“Only post a small preview of your material online” seems to be the accepted truth about stand-up comedians website’s and how they should do their marketing and promotion. The thinking is, if all of your material is online, nobody is going to want to see your show. I disagree with this for a few reasons:
- Videotaped performance is not a substitute to the live thing, it’s a compliment. Taped performances can also be turned into a souveneir for fans to take the performance home
- For every person who might not see you live because they see your video (and I’m sure there’s a few, but they probably wouldn’t have come out anyway), you may get two new people to see you who wouldn’t have otherwise
- It forces you to keep writing new material
- If the purpose of your site is to get a person to come to one of your shows, then you don’t want to post the whole show online. If your purpose is to develop a relationship with fans, and maybe even lead a tribe, then you want to show your fans how you’re growing and improving, and leave room for their suggestions. (Just one example, the broadway musical Cats was so successful because there were people who’d seen the show ten, twenty and even sixty times. This in turn generates an additional buzz and awareness among people.)
- Some of your fans may live far away or be unable to make shows live, the more they can see of you, the more likely they’ll want to come by when you’re live and in their area
- Information (even humorous information) wants to be free
My philosophy, until proven otherwise, is to upload as much of my material and sets as possible.
Before anyone calls me a hypocrite, let me do it myself: I don’t post all my sets onto my homepage, I have 2-3 good videos there and post the rest of the videos to this blog, where I think the true fans will go. If someone is taking a 2 minute look at me before deciding to come out and see me, they don’t need to see the videos of me trying out new material and bombing.
Comments, especially those calling me crazy, are welcome 🙂