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Marketing

Discussion in 'The Business of Clowning' started by Pinky the Clown, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Pinky the Clown

    Pinky the Clown New Member

    How do you market yourself? What are some things that have helped you get business? I would like to hear from your personal experiences as I feel ready to market myself more than in the past.
     
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  2. Dylan

    Dylan Active Member

    I love these threads!!!

    In order of amount of business they get me:
    Word of Mouth
    Business Card
    Website
    banner thing

    Word of Mouth is the best and cheapest way to get bookings... of course having your contact info on something that leaves with people after the performance also helps. which leads to...

    Business Cards. Your business card needs to be well designed and above all SIMPLE!!! A lot of clown business cards I have looked at are too crazy and hard to follow. Yes you want to get bookings as a clown but, you are still a professional and your card should reflect that. Also make sure your website and card are cohesive. Similar design elements are important to create the brand that is you as a clown/entertainer. Put them on nice stock and make them color. Business cards should cost around $50 for 500(you can find them cheaper).

    HAND OUT BUSINESS CARDS TO EVERYONE!!! I am talking 250 cards a week to complete strangers. This is why ordering in bulk is a great idea.

    Your website should have no music that plays when it loads, no annoying colors or flashing patterns, not pop-ups, nothing that says that you are not professional. Keep in mind where most parents or event planners look at your site. They do it at work. That means that if your site plays music they may have suddenly drawn attention to the fact that they are not working.

    Also pay the money to get your own URL. Go to a place like RadName.com and purchase a URL it looks so much more professional when someone can go to www.apientertainment.com instead of www.geocites.com/apientertainment.html (I realize that geocities is probably dead at this point). Use services like wufoo.com to set up a contact form or Tungle to allow people to see your availability.

    The banner thing is one of those vinyl banners that you can hang when you do big events. It should have your web address and phone number. It doesn't need to say what things you do... because you should be doing them at the event.
     
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  3. Alex

    Alex ...much nicer in person!!!

    Pinky,
    The bottom line, is that you have to spend some money for marketing. That is the quintessential difference between marketing and public relations.

    If you want to market yourself, you need to invest in quality business cards, print ad space, radio commercials, posters, postcards, and banners.

    If you want to free publicity, turn to public relations. Public relations is a lot, yes a lot, more difficult than marketing. You have to earn your time on TV, in the newspaper, or on a radio talk show... but it is arguably more credible since you didn't pay for the real estate (hence why it is known as earned media)
    • Make some media contacts... and keep them and be nice to them and let them know you are a clown.
    • Learn to write a press release and send it out to the said media contacts... but don't just send out generic "I'm Pinky the Clown and I want an article about myself." Plan your press releases around events: World Circus Day, National Clown Week, Balloons Around the World Day, etc. Will you be at a public event during one of these celebrations? Let it be known!
    • Make a Facebook PAGE (not a profile)! This is an easy, free, and effective way to spread the word about your business. You can post photos, videos, and events on there... and with the new Timeline, your fans can even directly message you without having to be a "Friend"... so you can be in constant reach of your clientele.

    Unfortunately public relations, alone, doesn't work. You really need to invest in a website and domain name, some professionally printed business cards, and some professional portraits. Cell phone photos don't cut it for something you're going to print or publish.
     
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  4. MattyBFunnie

    MattyBFunnie New Member

    Hi Pinkie,

    There is a lot of great information already posted.

    If you are in an area with competition, you want to set your self apart from them by offering things they don't offer. Value! Offer value. This can be giveaways (clown noses, wands, signed pictures), or including things such as a backdrop. Adding $10 worth of expenses to each show can let you charge a lot more than what you already charge.

    If you don't already, get a website and business cards. I have templates available in my clown marketing kit. Click the link in my signature to see what else is included.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
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  5. Skooter_Silly_Willy

    Skooter_Silly_Willy New Member

    Just an addition on to this.. if you have a facebook page for your "character" make sure you just keep it all business.. don't put in your political views, what games you play on facebook, etc... it can look really bad if you mix business and personal.
     
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  6. Alex

    Alex ...much nicer in person!!!

    If you have a page (versus a profile), you don't have to worry about your games... Plus, if you read Facebook's terms of service:
    So, you have to create a "fan page" to keep things Kosher with your business, anyway.
     
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  7. Alex

    Alex ...much nicer in person!!!

    Also, this is a blog post I wrote for the University of Iowa Public Relations organization... It's not exactly marketing, but it will help you stand out when you are creating your personal brand. Check out the article HERE!
     
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  8. brianc2k

    brianc2k New Member

    I put together a Microsoft Power Point presentation. Included a combination of slides and short clips. I downloaded a program that converts them into movies. The cost of that program was minimum - maybe $20. I pushed the demo up on YouTube and now when I send email I include my online demo link. Minimal cost and it does provide a better advertisement for yourself then just a mailed brochure.
     
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  9. I have joined the local chamber of commerce. They publish a newsletter that goes to lots of people in the area. They put in a news release four weeks in a row. Then schedule a ribbon cutting in the park or other suitable location. Now I am welcome at all city events doing walk arounds including the Halloween night on the square. They will make referrals if someone calls. The cost isn't huge since I am the only employee! In addition they have a monthly networking evening snacks, social time and business meeting. Next month I will be introduced to the group. I'm going in make-up and costume with a large puppet or do a couple balloons while I describe my services. I have already followed the advice of others above as well.
     
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  10. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Same as most for me: Word of mouth, Webpage, Facebook, Business cards & such. I also will do a free event once or twice a year, usually for some charity that I have faith in and will offer up the chance to 'win a free birthday party.' Basically just have people interested write their name and contact info on a card for a drawing. Everyone who doesn't win gets a post card in the mail with a 'sorry you didn't win, but I'll give you 10% if you book your party date now" type of thing. Doesn't cost much, but the system gives you a load of leads. I'm adding some info to my registration cards this year (date of the would be birthday and such) so I can do a follow-up closer to the date of the event as well.
     
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  11. Jeff the Magic Man

    Jeff the Magic Man Active Member

    Business Cards, Business Cards, Business Cards.
     

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