You have spent some money on vent.
You learned how to do it. You bought a puppet.
Now you want to earn some money performing.
Everyone offers advice on how to get shows. So I thought I would turn the tables.
Here are 11 bad ways to promote your act.
1. Tell people you coached Darci Lynn.
It will be a lie of course, but there are several ventriloquists who didn’t claiming they did.
Maybe, as they claim to people who know, they gave her a tip.
But offering a tip she may or may not have taken is different than coaching.
Still, nobody will ever know. (right?)
2. Make up awards to impress people.
Nobody checks anyway.
Does anyone in the public know or care if the N.A.A.V. no longer exists?
Heck, make it generic – claim you are were named the top ventriloquist of (insert year here.) Just don’t tell anyone by who.
They don’t need to know it is you.
3. Make up quotes about your act.
No one checks these either.
Plus a quote from a top 500 company attributed to no one makes you sound great!
If you didn’t win an award, get a reference or do something you claim, it is a lie.
Lies are great ways to get shows.
Remember – these are BAD WAYS to promote shows.
4. Insult other acts.
Use social media to insinuate someone had part in an article because it doesn’t mention you, or agree with your view of the world.
Put down someone else’s skill.
Talk about others so you appear to be above them.
Insulting others is a great way to make yourself look better in the eyes of clients.
Complain about a show. It wasn’t your fault if it didn’t go over.
It was the promoter, or booker, or client, so blame them!
Make them look bad – that will teach them!
They don’t want to pay anybody what they are worth. They expect you to work for free.
Then, when you do get a gig, they screw you over.
Complain they never hire you. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Plus: Don’t trust anyone in business. (Including yourself …)
6. Moan – a lot!
Moans can sound like complaints, but they are different.
Moan when you don’t have any shows because no one will hire you.
Moan about your financial situation – to hell with pride.
Tell folks how unfair life is to you. After all, your problems are always bigger than their problems.
7. Don’t practice.
You already know this stuff.
So what if your skills erode. No one cares. They just want to laugh anyway.
And no, allowing your skills to slip away should have no affect on your bookings.
8. Never update your act.
Why update? Those jokes got laughs for the person you “borrowed” them from.
Oh wait, you didn’t borrow, it is a tribute act. And those have to remain unblemished or it isn’t a real tribute.
Even though you don’t always credit the original creator.
But yeah, updating and working on original lines is not important to your show.
And it certainly won’t affect your bookings either.
9. Burn bridges.
You are moving forward.
You are climbing the ladder to success.
To heck with looking back, burn those bridges by treating others bad.
If they haven’t done anything for you lately, let them know and then tell them to get lost.
You don’t need that baggage.
People who appear pitiful draw sympathy.
Others want to help them and make them feel better about themselves.
Those people will hire you just to help out.
Self-pity is an amazing marketing tactic.
11. Use jealousy.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
You see someone get something you want? Get attention you crave?
It is okay to be jealous and say things behind their back.
No one will let the person know.
And you will end up with a loyal band of followers who love you for pointing out why you should be getting those accolades.
So there you have it – 11 bad ways to promote yourself.
I’ve watched acts ruin their careers and reputations by using these kinds of tactics.
Chances are you have seen people do this too.
And I’m willing to bet it doesn’t change your opinion of their greatness.
And now for some solid, genuine advice …
Don’t follow any of these tips.
You are better than that.