Hey Dave – I was wondering what a letter of recommendation from someone you hosted an event for should entail. – J.W.
Hey J.W. – Pretty much anything that’s positive about what you contributed to the event. The idea is to show potential bookers you have a track record – experience – at helping to make other events successful. And as we all know, all event planners and talent bookers also want their events to be successful.
Here are a few examples of feedback that work in a good letter of recommendation:
- Great performance
- Lots of laughs
- Engaged the audience
- Easy to work with
- Great audience feedback
- Went out of your way to make the event a success
All that type of good word is… well, good word for you.
What you’re also looking for is one great sentence or a few short ones together that you can pull out and use on the homepage of your website, LinkedIn, Facebook or other one-page promo.
“J.W. was very funny and our audience loved him. We look forward to working with him again.” – name of client / company / event, etc…
The idea is to use this sentence as a blurb, which is a short and positive review similar to what you see on the back of book covers. Or now that so many books are eBooks, these are the blurbs or quotes – recommendations from reviewers – that usually follow the book cover image. These are enticements, which is another word for advertisements that will keep potential buyers interested in reading the book.
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I know I’m getting off track, (my track record?), but for an example of how a good blurb should be written go online to the Amazon.com Kindle Store.
You don’t need a Kindle reader to do this. Find any book and click “Look Inside.” This will pretty much work with any eBook…
When you click “Look Inside,” a separate window will open and you’ll get a free sample of the book to look through, (very cool!). It’s just like going to your local bookstore because you can check out the books before you buy.
Okay, like I said I’m going off track (you were warned), but follow me on this. It’ll make sense at the end…
Unlike physical books with real paper pages, eBooks only offer the beginning of each book you want to sample. So publishers and advertisers, (enticers), need to grab a reader’s attention right from the first page. There can be no wasted space.
So instead of being similar to a paper book that starts out with title pages, copyright pages, thank you pages, blank pages and other traditional book beginnings, it’s important for eBooks to entice readers right from the very start into purchasing the book.
There is no back cover for an eBook to display descriptions (advertisements) about what’s inside. So right after the cover image you’ll see an overview of the book and the best reviews (advertisements) – blurbs. Following a Table of Contents (some traditions are hard to break) it’ll jump right into the beginning of the book.
This way potential buyers get an immediate feel for what they’re buying. The copyright info and all the rest of the legal stuff is at the end of the eBook. It’s needed to keep the government and tax man off your back – but never helps to make a sale.
Now, to get back on track – I’m bringing all this up because…
YOU as a comedian or humorous speaker need to start thinking the same way. You’re selling your service just like publishers sell their eBooks. These online books are great FREE examples of how advertising (blurbs and letters of recommendation) should look and work for you. Take a look at the short and attention grabbing one or two sentence reviews at the beginning of an eBook and you’ll understand what you should be looking for in a letter of recommendation and what to pull out and use in your promo material for a blurb.
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Get great blurbs (advertising) and put them where potential clients (buyers) will be sure to see them – near the beginning of your promo. It will entice them to read more about you. And if they like what they read, they’ll continue to read. And once they know more about the positives you can bring to their event – you’ll have a better chance of nailing the job.
You can also check out websites for other comedians and speakers. Any of us that have great letters of recommendation will have them posted online for potential clients to read. And blurbs? Come’on – that’s a given. Websites for working comics and speakers are loaded with them.
The deal is that you can talk yourself up all you want – and great salesmen are skilled at that. But nothing beats someone else talking you up. That’s what a great review – letter of recommendation and blurbs – will accomplish.
* Next week I’ll give you a tip on how to get letters of recommendation. Stay tuned…
Dave Schwensen is the author of How To Be A Working Comic: An Insider’s Business Guide To A Career In Stand-Up Comedy, Comedy FAQs And Answers: How The Stand-Up Biz Really Works, and Comedy Workshop: Creating & Writing Comedy Material for Comedians & Humorous Speakers.
For information about these books, upcoming comedy workshops and private coaching for comedians and speakers in person, by phone or via Skype visit www.TheComedyBook.com
Copyright 2013 – North Shore Publishing