June 9, 2005
Marc Rosenberg: The Lemonade Shaking Guy
SP: Marc, please give our readers a little background information about yourself?
MR: I graduated from the Univ. of Maryland. I worked at Club Med for 2 years…during the day I taught snorkeling and at night I worked private parties for 6 hours at a time. I was the choreographer of Guests of Club Med.
SP: Exactly what type of services do you provide to your clients?
MR: I provide my clients with physical comedy. If I`m in the stadium selling beer, I`m doing my shake act while not taking myself too serious. I make people laugh, I take their mind off of the money they just paid for an admission ticket. Sporting events are expensive, I help people forget about that…I study and read the crowd.
SP: When did you start this business?
MR: I started my business 9 years ago…I was helping a friend sell lemonade at Camden Yards. He handed me a tray and put me up in the nosebleed section. On the 3rd day they put me down by 3rd base, it was 98 degrees that day and little kids were yelling at me, “can we have some lemonade!” I put the tray down and started doing my lemonade shake act to have some fun with them, I made my whole body shake and the Jumbotron picked me up while I was doing it.
After the game a guy asked me to work at his bar mitzvah and that was my first gig. The next thing I know I`m doing corporate events for national agencies. I currently have agents who market me out to several agencies.
SP: You have a very energetic routine that you do on a pretty consistent basis, how do you stay in shape to keep it up?
MR: I live a very clean lifestyle. I eat the right foods and keep my stress level down. I have the energy to turn my character on when it`s time to turn it on, but I do turn it off sometimes.
SP: What kind of start-up costs did you encounter when starting the company?
MR: In the beginning, word-of-mouth and my built-in audience at the stadium kept marketing costs down. My only costs included $200 for business cards and my website development was $1,500.
SP: How do you deal with people that recognize you on the street and want autographs and beg for you to make them laugh? Does it get hard sometimes to always be working, even when you are not in character?
MR: I`m in entertainment, so I can`t be standoffish. I realize that I need my fans. You`ve got to remain humble in this business because you can be here today and gone tomorrow.
I get tired some days and I just want to rest, but I don`t have time. When you have a new business you have to put time in to make it grow. An athlete doesn`t become great overnight. I`m doing this interview right now at 11:00pm because I understand what sacrifice means.
SP: What type of business certifications did you need to start your business?
MR: I didn`t need any. I create laughs and you don`t need any certificates or licenses for comedy.
SP: What is the typical price of a cup of your lemonade?
MR: (Marc laughs) The lemonade is just a prop. It doesn`t matter if I`m selling lemonade or beer…I`m in the business of making people laugh.
SP: How did you establish and maintain the relationship that you have with the various venues that you provide your services?
MR: I am honest, trustworthy, and dedicated. I`m on-time and I`m not a primadonna, clients don`t have to kiss my ass. I`m a man of my word. I do use contracts, but that`s just a formality, they can take my word. I don`t nickel and dime my clients. You`ve got to respect your clients, it is a business relationship, treat it as such! No one owes me anything, but I owe my clients excellent service, whether I`m entertaining, motivational speaking or vending.
SP: How much of your business is based on referrals?
MR: 85% of my business is based on referrals.
SP: How has all the publicity that you have received over the years affected your business?
MR: The publicity has affected my business in a positive manner. It gives me credibility to people who may not know who I am.
SP: What do your family and friends think about what you do for a living?
MR: My family thinks that it`s a riot! I get to release my energy. My close friends are not surprised by what I do for a living…everyone is behind me 150%. Even if my family and friends weren`t behind me, I still believe in myself.
SP: Do you use your website to book any engagements?
MR: No, I use my website so clients know who I am and what I do. In the beginning I used to send VHS videos out to people which was costly. Now people can click a link on my website and see what I do using streaming video technology.
Click here to see the Lemonade Shaking Guy on Fox morning news.
SP: Do you have any plans to take your show on the road to other stadiums around the country perhaps?
MR: I`m already am doing that. I did a minor league game for the Summerville Patriots, I did NASCAR in Las Vegas, the Superbowl in New Orleans and Jacksonville. I`ve done two all-star games in Houston and Detroit. I travel coast to coast for corporate events…I will travel anywhere for a gig.
SP: Do you have any paid employees that help you?
MR: I am a solo act. I do all my own booking…a friend helps to do the invoices. My agency takes care of booking speaking engagements, celebrity golf events, and minor league baseball games.
SP: Did you form any type of official entity for your business? (i.e., LLC, S-Corp, etc.)
MR: I incorporated as Shaking Guy, Inc. A patent attorney advised me to service-mark myself, it cost me $1,300.
SP: What is your projected revenue for this year?
MR: $45,000 – $50,000.
SP: Share with us anything that a budding entrepreneur might need to know before starting his/her business based on your experiences.
MR: 1. Be very wary of what people who try to offer you help in terms of growing your business.
2. Don`t be afraid to ask questions.
3. Learn from your mistakes
4. Believe in yourself; if you don`t, who will?