Wouldn’t it be great to combine work and play? The idea of using your unique skills to create an awe inspiring performance, and subsequently getting paid to do it seems like a pipe dream. How many people out there really make a living as a performer, and how do they manage it?
While there are quite a few factors in determining one’s success in the performance world, proper branding makes for a much easier climb up the ladder. From choosing the right name, to building a website, and social media, it’s a lot of work, but it’s something you have to being willing to commit to if you want to quit your day job.
1. Choose the Right Name:
This is pretty obvious, right? That’s the first thing any performer or band does when starting out. But don’t get too attached to anything until you’ve done your research, or you’ll regret it later. There’s no better tool when choosing a hoop name than Hooping.org’s Hoop Name Directory. Philo and the gang recently did a “pre”-spring cleaning of the list, and weeded out old and seemingly unused names. And while the number of chosen names can be discouraging, it forces you to choose something truly unique and creative. Notice how many names have the word “hoop” and “circle” in them. It’s not too late to join the party, just make sure that you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes.
Another great resource for names is Google. Write down all the names that you love, and simply start googling. If it’s already out there, those little search engines spiders will find it. With any luck, the names on the top of your list will still be available.
And remember that even with the utmost preparation, confusion can still occur. Our name, The Gyronauts, was chosen without too much prep work. After browsing through Hooping.org and Google, we were convinced that it was completely unique. And then one day, we stumble across The Pyronauts. Wow, that’s only 1 letter different, but we were already committed. And in the long run, the names are very rarely confused. But remember that even the best names may not be bulletproof. You just have to remember to accept it, move on, and do your own thing.
2. Create a Website:
This is crucial to your development as a business, for many reasons. If you have a website, people are very unlikely to accidentally take your name. It’s all about protecting your brand, and by making yourself known you can better protect yourself. Not only that, but Hooping.org requires a valid URL to be included on the list of names. And even though that list isn’t legally binding, it dissuades people from attempting to simply steamroll you for the naming rights.
A website also acts as an incredible calling card. Even if you don’t know the first thing about web design, there are plenty of sites that allow you to build a site without any knowledge of html. WordPress, Wix, Intuit, SquareSpace and Joomla all operate (to varying degrees) on the notion that you know nothing of coding. They’re easy to use and cost very little to nothing.
What’s even better is if you can purchase a domain name containing your performance name. So many domains are already taken, so be patient, search around and don’t be afraid to use .net, .org, or even .co as all these are recognized are worldwide domains.
3. Get Social
Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Youtube are extremely important these days when it comes to marketing yourself. Create a Facebook page for your group, or yourself, get your friends to like it, and after 25 likes you can create your own URL name (i.e. facebook.com/awesomehoopers). Get on Twitter and scoop up your troupes name, or something close. And make sure to create a seperate Youtube account just for your group or persona. It keeps things clean and easy to understand for potential bookers.
This can be a lot of work at first, but it’s well worth it. Without an online presence, people won’t be able to find you, contact you, or hire you. It looks professional, and I found that looking professional made me act and feel more professional. And it will get frustrating, so remember to breathe and play. You won’t become a millionaire in this business, and it’s not worth doing unless you enjoy it.
-Photo (Feature): NASA
Creator of GyroPulse and Co-Founder of The Gyronauts. Social Media Manager at Saatchi NY. Loving the Hoop since 2006. Loving the Poi since 2007. Loving the Burn since 2007 More from this author