On Saturday 12 April 2014 I made my comedy debut at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Yes, I appeared live on stage “for one night only” as part of the Tim Vine Chat Show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. How did this happen? Well I employed all the social media tactics I use online in an offline environment to help me achieve this awesome gig. Confused? Let me explain.
[Tweet “How social media tactics can get you a gig at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival”]
Whilst waiting for the hilarious Tim Vine to appear on stage we were prompted via Tim’s voice over to complete a simple form on our seat. It read:
- Tell me something interesting about yourself:
My husband, the introvert, has had a fear of being called up on stage ever since a few years back when he was dragged up on stage at a circus and had knives thrown at him by clowns. He chose not to fill in the form. Being the extravert that I am (with no shame), I was super keen to be chosen to go up on stage and share my story. So I got straight to work on crafting my response. I was in with a better chance than most (just because I bothered completing the form), but secretly I knew I would be chosen. After 30mins of non-stop laughter, Tim started calling guests up onto the stage. There were five guests in total and guess who’s name was called out fourth? Yep, moi!
Social Media Tactics
My formula was simple. I had four opportunities to impress Tim and this is where my social media skills kicked in. I pretended I was doing SEO for a blog post title, crafting a status update for higher engagement or trying to encourage people to open my email. This is what I wrote:
- Name: This was my branding opportunity. If I had a quirky name, I would’ve played on this, but as “Loren Bartley” is fairly plain, I just wrote it as is. This was not my selling point. Instead I was relying on my other tactics to jump out and grab him.
- Occupation: I was fairly certain that there wouldn’t be too many other “Social Media Educators” in the room and thought that would’ve given me an advantage to stand out. Had my title have been a little more boring like “IT Support”, I probably would’ve jazzed it up a little and called myself a “Computer Fixer-uper-er”. In hindsight I wish I had’ve included my company name too, as it would’ve been nice if he had have mentioned that to the room of 300 plus people.
- Tell me something interesting about yourself: Here I wrote “I once met the Queen and I offended her”. I deliberately kept it brief and I didn’t provide any details in hope that he would want to invite me up on stage and ask me about that experience. I do this on a daily basis when crafting a blog post title and meta-description in a way that will encourage people to click through. Same goes with an email subject line when you want people to open it. Or a status update when you want people to follow the link or engage in conversation.
- There wasn’t a fourth question, but I saw that there was still a fourth opportunity. I handed my piece of paper in to the guy that was collecting them straight away. He was shuttling the papers back stage in small batches as soon as he received a few and I figured that the earlier I got mine in, the more likely I would be shortlisted. Other people would then be compared against me, rather than me being compared against them. This was my early adopter mentality kicking in, combined with my desire to break the news first when advising my community about a change in social media that may impact their business.
So it came as no surprise to me when he said, “The next person to come on stage is a Social Media Educator. Now all the Social Media Educators in the room are desperately wondering whether or not it is going to be them.” The uniqueness of my title had provided him with material! Once on stage, I went to work on making my appearance more memorable than the others. He had clicked through to learn more about me and I wanted to make sure he got value from doing so, as some of the previous guests had fallen flat and I wanted my performance to stand out. The first thing I did was to stay true to my brand and theme by asking him if I could take a selfie as soon as he questioned me about my career. He obliged. I then played along with his lead and divulged the details of my story about when I visited Buckingham Palace, met the Queen and inadvertently offended her. My only regret was that I stuffed up my own punch line when telling the story. I blame it on all those bright lights! Regardless, I had a fantastic time. The experience took my enjoyment of the evening to a whole knew level. By employing these simple social media tactics in an offline environment, I was able to achieve a much greater reach for my story. Effectively, he clicked through and then shared it with 300 plus of his friends that night. As a result, I got exposure into an audience that I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.
[Tweet “How to get people to click through & share your story to gain exposure into a new audience”]
I now challenge you to do the same. What can you do when sharing your stories around your business via social media to encourage people to click through, read more and share? Tell me in the comments below your tips for gaining a higher click through rate and more shares.