“To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?”
― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
~ Harriet Tubman
“Hey Sailor, new in town?” ~Anonymous
Ugly, ugly word for a Performing/Teaching Artist. We are a small bushiness owner, as our small business is ourselves. We are the product, the merchandise, the goods…and it is about time we realize it, and it really is the time that our venue bookers realize the same thing. It’s a business, and it is time for people to stop and realize that.
What does marketing do for us nowadays? It still remains a crap shoot, for the most part. Things have changed in a sense. Overall, the game stays the same.
In the past, I would do a mailing, maybe close to 1,000 pieces. If you got 3% return, you were lucky. Most of the mailings went into the trash filing cabinet. The more well known acts might go slightly higher, but that fluctuated. Repeat bookings was where you made your money; new venues were often hard sells unless (1) someone saw you perform or (2) you came highly recommended. I mean highly. Not just a “oh, I saw so and so, and they were pretty good.”
Email happened, and it opened up a way to save money. The problem: many look at email advertising as spam, and they delete it. So, more trash. Mailings are expensive, but now are looked at a little more closely; still, most of it gets “filed.”
Right now, the landscape is changing, and it’s tough to figure out exactly what will work best for you. It’s been a topic of conversation for a lot of us for awhile now.
What to do? What to do????
What to do:
- Persistence: Be persistent. It is key, but not to the point of obnoxiousness.
- Follow through: don’t assume.
- Know the name and title of the person who does the hiring.
- Make an appointment and go meet them. Putting a face to it and having a short sit down goes a lot further than a cold call (most still won’t want to meet up: see #1 and make it happen).
- Put money and effort into your Website: no guarantee at all, but bookers in our field like bells and whistles. (ps: they don’t like to read, so keep the copy light and the videos and mp3’s nice and current and clear).
- Don’t just trust one site, like Monster (which S**Ks). Use ’em all.
- Pay for advertisement if you can. PROFESSIONAL ADS ONLY. (yes, shouting, but make it look like you have money and don’t need their work. That calls out much louder than mediocre work).
- Continue to do snail mailings, but do it on professional printed papers (Idea Art; Paper Direct; etc). Make it look “nice” and unforgettable. See 5.1 above.
- Offer some freebies; something that will
bribeentice them. You know what you have to offer. Demos are a good idea.
- Make what you offer “sexy.” I’m not talking sexual (head out of the gutter, please): make it so someone goes “ooooooo!”
- Be a presence on the internet.
- Do NOT be afraid of the Social Networks and Social Posting Tools. I use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Yahoo! Updates, Google+, Triberrr, and a few others…and I’m always looking for new ways to get my name out…and although I hate the SEO term: we are our own BRAND.
- NETWORK: it really is who you know, so many times. Too many times, but…
Care to add to this list? I have more, but I want to know what you, my dear, helpful, friendly, sharing to the point of hurting, beautiful/handsome readers have to add. Really…sharing IS caring!!
What do you do?