The first thing I need to point out is that a comedian must have a solid act before they can effectively engage in any sort of activities to market themselves.
The reason that I say that is because there are people who don’t have a solid stand-up comedy act developed and in some instances have never been on stage, yet they have this false notion that they can somehow market themselves as a comedian.
And there are also comedians who have been performing for a while and can’t deliver a solid act, yet they are under the false impression that the “answer” to moving forward in their comedy career lies in marketing. That is a waste of time and money.
With that said, let me say that the very best marketing tool a comedian can have, above anything else is a stand-up comedy act that kills consistently (generates an average of 18+ seconds of laughter for each performing minute).
The reason I say this is because it will be a comedian’s act that gets them recognized and considered for paid work in the comedy clubs.
One of the best ways a comedian can get considered for paid work is to do a showcase if possible in comedy clubs outside their local area (a showcase for work is usually a 5-10 minute performance during a paid show after the opening act).
It will be a comedian’s act that will get them recognized and considered for paid by other more seasoned comedians who are running or managing comedy rooms.
For those comedians who have a clean act and are working in the corporate type markets, it will be their stand-up comedy act that can result in referral work at virtually every show they perform and kill the audience.
The three primary marketing tools a comedian needs, provided they actually have a stand-up comedy act that is marketable are:
1. An electronic press kit (EPK), which is nothing more than a professional website with the comedian’s bio, comedy resume, head shots, testimonials, video clips, etc.
Very simply, an EPK is a stand alone website or a website service that basically tells a potential talent buyer or news media representative everything they need to know about you as it relates to your stand-up comedy career.
Note: The instructions for putting together a professional EPK at no cost is included in the Killer Stand-up Online Course.
2. Offline promotional materials such as a promo video on DVD, an extended and unedited performance on DVD, a paper bio and resume, promotional flyers, etc. for mail outs.
Note: This applies primarily to those comedians have a stand-up comedy act suitable for work outside the comedy club markets. However with the exception of a promotional DVD or extended performance DVD, the EPK provides what is needed in the way of promotional materials unless otherwise requested.
3. A business card. There are only 3-5 items that are needed on a comedian business card: photo, name, title (ie: Comedian or Comedy Entertainer), phone number and EPK or website address.
Probably the most important aspect of a business card is the phone number on it. Because people move, change phone service, etc. their phone number can change. I would recommend using a free phone number (ie: Google Voice) that can remain the same no matter what your phone number may be.
Still, it will be a comedian’s act that will bring them the lion’s share of opportunities to get paid work because nothing “sells” a comedian better than their live stand-up comedy act.
I will also be so bold to say that until a comedian can average 18+ seconds of laughter for each performing minute on stage, the opportunities for paid performances are limited at best, no matter how great their “marketing” materials may be.