I hear a lot of entertainers complaining they can’t get shows.

People are undercutting their fees. There is too much competition in their area.  They send out a mailing and don’t get any shows so that doesn’t work. They post of FaceBook they are available for shows, and that gets no results. They wasted a ton of money on adwords and didn’t book any shows. The gig sites like GigMasters or GigSalad or even Thumbtack don’t produce real leads. Craig’s List doesn’t work …

There are a ton of excuses. But excuses only divert the blame to someone else.

When I switched from magic to ventriloquism years ago, my eyes opened to a world of possibilities. I had never seen these opportunities as a magician. My sight was limited to what I was doing. As I’ve progressed in ventriloquism, I’ve nixed a lot of those possibilities because they didn’t fit my style. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Not enough work?

Thousands of people have birthdays every day. If you are a birthday party entertainer you are set for life!

Every day:

  • associations have meetings,
  • conventions are held,
  • companies have employee events,
  • a school hosts a program somewhere,
  • a church has a luncheon or dinner,
  • a store has a promotion,
  • a fair or festival happens,
  • a civic group has a meeting or event for members,
  • a senior center needs programming,
  • a community association does something for their neighbors,
  • someone gets married,
  • there is a party of some type,
  • there is group of people that need entertainment,
  • and the list goes on.

Why aren’t you getting the work?

You need to be in front of the right people at the right time. That isn’t done on a random FaceBook post. It isn’t accomplished when your mailing gets there at the wrong time.

But what about the competition who charges less?

What kind of car do you drive? Not everyone wants the cheapest option. If every entertainment buying decision came down to price, I’d never work. You need to market to the right type of client. You need a show that fits their needs perfectly. When you become the only act they could imagine entertaining their group – you’ve got the gig.

So how do you reach them?

Years ago everyone thought, “If I had an agent I’d be working all the time.” Wrong. Agents are order takers. Sometimes they suggest, but usually they fill a client’s request. Should you use them? Definitely let them know you are there. Send them your schedule on a regular basis. But don’t rely on them to fill your calendar. They are simply a trickle of shows that may help here and there.

So how can you get shows?

I’ll talk about that next week.