“Time is money” as they say. How are you spending your time?
In this article, we’ll examine four important things:
- business cards and brochures
- websites and social media
I will be writing this advice as if you are a business.
BUT even if your club is a non-profit organization or if you are a volunteer solo-clown, you still need to act like a business when it comes to marketing. If it helps, think about my suggestions in the context of how YOU do business and rework them to fit YOUR organizational structure.
It doesn’t matter if you charge for your time or not. Time is money. YOUR time is worth something. Don’t sell yourself short.
Let’s talk about promotion
How DO you promote your clown club or clown business? Do you know how people find you? When you get a phone call or email, you should ask the client “How did you hear about us?” and keep track of where your advertising dollars are returning business leads. When you are at a parade or carnival, do you have anything to hand out to potential clients?
A business card is an easy tool to keep handy. Make sure you have current contact information on your card. This includes clown name, real name, email, Facebook, and/or website. Remember your REAL name. Non-Clown people are more apt to call if they can talk to Dorothy Jones rather than Dotsie the Clown. We tend to forget that not everyone is as outgoing as we are.
Vistaprint is a company which is known for printing FREE business cards to new customers (in hopes that you will come back and order more later). There may be others online; do your homework and compare prices.
Speaking of FREE — if you are a volunteer clown or have a shoestring budget, look for every free advertising opportunity available. Many newspapers will have a “Community Calendar” section. Getting your event listed in that section is usually free of charge.
Schools often have a weekly packet of information that goes home with each child or gets emailed to the parents. If you offer an educational program or library event, you may wish to advertise it through the school.
Do you have a brochure? It is the next most asked-for piece of advertising after a business card. It is perfect for giving to folks who express a real interest in your availability. It should be as simple as a tri-fold piece of paper. It doesn’t have to be a novel. Make sure it shows fun close-up pictures of you in action with audience members.
List in bullet-points what services you offer:
- face painting
- school shows
- nursing home shows
- hospital visits
Again, you need the contact information! “For more information contact: Jane Doe at…” Whether you use a phone number or email is up to you. Include your Facebook or webpage.
For credibility add a bullet-point list called “Some of our Favorite Events”. This could include Wright Co. Fair, Deer River Apple Orchard, and Happy Daze Nursing home visits, etc. You get the idea.
If you have the capability to design and edit these yourself at any given moment, you can add “Easter Bunny” or “Santa Claus” or make other seasonal changes through the year.
When it comes to layout keep it clean, simple, colorful, and easy to read quickly. Too much text turns a portion of the population off. Their eyes glaze over and they set it aside to read later. For the type of people who read all the directions that come with a toaster…don’t worry, they will go to your Facebook page or website to find out more about you. Regardless, be sure the contact information is in BOLD and in more than one spot.
How many to print?
Good question. It will depend on how busy you are. If you are an individual you can print as many as you think you will need in a year. If you are a clown club, be sure that the contact person and information won’t change and will be willing to take and reply to phones calls and emails in a timely fashion. If they are a winter “snow bird”, then make sure you don’t print too many before autumn. As soon as they have gone south for the winter, change the contact information for the season (and be sure to change it back when the “snow bird” returns).
Be sure to make them available at each meeting, but don’t push them on people. After all, they may not have contact with enough people to hand them out, and then those items will just end up under the seat in their car.
You have to have a web page or Facebook page to stay viable. Facebook is free, but in order to make it work for you, you still need to maintain it (and all your social media accounts).
Be sure you make regular postings to keep your page current. Keep three things in mind: “Promote, Report, Connect”
- Promote the events you have been hired at and the ones you will be producing to remind folks of what you or your club is doing.
- Report how great a time you had! A few great pictures will do the job. Always give contact information so new people can join you or get a hold of you for future events.
- Connect with the folks who want to hire you or join your club.
When you update your website and social media page, add only high quality pictures of your events. Don’t flood your page with 100 pictures of the same event or the same people (clubs). Simple pictures are best.
Have someone designated to take pictures for your club. If it’s just you alone in your business, hand your camera or smartphone to the parent or someone in line and politely ask them to take a photo of you painting a face or handing a balloon to their child.
It’s important to get pictures of you interacting with the kids and not just of your completed masterpieces. You need to be in the photo, too! Large crowd scenes don’t often work well for promotional purposes, so try to capture more close-up pictures.
How is your marketing plan?
Have you started to get some ideas? Jot down notes on what you are already doing for promotion. Now make a new list of what else you could start doing in the next 6 months. It’s never too late to start planning for success!
I know this is a lot to digest right now, so why not bookmark this page and revisit it again in a week? Mull it over, share it with your club members, and start making a list.
What are your secrets of success?
How do you promote your business?
Share some ideas which you use in your clown club.
Post a comment below or on our Mooseburger Facebook page!
Read more practical tips for your clown business:
- Get more clown jobs in the Fall and Winter
- 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