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Old fashioned versus modern advertising

Discussion in 'The Business of Clowning' started by Klinki the Clown, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Klinki the Clown

    Klinki the Clown New Member

    When I started being a clown in Germany most people did not have a computer yet and the internet was just a word. Times have changed and we all have changed the advertising but which ways were the better ones, the more effective ones?

    In todady’s time of the internet I made a test last year and repeated it this year with the same surprising results.

    In the good ole days I wrote letters to the cities in order to find out all addresses of child-care-centers in my county. Today you quickly find that online 1:0 for the internet

    In the good ole days I then mailed out letters to them or drove by and introduced myself. Today most of that work is done be e-mail and still a few letters. But is that the better way?

    And here is my test:

    I wrote 150 mails to kindergardens (pre-school) and did not get a single booking out of that.

    I wrote letters (and no e-mails) to 700 kindergardens. The project was 477 bucks just for the stamps and another estimated 100 for the flyers. The overall expenses were around 577 bucks and that gave me 12 bookings for 220 bucks each = 2.640 bucks

    Then I picked a nearby county which has 48 kindergardens. I drove to every single one of them, left a few flyers for the parents and one for the center itself – out of that I got an amazingly 19 shows for 220 bucks each = 4.180 bucks and all expenses I had was 50 bucks for the gas and as a sidekick I still made a few birthday-shows because of the flyers.

    When I did my shows I asked every kindergarden how they get the advertisements from clowns as well as other artists and every single one of them told me the same:

    1. Nobody ever stops by and introduces himself.
    2. A few letters or phone-calls we are getting.
    3. Mostly they write e-mails, but we will never book someone just because of a mail.

    The old-fasioned letter as well as personally introducing yourself will get you much more bookings than the e-mail.

    The internet will help you – yes but the combination of the good ole days and today makes it a success. I find the internet quit unpersonal – I just love speaking with the people. Seeing you in real life can make the big difference.

    I make about 50% of my bookings through the internet – but just because at the same time I sit in front of my computer and don’t go out to meet people. When I still didn’t have a computer (my first one I bought in 1998) I didn’t have less shows and now I will also go back to the roots, enforcing my advertising of the good ole days (but I will not do the mistake and forget about the internet).
     
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  2. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    That is an interesting observation. However, you said that people don't seem to read mail but the parents did notice the flyers you left at the place.

    I believe you have to be seen to get booked. People won't be looking for a clown to entertainer at their events if they have never seen how the crowds react while watching a clown entertain at an event. The more you get out, the more people will have a chance to see you perform.

    I suppose you could do a targeted approach. Book an event in a public location in town and contact potential customers and tell them to come watch the performance. This might get them to come to you and would be better than a blanket request for them to book you for their events.

    Whenever a parent says their kids really enjoyed your performance, tell them the best compliment you can get is to have them refer you to their church, kids' school, charity organizations, etc. People don't always think of telling the activity coordinator for their community about the great entertainment that is available.
     
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  3. Klinki the Clown

    Klinki the Clown New Member

    You definitely have to be seen to be booked. As far as the birthday parties are concerned I also always thought so but the reality is a different one.

    I get my parties from the parents of the kids in the kindergarden, or when I go out busking - when I hand out a balloon to the kid I also give a flyer to the parents explaining them about my birthdayshows.

    So far - you are absolutely right. Then I put quite a few free classified adds on different sites in the Internet (I was almost sure that won't work and for that reason I just looked out for the free sites) - the result? 50% of my birthday-shows are coming through theses sites where people just see an add. They have never seen me and they don't know me.

    Usually my audiences love the show and then they pass the word on. That is still the by far best way of "advertising" - the word of mouth is a powerful instrument.
     
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  4. Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft)

    Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft) Old Bucket Spitter

    I've never advertised ever. I walk out onto the streets and play. Every single time I do, I get people asking if I'm available for hire. If I like the look of them and what they want is the kind of thing I'd find pleasure providing, I'll give them one of my hand produced calling coins. I don't like giving these things away. You pretty much have to promise a good pay day to get one. Even then, I might change my mind.
     
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  5. ToonUp

    ToonUp Member

    I haven't done a birthday yet, and haven't made business cards either, but I volunteer to twist balloons a couple times a month with my local alley, and I usually get asked if I have a card while I'm volunteering.
     
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  6. Klinki the Clown

    Klinki the Clown New Member

    Going out onto the streets is definitely a good way to be seen - and people who see you are more likely to book you

    however:

    if I wouldn't advertise I could never make a living of being a clown
     
  7. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Well, then, get yourself a card. They're cheap. Even if it is just for twisting. Start with what you know and are comfortable with. Build and add from there.
     

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