As a performer who performs almost every weekend, I know a lot of you are scratching your heads wondering how I got so lucky. It’s not luck, but business savvy, my hooping friends.
Gigsalad: You can create a free account and let event planners in your area find you, or have a paid account and get access to “gig soup”, a searchable database of people looking for gigs in
your area. I have a gigsalad account and it’s already paid for itself many times over. The benefit of a paid account is that you can add more photos & videos, link back to your website, and get featured on gig salad’s main page.
Craigslist: Look in the “Events” section as well as the “Talent” section. You can do a search in each section for “dancer” or “party entertainment.” Be aware that most ads looking for a dancer are looking for strippers
Twitter: I’ve gotten many leads from Twitter by doing a search for “face painters in Philly”. You can do the same thing for hoop dancers. When you respond to the person’s tweet, they are usually delighted that you found them.
Facebook: If you don’t have a facebook page for your business or performing persona, go and make one now. Post videos, photos and exclusive content for your fans. Often times someone you know will be interested in hiring you to perform.
Your local Community Center or Library: I live in a one square mile town, so I thought the chances of having regular performing gigs around this sleepy, quaint area were slim to none.
I was wrong, luckily. I made flyers and posted them in the Library. Within days I received calls about doing children’s workshops. So far I’ve worked with dozens of libraries in the area.
People you know: On any given day, someone you know might be having a party or celebration. Offer to perform there. In exchange, you get to hand out your business cards (which are super cheap on vistaprint.com by the way) and make connections with people who are impressed by your talent.
Did this post help you? Feel free to leave a comment telling me all about it.
i have been pulling teeth to get performing gigs but unfortunately everyone is just wanting me to do stuff for free because event coordinators want all the money, it's really annoying, and then i am competing against drunk stripper type girls
Be persistent. I target a completely different market because I cannot tolerate loud music or smokey bars: kids parties! And let me tell you they are super fun and pay really well.
It really depends on the gig...some gigs I have made $150 for a half an hour...others a lot less. Keep in mind I have been performing for years. I did not start out making that much $$$. I'll be working on other articles about how to break into performing. A lot of helpful resources can be found on my blog at http://www.sarahmacjordan.wordpress.com
I'd love to hear how you broke into the kids parties. That is what I am currently persueing too but don't seem to be very good at making it happen.
Well, in my town there are lots of kid-friendly events that I have volunteered for in the past (parades, kids day, farmer's market), that sort of thing. While hooping there, I would hand out my card to people who asked and mention that I do kids parties.
I mostly teach children's classes as well, so a lot of parents know me from the classes that I do.
It's also a good idea to ask your best customers for a referral. For example, "do you know anyone whose kids are having a birthday party? I'd love to give them a deal on a hooping party." Hope this helps!
My pleasure! :)
never heard of gigsalad...thanks for the tip :)
I wonder if there is a market for dance performances featuring hoop dance. I'm a ballet and modern dancer by training. Very interested in starting to perform as a hooper as I'm not performing any other dance right now. I'm not interested in working with kids and I don't mind the club/events circuit although that's probably not really my style either. But I've been thinking for some time to create a show featuring hoopers. Have you performed in something like this? Maybe it doesn't exist and I have to create it. Thoughts?
Jyen, we have a similar background. I'm not the club dancer type of hooper either, but I love performing at Casinos...you should look into it! They're are 70's and 80's themed Casinos that I perform at...it's super fun!