Today I’m interviewing Erikka Innes, a nationally touring comedian, award-winning writer and Commander of the Nerd Legion. Her twitter handle @nerdgirlcomedy is recommended by the San Francisco Weekly as a top choice to follow if you like to laugh. Her tweets have been featured in the Huffington Post, NY Post, and Washington Times. Her new album “Smells Like Nerd Spirit” is available on iTunes.
1. How are you using the internet / social media to promote your career?
I like using it to find new fans and stay in touch with existing ones. It’s great to be able to joke around with people on facebook and twitter. Some people have been with me since the very beginning when I had barely 1,000 followers on twitter.
2. Have you noticed the payoff yet?
Yes – it’s made all kinds of people more aware of me.
3. What do you think about posting videos of your show online?
I like uploading a set with a private link that can be sent to bookers or other interested parties. Sometimes I will post a publicly available clip from my comedy, but I do this sparingly. You want people to know what they’ll see if they come to your show, but you don’t want to give everything away. Also, if you want to make an album or DVD, posting a set with material from it isn’t a great idea since it’s no longer fresh to your fans.
4. How do you think digital tools will change comedy?
Digital tools make it easier to reach people all over the world. They also make it easier to create and distribute your own products like an album. I am a big fan of DIY.
5. How much information do you tend to share on the social networks?
My general goal is to try to be engaging, funny, and find out what other people are doing that’s engaging or funny. Mix up the three, and you’re doing fine with what you’re sharing. I try avoid things that don’t fit one of these three categories. I don’t avoid anything specifically, unless I can’t think of a way to make it fun.
6. What is your weirdest online experience involving your comedy career?
Once I wrote that the song “Steal My Sunshine” by Len was a good song to cut yourself to. Twitter found that really funny, but my favorite part was when the actual band Len favorited my tweet. I like the song “Steal My Sunshine” so I was glad they were amused instead of annoyed.
Other stuff that’s happened is less weird and more cool – once I posted about liking the comic book series “Pinocchio Vampire Slayer.” The author of the books wrote back on twitter and sent me a free autographed copy of their latest book. I was on cloud nine for days over that. I love those books.
7. In addition to performing, I see you produce shows and tours. As far as online goes, what are the differences between promoting a show/tour and yourself?
When you promote, you focus on ways to reach your audience. You focus on how you want to present what you are selling to make it appealing. If it’s a tour, you focus on what the tour is about, and if it is for yourself, you focus on what you are about. How much or how little the two overlap depends on the tour.
8. You just released a new album, are you printing physical copies too, or only doing digital release via iTunes, etc. Why?
I do both physical copies and a digital release. Physical copies are great because you can be booked on a show that doesn’t pay, and walk away with your own pay because you’ve sold some albums. It’s a great way for people to support your art. Digital copies are great for reaching fans that are far away.
9. You’ve written for multiple newspaper, what do you think will happen to newspapers in another ten years?
Newspapers are moving online. Over time in print papers will disappear and online or electronic media will be what is available.