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It has been said time and time again, it’s not what you know, but WHO you know. This is certainly true in the world of comedy. Often comics are busy networking with booking agents and clubs and other venues that have comedy and don’t spend the proper amount of time networking with other comedians. With the ease of which one could go online and search out different folks that are participating in the world of comedy, most people still don’t do enough to network with other comics. The BEST thing about networking with other comedians is it DOES NOT matter what stage of your career you are in. You may be five years in the game or three open-mics into your comedy life and networking is still hugely beneficial and necessary to grow.
Here are some keys to networking that help make it more effective
1.) Know the goal of your networking efforts. Are you trying to find more gigs? Are you trying to find comics to perform with? Are you trying to learn more about a comedy scene? Are you trying to get feedback from other comics about your comedy? Once you have this squared away, you can focus your networking on folks that can help you.
2.) Find out something about them before you message them. Google them for fuck sake. If they have videos online, watch them. Sometimes you may find after watching the videos that you may be barking up the wrong tree. Regardless, get to know the person before you try to contact them.
3.) Use Facebook and Twitter to connect with comics. Comics that are on twitter tend to be more tuned in to responding and also probably are pretty damn good at networking themselves. Facebook is also still a good tool to use for connecting with other comics. Generally a good google search can help you find the comics on fb or twitter.
4.) Send them a polite note. Don’t make it long, just let them know you are looking to network with other comedians and state your purpose behind this. Don’t get upset if they don’t message you back in what you would think is an acceptable time frame. In fact, don’t worry about it if they don’t message you back at all. People are busy, don’t be a douche about it.
5.) Keep in touch with the folks that you contact. Make comments about videos they post, like their fan page and suggest to others that they do the same. Helping other comics is a simple gesture that shows you appreciate their willingness to talk to you.
6.) Do comedy contests STRICTLY for the networking opportunity. Let’s be honest, comedy contests are rarely going to get you booked, but they ALWAYS provide a chance to meet 8-12 other comics you may or may not already know!
Now, I challenge you to take just 15 minutes a day to network with one new comic. Just think of the 365 new contacts you will have made in a year. NOTHING is more valuable then this!
Matt Ward is a stand-up comedian living in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has 15 years experience in the entertainment industry promoting, producing, performing and marketing live events.