Last week we identified a few questions to ask yourself before you think about pursuing the corporate comedy market. Including,
- Can I be dependable, professional and flexible?
- Can I put the needs of the client ahead of my desires for a laugh?
- Am I willing to dress sharp?
- Do I have a show that is not only “clean” but is also “appropriate?”
- Does my show get off to a quick start and build to a memorable finish?
- Are my YouTube and other videos representative of the show I am selling?
- Does my online presence represent my brand in a way that is competitive with other comics already in that market?
- Am I willing to show up early, stay late and follow up after the event?
If you answered yes to all of these questions (YES – ALL) then you may have the right disposition for pursuing the corporate comedy market.
The next step is to attract the buyers (corporate term for “bookers”) for these shows. Here are a few tips to get started.
1) Make sure EVERYONE you know is aware of your commitment and desire to perform clean comedy for corporate events.
You have to start with the people who know you the best. From your last or current boss, to your spouse’s boss or parent’s connections – don’t overlook the network that is closest to you.
Get creative with this. When I started, long before twitter or Facebook, I sent out “Thank You” cards to over 100 friends and family. The card basically said,
“Thank you in advance for telling everyone you know that I want to perform my clean comedy show for their group, company, charity, fundraiser, church, Christmas party – you name it! Thank you for mentioning my web site when you talk with them. Thank you for giving them my email or phone number. Thank you for handing the person you think will have the most interest in talking with me this very card! I will send you another one after you book me for your event.”
Total cost? Twenty-three dollars for postage, ten bucks for the cards. Result? Seven bookings that first year came directly from those cards.
Of course, now you can blast all your friends and family with a few emails or posts or tweets. But, I would still include this approach if I started today. I think the handwritten, personal touch would really stand out today.
2) Make sure all of your current comedy connections are aware that you want to step into the corporate arena.
Touch base with anyone who has booked you for a comedy gig in the past. Explain to them that you are “switching gears” or “adding another level of opportunity” to what you provide.
Ask them to consider you for ANY possible corporate work. And I mean ANY. Think of starting this corporate comedy pursuit just like you started in the clubs. Take all the gigs, get better at it and worry about the money later.
Ask if you can become an “opener” for more seasoned corporate entertainers. This will not only help you get your foot in the door, it will give you access to some acts that are currently doing exactly what you want to be doing. Be an asset to these performers and try to absorb as much info and as many tips as they are willing to share. This knowledge is immeasurable.
3) Begin to build a database of contacts in the corporate market.
Every contact you make could lead to thousands of dollars. Don’t lose them! Whether you use EVERNOTE, ACT!, or just a simple spreadsheet – organize your leads and contacts in an easy to access manner.
It doesn’t matter how much MONEY you spend on this. The key is to spend some TIME on this. Once you begin getting leads make sure to drop their names, numbers and dates of the event into your database.
If you can’t accommodate their request because you are already booked (or you don’t have a long enough show) – refer them to some of the seasoned acts who you opened for in the past. Trust me, paying things back also pays things forward.
4) Become an expert in communication.
Previous to each event you book, communicate with your contact person several times. Make sure you are clear about your needs, go over your CONTRACT, and exchange cell numbers for the day of event. Talk to them about the importance of a great introduction. Discuss the dress code for the event so you look the part.
After each event, follow up with thank you cards. Touch base with any other comics who were on the show and thank them for being fun to work with.
Of course there are lots more details, but if you start with these you will be on track to continue to build your network and develop a reputation as you begin pursuing work in the corporate comedy market.
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