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Shoshana

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Tip of the Week Club!

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Shadow Puppet can tell your story!

ShadowPuppet

It’s been a while since I have brought you new technology.  I recently came across an app for iPhone called Shadow Puppet, a talk through your photos application.  Another way to describe this app is a place where you can narrate a slideshow of a set of photos, a storytelling application.

This app is free to download and extremely easy to use.  You first select a group of photos for your story.  Next, you record your voice to tell your story about the photos.  Last, they process the photo/voice together to create a video that you can share on Twitter and Facebook, send a link by email, and embed on your site (code is at the web link they provide).  In order to be of full use, I hope they enable the ability to upload to YouTube in the future and make the profiles of users easy to find online.

Here is an example of one of the puppets I have made while trying out the app: The 2 Charli(e) cats.

It was easy!  You can use this to share visuals of your art and share stories about them.  It is good for a behind the scenes video if you have production photos.  You can even use it to make a quick commercial video.  There is a great deal of potential!  I give it thumbs up.  I hope to see more puppets out there soon!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

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Whose fault is it if there is no audience?

Happy Friday to you and happy first day of November.  I hope you had a fun Halloween.  I ended up dressing in my devil horns and going to our local Mexican restaurant that we love.  They were all dressed in costumes to the nines!  It was a fun evening.

Yesterday, I also had a conversation with a visual artist and an email from a storyteller.  The visual artist has published books about marketing art, yet despite blogging and putting some links online, he is not getting much of an audience (yes, I see the irony too).  He mentioned that he did go with a publisher, but they are not doing much for him.

The storyteller had a gig on Halloween at a local library.  It was a cold, wet, windy night, and no one showed up for the event. She ended up doing her stories for 3 librarians since she was already contracted.

So, in these two scenarios, whose fault is it that they didn’t have an audience, or a bigger audience?  You can blame the publisher and the library.  Right?  They were supposed to do the marketing for you, especially if it is a part of your contract with them.  You can blame the weather, although if it is cold, wet and windy, an inside gig would be a good thing, and it was free to the public.

I hope you don’t get too ruffled, but it is also the artists’ fault.  In this day and age, you can’t rely on someone else to do the work of audience building for you.  They simply do not care as much as you, even if they are being paid.  You are the one that wants an audience.  An audience or bigger audience will help them, but you are the one that really, really wants that audience!

Many individual artists mention that they don’t have the time.  However, I see many artists on social media networks just as much as the next person.  They also say they don’t think doing it on their own would work, yet they could build a team of people to support their efforts in spreading the word, just like anybody else.  I also hear they don’t have the money to hire someone to help them with audience development work.  I found out that a few resourceful artists have built a team of interns to help them get done what they need to do.  I do want to point out that some of these artists are paying for marketing ads and other services (such as online galleries that claim they will help sell your art).  If those avenues are not working for you, why not use those monetary resources for someone to help you with audience development instead?

The main point is, individual artists can build a team of support to do audience development, and for good effective audience development, you need a team.  And again, artists can reallocate the funds that they do have to be earmarked instead for audience development help.

No wonder the efforts of the publisher and library may have fallen flat. They most certainly didn’t have you 100% on their team, and you are needed as the number one team member.

Here’s what I am thinking.  When there is a will, there is a way.  And, whatever you focus on is what is going to happen.  If you focus on blaming the other person for not building you an audience, you are going to get more of this.  If you focus on figuring out ways within your means (and you do have means) to help build your audience, you will get an audience.  You, despite wanting to give this work to someone else, do need to be a big part of the team.

So decide what you really want to have happen and go for it.  The blame game will not get you an audience, but action on your part will.

Thoughts?  Cheers? Tomatoes? 

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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Halloween YouTube Kinda Mood 2013

Happy Halloween!  Halloween is the second biggest holiday of the year, yet there were few videos to choose from. I did happen to find some good ones.  I hope you get into the scary act next year, and for now, enjoy:

Visit our YouTube Channel!

-Shoshana

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Press releases the audience development way

I believe I have written about this topic before, but I wanted to reiterate the reasons behind sending out your releases the audience development way.  This means that you are building relationships with the members of the press instead of treating your release as a mass marketing effort.  Here is a list of tips:

  • Send out one at a time with a message.  It does take more time, but this will increase the likelihood that your release will be seen and read.
  • If you can’t send out one at a time, at least blind copy your list.  I happened to be on a press list once due to being an Examiner writer for my area.  I was being sent a one-size fits all release with the entire list showing.  How do you think the receivers feel receiving this format?  Well, they may just think that someone else might cover it so why bother.  They might also ruffle at seeing their competition listed. 
  • Input their names into your email contact base.  It was shocking to see “no name listed” beside some of the emails.
  • Offer exclusive stories for special events.  This means you will need to build relationships first, but I ended up getting some fantastic television coverage doing a few exclusives with a particular news outlet.  It fit their news format best, and the right audiences watch their news program, so it made a lot of sense.
  • Make sure a teaser and basic information is in the body of the email.  They may not have time to click on the attachment, which means it can get “shuffled” in their inbox and forgotten about.  Having the important details up front to get their attention right away is the way to go.
  • Send the releases in a timely manner.  Most outlets appreciate 3-4 weeks before as the sweet spot.  Enough time ahead, but not too much ahead for them to forget about it.
  • Follow up 2 weeks before the event with a fresh update.  This is also a good way to build the relationship with them.
  • Take the time to update your lists regularly and build relationships with the new people.  Press jobs seem to rotate consistently.  Emailing the new people as an introduction is always a good idea.
  • Cater the release to the media outlet.  One-size does not fit all, and this step will increase the likelihood of getting covered.
  • Go out to coffee with the local editors.  This really worked for me.
  • Give your releases personality.  Aside from catering to their specific outlet, make sure the release has some personality. Add a quote or testimonial from a key person.  Relate a story to get them hooked. Attach a fun small file photo and offer to send more upon their request. 
  • Only send attachment files that are 1 MB or less (in total).  Jamming their email program is not going to help you get coverage.
  • Create an online press kit if you have events all the time and email the press when another segment is up on the website. 
  • Hire someone to help you if you are having trouble getting results.  They can steer you in the right direction by guiding you to create templates that will work for you. 
  • If you have the funds, hire someone fabulous who already does publicity with an audience development angle.

Sending out press releases the audience development way has been extremely successful for me, and it can be for you too!

-Shoshana

The How of Audience Development for the Arts

 

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Do you know who your arts people are?

Quick thought for the day: Do you know who your arts people are in your neighborhood?  Are there people in your community that are artists from a previous life that you are not connecting with?  These are people that may have studied an art form previously and decided to do something else for their day jobs.  They might also be arts administrators now.

These types of people are out there, and it would be a fabulous idea to find them and make a special connection to them.  You see, I am one of these people.  I have a degree in music.  I know some people in my community know that I am one of the arts people, yet are they making an effort to invite me personally?  Very few are.  I usually attend when they extend this type of personal invitation too. 

Also, don’t forget the people that you have worked with in the past (and have left on good terms).  You could look up the history of who has worked at your organization in the past and rekindle the relationship. 

I know there are others like me in your community, people who have arts in their lives past and present that are not attending your events.  So, do yourself a huge favor and discover these people.  You may find them casually in a conversation at the grocery story or online when they comment on an arts article, or in your database of past employees.  Are you making note and following up with a more personal invite?  Let me know what happens when you make this an audience development effort!

-Shoshana

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