So, continuing what we were talking about: taking your solo show to the public speaking arena, where the audiences are hungry for good entertainment and prepared to pay you for it.
How do you get started? Here are some ideas.
1. Get some initial marketing materials together. Doesn’t have to be too fancy; just be able to tell/show prospective clients what your show is. Title, blurb, photo, some kudos or reviews if you’ve got ‘em, a small bio, a little about the performance specs, this type of thing. Be prepared to share your materials on paper and via email.
2. Start to define your initial audience. As I mentioned, my show is a natural fit in the cancer community, so I targeted cancer support organizations, hospitals, and medical conferences. Where might your show ‘fit’? Healthcare (a particular health issue), schools, women’s or men’s groups, religious groups, a particular trade, a sporting community. What are the themes in your show, and who in particular might relate to those themes? Of course you want everyone in the world to see your show, but narrowing it down to the ‘best fit’ will make it easier to launch.
3. Start cold calling and cold sending. I started by calling up local cancer support groups and pitching them on the phone, “Hi, I’m an actress and a cancer survivor, and I’ve got a performance that would be great, relevant, uplifting entertainment for your group. May I tell you about it/send you some information?” I did that a lot, followed up a lot, and started to get performance opportunities.
4. Start by GIVING IT AWAY. ‘Work begets work’, and nothing sells you like having a track record of public speaking performances, a list of happy client testimonials, and word of mouth from happy clients to potential clients. So consider performing FREE, initially, in order to get that track record.