In this article, The Business of Stand-Up Comedy: Create a Web Presence – Part 1, I’ll discuss making videos to promote your comedy career. In my previous article, The Business of Stand-Up Comedy: 30 Minute Comedian Video – Part 2, I showed several ways to enhance the video needed to submit to stand-up comedy bookers.
Part of getting known as a comedian is being present at the major clubs and having a strong web presence. This means many things, but for this section we’ll only focus on how to get videos on the internet to build a fan base.
Here are some tips to help you be more visible on the web.
Video Record Every Show
The reason you’re doing this is to capture those moments in shows when you’re in the zone and crushing it. As a beginning comedian you’ll have a lot of bad shows, but you’ll also have some really good ones and you’ll want to have them on video.
Here are some suggestions:
Camcorder and tripod – I know this is a pain in the butt, but do it anyway. You’ll get better quality picture and sound. Get a carrying case for these things and keep them in your car ready for any occasion.
Go-Pro – these are small, portable and use the mini-sd-cards. You can stick them, hold them, set them on a table. The less the club or manager knows the better.
Smart Phone Camera – if you don’t want to carry a camera, then use your smart phone. Someone can hold it or you can put it in a selfie stick and set it somewhere. Please hold the camera horizontally like a real frame, not the vertical angle as it makes it look like a camera phone. If you record a good show, it will look like it was taken with a camcorder.
Special Tripods and Camera Holders – they now have all kinds of gizmos that hold cameras and smart phones. Some are like a snake and you can bend them to hang on a pole or sit on a table. Some are for cameras and some are for smart phones and some are for both. Look into them and get several.
Social Networking Platforms
You need to at least have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube pages. These platforms are free, but time consuming. Signing up for a page is very simple. The instructions are pretty straightforward. You need friends and the fastest way to get them is online.
It’s time for you to become computer and Internet literate. It may take some extra work and money to get everything setup, but once it’s available, everything is easier for everyone. Plus, you’ll look like a professional comedian.
Upload Videos of Your Shows
Make sure your name is in the title and description of all videos, so Google can find you. Put them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Reddit.com/standupcomedy.
Create a YouTube channel or Vimeo page and continually put up new clips of your shows. You can make clips on your smart phone and edit them on Youtube editor. No cost, only time.
There are many sites that allow you to upload videos. Create clips and place them on all the sites. (Look them up on Google as they may change over time.) This is about building a video web presence. Do the research.
Many have asked me, “If my clips are out in the public, won’t someone steal my material?” Yes, they will. Joke stealing will always go on. This is not a reason not to create a web presence. If it’s your best material, then put it on the “private” setting and then the only people who can see it are those you send an email link to. But have them up so you can show them to a booker at a moment’s notice.
TIP: If you want to upload videos on Youtube longer than 30 minutes, you can. On your dashboard, click on your profile picture, in the drop down there’s a cog for settings. Click the cog and you’ll go to the Overview page. Half way down there’s “Additional Features” and below that there’s “view additional features.” Click that and go to the Status and Features page. Here you’ll find a bunch of stuff. Find “Longer Videos.” Follow instructions.
Here are some tips for uploading videos:
Keep them short – the best length is around 3 minutes so people will actually watch them. Short and funny is the best. No one has the attention to watch a ten-minute video. (The exception is when you are placing a video that you want Bookers to view, and then upload as long of a show as the site will allow.)
Put a Caption Graphic at the bottom with your Domain Name – if someone tries to lift your video, it will do them no good because it will contain a graphic that lets the watcher know where it came from. On the videos for Greg Dean’s Stand-Up Comedy Classes which are shown on youtube.com/gregdeancomedy, all of the videos show the graphic that reads: stand-upcomedy.com. This allows anyone to get in touch with me as easy as going on their browser. It also protects the video from being hijacked.
Include the Closed Caption SRT file – once your finished uploading a video on youtube, then go to your video manager>videos and next to the button that says “edit” click the arrow, then click on sustitle/CC. This will take you to the subtitle editor. Youtube automatically adds the Closed Captions. You can edit and clean up the automated subtitles or find the button “action” and click SRT and it will download the subtitle SRT file to your downloads. Find it there and place it into the Facebook video upoads so they will also have CC.
End with Contact Info – place a card at the end of the video with your contact information: name and email or Facebook page. Nothing fancy, just make it clear.
Ask People to Subscribe or Join – promotion is the key element to becoming a success. The more people who subscribe or join your YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages the higher your ranking on the search engines. This will make you easier to find on the Internet.
In my next article, The Business of Stand-Up Comedy: Create a Web Presence – Part 2, I’ll show you how to use email and other online tools to promote your stand-up comedy career.