Want to earn a living from the skills you love?
Becoming a professional performer or entertainer isn’t easy, but if you have a passion for your art and the drive to make it happen, it can be both a rewarding and a liberating career choice.
There are two main routes to achieve this goal, one is to become a self-employed performer and the other is to work for a company by auditioning for jobs. In this article I will focus on becoming a self-employed freelance performer because its what I do!
Sort your act out!
If you are to be successful it’s vital that you have one or more good quality acts that can be marketed at a variety of clients.
Some vital things to consider are:
- The quality of your act(s) – Is your act good enough to sell, if not why not and what can be done about it?
- Logistics - Do you have costumes, props, insurance, risk assessments and all the other logistical requirements of a professional act?
- What is the competition? – A good search on Google will give you a good idea of what the competition is and how hard it will be for you to start getting work.
- What are your potential markets? – Again Google will help with this one. The sooner you start examining your potential market places the better.
If your answer these questions honestly and thoroughly, you will have a good level of awareness of the work that needs to be done before you can start selling your act.
In my experience the answers to above questions will constantly evolve, this process will be challenging but well worth it.
How to Sell Your Act
Once you have an act, and the necessary logistics to sell the act you need to start the process of marketing it to potential clients.
You should have carried out some research of your market, but for most freelance performers clients fall into four categories:
- Entertainment agents.
- Members of the public.
- Event organizers.
- Event venues.
(Of course this list could go on for much longer, so I’ve kept it as simple as possible).
In most cases, you will have to contact entertainment agents. They all have websites with contact details and some have artist registration forms.
This is most definitely a number game! Most agents have a constant stream of acts looking for work, so if you want to work for them you need to realize it’s a long hard slog to get them on-board.
Members of the public.
Hands down the best way to sell to the general public is by having a website that they find in Google. This is how is I get a large portion of my work and it will work just as well for you if you put the effort in.
Event organizers will find you through Google but quite often they also go through entertainment agents as it saves them the hassle of having to contact lots of individual acts.
Some venues book acts through agents, lots use Google to find entertainers but I like to contact venues directly. I love working close to home and so I will often contact a local tourist or events venue and offer them a good price in return for regular work. This means less time driving and more time for other things, which is always good in my eyes.
To sell to any of the above list of clients requires, good publicity material, a good website and some focused effort.
I’ve written an eBook and also created a blog and newsletter with tons of advice on this subject…Check it out here.