Clear as mud!

Today I woke up in a different mindset.  I am still hopeful that my direction will be defined soon, but at the present moment, it is clear as mud.

I’m starting to miss writing blog posts and tweeting information to my tweeps.  I think what I sincerely miss is being a part of the team for advancing audience development (audience building, engagement) for the arts.  However, as clear as I am about what I like to do and what I would love to accomplish, I am still not clear on what direction to take that will ultimately benefit everyone involved.

I had a client that I started with 3 years ago that only had about 69 people in their audience.  The powerful, joyous feeling of looking around the audience a few years later, now at 250-500 depending on the program, is what I love to feel.  The building of an audience for a well deserved arts organization is what I love to do and what I want to accomplish.  This organization has also doubled their funding over this time period.

So, how can I continue to have these powerful, joyous feelings, doing what I love to do and what I want to accomplish?  More successes for the arts world is the ultimate high for me.

As mentioned previously, I have had thoughts about turning ADS into a membership society.  However, through advice and thoughts of my colleagues, selling memberships might be just as daunting as selling services.

The main challenge I keep coming back to is how I can be paid for my time and talents and still serve the arts community.  I was considering fundraising for either my salary or for specific projects, but then, wouldn’t I be working double time in order to get paid?  I am also considering a pay per view subscription in order to continue offering content that would be valuable.  Are people willing to pay for advice and education from me if they might be able to find freebies elsewhere?  I definitely do not want to reinvent a wheel either.

It’s been a strange journey.  I feel that I am valued, but I am also needing to be paid what I am worth.  If any of you have suggestions or advice, or stories from your own experiences, I would love to hear from you.  I just finished reading Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert.  The end result is (not really a spoiler since it the journey of this book that matters more) that we tend to not choose to consider others’ experiences when we have the option of figuring it out for ourselves.  Yet, having the experience of others leads to a better decision.  So, if you have something to share, we can all benefit, and please do comment.

I am weighing all my options and looking at all the opportunities that are out there.  Perhaps making mud pies would be a good alternative, at least for now!




Filed under Audience Development

4 responses to “Clear as mud!

  1. Hi Soshana. Remember when I told you that your audience development skills could be put to use for other clients, besides the arts? I offered my own services in this regard to my local university’s athletics program and received a very warm reception. Looks promising.

    • Hi Denis. Yes, I do remember. I’ve been thinking how all types of businesses could use audience development to increase sales, members, etc. I’m not sure sports is my cup of tea, but maybe there is another niche I could consider. Thanks again!

  2. 1. Write a book with all you know about ADS. Don’t plan, just start writing… (lots of tools used by the folk below) 2. Give away chapter 1 – at least 5 copies every weekday for 3 months. 3. Summarize each chapter in a video & send 1 video per week to those who sign up for your newsletter (use an autoresponder) 4. Offer to speak to arts orgs for an hour – for $1.5k 5. Let them ask you to consult.

    Throughout your book, videos & speaking engagements, you should be referring to the successes of your past clients. You’re not selling. but it’s definitely a sales funnel!

    6. Most importantly (and perhaps 1st) sign up for the following weekly blogs:

    – Marie Forleo (empowers women in business, and I love it!) – Chris Guillebeau (World Domination/ Art of Non-Conformity/ the $100 startup ) – Michael Hyatt (Platform ) – Jon Acuff (Start !)

    If you do all this and in 6 months are still not seeing a way forward, let’s regroup. I highly doubt we’ll need to though!

    Best wishes, Stephen

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