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8 Tips On How To Successfully Book a Gig as a Caricature Artist

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

8 tips on how to successfully book a gig
ToonHeadz Owner, A.J. Jensen, showcases his 8 tips on how to book gigs

Are you a talented caricature artist but have a hard time booking gigs? Are potential clients not replying back to your emails or phone calls? The Good News is that you’re not alone! Today I am going to share 8 tips on how to interact with customers, reinforce yourself, and how to successfully book a gig with ease.

Watch our video if you would like to visually watch and listen to 8 Tips To Successfully Book a Gig:

So let me be transparent upfront. Just so you know, I struggled with this as well. When I started out, I was terrible at interacting with customers. I found myself getting nervous, flustered, tripping over my words, and even agreeing to gigs or projects with little or no reward. I look back on those times and think, “ I struggled a lot because I was just trying to get some validation.” I found it quite intimidating trying to sell myself as a caricature artist, as I wasn’t just selling some product, but myself and my passion entirely, which makes the whole process quite intimidating.

It wasn’t until I got my real estate license where I picked up a couple of sales techniques. I was mentored by a fantastic broker who gave me a lot of advice on how to build confidence and communicate with people. I have transferred all of these over to my caricaturing business. And guess what? They work like a charm. In short, it’s all about problem-solving. Once this concept is more understood, you’re more likely to be the solution for your client's event or party. You will be more confident, competent and receive way more phone calls about events or parties. Because if you believe you're the solution for an event, so will others.

So before we get started, I want to elaborate that the first 2 tips are really to help build and retain confidence. The following tips are just some shared secrets I have learned or picked up on my caricaturing journey.


1. Understand the Value Of Caricature Entertainment

I think this is one of the most significant factors that many artists and customers can ignore.

I have created 4 different concepts to break down the value of caricature entertainment. Having a caricature artist at your event seems simple, but there are 4 concepts that many customers and event artists don't realize. Here are my 4 factors the value of caricature entertainment : 1.) Personalized Party Gift You’re creating a tangible memento created in less than a few minutes that guests get to take home with them to remember the event or party, which is the end goal for any party or event planner. 2. Atmosphere

Having a caricature artist helps with guests mingling and providing a good talking point in a conversation - you’re giving the guests something to do, talk about, and enjoy. I have noticed, when doing events, that everyone around me is having fun, making jokes, and sharing laughs. It helps loosen up the crowd and reduces awkwardness among guests. 3. Something Unique People are trying to escape from the customary party and provide the party with something new and fun - caricature is the perfect solution for this.

4. Marketing Logo Prints on each sheet of paper can be an additional marketing technique for businesses, trade shows, and city events. Plus, Logo Prints will help make their event more personalized. These concepts not only help you with the presentation of your services but allows you to become more confident in taking your artistic abilities out of the equation. These concepts or practical rather than personal.

When you understand the already established foundations of caricaturing entertainment - your artistic ability is just a bonus in itself. Which personally helped me feel less intimated when I was interacting with potential clients. It was a breath of fresh air to know I was just a bonus to an already established service.


2. What Is The Real Goal?

What is the real reason people have parties or events? Party Planning can be very overwhelming - which is why many people stick with the customary party style, which supplies Food, Drinks, and Music.

The customers that are reaching out to you are trying to think outside the box of the customary party. What are they wanting? They want their party/event to be unique. And to simplify it: THEIR GOAL IS TO GIVE THEIR GUESTS A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE.

Which guess what? You are the solution to this problem. You are supplying not only fun mementos for the guests but getting the guests to leave with an experience! Guests will walk away, remembering the party/event. Of course, there will be different questions for any event! Everything is unique. But when you understand the real goal is for a party/event, and get them to realize you understand this - YOU ARE GOLDEN!!!

And the beauty about this whole concept is that it's a breath of fresh air knowing that you, just being the caricature artist for the event, are already solving the biggest problem for any event or party - making guests remember their experience of the party. This makes it less intimidating when you are interacting with your customers because you concentrate on selling a valuable service instead of your artistic ability.


3. Ask About The Event / Party First! This works like a charm!

Generally, this must be the first thing you do - Especially with emails! If you keep the conversation simple, fun, and genuine, people will appreciate these things. You want to avoid the start of your conversation with how your pricing works or your availability - as that seems dull and rushed. Instead, seem interested, and excited you want to work with them and how you want to help solve their problem. Asking about the event or party upfront will help you with 4 things: 1. It makes the customer or client feel like you’re listening and intrigued with THEM. People love vocalizing their ideas, and when you listen to them, it makes the interaction seem more genuine and that you care about helping them with their party/event. There is a big misconception about salespeople - as a lot believe these are people that “can talk you into buying anything”. These are not salespeople but master manipulators. A great salesperson is someone that shows confidence, listens to their customers, and solves problems. That’s it! Keep it simple. It’s not a personality trait you require; it’s just listening, showing confidence, and solving problems.

2. When doing this with an email, you get to weed out people that are not really interested in using your services. If someone takes the time to reply back to your email after your question, that means they are genuinely interested in using your services. This will help boost your confidence.

3. You want the conversation to be in intervals. Avoid long-winded pitches, it seems disingenuous, and the customer will more than likely tune you out. You want to deliver topics in sessions, that way, your customer is less overwhelmed.

4. You collect the information that you need to book the event. Times, Date, What type of event, location, etc. Instead of sounding like a robot and going, “when is the date?” to “when is the time?” It’s way more genuine asking the simple question, “what type of party are you having?”


4. Always Compliment The Event or Party Always compliment the event they are having! This might be the 200th event you have done but it could be the first they have ever hosted one. Give them credit for it! Because their efforts and ideas have given you an opportunity. Remember you are personifying THEIR event, not personalizing your artistic ability. Plus, people want to feel validated and like their ideas are on track to become an exciting event for their guests. This will make you seem more in tune with their desires and make you one step closer to being the artist they want to book for the event. Concentrate on the customer before introducing yourself! You have no clue how well this works! Another pro tip to say after complimenting the event is to showcase excitement if you were to entertain the event.

“Wow that sounds excellent! I would love to be a part of this!”


5. Validate Questioning Reward your customers when they ask questions, and use exciting langue when doing so! Words like Excellent, Fantastic, Perfect, Spectacular, and Awesome are sure ways to make your customers feel your excitement. Words have meaning, and people will psychologically react to what words you choose. Make sure they are positive, exciting, and fun! Using these words to questions will not only make you sound confident with your answer, but you establish a relationship, and the customer will trust your answer more. “Excellent Question, Sandra!” “Fantastic Question, John!”

Even if it’s a question you have heard a million times and loathe, validate the question! “How many caricatures can you do in 3 hours?” “Excellent Question, Becky! We estimate each caricature taking 3-5 minutes, which is super quick! So for 3 hours we estimate around 36-45 faces drawn.” Also, a big lifesaver that I learned was YOU’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. I used to sweat and get flustered if someone asked a complicated question. Then I learned the art of transparency, complimenting, and delivering the answer later. “Hmm…Jessica, I am going to be completely TRANSPARENT with you right now. That was such an excellent question that it stumped me a bit. Could I get back to you later with an answer to that?” REMEMBER TO BE HONEST ABOUT NOT KNOWING THE ANSWER, COMPLIMENT THE QUESTION, AND DELIVER THE ANSWER LATER. SIMPLE!


6. Give Guidance Again, remember what was said earlier - a great salesperson is one that showcases confidence, listens, and helps solve problems. Most customers that call in, have NO CLUE what they are doing - let alone know how to pronounce caricature correctly! And you can’t blame them for it. How many times have you had to pay for something that you had no idea how it worked? Maybe a car part, the dentist, taxes, whatever - it’s nerve-racking nevertheless. Become the person you wish you had in those situations! It’s really up to you to show them what you provide, what they are getting, and how easy it is to book. If you want to really hit a home run with your customers, convey the art of “over-communication” This works like a charm. TREMENDOUSLY! This will not only help the customer feel like they’re being heard, but also guarantees you knowing all the details pertaining to the event. And I actually introduce the art of over-communication by saying the definition in a conversation. “I want to over-communicate this.”

Or “I actually enjoy over-communicating, so all questions are welcome!” Your potential clients will feel way more taken care of, trusting, and making you one step closer to being their caricature artist for their event.


7. Make It Simple

You need to establish topics for each part of the booking process. Yes, some artists sometimes have different booking processes, but you need to establish these in a simple format to ensure it’s not overwhelming. Because, believe me, they’re already overwhelmed with planning the event and usually have no clue how to book you.

Plus, you can’t spend too much time with bookings! Establishing an easy system grants you more time to work on other things to improve your business or your artistic ability. In the age of technology, there are now so many ways to keep your bookings looking, feeling, and acting simple. Of course, everyone has their own system of doing things, but a good rule of thumb is if it takes you longer than 7 minutes for the client and yourself to book a gig, than you might want to find some new and integrative ways for your booking process. Booking a gig should take less than 7 minutes. Trust me, your client will appreciate you streamlining the booking process! These are my suggestions for helping you become more of a more confident and competent caricature artist. Remember, if they have a party problem, you have a party solution.


8. Enjoy your Customers

You need to remember that everyone that reaches out to you about an event opportunity is thinking outside of the box! Appreciate them for that. Also, be sure to follow up with them even after you finish the event. Maintain as many connections as possible to ensure more business and referrals. You never know where one customer might lead you.

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