10 Pieces of Quick, Blunt Advice for Those Who are Starting Out on the Road to New "Professional" StoryTeller-dom.
1. "Professional" is about you and your ability to deliver, as a storyteller, above and beyond what your clients need. Professional is knowing what those needs are before your client knows they have them. If you call yourself "professional" just because you make money at it, stop. Always give value above and beyond what your client has paid for. Give, give, give.
2. You need a storytelling repertoire of at least twice what your client seeks. If they want 1/2 hour, then you need at least an hour. If you want to work festivals, you need at least six hours of no-repeat material and another two hours as back up.
3. Get listed in on-line directories. Your clients are searching the Internet no matter if you "get it" or are "comfortable" with it. Start with the best (and yet still most affordable) directory at Storyteller.net.
4. Use both sides of your business card.
5. Large postcards are king for direct postal mail. You need to have at least monthly contact with everyone on your mailing list. Some pros I work with say at least weekly.
6. Donít send Emails to a potential client unless they have asked you first. NEVER harvest Emails from any site anywhere. Your good intentions do not make up for poor ethics and angry, never-going-to-use-you-now clients.
7. Choose one charity in your life that you want to support with free performances. Charge everyone else for your time.
8. Your own full-size website is a must, although you can start with and still need to be in directories. Let your future clients see, hear and read about you and from you.
9. Always learn, always take classes, always be a listener. Get a coach, get a guild, get some books, scan the web. For example, Storyteller.net has boatloads of content and more is added every week or so.
10. As a "professional tellers" you will spend most of your time marketing, not storytelling. Get used to that fact and drown yourself in marketing books, workshops and techniques. Here is some free training right now.
And...more than you have paid for:
11. This article is a must-read for all performers: http://www.storyteller.net/articles/208
12. Develop CDís and Videos as alternative income streams. You are going to need it. Soon.