Because I Have it all Together, and Other Lies I Want You to Believe About Me

How to Be Happy: What Happiness Truly Is – WARNING – You’re Not Going to Like It

Stacy Pederson Funny Motivational Inspirational Speaker

What would it take to make you happy? For you to ultimately find true happiness? A million dollars? A different job? A skinnier body? A better spouse? Everyone to stop bothering you? (Which brings me back to a different job and a better spouse…)

 

Are you trapped into thinking your unhappiness is a direct result of your life being a struggle, a disappointment, a chaotic mess?

Continue reading “How to Be Happy: What Happiness Truly Is – WARNING – You’re Not Going to Like It”

Thanks to Daren Streblow for Having Me On His Comedy Show Again

 

Clean Comedy Show Daren Streblow

Thank you to Daren Streblow for having me on his comedy show again. It was a difficult, deep confession but I feel better now that it’s out. You can hear more by clicking the link below.

 

The Daren Streblow Comedy Show Mini-Cast 169: Bank, Stacy Pederson & Ken Davis

 

Stacy Pederson is a Colorado based Humorist and Funny Motivational Speaker who is incessantly insecure with a chronic Thai Food / Netflix binge habit.

StacyPederson.com

 

 

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How to Write an Epic Blog Post in 7 Easy Steps + 10 More

Stacy Pederson Funny Motivational Speaker

 

So you want to be a writer. Better yet a blogger. An EPIC blogger. Prose flowing means money growing. Here’s a simple 17 step plan millions of bloggers have used to write their first epic post:

  1. Spend anywhere from 1 hour to 10 years on developing the right kind of blog your passionate about. A topic that will stick with you like cellulite or your worse junior high memory.

 

  1. Make a decision to finally write your blog post. This usually happens “in the moment” after something disastrous in your life happens. A break up, job loss, 40th birthday…credit card statement comes due.

Continue reading “How to Write an Epic Blog Post in 7 Easy Steps + 10 More”

How to Be Happy at Work- Eat a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Peanut bHow to Be Happy at Workutter and jelly. It’s hard to imagine one without the other. Peanut butter alone between two pieces of bread. Jelly alone between two pieces of bread. Not delish. Together? FABULOUS!

It’s difficult to understand why two separate items from opposite ends of the spectrum could work so well together. Peanut butter: a root, under the ground, plain colored, in a shell. Jelly: made from colorful fruit, above ground, pretty and sweet.

What’s this have to do with happiness? Happiness and work.

The two seem polar opposite. One entails visions of flitting around in fields or lounging on a beach. The other entails the ugly, under the ground, boring, day-to-day grind. Don’t we work hard so that one day we won’t have to work hard, so that we can finally do what we want, so that we can finally be happy?

If you want to live a happy life you’re going to have to smash work and happiness together. On one end lies birth. The other end lies-death. All that life in the middle is an intermixed mess of work and your happiness.

Here’s What Work Does for You:

Flow factor. Here’ a fantastic Ted X talk on Happiness and “Flow”. goo.gl/p4V1MI

I’ll give you the movie trailer version. Scene zooms in. There’s you at work immersed in a task. You’re in the height of problem solving and progress. You suddenly look up dazed and confused because you’ve completely lost track of time. That’s flow. Well…that’s the highlight of flow. (You’ll have to watch the full length version if you want to know more.) Flow makes you happy. Rated “E” for everyone. Available for you to stream immediately.

Belonging. One good co-worker, a client that you love, a boss that you can help. We are social beings. YES-there are those you’d be fine NEVER SEEING AGAIN. However, perusing around at home day in and day out working alone does not make you happy. Don’t argue with me if you don’t like that last sentence. Argue with science.

Sense of Purpose. We all need a sense of purpose or long-term goal that is not “me” oriented. You are a part of something bigger at work. And NO it’s not just about money. You are helping your company or organization contribute something that is needed in the market place. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be in business. Think bigger, though. People need their jobs. Your co-workers have families. They need food in their stomach, gas in their tank and a roof over their head. By you doing your job well you are contributing to their lives by helping ensure you all have a place to work at tomorrow.

Security. Unfortunately, as much as my artist heart hates to admit it, we all need money to survive. I’ve not been able to work on a few different occasions and, at one point, lost everything. It’s not fun. It’s not fun being in a place where you are unable to pay your rent or buy your kid’s shoes. The security of knowing you will have a paycheck GREATLY contributes to your overall well-being and ultimate happiness.

The happiest people I’ve known have always worked in one way or another. My Dad is a great example. He retired three years early, taking a smaller retirement, so he could work. He volunteers all of his time building or repairing homes for people who need it. Flood damage, tornadoes, or just a family who’s trying to build a home on a minimal budget. My Dad lives simple, in a very modest home he built himself, on a very limited budget, and is one of the happiest people I’ve ever known. The only time I’ve seen him miserable in the last 15 years is when he had cancer and wasn’t able to “work”.

If you want happiness, think of a PB & J. Makes no sense why it’s so good. A good life requires work.  A happy life requires work.

One last thought, for those who think PB & J is not so great, it was once only enjoyed by the very wealthy and served at the finest restaurants.  If you lived a hundred years ago you’d really think this sandwich was something. Hope you enjoy one on your lunch hour today.

Stacy Pederson  is a Colorado based Humorist and Funny Motivational Speaker who is incessantly insecure with a chronic Thai Food / Netflix binge habit.

StacyPederson.com

Why Bill Murray & Paul Schaffer’s New Song “Happy Street” Can Literally Make You Happier

Bill Murray and Paul Schaffer’s newly released video, “Happy Street” has a simple recipe for happiness. Want to be happier? Do what Bill Murray says!

Here are a few lyrics that can literally make you happier:

Paul Schaffer: “How are you doin?”

Bill: “Right now I’m just lovin’ the way that I’m walking, baby.”

Mindfulness. Bill’s statement on loving how he’s walking reveals he’s only thinking about the present moment. He’s not worried about what’s happening in the future, nor contemplating the past.

The definition of mindfulness is: “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

In a 2013 Massachusetts General Hospital study, participants who practiced mindfulness experienced a significant reduction in anxiety. Other studies have shown mindfulness helps in reducing depression, improving focus, and reducing fatigue.

Want to feel better? Take a step outside and love the way you walk!

“Take a step outside”. Want to be happier? Once again, get off your rear and step outside. That’s all it takes. Nature amps up brain waves, gives you a nice dose of mood improving Vitamin D, and reduces stress.

“It’s so great to be alive”. Gratitude. Being thankful for the small-even the fact you are alive-can greatly improve your overall happiness. According to an article from Harvard https://goo.gl/ghHFNB: “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

“Smiling at those you meet”. The literal act of smiling, whether you feel like it or not, is associated with greater happiness and reducing anxiety. Why? Smile lines around the eyes. The muscles around the eye trigger a change in brain activity that boosts mood.

AND my favorite: “When things ain’t cool, here’s my real simple rule. Why not just change your point of view?” The power of your perspective is mighty. The simple act of changing the way you view or approach life, or how you perceive a difficult situation, greatly determines your own personal happiness. Remember, your way of looking at life or a problem is not the only way. As my husband likes to say, “There’s a million ways up a mountain.” You may be right in certain things you observe and “feel” about life-but you’re way is not the definitive. If your perception is making you miserable-change it!

So, if you’re feeling blue-here’s what you do. Pick up a beat and listen to my new favorite song: “Happy Street”.

 

Stacy Pederson  is a Colorado based Humorist and Funny Motivational Speaker who is incessantly insecure with a chronic Thai Food / Netflix binge habit.

StacyPederson.com

 

 

 

HUGE List of Tips and Tricks on How to Film Video for Your Speaking Business

 

Video Tips How to Look Better Film Better Videos

 

Do you want to start filming videos to help grow your speaking business? Here’s a long list, plus extra tips and tricks, on shooting great videos.

 

 

 

 

Basic Camera Do’s & Don’ts

If delivering content directly to the camera:

-Stand if possible

-Plant feet and keep knees slightly bent

-Practice calming down your quirks (knee popper, foot shuffler, shirt grabber, arm flayer). Take excess nerves and energy and practice projecting it through your voice and eyes.

-Don’t look at the camera, look through it.

-Learn to relax shoulders and keep head mostly still to stay inside the “frame”.

-Know where your “mark” is. If walking forward or sideways, hit your mark without looking by using visual ques of your surroundings.

-When they call “action” give a 3 count before beginning. Also, hold when you are done until the call “cut”. This helps the editing process.

-Be careful not to hold anything across your body, or gesture out of the frame or in front of your face. The camera catches everything and makes it bigger than it is. (Think of a bad ex-girlfriend who made drama out of everything. This is what the camera does.)

-If sitting, ladies sit on a phone book or something that slightly elevates your rear. Make you appear thinner and naturally sit straighter.

-Ladies, cross your legs the “newscaster” way. Keeps camera from shooting up your skirt.

-Breathe!…(but not too loud)

-Lighting and sound is everything

-Don’t be afraid of a teleprompter or ear prompter if you have a written script. Lots of apps for teleprompters. Practice with different speeds. Mark your scripts! Mark for pauses, camera angle changes, mood shifts, etc.

-Practice, practice, practice!

-Elongate neck

-Have camera just above eye level.

-Know who you are talking to. Talk Don’t stare at the view finder. Either look directly at camera or choose a focal point where you are looking just off the side of the frame.

-Personalize it

-Make it urgent and important. If yours is the last video they will ever see regarding the problem make it count.

-All videos should have a beginning, conflict, and an end.

-If you’re filming with someone, be forewarned you will be extremely close.

-All videos should have a beginning, middle, end

-Have your opener memorized, and your exit strategy. For the rest be very familiar with what you are going to say, but don’t worry about having it word for word.

 

When delivering content on stage to be filmed:

-Know your sightlines. Be clear on what portion of the stage the camera will cover and not cover. Mark the stage with gaffer or glow tape if needed.

-Keep body position open

-Be clear on where the cameras will be placed

-Always walk the stage beforehand!!!! You never know what little surprises-cracks, holes, step ups/downs are waiting there for you-especially if you’re wearing heels.

-Don’t look directly at the camera, even if it’s right in your face, unless you’ve specifically chosen that for style. (Called “breaking the fourth wall”)

-If your audio will be directly inputted in the recording through the sound board, ask about also recording ambient sound if you need to show audience engagement.

 

Wardrobe:

-Avoid green or blue if using green screen

-Avoid white or pale colors on stage. (Usually good to always avoid on stage-not just for filming. Lighting washes you out.)

-Be leery of red. Most high definition cameras can handle red now, but it’s a bold color that draws strong visual attention on film.

-No black.

-Blue, green, indigo and violet make excellent choices.

-No busy patters, stripes, etc. Best to use solid colors, especially those of your brand if you want the video on your website.

-If you wear glasses, make sure they have an anti-glare coating on them.

-Ladies, if wearing a dress, remember mic pack so think Spanx, sturdy bra, etc. I always have pockets in my dresses, as an extra back up. Pockets gets used more than I care to admit. (I have problems keeping my mic on from moving too much or utilizing the floor.)

-Best to bring button up shirt for eating and make up application. Keeps from messing up your hair when changing. NEVER eat and try not to drink anything staining during shoot.

-Always bring several outfits to choose from, especially if filming with another person, such as an interview. Lighting can really change the way an outfit looks, plus you don’t want to accidently match match your screen partner/partners.

-Having a grooming kit. This includes:

-Bleach pen for make up or food accidents.

-Small sewing kit

-Wrinkle releaser

-Lint brush

-Rice paper for shine for both men and women. Can also use Mac Blot Film

-Powder for women or for men who wear foundation. (Recommend MakeUp Forever HD Microfinish Powder)

-Anti static hair shine spray such as John Freida Frizz Ease, Bed Head Freak Serum, Straight & Sexy Hair Smooth

-Comb or anti-static brush

-Clear antiperspirant

-Dental Floss

-Peppermint (helps with dry mouth or tired voice)

-Nail polish for accidental chips while on set

-Shave kit for men

-If possible-hire a make-up artist if you know you are being filmed!! (Learned the hard way with free filming, but looked so bad couldn’t use the footage. $100 is cheap for a filmed talk.)

 

What to do when you mess up during filming:

-NEVER stop unless whoever is running the camera tells you to. Instead, stop talking without breaking your concentration, give a pause, go back a few lines, and re-start as if nothing happened, all while the camera is rolling. This helps the editing process and saves a lot of time. Never stop holding your focus/concentration/etc., until they say “cut”.

-If on the stage, and you are doing your speech SPECIFICALLY for filming purposes only, do the same as the above. You’ll save lots of time-which equals lots of dollars on your end.

-Don’t freak out-everyone messes up.

Stage/Camera fright:

-Everyone-even seasoned actors, etc., get nervous right before the cameras start rolling.

-There are those who are afraid so they don’t. There are those who are afraid and they do it anyway.

-There will always be someone prettier, smarter, thinner, better than you. Stop worrying about competing and being less than. Just be yourself.

Basic stage terms:

-Know your stage directions such as upstage/downstage. This is a good thing to know anyway for when you communicate with anyone regarding preparing the stage with props, lighting, podium, etc., for your talk.

-If holding anything from props to a power point, use your upstage hand.

-“Back of the house” means the back of the audience. Cameras are usually placed there for the “wide shot”.

-“Wings” are important for sightlines. If you can see the audience-they can see you. If you’re “appearing” from the wings, make sure you can’t see the audience. This is called “waiting in the wings”.

-If someone introduces you and exits as you enter, make sure you cross downstage to take focus.

-“Share focus” if someone is introducing you and you are onstage with them.

-Understand how to know if you are in the light if there are “hot spots” on stage. Lights are hung at a 45 degree angle, so you need to stand near the back of the hot spot, not the center to keep the top of your head from being chopped off.

Basic film terms if you choose to professionally shoot:

(The more you know how the filming process works and how to make everyone else’s job easier, the more $ you’ll save when filming.)

-Rolling. When the camera has begun filming.

-Speed. When the sound begins (this is usually when the clapboard is used to help in the editing process line up the sound with the visual.)

-Action, start (but use your 3 count).

-Cut. Stop

-Camera right-right side of the screen. This will be your left.

-Camera left-left side of the screen. This will be your left.

-Pan in-when camera zooms in closer

-Over the shoulder shot. (This is very awkward when you first experience this.) If you are filming with someone else such as an interview, they will want to get each of your reactions. In order to film your partners they will stick the camera right over your shoulder.)

-Cheating out. You’ll need to cheat your body towards the camera when talking with a partner and sometimes even carry a conversation without even looking at them but a spot that is closer to the camera. This can be difficult at first, but happens often. You can always ask your partner to stand wherever they’ve asked you to look for the shot and deliver your questions/answers that way.

-Wide shot. One shot that gets everything from a distance.

– ¾ shot-3/4 of your body.

-Close up-usually your shoulders and face.

-Extreme close up-shot for things like your eyes or your hand holding something.

-If you are interviewing or sharing a scene and you are having a conversation with your partner, you need to look in their eye that is the closest to the camera.

-“Hit your mark” designated spot on the floor where the camera is focused. If you miss it-you’ll be out of focus

-“Back to one” back to the beginning

If you are designing and paying for your shoot:

-You need a storyboard. This is a list of shots you want. Basically, your design for the shoot. You can work with the videographer, or if you have a decent budget and have a producer, director, etc., you’d work with them on this. This saves a TON of time the day of the shoot AND during editing.

-Remember your face is flipped in the camera from what you are used to seeing. The camera is what you actually look like. The mirror is a reversed image.

-The sound of your voice on camera is what you really sound like.

-You’ll need to watch a video at least 7 times to start getting over being grossed out about yourself and move on to the things that matter.

-Hire a makeup artist and stylist if you don’t know what’s good on camera. BUT hire them for the whole day. Don’t just have them make you up and run. They’ll take care of hair fly always, shine, crooked tie, sliding necklace, etc., in-between shots. Trust me Videographers NEVER notice these things and they can make or break your footage.

-Hydrate several days before the shoot so you look your best.

Favorite go to beauty routines before a shoot. As an actor, it’s a luxury to know, even 1 week out, the shoot date, as most of the time we have 48 hour or less notice. Consider it a blessing you have time to prepare! (Learned these through the years with modeling, film and always ask every make-up artist their advice. These are ones that have made a difference. High Def cameras show EVERYTHING!!!):

-3 days out start drinking a green smoothie that includes aloe vera juice and fish oil or flax oil once a day. Totally disgusting. Totally worth it.

-3 days out begin drinking water that has cucumber, blueberries, mint, lemon slices and a little ginger. Reduces puffiness and makes the skin look younger.

-Cheapest-most effective beauty mask: A little raw honey, plain yogurt or cream, and egg white. Steam your face for 10 minutes than put the mask on and leave for 30 minutes to one hour. Once again, totally disgusting. Totally worth it.

-Color your hair 2 weeks prior.

-No dairy or chocolate 24 hours prior to filming. I do this with performing in general is it effect your voice.

-No alcohol the night before. Makes your eyes puffy and red.

-Day of shoot eat easy to digest protein such as an egg and a complex carb such as sprouted grain toast. Eat low bloat foods.

 

Common denominators of extremely successful YouTube videos:

  • Title has 3 words or less
  • The word “funny” is helpful
  • There is either a look of surprise on the thumbnail, or a sexy image of a woman.
  • Thumbnails that are automatically generated by YouTube are the opening shot, closing shot, and exactly in the middle. Keeps this in mind when editing if you want to use their thumbnails.
  • The use of closed caption can up your ranks
  • Videos are under 2 minutes
  • The first 2 sentences in your description are key
  • Some people post the transcript under the video to make it keyword rich
  • If you want your video to go to a certain country besides the US, make the title both in English and the other language. (80% of YouTube viewers are from outside the US.)
  • Current best times to post are Thursday-Friday 12-3 pm, Saturday-Sunday 9-11 am

If you found this helpful, please pass on. 🙂

Stacy Pederson  is a Colorado based Humorist and Funny Motivational Speaker who is incessantly insecure with a chronic Thai Food / Netflix binge habit.

StacyPederson.com

30 Cheap and Easy Meeting and Event Planning Party Themes

Have a tight budget or not a lot of time to plan an event? Due to availability of décor, venues, color schemes, etc., I’ve found these themes extremely easy to plan with. (Note: they are all generic-no Mickey Mouse, Superhero, etc., If you choose to use a licensed character as a theme, you’ll pay more for party supplies. All of these events below can be done with general color schemes and décor to reduce your overall cost. )

 

  1. Tropical
  2. Cowboy/Cowgirl/Western
  3. Roman
  4. Princess/Castle/Medieval
  5. Garden
  6. Pirate
  7. Sports/Baseball/Football/Soccer
  8. Cityscape
  9. Theatre/Plays/Comedy
  10. Airplanes/Cars/Trains
  11. Farm
  12. Safari
  13. Time Periods: Such as Victorian/ 1950’s/1980’s/ etc.
  14. Fiesta/Mexican
  15. Ocean-Non Tropical/Nautical
  16. Movies/Hollywood-Especially Retro Hollywood (Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, etc.)/Oscars-Red Carpet/Movie Premier
  17. Mountains/Camping/Hiking/Outdoor
  18. School (especially fun for corporate when having the opportunity to drag in their high school pictures)
  19. Construction (Also great for corporate when revealing new product, changes within a company, or team building)
  20. Space
  21. Technology/Future/Retro Technology
  22. Rock Stars/Music/Funk/Rap/ etc.
  23. Tea Party
  24. Circus
  25. Road Trip/Diners/Route 66
  26. Retro Candy
  27. Zoo
  28. Opposite Seasons-Example: Christmas in July, Summer Vacation in January
  29. Winter Wonderland
  30. Enchanted Forest/Fairies
  31. AND a bonus! Prom. Yep a good old fashioned High School Prom theme complete with cheesy balloon arch for “prom pictures”.

Stacy Pederson  is a Colorado based Humorist and Funny Motivational Speaker who is incessantly insecure with a chronic Thai Food / Netflix binge habit.

StacyPederson.com

Questions to Ask When Planning an Event

Event Planning

As an actor, speaker, comedian, and past events coordinator, my work life revolves primarily around events. From weddings to huge corporate conferences to a small backyard bluegrass bbq, I’ve seen and experienced a lot. Every event is unique, but event planning is not. A $100,000 Conference requires the same planning process as a $100 birthday party. This series of blogs is designed to help you break down the planning process into simple steps to help make your event a success.

The Day of Doom

It was a normal workday. Nothing out of the ordinary, until your boss calls you in and tosses a casual comment about you heading up this year’s corporate party/event. As you walk out if his office, you can feel your stomach drop and the questions start to swirl. “Event? What kind of event? For who? Corporate as in, our office Corporate, or the entire across the US/World Corporate?”

Before scanning the internet for a new job, relax and jot down the following questions. You can either ask yourself, the event person from last year, your boss or anyone else in charge.

Who specifically is the Event For?

Is the event for your department? Entire Office? Are Spouses coming? Children? Is it for the community?

-If it is for the community-who exactly in the community?

Once this is answered you need to get specific.

What are Their Demographics?

-What are their age ranges?

-Gender?

-Largely married or single?

-Do they have kids or no kids?

-Economic Status? (This is especially important when planning fundraisers or ticketed events.)

What is the Overall Goal of the Event?

-Is it to raise money?

-Woo new clients?

-Celebrate and acknowledge employees?

-Is it to recognize and appreciate donors?

-Strictly for having fun?

I can’t emphasize enough how important the overall goal of your event is. You’ll need to filter through every idea from food to decorations to entertainment through the funnel of: “Does it help facilitate the overall goal of the event?”

Is There a Theme?

This can make your life much easier if there is a theme. If there’s not, than I strongly suggest you and the planning team come up with one. (I’ll have a blog specifically based on themes.) A good place to start is a company slogan that is being used this year for training or advertising purposes. For churches, a verse that has already been chosen. For non-profits, something that ties in your mission statement. These can be adjusted to fit within a holiday theme if needed. I’ll explain more, including examples, in the future blog regarding themes.

Is There a Budget?

Hopefully, there is a budget from the previous year. If not, you’ll need to start from scratch. The following questions are with the assumption there is a past budget to pull from.

-Where is the budget from last year?

-Is it adjustable at all?

-If so, who do I need to get approval from?

What Parts of the Event Last Year Were Successful/Unsuccessful?

This is a question you can ask to anyone you know who attended the previous year’s event. You will get a myriad of things people liked or didn’t like based on their demographics and personality. However, some things will stand out as unanimous. If the vegan potato bar was a hit-but the fire breathing hypnotist clown who was the board member’s son-was hated by everyone-you know what to nix or keep for this year.

Do I Get A Planning Team?

-Hopefully the answer is “yes”, “yes”, “yes”!

-Who chooses the planning team? (I will have a specific blog based on choosing a perfect planning team.)

-How much time do I get with them? If this is for work, it’s an important question to ask.

How Much Time Can I Spend Each Week on the Event?

-This is important if it’s part of your job. If the answer is 2 hours a week for 3 weeks, then you’ll need to plan a super easy event held at Chipotle’s. If it’s 5 Hours for 15 weeks, I want to come because it’ll be amazing.

 

Stacy Pederson Funny Motivational Inspirational Humorist SpeakerStacy Pederson  is a Colorado based Humorist and Funny Motivational Speaker who is incessantly insecure with a chronic Thai Food / Netflix binge habit.

StacyPederson.com

How to Be Happy: Pain – The Key to Unlocking Your Happiness

How to Be Happy
The Key to Unlocking Your Happiness

Pain. We spend our lives consciously and subconsciously trying to avoid pain. As a comedian, why do I want to acknowledge pain? Humor is pain. It’s presenting a struggle or hurt you can relate to in a unique way. In the same regard, I’ve come to believe you cannot experience the true extent of joy without experiencing suffering first. Continue reading “How to Be Happy: Pain – The Key to Unlocking Your Happiness”

My Honest Experience with GigSalad and GigMasters

Speaking Gigs

 

I often see questions or threads regarding the validity of two online booking website, “GigMasters” and “GigSalad”. I’ve belonged to both for several years as a speaker and clean comedian and here is my honest experience and advice on investing in either.

The Difference I Found Between the 2 Sites:

GigSalad:

Easy platform to use

-Most often much lower paying gigs compared to GigMasters

-Most gigs are direct inquiries so you are not competing against other people to be booked

-Easy to target certain areas of the country

-I met REALLY nice people who booked me through this platform that have become dear friends. Not sure why this site draws really personable people, but it does.

-You can contact the person making the inquiry before sending a bid. I ALWAYS contact them first to find out more about the event, budget, audience, etc. I really appreciate this feature.

GigMasters:

-Higher paying gigs. Often professional companies hiring through here.

-A lot of Gig requests come in due to their auto adding feature. I’ve booked several gigs from that.

-Have to bid against 5 or 10 other people without knowing who they are or what they charge. Rarely get direct inquiries.

-Can pay for a “featured” profile to bring more traffic. I have done that during peak hiring season.

Why I Invested in the Sites Originally:

-Although I have been performing for years as an actor (I have a degree in theatre), I stumbled into stand up and these two sites are how I started my career. I took every gig that came my way to learn the “ropes” and get paid while doing it. It forced me to learn the business side of performing very quickly and taught me a lot about events, professionalism, what my niche was, and what people need from you in order to book you. It was my fast track way of becoming a professional.

-If you google my name, Stacy Pederson, the sites make me look important and gives me clout.

-They gave me backlinks to my website

-As a speaker and clean comedian,  was an easy way to get gigs without me having to self promote and sell myself, which I am utterly TERRIBLE at.

-By researching who else was on the site, I learned who my peers were which allowed me to make great, very dear to my heart, connections.

Things I Learned from the Gigs I Booked:

-Most people booking off of these sites honestly don’t know the ins and outs of putting on events. They’re not jerks-they just don’t know. You have to be VERY specific about your needs when it comes to sound, audience set up, sound checks, staging, etc. because most are not professional meeting/conference/wedding/or party planners. They don’t think about noise levels, audience size, or the flow of events. You are often walking into a difficult situation when it comes to how the event has been set up physically and flow wise. You have to be quick on your feet to make adjustments and flexible in working with them to get things in order before a show. Another words, you NEVER know what you are walking in to. This can get old after a while, but it also makes you wiser and more professional at what you do.

-I hate outdoor events. Hate them. Sound is terrible. Audience is always too far away and distracted. You can’t control the environment or the elements. They suck and I have to REALLY be talked into it-Like R-E-A-L-L-Y talked into it to even considering it.

-I’m not right for everyone. I turn down, or refer out, approximately 95% of the gig requests that come my way now. I know what my niche is, the type of audience I am right for, and what I’m willing and not willing to be paid. It took A LOT of learning and doing every bad gig (boy do I have stories) to get to this point.

Should You Invest in These Sites:

It depends. I’ll say right off the bat, if you are strictly a speaker I don’t think it’s worth it. I’ve never booked a sole speaking gig off of either. (It’s usually been a combo speaking/comedy thing.) If you scroll through other speakers’ profiles on the sites, you’ll see most don’t make decent money off of their bookings.

You Should Invest in the Sites IF:

-You can also invest in professional photos. If not-wait. Spend the money on the photos first, THEN spend the $ on the sites.

-You can invest in a website. You need additional social proof when you are trying to outbid others.

-You are able and willing to respond NO LATER than 12 hours to each gig request. If you really want to book, you need to be able to respond as soon as possible. During peak season, it can be annoying because your phone is going off all the time with text alerts that you NEED TO RESPOND TO. (Yes, that can be exciting, BUT if you’re busy doing another gig or just life it can be a challenge keeping up.)

-You need to be able to follow through with paperwork. If follow through is not your strong point-than I’m sorry to be blunt-but you’re going to have a tough road making money at whatever it is you’re doing. You need to be able to get contracts, promotional material, W-9’s, etc., in a timely manner from when a person requests it. I sometime struggle with the details (ok a lot of times) but I DO IT ANYWAY. I’ve learned I can’t book too many gigs in a short time because I don’t keep up well with all the paperwork and communication. I get confused over who needs what, and details slip through the cracks if I overbook myself.   (I can’t WAIT until I am able to hire an assistant. I’ll be able to take more gigs, be less stressed, and focus more on my presentations and communication that counts.)

-You need to be honest and utilize their contract system and pay them their fee. It’s for your benefit in the long run.

-You need to be good at what you do. I didn’t say great, but you need to be decent. Solid. Prepared. Professional.

You need to be nice. You also need to be flexible. You need to be good under pressure. You need to have a “How can I help THEM have the best event possible even if it’s an inconvenience to my comfort” mindset.

-You need to be willing to learn. I spent A LOT of time investing, not just learning about my craft, but learning about the business. How to bid and win, what people want and need, how to dress, present yourself professionally, keep tabs on your equipment and even how to travel inexpensively and efficiently. I’m always learning, reading, researching, and rehearsing. Daily. It’s annoying sometimes…but this is business.

-You’ll eventually need video.

If you have or are willing to do the above things, I say, “Yes” invest in the sites. The above things will set you up for success and your investment will more than pay off.

Will I Personally Continue Using the Sites:

Both my annual dues are coming up and, to be honest, I’m debating. I’m at a different place in my career where I’ve discovered being a humorist (funny speaker) is much more rewarding to me than just being funny. I want to entertain, but I also want to deliver meaning to the audience. Both sites don’t bode too well for booking those types of speaking events. I’ve also done so many hard gigs to learn the ropes that I’m not willing to take any and all gigs anymore. This past year I stopped taking most gigs that came through these sites, as I mentioned above, because of that. Both sites served me VERY well in the beginning and I’m FOREVER grateful for them. I’m just not sure they’re still worth the financial investment for me anymore in attracting the right type of clients for my new niche.  I’d love people’s thoughts and opinions on this.

StacyPederson.com

 

Who the Heck is Stacy P.???