It doesn’t matter what you do for a living. Whether you sell jock straps or insurance, hand-craft the world’s finest clown shoes, bake legendary cake or deliver banking services to billionaires, your website has to attract the right audience. And once they’ve found your site, it has to give them exactly what they want as well as making it easy to find.
At the end of the day your website’s main purpose is to support your career. Which means keeping your fans and other important people happy.
Here are five website essentials for comedians. If you can tick this lot off you’re much more likely to be onto a winner, which in this context means being the proud owner of a beautiful, fully functional website that’s a real pleasure for agents, promoters and fans to enjoy.
1. Your website is no laughing matter
You might feel an irresistible urge to impose your hilarious personality on your website. But stop right there.
While you might not feel entirely comfy with anything that feels the least bit ‘corporate’, weird user interfaces just don’t work. Stuff like navigation is usually simple for a reason, helping people find their way around a website quickly and easily. Buttons that don’t look like buttons just exasperate visitors. Wacky backgrounds mean people can’t read your important content.
As a rule of thumb, not many people arrive at a website wanting a laugh. But a lot of them will click away, exasperated, from a site with a confusing layout, no matter how much they love you.
2. Provide everything promoters need
As your comedy career progresses, you’ll need to influence all sorts of decision makers. The most famous comedy acts have entire teams poring over the fine details. But if you’re on the up, busy climbing the career ladder, it’s vital to bear in mind the people who matter. Invariably it’s agents and promoters, the people who want to contact or book you. And they’re the people who often get short shrift where web design and development are concerned.
You might insist on injecting your website with personality and adding a host of quirky features. But it’s much more important to provide a short show reel, a gig list revealing the level at which you’re performing, top quality, high definition photo for them to download for promotional materials and an easy-to-find contact email address. Without all this you risk driving time-strapped promoters and other important influencers away.
We’ve seen it happen. Getting it right can make all the difference between fame and fortune and sinking like a stone.
3. Get a show reel before you get a website
Promoters and agents want to see you in action. You can play with your website ’til you’re blue in the face, adding brilliant blog posts, thrilling podcasts and side-splitting features. But a video of you doing your stuff on stage will get you better results than anything else, assuming you’ve already taken into account points one and two above.
A top agent will always ask for a link to your show reel. And they’ll make a decision in just a couple of minutes. If you don’t already include videos of you in action, perhaps you could do a free gig and ask if someone can record the event in return.
4. Keep your website fresh and current
There’s only one thing worse than not having a website, and that’s having an out-dated one. Listing out of date gigs is the quickest way to look like an amateur. We’re constantly amazed by how few comedians, even the most successful, leave old gig listings on their websites. It’s crazy, especially when an experienced website designer will make sure old gig dates are automatically hidden from view, which means you don’t even have to think about it.
Fresh content is just one of the many reasons we almost always recommend a WordPress website, which is just as simple to use as Facebook or Twitter. The WordPress platform makes it ridiculously easy to maintain a website, and as long as you tell us up front that you want to manage your tour dates, we’ll make it happen for you.
5. Do social media
Be active on social media. At least on Twitter and Facebook. And make sure you have a live feed going straight into your homepage, so you can update it quickly from anywhere in the world, complete with a time stamp, so people know you’re alive and kicking.
If you’re currently a Norman no-mates with very few Facebook followers or likes, promote your Facebook page or account via Twitter. You don’t need to spend a fortune in either time or cash to generate fans, and agents and promoters love it when a comedian has a juicy, lively, active social media profile.
Need help with your comedian website?
Take a look at our website and you’ll see we already work with a bunch of the most successful comedians in Britain. If you’d like to get where they are, we know exactly how to help you do it. Bear these five tips in mind and together we’ll create an extraordinary online presence that pleases everyone that matters, including you.