Many Long-Time Santas Snickered at My ‘Be Extraordinary’ Principle…
Then they saw me at lots of high-profile events, on TV & in movies!
Initially, they seemed to think the principle of being extraordinary was hype… or sales rhetoric. It’s not! It’s a business principle and life philosophy that can produce amazing results.
Keep reading for 7 specific ‘to-do’s’ that every Claus portrayal artist can implement to become even more extraordinary this season.
By the way, I define ‘being extraordinary’ as “exceeding expectations.”
My commitment to being an extraordinary Santa Claus portrayal artist started with me doing ‘value-added’ media interviews to promote the Santa appearances I was making at community events in Southern Oregon.
From there being extraordinary meant getting top-quality photos, developing extraordinary marketing strategies & marketing materials along with extraordinary communication protocols that helped quickly grow what was then my new ‘Santa Business.’
Implementing the principle of ‘being extraordinary’ also helped me become known as ‘Hollywood’s Go-To Santa Claus‘ booking dozens of local, regional, and national TV shows & commercials, music videos & even a couple of movies.
Obviously, this principle has had a huge impact on my business, but, by far, the most significant benefit of adopting the ‘be extraordinary’ mindset is how it makes me feel about my work and about who I am as a person.
When I suggest the ‘be extraordinary’ principle to my fellow members of the Worldwide Santa Claus Network, the first question I hear is: “What do you mean by ‘be extraordinary’?”
“I mean to consciously & consistently do things designed to exceed the expectations of potential customers, actual customers, and all of the people you interact with,” I explain.
Then I get the tricky question. “What exactly do I do to consistently exceed the expectations of my customers and all of the people I interact with?”
Answering that question has resulted in creating what is now the Worldwide Santa Claus Network and developing more than 50 unique training sessions (more the 200 hours) for Santa & Mrs. Claus portrayal artists… and we create many new sessions every year!
A few ‘being extraordinary’ elements for a Santa Claus portrayal artist…
- How you look
Our first impression might be a headshot or some other photo. Maybe the picture is of higher quality or composed better than most people would expect. Maybe your smile and pose are more welcoming and friendly than they expected.
Maybe you’re wearing a higher quality Santa suit than they were expecting. Perhaps they were expecting vinyl, and our leather boots & belt exceeded their expectations.
Perhaps your beard was fuller, whiter, and more well-groomed.
- How you sound
Your prospective customer probably doesn’t have any real expectations for your voice, your voice seemed enthusiastic, a bit uptempo, and there was no boisterous Ho Ho Ho; instead, there was a very natural ho, ho, ho, that subtly appeared as part of a genuine laugh.
Somehow, your voice seemed more authentic than they were thinking, or maybe even more authentic than they even thought possible.
- How you communicate
You returned their email or phone call quicker than they expected.
Your Gig Salad profile / or website was more professional than they expected. The photos were amazing. You have excellent reviews and you have been Santa for companies known to be discerning; they weren’t expecting that. (Those new to portraying Santa can use other life experiences to exceed expectations.)
- Your rates
Your rates may be higher than they had initially expected to pay, but because you look, sound, and have communicated in ways that have exceeded their expectations, they understand your value and are ready to pay a premium rate for an extraordinary Santa or Mrs. Claus.
- Your booking process
You get them a Booking Agreement that is more professional than they were expecting, and they receive it sooner than they thought they would.
- Your preparation
After receiving the booking, they’re blown away when you follow up with some questions designed to make your visit as extraordinary as possible. They appreciate your confirmation the day before your visit and your text message upon arrival.
- You at events
Your Grand Entrance WOWED everybody. Greeting grandma and grandpa, and your funny patter with both was priceless. The way you gently connected with the boy with autism, well, there are no words to express the gratitude and joy that everyone there felt.
Everyone loved the stories and singing Christmas songs with Santa. The way you slightly rearranged things, so the photos people were taking would have the Christmas Tree in the background, they may not have even noticed when you did it. Still, they will appreciate it when they look at the photos.
And you remembered to get a group photo before you made your exit, which will become a keepsake that will be appreciated for generations to come.
They LOVED YOU, of course… and that is evident in the review they left for you!
Why did they love you?
You exceeded their expectations at every turn. You WERE extraordinary!
How did you know what to do?
How did you know what Santa suit to invest in? How did you know about the boots & belt, the beard grooming, the authentic vocal tones, and the natural Santa chuckle? Where do you learn to make a Grand Entrance and connect with everyone in the room? How did you learn the skills to connect with those with special needs?
A professional at anything spends hundreds and often thousands of hours ‘mastering their craft’. It’s no different with us Claus portrayal artists. It takes time to learn how to consistently exceed the expectations of your clients, especially those very discerning people who retain your services. BECOME A GOLD OR PLATINUM MEMBER CLICK HERE
Learning from our own experience is an excellent way to learn. Many years ago, I developed the routine of doing a “debrief” after each of my appearances. I ask myself, “What could have been done to make that appearance even better?” With this question, I take everything into consideration, even things I was not directly involved with. I also ask, “What could I HAVE DONE to make that appearance even better?” This question focuses on me, could I have known more names? Had more information? Asked for a closer parking space? Etc.
Other people’s experience
Learning from other people’s experiences helps us learn a lot more, a lot faster. At the Worldwide Santa Claus Network School for Santa & Mrs. Claus, we’re big believers in learning from other people’s experiences and sharing our own experiences so other members can learn from us.
Experts & outside professionals
With experts, in a matter of hours, we can learn what would take months or years to learn from personal experience. That’s why we also bring in experts to teach skills for being Santa for those with special needs, and for many other sessions, like getting booked on TV shows, commercials & movies, marketing, storytelling, improv, beard care & make-up, etc.
Here’s the best part…
Imagine how you would feel knowing that you’re consistently, deliberately, doing everything you can to exceed the expectations of your customers, your audiences, and everyone you come in contact with.
You can even take it further and strive to exceed the expectations of your family members, friends, and even strangers.
The way I see it, being extraordinary (taking actions to exceed the expectations of others) is an act of caring, an act of love. I define the Christmas spirit as ‘love in action.’ So I see doing the things to ‘be extraordinary’ as spreading the Christmas spirit.
If you allow the Christmas spirit to serve as the core principle of your life it just might help you build a wonderful business, and help you live a happy, contented, and fulfilled life.