Facebook is one of the most important tools for comedian marketing. Even so, many comedians aren’t using Facebook to it’s full potential. Comedians have the opportunity to use it, and other social media outlets, to network with other comedians in town, out of state, and across the globe. A stand-up comedian’s success is directly related to how well networked he is. It takes more than simply high quality material to become a successful comedian. The more contacts you have in the industry the more up-to-date you’ll be on new shows, paid gigs, and opportunities to expand your stand-up comedy career.
So why aren’t comedians getting everything that Facebook has to offer?
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Quite often, they are caught up with friending people instead of networking with them. There are countless comedians that have tons of friends and aren’t networked at all because none of their contacts actually know or trust them. It’s not the number of people in your network, it’s the quality of those connections. Here’s a simple formula:
Strength of Your Network = Quality of Connections x Quantity of Connections
The quality of a connection comes down to only one thing… trust. Do they trust you as a comedian to get laughs on stage? Do they trust you to be professional? The more professional contacts you have with an individual the more they will trust you. Building trust is especially important when working with comedy club producers. Comedy clubs have TONS of comedians they can choose from that are all funny. They place a lot of emphasis on how professional a comedian is and who vouches for them. They’ll rely on their network to verify that you’re the right person for the job.
So how should a comedian network on Facebook?
First, they should be active with your friends. This means routinely posting and commenting on other people’s posts. Go out of your way to be seen (and, ideally, memorable) by people in the industry. Don’t come off as someone “begging for an opportunity,” it’s a dead-giveaway that you’re not ready. If you are a new comedian, being active on Facebook will do wonders to give you name recognition. It will also help you when you meet that individual in person, making you more likeable. I’ve used this strategy each time I move to a new city. I mass-friend people, get to know them, find local shows, then finally meet them in person. It doesn’t stop with the friend request.
But more importantly, it will build trust in the community. Being seen on Facebook is much the same as being seen performing on shows around town, it lets those that have opportunities to give you see that you’re active in the community. When they constantly see you networking with other people in industry they will naturally accept you as a part of the industry.
A third reason to embrace Facebook networking is because it will show you exactly where other comedians are performing on any given night. Whether you’re a new comedian or not, this information is gold. Not only might you discover a new venue to perform on or a new booker to speak to, but you’ll also be able to support and network with those comedians in person.
So who do you want to network with?
The best advice is to cast a wide net. You obviously want to network with those ahead of you in your career so that you can learn from and anticipate what you need to do to get to the next level. But make sure you also network with those at the same level or below you. It’s not about networking for the hell of it. You want to network are with the people that are getting things DONE. The people that are producing shows, constantly trying out new material and performing on stage. You also want to include producers in your network. Producers have the ability to put you on stage (and possibly pay you for it). Facebook helps you identify, and contact, those individuals. It will also show you which individuals they routinely contact, helping you identify mutual friends.
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