If there’s one question that’s the bane of my existence, it’s this question right here. I get asked this question so much that it’s my about page. If you gave me a penny for everyone who has asked me this, I could comfortably retire to a beach in Bali!
Honestly, it’s like I’m some kind of real-life cryptid or a member of a travelling freak show! Behold- it’s the amazing drag queen marketer. Watch as she’ll develop your content strategy and then lip sync to the Whitney Houston song of your choice!
I’m kidding, obviously. I am absolutely in love with what I do. I’ve been running a business in one form or another since the day I turned 18.
It was only until drag came along that I realised I could help so many people live off of their creativity.
After I stumbled into being a drag queen, I was quite happy to add it to my growing repertoire of life experience.
And that’s just the thing, the name of the game is experience.
I get to put all of my experience to good use.
I may have started my business officially when I was 18, but I’ve had that entrepreneurial bug since I was old enough to pick up a pen.
See, I got gifted one of these bad boys.
I used to have that exact set of low-quality art tools themed like a knock-off Bob the Builder construction set. Instead of being a normal child when I was handed over to the grandparents for some free childcare, I was a little foreman. Running around, managing my little construction empire.
That’s the thing, when you catch the bug early, you put it to good use.
Before making this business, I’ve previously been:
- A history blogger (Age 16)
- A website moderator (Age 17)
- A hosting provider (Age 18)
- A domain name trader (Age 18-19)
- A web designer (Age 18-20)
You just couldn’t stop me! I’d throw myself into whichever cool profitable idea sounded fun to me at the time.
This wasn’t me just being a silly teenager either- I put my heart and soul into developing these businesses. It was never about learning for me, but I picked up so much knowledge via my colleagues and mentors that I use on a daily basis now.
For the record, yes you can put a price on experience and it’s £4000. That’s the amount of money I spent putting all of these wheels into motion with no idea what I was doing and springing into action without a plan.
You might be reeling at losing that amount of money, but there were bigger things I was worried about losing…
I’m providing an amazing service.
I used to do web design for people who only cared about getting the job done, and there’s just way better freelancers for that. I used to do it because I was so scared to say no to someone. Heavens above if someone actually went to one of these better web designers and had them do it instead!
I have the upper hand in being a generalist to the extreme, and trying to lock down a specialism wrecked me hard. I had way more tools in my toolbelt, why couldn’t I use them?
By being a queen of all trades, I can help a client really get to grips with marketing. Not only do my clients stick around more, we actually get on more too! I help them get to the bottom of their issues and show them exactly what they need.
I used to be happy just to roll over and meet the needs of a client regardless of what they asked for (if the pay matched). Now, I’m sitting people down and consulting them on how they can make their business great!
The flexibility of being a full-stack marketer has also fit really well into my drag career. If I’m doing a month when I’m performing a lot, say the Edinburgh Fringe, I’m not stuck down having to fix things for clients when I need to be working on a new lip sync.
Even a bad month is much easier to handle now which is because of one major perk which I didn’t expect.
I’m not just a freelancer!
Gone are the days where I’m chained to a laptop!
When someone finds out you’re a drag queen, they’re far more interested in what you have to say. After all, how often do you run into someone who does drag compared to someone who does marketing?
It gives me a lot of versatility on what services I’m offering and who I’m collaborating with. I’ve started taking on consulting work, which has been much more useful for those clients than it would be for me to have done the work for them!
My focus on creators and creatives started paying off in a big way too! I have built a giant network of artisans and crafters which means I can delegate difficult tasks to. This has been great to source vintage patterns and outfits since people in my own community understand how to get those tasks done better than I do!
This also means I can refer other drag kings and queens to the right people, which means I can give back to people in my own community.
I’m helping drag escape the nightclub.
So there’s been drag performers doing this for decades before me, and as a queen who started post RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’m very aware of my place.
See, the United States has a drag culture that can actually support newer performers. Thanks to a firm tipping culture, a queen who hits up multiple tip spots each week can slowly start to make a living income from her work.
Meanwhile, in the UK, we don’t have that tipping culture. That means we have fewer queens hitting that income level. So, for artists that don’t want to be doing drag on top of a full-time job, many of us start businesses!
Most of these businesses are product-based, operating business to consumer. For example, merchandising and cosmetics. Even more performers start their own booking websites!
What the drag community is missing is B2B businesses. I think very few drag performers do business to business because they can’t see how they can make it happen!
See, I’m not the best drag queen. But that’s the thing, there is no best drag queen. There’s a variety of performers with different styles, skillsets and ways to improve.
What I bring to the table is a lot of business skill and the ability to help other drag performers build their own business. I’m hoping that this can help the UK drag scene grow much larger than it currently is.
Not being the best at makeup isn’t something that’s holding me back, in fact it’s…
Another opportunity to grow.
Here’s the thing. Anyone who declares that they know everything is someone who you should avoid at all costs.
I’m a full-stack marketer not because I’m not some marketing genius with crazy hair, I’m someone who was willing to keep learning and obtaining new information that can help your business.
I love being able to help people, and because I’ve kept growing I’ve been able to:
- Help a skeleton articulator manage and moderate her ever-growing community
- Create a large-scale events listing site for an up-and-coming Edinburgh Fringe company
- Market a London bus that’s been turned into a travelling comedy venue
- Get a Swedish Café a tonne of 4 and 5 star TripAdvisor reviews
- Manage the back-end of a horse photographers’ website
Good marketing is built on good research. Just because I’ve never worked on your niche before, doesn’t mean that I’m not the correct marketer for the job. Actually, it means the opposite!
I get to come into your industry with a fresh pair of eyes and build my own research from scratch. I always see people use their years of experience to their own disadvantage.
Marketing specifically has this issue where every company will change how it operates each month- if you rely on what you’ve learned in the past, you aren’t going to get the results you want.
My focus is on getting hands-on with what you do and create something that’s going to stay relevant for years to come. After all, you want to get that long-term success right? I know I do.
It’s about long-term survival.
People quit drag all the time, Hell, some of the most popular performers have quit multiple times!
We’re so prone to mental and physical injuries it’s a wonder any of us get past 30!
This is why, as a newer queen, I’m coming in with the intention of doing drag for as long as possible. This business supports me, and it allows me to support you, too!
Barely any queen in Newcastle is making a full-time income even though we have a well established scene! Besides Klub Kids, there’s just not enough paid gigs around.
There’s a tonne of us, too. A couple dozen people are starting drag each year and they’re competing for the same bookings that all the other performers are.
But, if we can start building up capital between us, we can do so much more.
I’m already in talks with local businesses to convert their space over into a pop-up venue. If I’m going to be starting my own shows, I desperately want to be able to give back and pay my colleagues.
Drag saved my life after a 3 month burnout and a better, higher paying drag scene is only a good thing. I’m hoping that with more work I’ll be able to be a part of it.
I want to give back.
I don’t just want to give back to drag artists, I want to help you.
You deserve to make money off what you do.
And that’s just the thing, if I’m going to do what I feel like doing and be profitable doing it, you should be able to do it too.
That’s why I’m giving away so much of my knowledge away for free.
If you can take what I have to say and use it to get in touch with new customers, that makes me feel really good inside.
People talk about giving away information like it’s a bad thing, like it should be a secret! Hell, every FTSE 500 company is hiding a treasure trove of information, right?
But here’s the thing, if you’re willing to make what you know public, I can promise you that you can be a full-time creative too.
If you want to learn more, head on over to the other post in the header “How I turned my creativity into a full-time business.” What I get to do is phenomenal and I want to help you do the same.
I’m not out here selling snake-oil, I want to have a real discussion about what you do and for you to get actual value from what I’m giving you. You can start the discussion now by using the comments feature below. I’ll see you down there!