“How should I promote my act to get more bookings” is one of the most popular questions people ask me. It might seem a complicated question but the basis is relatively simple, it always comes down to the “where do you want to work?” or “what are you good at?” questions like I described in: An artist’s mid-career crisis. Let me get to the basics of some strategies.
1. Keep it simple
Many artists tend to offer way too many options to potential clients. Doing this makes clients feel insecure of what to choose. Offer a limited amount of options and base your promotion material on those options. Read: Knowing your audience
2. Promote your skill in a different market
If you are a juggler with basketballs then aim your marketing not just at circus, but also at sports-, promotions or events of manufacturers of basketballs and sports clothing. Open new doors to new markets!
3. Visit shows and connect with people
Get yourself out there and in the picture, show people that you are interested in their work and shows and tell them what you can add to their show or promotion. You can also call people of course.
4. Online presence
Invest in a good website (and your own domain) and connect with social media. Keep your profile clean and up-to-date. Team up with a colleague for a mutual video and never talk bad about people in the industry.
5. Direct mailing
Keep a database of potential clients and venues where your act could fit, now or in the future. Never send a “standard” email but specifically aim for the person you want to talk to. Find out in advance who the decision maker is and avoid spelling mistakes.
6. Fake it till you make it
There are a few good artists with splendid acts out there that had a kickstart of their career and make huge amounts of money. Someone “ordered” Facebook likes, made an amazing video, created a professional website and got seen with some “big” names. All of a sudden they worked non-stop good gigs and travelled the world.
7. Do not overly promote yourself in a too short period
Many people tend to promote their act in various channels (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn and private mail). It might feel a bit invasive for some bookers. Don’t overdo it, plan your marketing carefully.