Are you ready for more business?
Before summer ends, you need to think about the upcoming holiday season.
No, REALLY! I’m not joking!
NOW is the time to think ahead to ensure you will have a fun and successful holiday season! If you want to get bookings for the Fall and Winter, you had better start working on it before September.
Here are some ideas for events and promotion between September and January:
- Put together your ads for local papers for holiday party entertainment. Call the paper now and get the job done ahead of time. Ask about a price break for placing the same ad for 3 or 4 consecutive weeks. Feature a photo of your character in a goofy Christmas Elf or Santa Claus Hat in the ad.
- Dress like a friendly witch or scarecrow to do some story telling at a local apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Or what about an elf leading Christmas carols at a fir tree farm or ice skating rink?
- Check out day cares, nursing homes, restaurants, and community centers to see what special events they have planned for the holidays and local celebrations. Don’t show up uninvited! Be sure to go through the proper channels so the event staff know who you are and realize that you are part of the hired (or volunteer) entertainment. You could do face-painting, balloon twisting, a magic show, or walk-around meet & greet.
- Consider booking yourself as a face painter for local community parties for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc. Parents like to have a safe alternative for their kids to enjoy, so contact the school PTA and Chamber of Commerce to see who is sponsoring the events. Display your business cards on the table for the parents and offer a coupon for 10% off if they book you within a month.
- See if your local costume shop offers face painting or “make-up” services to go with costumes. You may be able to cultivate a great new business partnership with a local business. I am a marginal face painter, but my costume shop customers absolutely love to have their make-up done to match their rental costumes.
- Come up with a Halloween costume for your clown Character. The kids think it is hilarious! I have a cute witch-e-poo costume to wear as Pricilla. Wear an elf hat, Santa, witch or wizard hat just for the fun of it. Of course, you could wear Easter bunny ears if you are the confused type! Kids will love correcting you! I wrote a blog about creating a new Christmas Elf character.
- Update your show to reflect the holidays. One holiday-themed trick can be a fun addition without a big expense. For example, patter for the rope trick “Professor’s Nightmare” can be adapted to any event or message. I’ve heard dozens of different approaches for that same trick! Add a holiday story or joke to your show. Start looking for joke books at your local library. Find used books online at www.amazon.com.
- Learn a new balloon creation to fit the season, and come up with some fun conversation to go with while you’re twisting. Make sure you have plenty of balloons in the right color for that design. Red heart, green shamrock, brown rudolph the reindeer, white snowman, black bat, pink bunny, etc. If you are in a hurry, consider bringing a bag of pre-twisted balloons (READ MORE).
- See if you can get booked at a church Fall Festival or local library for story time reading and performing in character. You never know if they have grant money to use up by the end of the year. If an event has no budget to hire you, you could ask the Chamber of Commerce to pair you up with a local business to be your sponsor and reduce your rate – now the event can afford you and you’ve just opened up a possible new business partnership. And even if it is a non-paying gig, it is still a great way to get your face and name out there and build a rapport with your community. Don’t forget to distribute flyers and business cards!
- Send out postcards to past customers reminding them to book you before your schedule is full. You can print them on your computer (save the template for future uses). If you save your customers in a database like Excel, you can keep track of when they last hired you and what their children’s names are – that way you can personalize the postcards with writing “Jolly Holly the Elf would love to visit Suzy again this Christmas!”
- Create new Cover Photos and Profile Photos for your Facebook business page to reflect the different seasons and your performance options. Haven’t created a page on Facebook for your business yet? Read this article first to help you get started right!
- Call the mall, community centers, and anywhere else Santa might appear. When asking about being hired as an Elf or Mrs. Claus, tell them that you are a better choice than an actor because your clown skills make you a wonderful Santa’s helper. Your love of children is genuine and comes from the heart. Parents and children waiting in long lines to get their pictures taken with Mr. C need entertainment! Happy parents stay in line and buy more pictures. You can add a touch of magic, a quick wit, and warm heart to each interaction with every child.
- Tweak a few of your face paint designs a little bit to make them fit the holiday or season. Frankenstein face or Bats for Halloween, green Grinch or a sparkly Holly and Ivy fairy mask for Christmas, white and pink Easter bunny, etc. Practice ahead of time and take photos for your customers to choose from. Here is a cute idea for an “instant reindeer” — kids love it!
- When customers call you to book parties during the months of September through January, ask if they are interested in a “themed performance”. They may be calling to book a birthday party, but your suggestion might lead to other events. Need ideas for theme parties? Click here to read my blog post about it!
- Need a new costume for your elf, Mrs. Claus, or Santa character?? Order it NOW to ensure you will get it in time for November bookings. It takes 6 – 8 weeks from start to finish for most complete costumes, so don’t delay! Check your old costumes to see if they need cleaning or repair. Not ready to invest in a full holiday costume? Consider renting one. Ask your local shop for a discount on multiple rentals or maybe even a rent-to-own deal. I wrote a blog about designing a new character costume and what steps you should take.
- Now is also the time to make sure your personal appointments and family events are on your performing calendar. Block off the needed time for family NOW! No amount of money is worth missing the holidays with your family. You may have to make compromises, but now is the time to plan for it. If your loved ones know in advance that they don’t get you for Christmas Eve, but you celebrate Christmas day, your absence will be easier to swallow. Call a family meeting. Talk about these sacrifices before you need to make them. You may be surprised what solutions come up. Clowning should not be a burden on your family, it should be a blessing!
- And when you have finished all your gigs and volunteering, be sure to wrap up business like professional. Update client information, send out “Thank You” cards, and start preparing for next year! I have lots of ideas to help you stay organized. Click here to read my blog all about it!
No matter how you dress it, people love entertainment.
Use your performance skills all year long — you CAN clown in Fall and Winter!
Start thinking outside the box and expand your horizons.
A little forethought and planning can go a long way.
Read more practical tips for your clown business:
- How to promote yourself and your business
- 5 Questions you should ask before the New Year
- Wrap up your Christmas business deals like a pro
- Creating a Facebook page for your clown
- Yes, you can say “NO” to a gig request
- When business is slow, you have to improve
- 4 Reasons NOT to wear your clown costume to a performance
- How to survive the birthday party business
- Why you should expand into non-clown THEME parties!
- What is a “Plain Clothes Clown” and why should you care?
- 4 Tips for designing your clown business logo
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Mooseburger Clown Arts Education has been running one of the world’s most well-rounded clown schools since 1996. Performers from all over the globe travel to Minnesota each summer for a fun and intensive clown training program. Each aspect of our clown camp is designed to meet your needs and boost your confidence as an entertainer.
Whether you want to join the circus, visit nursing homes, run your own birthday party business, paint faces, or twist balloons, there is something just for you at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp.
Or call me toll-free to discuss your education and see if Mooseburger is the right fit for you: 800-973-6277