Attention All Entertainers

calendarAugust 19, 2012

Get Your Priorities Straight

There are so many lessons from this piece from Bob Lefsetz that you?ll probably miss most of them. Be sure to watch the video of Scott McKain telling about meeting ?Taxi Terry?.

Bob —

For quite a while, I have read your insight regarding traditional media versus what’s really happening today in terms of gaining both recognition and advancing your career. Even though my business is a bit different as an author and speaker (although I’m also trying to move product and book gigs), I had a pretty dramatic example this week of how right you are.

On Tuesday, USA Today ran a story that not only featured me, but had two pictures — one of me on the masthead of the Money section, and another that was on page three that was, I swear, the biggest photo I think I’ve ever seen in that publication. We were ecstatic…it was like winning the publicity lottery.

The article featured everything I could’ve hoped for…said I’ve traveled over 100,000 miles this year to gigs, worked internationally including Dubai and Sweden, successful author…and that even though I’m a fearful flyer, I do what it takes in order to take care of business.

Guess how many phone calls we’ve received to book a date as a result of that incredible, Godsend of traditional publicity? As of Thursday evening…none. Eighteen million readers…not one call.

Don’t get me wrong…my ego loved watching people at the hotel and in the airport on Tuesday reading the story and seeing my picture. But, it created zero business for us so far.

On the other hand, one little story about a taxi driver I had in Jacksonville, Florida that I put up on YouTube — giving people a chance to see and hear a portion of the program I do — has generated about $200K in bookings in the past twelve months.

It never would have occurred to me that a video I edited on my Mac and uploaded from my house would have a more dramatic impact on my career than two huge pictures and a perfect story in USA Today. But, it did.

Please don’t misunderstand…I’m thrilled and grateful they ran the article. However, the “career maker” for me was a strong piece of material, complemented by a good performance, that potential fans could see and share.

Thanks for helping me get my priorities straight, Bob.


Blog post with pic of “USA Today”:

“USA Today” article:


Note: A careful reading of the “USA Today” article makes clear the focus is on fear of flying more than Mr. McKain’s career. Therefore, this is not a perfect equation. But many people believe all ink is extremely beneficial. Furthermore, watch the YouTube clip. It does sell Mr. McKain quite well, you get what his act is all about. In other words, you can utilize the digital tools of the new generation to demonstrate your wares and reap rewards. If what you say has value, it reaches people and goes viral. Furthermore, YouTube is free. It requires only that you make an effort. Which is better done by you than someone you hire. And online sheen is less important than content. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, worry about getting it out there.

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