Monthly Archives: August 2013

Ways to help ADS

Hello!  I have been thinking about how to stay in business.  I had a job interview last week for a part time job.  I also have been thinking of different ways to monetize, which will be revealed on my new website.

Until then, and I rarely ask, here are a few ways you can help ADS continue our mission:

  1. RT tweets by ADS and Share from the Facebook page – every little bit will help bring audience development awareness to new people.  Please see my connect information in the signature of my posts.
  2. Buy my eBook I figured that if everyone I am connected with were to buy my eBook at the low price of $3.99, I would have a salary for 8-10 months.
  3. Purchase a $5 webinar.  I have two to choose from:
    Classical Music: The challenges of making the affection clear
    The conversation continues with, John Steinmetz, all around musician and educator. People get involved with music because they love it, yet too often the love is not clear enough. Musicians get distracted by technical perfection, administrators get distracted by all the responsibilities, and our way of writing and talking about music is often dry. How can we as an industry, as musicians, show and share the love again before the stuffiness of protocol buries us.Top 20 Tips for Increasing Everything!
    Shoshana is back to share her favorite Top 20 tips for audience development. Enjoy this recorded webinar for a reminder of simple, common sense ideas that are not being commonly practiced. Implementing just one of these ideas will help you to build your audiences and support!
  4. Donate to ADS.  We are not nonprofit, but your donation will help us to continue our project development and free offerings.
  5. Buy from our ADS Store!

Thank you for considering supporting ADS.  I appreciate you more than you know!

PS The Getty Images update – they dropped the case!  I found an article that shares a letter format to use, and it worked!

Have a great weekend!

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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Orchestras in crisis or natural evolution?

Oh boy!  This recent article America’s Orchestras are in Crisis is the entire kit and kaboodle of what is currently going wrong with orchestras today.  It is a very windy article so I will attempt to summarize a few points to help me and you wrap our brain around it:

  • The outreach and diversity efforts of the past (and present) are not yielding the results necessary to keep orchestras in good standing.
  • Many orchestras are in trouble, have folded, or are going bankrupt.
  • There is a disconnect between current pop-ish programming and the traditional listeners of today.
  • There is also a differentiation between traditional listeners (those who want Beethoven all the time) and serious listeners (those who will listen to anything worthwhile).
  • Music has evolved past the salon days.  Composers who wrote in the day of audience “submission” had the capability to write music that was front and center and required broader listener skills.
  • Today, younger audiences rather be in a “salon” setting, which “disrupts” both the traditional and serious listeners’ experience.
  • The musicians want to continue to perform worthwhile music, and not so much the pop crap.  They blame the board and staff for not aggressively fundraising.
  • Programming is bland and similar around the nation.  There are no ties to local community anymore to make the orchestra a unique entity for a region.
  • The board and staff blame the economy for the recent downturn.  The board solution is to cut programming, marketing, staff and musician pay and benefits.
  • The product of the orchestra has been reduced to piecemeal performances instead of the subscriptions of the past.  It is more costly functioning in this manner.
  • This article points out several of the problems, but does not even mention thoughts about ideas and solutions.

If I missed any important points, please do comment below.  I realize this is an entire can of worms and a worm might have escaped my attention.

I am still processing all of this, but I did have a few gut reactions:

  • The reason that outreach and diversity have not produced the results desired is the fact that these programs do not follow up and follow through after the fact.  As I mentioned before, performing for a group of children once in their school year is not going to instantly produce a younger audience now and in the future. Creating diversity takes an ongoing effort as well.  There are no quick fixes despite our desire for one.  It is going to take hard work and continual effort to build relationships and connections with our existing and potential audiences.
  • The musician vs. the board/staff is only creating more drama. Adding more problems is not going to solve anything.  Please start functioning as a team instead of separate entities within the organization.
  • It would be wise to program locally keeping your local audiences in mind.  One-size does not fit all.  People are different from region to region.  Every orchestra’s audience is different.  It’s time to start catering to the needs of our local audiences.  This will also help brand and differentiate among all the competition.  It’s time to be unique again.
  • There are many ways to engage and connect with your audiences.  Today, you can build relationships and find out who your audiences are as people and what they prefer.  Then, you can create programming, presentations, outreach efforts, etc. that they will enjoy.  This does not mean you cannot challenge your audiences, but you can consider your challenges in the realm of what they prefer.  I hope this makes sense.
  • Fundraising does need to be implemented in a team fashion.  Everyone should be responsible for the health of the organization.  If you don’t ask, you won’t get anywhere, and everyone should ask if they see an opportunity to do so, or at least send them to the right people that are not shy about it.
  • Elitism is still a big elephant in the room.  Tradition is established by people of a certain time and place.  Maybe we do need to consider that it might be time to make some changes in how we relate, perform and connect with our audiences of today.

I could go on and on, like the article, but I will stop here for now.  Please do feel free to add your 2 cents.  There is much to be discussed.  However, I hope these conversations will quit harping on all the problems, which we already know about, and instead focus on creative or sometimes common sense ideas and solutions to get us out of this “crisis.”  We can evolve past all of this, if we want to.

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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Our arts begin to end

Ourlives

Today is the 5oth anniversary of the famous Martin Luther King, Jr. speech, “I have a dream...”  One of the quotes that is being distributed is “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  This quote literally woke me up this morning, well, enough for me to begin writing to you.  I feel this quote matters to me personally. Lately, I can’t seem to get myself started.  After a week off, and considering just fading into the woodwork, my work of bringing awareness for change to an audience development mentality keeps getting harder and harder.

Don’t worry, this blog is not going to be a big complain fest.  I am through with that type of festival.  However, I will say that getting people to take action, discuss, and congregate for arts advocacy is a big challenge.

When I saw this quote, it rang true for the translation for the arts.  Our arts begin to end the day we become silent.  The fact that we have to justify how valuable the arts are means to me that we have been silent far too long.

Right now, people are going about their arts businesses mainly focusing on what they need to get done in the moment to keep going.  The vision isn’t extending much past this day to day business.  There hasn’t been enough thought that if we collectively were giving some time to a bigger movement that the day to day may not be so challenging and get easier.

I often think of this line of thought in terms of using audience development.  If more people were to shift to audience development, there would be bigger audiences and more support for the arts already.  Yet, I digress.

When there was a cry out for supporting the arts during the time the NEA budget was on the chopping block, again, this time for 49% of slashing, only around 2,800 ( I think that was the number) people responded through Americans for the Arts.  There are 313.9 million people (2012 figure), in the U.S.A. today.  You can do the math to come up with a really low percentage of people that were not silent.

I feel like we keep wishing for someone else to save us.  In reality, we need to save ourselves.  Our arts begin to end, unless we collectively have a voice.

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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Filed under Arts, arts advocacy, Audience Development

Audience development is sexy!

sex·y
[sek-see]
adjective, sex·i·er, sex·i·est.
3. excitingly appealing; glamorous: a sexy new car.

According to Dictionary.com, sexy can mean excitingly appealing. To me, audience development is excitingly appealing, thus, it is sexy.  Let me explain further.

I have always felt building audiences was sexy. The best way to build a happy and loyal audience is by using audience development techniques. As of late, audience development has been ill defined and given a bad rap. This is a shame. The true identity of audience development is desirable since it provides the results that are desired, a healthy arts business with plenty of support.

“Audience Development is the building of relationships with your existing and potential audiences, through the use of specific audience relations programs, in order for them to become more involved with your organization and/or art form. Audience development uses the 4 C’s: Community, Connections, Collaborations, and Caring.”

– Shoshana Fanizza

When you have the goal of building relationships with your audiences, some wonderfully desirable objectives can be achieved:

1. You build your capacity.  Audience development helps you to increase audiences (ticket sales), volunteers, sponsors, donors, members, purchases, etc! Audiences become more invested in you and your art which translates into more money and more people support – an all hands on deck mentality to build a familiar community!  This is very excitingly appealing for many arts businesses.

2. You gain loyalty.  Through your relationships and audience frame of mind, your audiences will feel cared for and know that they are being factored into how you conduct your business.  Your consideration will reap loyalty.  With loyalty there is less money needed to sway people to attend and donate.  Using less money and gaining more money is excitingly appealing, right?

3. You can become more diversified.  Using audience development can help you to diversify your audience.  In an age where we are desiring younger and more inclusive audiences, this makes audience development very sexy!

Sexy can also be defined as glamorous.
glam·or·ous
[glam-er-uhs]

adjective

1. full of glamour; charmingly or fascinatingly attractive, especially in a mysterious or magical way.

2. full of excitement, adventure, and unusual activity: the glamorous job of a foreign correspondent.

Audience development is glamorous, since the outcomes have a touch of mystery and magic. People find it incredulous when the results fall into place.  The programs used to build relationships with your audiences can be creative and adventurous, and they might be considered unusual activity since they tend to be different from typical status quo marketing.

So, based on this definition of sexy, audience development is excitingly appealing.  We desire a bigger and better audience for our art and arts businesses.  It is glamorous since it has charm and is fascinatingly attractive due to how audience development is accomplished.  Audience development can be extremely exciting, especially when the energy builds to the point you can feel it surging.  It’s an incredible feeling for sure, the feeling of well executed audience development and the results you can achieve.

To be quite honest, all this word dissecting can be boiled down to semantics.  And, it also can be reduced to beliefs.  Regarding “audience development,” due to the successes I have had,  I choose to remain positive about it, and positively sure in my belief of how sexy it truly is.

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

Leave a comment

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Taking this week off!

Hi all!

I am heading to Chicago for a week to visit family and friends, so I will be taking this week off.  Please feel free to check out my archives.  I have over 300 posts to choose from on a variety of topics!  You can use the search box in the right column to get started. 

If you happen to be a blog writer and have something to say about audience development, contact me to become a guest blogger.  I realize it would have been better to set up some guest blogs during my time off, so let’s work on this together so I don’t leave everyone hanging for a week.

Thank you, and have a lovely week!

-Shoshana

 

 

 

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ADS News

Happy Friday – we made it! It’s been a crazy week.  Today, I would like to catch you up to speed on what is happening behind the ADS scenes:

  • We are working on a new website with Rosebrook Classical, and it is coming along nicely!
  • I received a Getty Images unauthorized use notice letter.  I sent them an email explaining the image came from an RSS Feed I had on the site.  I have yet to hear back from them.  More soon.
  • I presented for the Boulder County Arts Alliance, and it was so well received, I made a recorded webinar for the Top 20 Tips for Increasing Everything portion. It’s only $5.
    Here is my YouTube invitation: http://youtu.be/VY9lrSZQj3w
    To register and view the presentation: http://bit.ly/ADStips
  • My book is 20% off right now!

    Coupon code: ARDENS20

    One use per account. Offer expires Aug 9 at 11:59 PM. Cannot be combined with other offers, not valid on paid services.

    Head to: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/audiencedevelopmentspecialists

  • Top Blog posts this week were:
  1. Be the change you want to see
  2. The uncomfortableness of old and new side by side?
  3. Non-traditional fundraising ideas for audience development

I’m thinking about new ways I can create content and value for you.  If you have any suggestions, please do feel free to share. Thank you all, and enjoy your weekend!

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

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2 ways to skin a cat, but please don’t skin a cat!

There seems to be a rumbling about arts marketing lately.  There are people that believe that artists and arts organizations need to step up their game or hire someone else that has more experience.

Here is the latest of the rumblings:

Cincinnati Art Museum makes cuts

The Cincinnati Art Museum recently eliminated its design team, instead opting to use a Cincinnati marketing and design company to complete its projects.

Yes, this is one way to change and step up in the game of arts marketing, that is if the company that is hired is truly a player.  However, there is another way that will allow arts folks to keep their jobs.  It’s called education!

There are many ways an arts administrator, arts marketer, etc., can obtain education.  I see a variety of workshops, classes, and seminars that are being offered to get you started.  I also know of some fantastic consultants (wink) that can teach you how to build your audiences and market more effectively.

It saddens me that the people that are truly dedicated to the arts are being cut in favor of bigger corporate companies that are paid well to get the job done.  Except in cases where the employee is a complete yahoo, there seems to be a disconnect between wanting results and being loyal to the people that you employ.  You can have both.

Wouldn’t it be better if education was supplied to help these dedicated individuals flourish and get them up to speed instead of skinning a bunch of cats in favor of spending more money with a big corporate firm?

You may get results going with those big corporate firms, yet you might be hurting our industry by not investing those dollars in the people that care more about the arts in the first place.  Remember, these are the people that took the jobs despite the decreased nonprofit salaries.

You would also be helping all the educators, consultants and arts agencies that are supplying this form of education.  It’s time to start helping the people in our own industry to get the results we want.  Wouldn’t it be best to support our own while we help ourselves?

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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Filed under Arts, arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development