Be Your Own Press Agent
Having a quality website and fan mailing list can really help your career. If you can't design a website yourself, pay someone to do it for you. Your site should list your credits, include a short bio, display quotes from the press, and even have video samples of your act or the short films you've made. You could also have short stories and a daily blog on your site to show off your writing chops.
You can use websites like
Your website will show potential clients your best side, and if you have videos on YouTube, make sure you link to your site and embed those videos on your site. This helps to add a face to your work. You can also use your website to sell t-shirts, CDs, and other products.
Grow Your Fan Base
Comedian and actor Dane Cook gained popularity by using the Internet to build a huge following. He was the first person to have more than 2 million friends on MySpace. He has used the Internet to truly connect with his fans and allow his fans to connect with each other. Aside from promoting his CDs and personal appearances, he's developed an almost personal relationship with his fans. That relationship makes his audience feel closer to him and ensures that he has some of the most loyal fans around. He's like the Oprah of comedy. He loves his fans, and they love him back. On the other hand, so much attention has also led many people to dislike him, and there are a fair number of hate sites for Cook.
Extreme popularity can be followed by backlash, causing your hot career to cool down quickly. There is such a thing as being too popular. Overexposure can hurt you; that's why it's a good idea continue to evolve and keep your feelers out there for your next career step.
How can you build a fan base? Start simple. Don't expect 2 million fans overnight. The best way is to use every opportunity you can to drive people to your website. But getting them there isn't enough — remember that you have to entertain them once they're there. If they see the same old site with the same old videos and blogs, they won't come back.
Make sure you update your site at least once a week. It doesn't take much — a quick blog about recent shows and projects that you've done, or better yet, a quick, funny video “hello” that shows fans that you're happy they're checking in. It doesn't take a lot to show your fans that you respect them.
Use Facebook and Twitter to quickly pull together a list of friends and fans. You can let them know where you are performing by sending invites to your whole list at once. It's great for stand-ups with last-minute gigs, and you can also use it to let your fans know when you've posted something on YouTube by providing them with a link.
One of the major downsides of Internet exposure is that a bad performance might get more attention than a good one. You may not have control of what gets posted. In 2006, Michael Richards, who played Kramer on Seinfeld, was caught on a cell phone camera shouting racist remarks at a heckler. The resulting uproar damaged his career — perhaps forever.
Keep your site simple. It doesn't need to be wacky to let people know you are a comedian. Just make it fit your personality and update it consistently with comedy and information. You can also keep a schedule of upcoming appearances and link directly to a site that allows fans to buy tickets. If you are performing at a club and you help to bring in customers, the club owner will love having you back as often as possible.
Another plus to having your material online is that, in a way, it's a proof of ownership. You are telling the world, “I lay claim to this joke.” It's a good way to make sure that up-and-coming comics don't have their material stolen by others. In fact, there are constant battles about who stole what from whom raging on the Internet. Some of the biggest names in comedy are involved in calling others out, usually with video or audio proof.