Comedy Acting Techniques for Character Performers, by Colin Underwood. Surprise is vital for character entertainers and…
How to market yourself as a performer using publications ~ by Colin Underwood
Let me first and foremost say that without a good show and pleasant performing character as well as an efficient business sense you will battle to get the bookings you desire but as with all things if you stay focused on trying to give the best show you can and really get into character … whether it be a magician or clown, the more the children can relate, the better you will do.
The main area of advertising that I have used before the internet was the local newspaper. These publications are produced by an independent company and are localized in their news content. I placed a regular advert in the classifieds under children’s entertainment. I would also contact the editor and try and get to see him or her and get them to print a story about my performance. I would sometimes meet the local reporter at a function and would get news coverage for the event. I have learnt it doesn’t harm to ask if they could put your contact details next to your picture.
The actual advert is not simply a mixture of odd words but a carefully thought out plan as it will be one of your major expenses for the month so you want it to work for you.
I have always tried to make sure my name was at the top of the list or near the top as possible. I believe people will not call more than three other performers and if you have your telephone selling down to a tee you will be the only performer the client phones. It stands to reason then that you want them to call you first!! Remember you are not only competing with fellow entertainers but with other kid’s attractions such as jumping castles, pony rides and other crazy attractions.
You have to remember that your advert might not generate much the very first day it comes out. It is very useful to make a feed back logbook so you can see how many calls you get from the adverts, to do this simply ask at the end of the conversation where they got your number. Here is something to remember, you might do hundreds of shows and forget peoples names but you are a celebrity in their mind and they know you!! So when Mrs. So and So says she got your number from her friend Gladys, don’t reply, “who??” At least pretend you remember them!! You miss a very big chance of bonding with the total stranger over the phone. Any telesales person will tell you the same.
I have found certain times of the year are subject to less bookings and I would adjust my booking of advertising space accordingly. There is definitely a lesser demand during the holidays as most moms plan the parties during school terms so as to have access to the children’s friends. The moms will most often use the class list to promote the party. As you get more busy you will find you stop placing adverts from around November as most big companies have booked their Christmas parties and the birthday party market has dried up over December.
It is a good idea to block out the two last Saturdays of November as they are prime Christmas company functions (certainly in South Africa )
The wording should have a catchy line to hook them and a basic USP line in the advert thereafter.
I have used the following:
- A big clown for little people.
- Abracadabra magic/clown show for kids
- Absolute best clown for you next kids party
- Take a look at the wording and you will see the alphabetical arrangement of the first few words will get you to the top of the list.
- The USP or unique selling position is one that you have decided on before you have placed the ad!! This line is something along the lines of “fun with every function” or “A successful show every time” – mine was “Kids just love him!”
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