Tag Archives: branding

The Knights Who Say Niche for arts audience development

niche

noun

1. an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.
2. a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one’s niche in the business world.
3. a distinct segment of a market.
4. Ecology . the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.
adjective5. pertaining to or intended for a market niche; having specific appeal: niche advertising.

All Monty Python kidding aside, I would like to see more artists and arts organizations say niche.  I was looking at a theatre organization’s website yesterday, and despite the photos and marketing jargon being of a unique quality, the description and the overall look and feel of the organization did not separate them from everyone else.  In a time where it seems like there is an arts organization born every minute and a deep ended pool of individual artists of all kinds, having a niche should be mandatory.What makes you unique or different could make the difference in obtaining the right audiences for you and your art.  Taking the time, money and energy to create your niche brand is the best way to put your money and hard work to good use.  You can still be a theatre, orchestra, dance company, visual artist, film organization, etc., etc., without being exactly like another.  People will still recognize the type of art that you do, and they will also recognize why you are special in our world of art.

Take a look around you.  What arts brands stand out for you?  What arts organizations and artists grab the spotlight and are gaining the best audiences for themselves?  I assure you that these are the organizations and artists that are part of the fantastic group of The Knights Who Say Niche!

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

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

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

My eBook

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Audience Development for the Arts Songs!

It’s Friday!  Yesterday as you know, we had an #auddev chat.  During the chat, one of our chatters, Becky Peters a.k.a. @bpeters99 tweeted a song title that stuck in my head: Love the One You’re With by Crosby, Stills and Nash.  Of course this was in reference to loving your current audience.

It had me thinking what other songs could be good for arts audience development.  Here’s a few I came up with:

Thank You – Natalie Merchant – Thank your supporters often!

Being for the Benefit of Mr.Kite – The Beatles  – Tell your story effectively so your audience can picture the show and get interested.

True Colors – Cyndi Lauper – Be yourself and show your true colors to attract the right audience.

Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman – Give your audience reasons to stay!

I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas – Make your event special in every way so your audience will have a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night!

Do you have a song for arts audience development?  Feel free to reply. Happy weekend to you!

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

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

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

My eBook

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Websites and arts audience development

I have been a little MIA this week, but I did want to end the week with a quick post.  In the past, I have written about the process of branding properly as being the first step to audience development.  This branding process includes a website.

A website can be a slightly bigger budget item, but I think this is money well worth spending during your first few years.  The reason being, your website is the go to marketing station for almost all that you do.  When you have an ad or a mention anywhere, most of the time we put a link to the website to get more information and to purchase.  When you send out an email or social media post, we mainly link to our websites or a page on our website.  The website over time will pay for itself since you use it over and over again.

The branding for your website is extremely important, especially since all your efforts usually steer back to it.  The cost of the website could be daunting up front, but you will be using this concept for many years forward if your branding is done properly.

I have seen organizations that have a quality product, yet their website doesn’t quite advertise this fact.  If your website is looking more amateur and/or if it is not displaying who you are and what your art is really about, I think it might be time to invest in getting a good website built.

A website is a constant marketing tool, and it can be an audience development tool as well. With proper branding and a clean, functional, and user friendly site, you can attract the right audiences, keep them on your site (since it will be interesting with things to check out), and make the sale for you.  I hope you will consider giving your website this important face lift and making this well deserved investment in you!

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

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

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

My eBook

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Audience development for the arts: TEAMWORK (Or you cannot leave social marketing just to the marketing department)

I hope you had a nice weekend!  After walking a 10k, I wasn’t able to post on Monday, but I will be back on Friday with my typical plucky commentary.

It’s Wednesday, and I have a guest blog post for you as promised.  Today, my friend and colleague, Howard Seth Cohen, submitted a post about social marketing teamwork.  I agree wholeheartedly that social media tasks should not be left to the marketing department alone.  It’s called social media for a reason, right?  Please do give us feedback on how you are conducting your social media for your organization.  What is working for you?  What is not? 

Here are Howard’s thoughts, and I hope you agree too.

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TEAMWORK (Or you cannot leave social marketing just to the marketing department)
by Howard Seth Cohen

As arts organizations look to the social web to engage past and future audiences, the one massive misstep they can make is to think that the only way to engage is through an official channel, e.g. a theater company’s Facebook page.

An ‘official’ Facebook page or Twitter account, while important, can get bogged down in two different ways:
1. The posts and shares and activities can be hampered by the illusory need to stay on brand, and a feeling that each post must be precious, perfect, and on point.
2. When you keep your online activity confined to an official channel, you are only speaking to an audience that is already aware of you and your mission.

Your goal on the social web is to interact with new audiences just as much as it is to reinforce your relationships with your current group of supporters.

The social web of today is just like word of mouth marketing used to be before our telephones became portable and morphed into pocket computers. You want to activate a wide swath of supporters to spread your message for you, in attractive bits of snackable content that reach out to new people- potential audience members that are outside of your current social circles.

You cannot control how someone else uses social media, so simply inviting someone to an event, or emailing, or posting to your page’s wall is not sufficient. Posting to social media once is never enough. If your goal is to reach everyone, you must constantly post so that a relevant message is shared on someone’s wall when they choose to be on line.

The best way to do this is to think of your entire staff as a TEAM of promoters…
Keep the ‘carefully thought out on brand message’ for the official page, and then have everyone, from your interns to board members to guest artists to creative team posting regularly.

Train your team to search for and engage with each other’s posts (re-share, like, and comment on them.) This way, you game the Edgerank algorithm into thinking that your content is important enough to share with more people, and become a Top Story.

Your organization has the power to utilize social media to foster growth and create a larger community of like-minded people ready to support your mission. But you cannot forget that the first word in “Social Media” is SOCIAL. Now is the time to engage your entire team in a thoughtful effort to increase your visibility online. Support in joining social networks, and learning how to create effective posts.

Unfortunately, arts organizations are usually overburdened with production duties, and effective, subversive promotions like this that take time and concerted effort to achieve are never implemented. But they should be.

Understanding that you have to be where your audience is should incite action to engage with them on the social networks where they spend their free time. Communication through social media is the norm for your audience’s demographic. If your current attempts are not effective, it does not mean that social media is not the right place to find your audience… It may just mean you have to reassess how you are reaching out to them. Rethink your social engagement priorities to utilize the social networks your staff already has at their fingertips.

When a team works together to expand their reach, the true power of the social web can create word of mouth that consistently drives new eyes to your content, and eventually your productions themselves. [:O)]

Howard Seth Cohen runs Thomas Hampton Reviews, a free service that helps artists and producers create great looking pr tools. He creates social strategies for online promotions as lead consultant at socialservicesLA.

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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

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

My eBook

New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

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Branding properly for arts audience development

Last week, I gave you taste of a blog that has been in the works.  We decided to simply add to this post here at our blog home.

We started with our first screenshot, and we asked you to guess what type of theatre company this is.  This is my first attempt at an audio blog.  Please push play for the audio samples directly below the pictures.

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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

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

My eBook

New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

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Audience Development and Branding

I have been working on a blog for my friends at #2amt.  If you are not familiar with 2amt, they are a group of enthusiastic theatre associates that enjoy sharing information and ideas.  I encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer.

The blog is about branding for the arts, and it will be available later this weekend.  Here is a teaser of what is to come:

Push Play!

I will be posting the link to the #2amt blog when it is ready.  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

Join us for our next webinar:
March 16th – Noon ET

Working with Mobile Technology to Develop Your Audience
With the rapid adoption of web-enabled cell phones, smartphones and tablet computers, what options are available to arts professionals who want to engage their audiences via mobile devices? How can artists and organizations implement these options cost effectively without taking focus away from the art?

Shoshana Fanizza, Audience Development Specialists
Co-hosted with David Dombrosky, Chief Marketing Officer, InstantEncore
Co-produced with David Weuste, Rosebrook Classical

To Register: Click Here! 

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Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

My eBook

New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

Leave a comment

Filed under arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Audience development questions: Why don’t I have an audience?

Yesterday (I admit) I jumped on my Twitter soapbox and was thinking out loud about why arts organizations and artists are struggling.  Here is the flow of tweets that emerged:

The world is getting faster and faster with more and more information, competition. How are you standing out from the crowd?

I strongly feel that 2011 was an identity crisis and 2012 will be the year awareness of who we really are will happen.

This means that hiding behind the same old same old will not work anymore. People will ignore you if you do.

You can differentiate yourself and ultimately be more of yourself than you ever had before.

This being yourself is key to attracting the right people to you and your art.

You have to know yourself before you can get to know your true audiences.

Trying to be like everyone else, that is not creative, and that is not being themselves if they are an artist/arts org.

Audiences are people that can feel vibes and emotions. If your art is tired, they will see and feel it.

I think every artist/arts org could benefit from an arts journal. What inspires you and why? Think about it!

You want to take note of what makes you deliciously antsy inside, what turns on ideas, what makes you squirm for need of action.

What gives you chills, makes you cry or burst w/happiness? What takes you on that emotional ride that delights you? Take note!

Maybe this is the core problem – Artists that are not inspired themselves to be who they are since they are out of touch.

People want to be inspired or at least memorably entertained. They want to spend $ on release, escape, awareness, happening events.

Discover yourself and share who you are!

Just maybe this is the core problem.  It all comes down to an identity crisis in the arts.  A while back I did a quick research on orchestra websites.  Out of the over 50 orchestras I sampled, there were maybe 8-10 that stood out in terms of their branding.  All the other orchestras, if you were to black out the who and the where, the pictures, messages, programs were all the same old same old. This is true in other disciplines too.  For a creative industry, the arts, we have become rather uncreative, stodgy, boring, bland, and predictable.

Does this really speak to who we really are?  Are you stodgy, boring, bland and predictable?  If the answer is “no” then I suggest you do something about it.  If the answer is “yes,” well, I would say good luck with that.  Do people want stodgy, boring, bland and predictable time and time again?  I think you know the answer to this question.

Why don’t you have an audience that is happy, loyal, and supportive?  It’s probably because you don’t know who you are.  Without knowing who you are and learning how to communicate who you are, you will never attract the right people to become your best audiences.

During my Twitter adventure, I discovered that I too need to go through this process again.  After 4 years of doing what I have been doing, I have discoved that this is not me at all.  I need to start asking myself the tough questions too.  What differentiates myself from other organizations that claim will help you with audience development?  How can I communicate better who I am to you?

Currently I can answer: I know how to help you find yourself and have the gift of coming up with sensational ideas that will support you in communicating to and connecting with your right audiences.  One size does not fit all since you are a unique being, a special entity.  I know this and can help you become more you than ever before.  Currently I understand: I need to completely change my website and branding to match my new understanding of myself.  And you know what? It is okay to change when it is a change that will reveal more of who you are.  I also know that I am a creative as well that has not been acting as creatively as I could be.  This will need to change too.

So by all means, use my own self discovery as an example.  If you are asking yourself, “why don’t I have an audience?”, please understand that maybe it would be best to first ask yourself “who am I?”

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

Join us for our next webinar:
March 16th – Noon ET

Working with Mobile Technology to Develop Your Audience
With the rapid adoption of web-enabled cell phones, smartphones and tablet computers, what options are available to arts professionals who want to engage their audiences via mobile devices? How can artists and organizations implement these options cost effectively without taking focus away from the art?

        

Shoshana Fanizza, Audience Development Specialists
Co-hosted with David Dombrosky
Co-produced with David Weuste, Rosebrook Classical

To Register: Click Here! 

**********************

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

My eBook

New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

Participatory Classical Music Webinar – Recording

 

 

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