience and you gotta get people to know that you’re alive. Here are the best ways and the worst ways to do so.
THE CORRECT WAY TO PROMOTE:
1. Invite Your Friends on Facebook.
Your friends want to see your work… generally. I mean, if you’re someone who is always promoting yourself, whether online or in person, people will indeed ignore you. But sending them a Facebook invite and posting your show information on your own wall isn’t invasive. It’s something that they will be alerted about, but can avoid if they want to.
2. Sign Up to Be Placed on Local Event Calendars.
Most websites specific to your area won’t advertise for you for free, but they will place your event on their event calendar so as to provide their readers will all of the available information. No site wants to be lacking on information about an upcoming show.
3. Sign Up For Ticket Selling Websites.
Most advertise as well as sell your tickets online. This costs you nothing. They charge your buyer an extra dollar and when people buy tickets online, they are much more likely to come to the show. At the same time, the websites also advertise to people who don’t know who you are. It’s pretty cool.
4. Write a Personal Email to Close Friends and Family.
Let me be clear about this. If you send a personal email, about coming to the show, to hundreds of people that you don’t know well, it will blow up in your face. However, if you send one to a handful of people, that you truly know and care about, they will appreciate you letting them know that you have a show coming up that’s important to you, There’s nothing wrong with personally messaging someone and saying, “Hey I do something I love that I think is worthwhile. Can you come? It would mean a lot to me.” Oh, and be sure to BCC everyone. There’s no need to possibly subject any family or friends to email from the other people in the group.
THE INCORRECT WAY TO PROMOTE:
1. Send Every Facebook Friend a Giant Group Message.
This could possibly result in hundreds of people un-friending you followed by a thousand messages that say something to the effect of, “Stop responding” to “No You Stop Responding” and “By responding to tell people not to respond, you’re responding and making it worse.” This will go on forever and make you want to injure yourself.
2. Text Everyone You Know an Pretend to Care About Them.
This will piss off everyone you know. Number one, texts are a bit invasive. Just texting someone, “I have a show coming up!” seems pushy. Even worse is starting a conversation with “Hey! How are you?” then when they respond with an honest answer, you reply, “that’s cool. Did you know I have a show coming up?”
This just tells them that you don’t actually give a rat’s ass how they are and you just didn’t want to blind text them about your show. It’s rude and uncaring. Don’t. Just don’t.
3. Stab Someone in a Hallway and Run Away Yelling “I Have a Show! If you Live, You Should Come!”
I know what you’re thinking, “But they’ll remember me forever!” You’d think that altering their life forever, by causing them to almost cease to live would bring more people to a comedy show, but surprisingly no. Also, people tend to die a lot from that. Who knew that the intestines were so necessary?
4. Hand Flyers Out
That doesn’t work.
I hope these options help you navigate your way though promoting yourself. At the very least, maybe this will help you feel less like a douche when you ask your friends to see you perform. If you work hard and you’re actually proud of what you do, you shouldn’t be ashamed to promote it. If you are still ashamed, then maybe find something new to do.
What are other ways that you promote? How do you let people know about your work? Leave ideas in the comments!
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