Whether you want to ditch your day job and make comedy your full-time gig or keep the day job and have comedy as a lucrative side-hustle, treating your comedy career like any other successful small business owner is key to wasting less time and making more money.
It’s so easy to bob along in comedy, wondering each month how much money you might make and never really feel like you’re in the drivers seat of your finances and career path. With almost twenty years having flown by since starting comedy, Erica Sigurdson has developed a series of ‘best-practices’ that were learned by doing it the hard way as well as being taught by successful peers, both in comedy and in life.
After close to 15 years working in Canada as a comic, constantly being surprised/horrified at how much money I would make in a year I decided I was sick of being at the mercy of fate and that if I was going to continue to work in comedy, I didn’t want to be a broke comic. I wanted to make a good living (not decent – GOOD), go on vacations and just possibly put a little something away for retirement. Over the next five years, I focussed on growing my business, improving my comedy and increasing my income every year by at least 15% per year with the goal of breaking six figures in Canada.
Defining your income streams – Invoicing programs/procedures and how to use these as they apply to your income targets for the next quarter/six months/year.
Defining NEW income streams – Whether it be writing for television, corporates, The Debaters, Comedy Festivals – what are the income streams you might want to pursue?
SoundExchange: Taxes, forms, producing an album etc. Helping comics with the paperwork and answering questions about the tax situation are the most common question asked by those just entering into a relationship with SoundExchange.
Corporate Comedy – What is it? Who does it? If it’s so terrible, WHY?
Charitable Requests – “Oh no, my brother’s best friend’s uncle is throwing a fundraiser…AGAIN’ How to know and communicate your value in this situation.
Pricing – If you decide not to use an agent to book you for gigs, how do you know what to charge? Sample ‘deal memo’ included.
Taxes – How to not find yourself in serious trouble
Promotional Materials/Advertising, etc. – These are the basics – sending out bio’s/headshot and managing your on-line presence.
What you’ll leave with – Not only will you leave with a greater understanding of how to fire up your comedy career but with an actual plan in place, through a template we’ll provide, for the next six to twelve months to keep you on track so you don’t wander off the path.
You are in business and this, my friend, will be your new business plan.