Being a Children’s Entertainer is almost certainly a ‘calling’ – you either love it and live for it or leave this career path pretty quickly. It’s amazing, fulfilling, delightful, exhausting, frustrating, very simple and very complicated all at the same time. It has all the same benefits and drawbacks that you get from being an adult entertainer but magnified. Working with little people raises the stakes, making the fun and the challenges bigger…
For those of you who wouldn’t dream of doing anything else, here are our 6 tried and tested top tips for being a truly successful Children’s Entertainer. Tick one off every week for the next 6 weeks and watch the bookings come rolling in…
Whatever your act, you can always add some extra skills and touches to give your show or service that bit of extra magic. If you’re a magician or a hula hoop performer, learn some basic balloon modelling. If you’re a clown or a costume performer, learn some simple magic tricks. If you own a puppy, teach him some tricks but check with bookers first before arriving. You can even go so far as to branch out into a whole new area – can you offer face-painting or a mini-disco for example? There are some really good videos and tips on these types of skills on this Children’s Entertainers blog post. Adding value to your offering and bringing skills that can add to the entertainment and smiles will make you extra-popular with both the parents and kids.
2) Rapport is Key
This may seem very obvious to some of you, but it’s always worth reminding yourself that developing good rapport with your main clients (the little ones!) is the key to a successful performance.
You can start with:
- Mirroring: copy movement and speech patterns, either subtly or to comic effect!
- Matching and pacing: if they are super-excited, be super-excited and slowly reduce the tempo to where you want it to be.
- The ‘Yes’ set: start by asking three questions to which you know the answer will be a resounding ‘yes’.
And never forget that children love to take part – if they are a bit shy, being given a bit of responsibility for something works wonders, and for the loud and boisterous, they clearly would love to be the star of the show.
3) Find your USP
Before you even start looking at your marketing and branding, ask yourself this simple question: ‘What is different about my show/service?’. Dig right into your offering and figure out what makes you special and why Mums and Dads will want to book you.
This is also a good stage to start thinking more generally about why parents may want to book you. For example, how long will you occupy the children for? Will your teach them something new or just wear them out?! Will it mean that the parents have time to get other things ready or just take a rest? Will it make their lives simpler and easier? In this busy-busy world, this last one is what many parents are looking for, so think hard about how your show or service achieves this.
4) Review your Marketing Materials
Once you’re feeling confident about your Unique Selling Point, it should make it much easier to approach your marketing materials with fresh eyes. Make sure your logo design, act description and photos all reflect your USP and are appropriate for the age group you are targeting. There’s a lot more advice on getting the best photos, writing a great bio and creating a fantastic showreel in our blog.
A big part of your marketing should always be getting and sharing your testimonials, so make sure you have some of these at the ready. As a member of Entertainers Worldwide you can ask bookers to post a testimonial on your page – it’s easy for them and does wonders for your bookings!
5) Get Job Alerts & Get Found on Google
We have new jobs and requests for children’s entertainers every week, and you can get email alerts every time something new is added, just by registering here. And when you activate your profile, you’ll be easy to find on google for anyone searching for entertainers in your area. Not only that, but parents will also be able to contact you with questions about your act and book you direct, with no added commission.
You can create a wonderful, bright and beautiful profile on our website within the dedicated children’s entertainer listings, with loads of photos, video and a detailed description of your offering. It’s also a far easier way to be found by clients searching on the internet than setting up your own website and dealing with the complexities of SEO.
6) Get into Facebook
Although it’s true that Facebook is declining in popularity, a very large percentage of the many millions of users still on there are…Mums! And that makes Facebook a great place to do some marketing.
Start by setting up your own page, which can be linked to your Entertainers Worldwide profile, to give it that air of professionalism and credibility. You should aim to post on this page at least once a week, with new photos, testimonials and video blogs.
The next step is to join all the local Mums’ facebook groups. Once you’ve done this you can share your page to their group and introduce yourself, or give them an exclusive discount/offer. Don’t do this more than a couple of times a year and do check with admins that it’s okay to do this at all! If it’s a no, then just stick to watching for recommendation requests and offering your services that way.
We really hope these tips have given you food for thought, inspired you to jump in with both feet and motivated you to really get that career moving. Being a Children’s Entertainer is a wonderful profession, that brings so much joy and so many smiles – so get out there and make sure everyone knows you’re ready to entertain!
We’re always working to attract Children’s Entertainment Bookers to our website, and always need more acts to really cater well to this market – so if you’re not already a member with us, sign up here. Or if you’re already a member and ready to start taking those kids’ party bookings, sign-in and activate your profile now.