Tag Archives: building relationships

A sick cat and audience development for the arts

CharliSome of you may know that one of my cats is very ill.  I have been back and forth to the vet many times in the past two weeks.  Both me and my cat are tired of the whole thing.  During the process, I realized that I am incorporating much of the advice I give to my clients for the 4th C of audience development, or the Care element of their plans.

  • I want to make my cat as comfortable as possible during this time.  I put an extra special soft blanket in her carrier to make the travels a little bit better for her.
    What are you doing to make your patrons more comfortable during their experience with you?
  • Her problem right now is not being able to keep food down. I am buying medicines and foods to help calm her stomach.
    What changes are you making to solve any problems your patrons are “ailing” from?
  • At the vet she sat in the corner, tired from the entire ordeal.  Today, I am “hearing” that she needs a little bit of time before another round of medications begin.
    Are you listening to what your audiences prefer?  What are you doing to accommodate their schedule, their needs? 
  • I was rewarded this morning when she began to eat a good breakfast.  After weeks of not being able to keep her food down, she seems to be doing a little better.  She purred when I pet her too.
    Caring for your audiences will have their rewards.  They will want to give back if you cater and care for them. 
  • I know that I will have to make decisions that will benefit her even if she doesn’t take to it from the start.  What makes this easier is her trust in me.
    If you care for your audiences, over time, they will start to trust your judgement even if they don’t completely agree with you. 
  • My cat has been with me for 14 years.  I couldn’t imagine my life without her.
    Just like a relationship with a pet, your relationships with your audiences can be loyal and long lasting if you keep caring for them throughout the relationship. 

Which brings me to the moral of this little cat tale (and tail).  If you care for your audiences through every experience with them, they will become happy and loyal audience members.  They will want to support you since they now know that you care for them too.  In the end, you can’t imagine your life without an audience, and when you care enough, they will not be able to imagine a life without you and your art.

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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Filed under arts management, Audience Development, Fundraising

Quick post – more random thoughts for audience development for the arts

I am off to Austin, TX for a family wedding.  I wanted to post a little something before I leave.  Today I have been thinking a variety of random thoughts due to interactions with people:

  • Are we getting caught up on the words?  I had someone ask about whether I thought “Community Engagement” was overused.  This phrase may be overused, but maybe we need to focus less on the words and more on the actual action of building relationships within our community.  After hearing some other typical phrases over and over, eye rolling can happen.  We need to remember that it is the actual action we take, the people we meet, the people we invite and form friendships with, that is what really matters!
  • Be careful of founder’s syndrome.  Some of us get caught up in a job being ours that when it comes to getting the help we need, sometimes we do not ask for help.  Instead, our thoughts are along the lines that no one else can do it better, so we better keep the job to ourselves.  There are two reasons why it is best to push through founder’s syndrome.  Number one, you will burn yourself out quickly.  Number two, you are missing out on an opportunity to let others get involved, lend their energy, and share a passion for your mission.  Start asking for help and let yourself work with the amazing people that come across your path.
  • Volunteers are special people, so treat them well.  There is an #artsmgtchat happening on Friday that I will have to miss.  The topic is Volunteerism in the Arts.  The best way to find and keep volunteers is to set up a volunteer management program.  Find out how people want to volunteer and contribute and then help them become successful.  Also, it is a good idea to have an incentive thank you program, and to be sure to communicate with them and get their feedback on their preferences for volunteering and benefits.  Happy volunteers are more likely to become loyal volunteers.
  • Big Bird and Binders – The debates have been a little comical, however, we can turn this dramady into action.  Now is the time to start heavily promoting the arts and helping to further the cause of equality for women by serving as good examples (the arts have a little ways to go on this matter).
  • WOM, a friend, an email…I surveyed one of my client’s events that happened last weekend. Again, the majority of people were there because they heard it from someone they knew or from a personal email we sent out.  Audience development works!
  • Time with people is time well spent.  I saw a picture on FB of a group of friends that stack their cell phones on the table so everyone enjoys the time they have with each other, and not with their cell phones.  When is the last time you gave someone your full attention?  Audience development is about connecting with people, and we certainly will not be able to connect fully if we can’t give another person our time.
  • Have a great rest of your week and a fantastic weekend.  I will see you on the flip-side!

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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Filed under Arts, arts advocacy, arts management, Audience Development, Volunteer Management

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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Filed under Arts, arts marketing, Audience Development

#Auddev chat, Thursday, October 11 at Noon ET on Twitter for arts audience development

I wanted to make sure you were all invited to the #auddev chat we will be having this Thursday:

Audiences’ Preferred Connections
Co-host Cindy Marie Jenkins, L.A.’s own Storyteller/Outreach Nerd, and I will be conducting a chat about audiences and how they prefer to connect with us. So dig up your latest surveys and let’s chat about our findings!

We mainly will be discussing the various questions we tend to ask on surveys, and what information are we finding out about our audiences.  Are these the right questions to ask?  What do we need to know?

I feel many of our surveys do not find the answers we are most in need of, which is knowing how our audiences want to connect with us.  How are they finding their information now?  What drives them to buy a ticket?  How do they want to participate?  What makes them feel engaged?  What makes them want to come back?  What are the main reasons they may not come back?

It’s time to go beyond the general demographics and get to know our audiences’ preferences.  So, join us as we discuss these questions!  You’re invited!

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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Filed under Arts, arts marketing, Audience Development

My apologies to my email subscribers – #Auddev chat 9/27, Noon ET – Arts, Change & Audiences

I was using the Storify export function, and it wigged out. I apologize for the repeated bogus posts. Here is the actual chat transcript I was attempting to post:

[View the story “#Auddev chat, 9/27, Noon ET – Arts, Change & Audiences” on Storify]

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

Leave a comment

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

Why am I doing this? Arts Audience Development

This morning I am literally in tears over an article I just read,  I took my 9-year-old to the opera, and she loved it,  although it may be due to the combination of articles this morning.  The articles this morning ranged from arts education, let’s do this – to talks about better Boards – to arts cuts – to why the arts should not be funded publicly.

We live in a strange world.  Despite the arts being front and center for making all our lives better, the arts and artists are struggling to be funded.  The argument that arts will go on despite funding, this may be true since artists need to create, or we die inside, however, the reach that the arts would have if funding were to disappear would shrink.  Without public funding, the biggest arts offerings would start to collapse.  There would be less grand opera, less orchestras, less art on a bigger scale.

People may say that the reason the collapse would happen is because people do not desire these art forms any more.  Well, this 9-year old proves to me that this isn’t the case.  The arts are relevant today and these bigger art forms that are in question for funding are appealing today, if we let them be seen and heard, which means continuing to fund the arts.

There seems to be such a weird disconnect.  There are opera and symphonies blaring in the background of our commercials.  We have classical music in our movie soundtracks.  There is public art beautifying our neighborhoods.  What we buy in the form of design are created by creative people that were inspired by art.  The television and radio would not be what it is today without the arts.  Why is there such a disconnect between the arts being funded publicly if we use the arts everyday in almost every aspect of our lives?

And, why am I in tears?  It is the last statement in the article.  The 9-year old looks up at her mom and says: “Mommy, why aren’t there more people here?” she asked. “If I could, I would come every night.”

Aside from letting this opera company know that they should have a special subscription for this little girl and her mother due to the heart of this posting, I am in tears because this is exactly the reason why I started my business.  I look around and see low attendance at events that should be packed to the gills.  More people could be enjoying the arts if they only knew they exist for them.

It’s not a matter of not being relevant.  It’s a matter of doing the work necessary to becoming connected with our communities again.  I see the turnarounds, and most of them are due to building relationships and becoming a part of their communities again – audience development.  I know what true audience development can do for an arts business.   I think the main reason I ended up crying over the little girl’s statement is because I want to help, yet I know that it will take time for artists and arts organizations to decide to make the changes toward audience development.

I have to admit that one of the statements in the Forbes article, smacking with elitism, may be a little correct.

The health of art organizations are too important to depend on government. Politics kills goodwill and development skills atrophy. Art thrives on delighting its audiences and developing a loyal fan base. Ensuring that should not be outsourced to government coercion. An identifiable pool of patrons is far superior to a vague cloud of resentful taxpayers.

Are we so used to relying on public funding that we ourselves have created the atrophy of private support?

I know that in order to have a healthier more peaceful world, we need to start with ourselves.  We need to be strong as individuals to add to the collective of a better world.  I still feel strongly that the arts should be funded publicly since the arts contribute to all of us in one way or another, however, if we want to keep the arts on a grand scale, we ourselves need to create stronger, healthier arts businesses.  In my opinion, the best way to do this is to roll up our sleeves and get to work on audience development.

If you can’t bring yourself to feel worthy of working for a better audience, at least, do it for the little girl and for all the children with hopes for a future that embraces the arts.

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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Filed under arts management, Audience Development

3 ways for artists to make friends with arts audience development

 

 

I was having a conversation with a friend about artists and our resistance to doing the work we have to do in order to build our audience.  Many of us view the audience development/marketing side of our businesses as boring and that “thing” we “have” to do that takes our precious time away from creating our art.  Yet, if we want a following, time and effort must happen.  However, my friend and I thought of three solutions for us artistic types to make friends with audience development:

  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses.  If you truly do not have the time or the desire or the ability, hire someone else to do the audience development work for you.
  2. If money is an issue, find an intern that is eager for the job experience, yet has enough knowledge about connecting via social media and email marketing to do positive work for you.
  3. Or, learn to make this part of the business fun for you.  I know of an artist that created a board with the names of the people that have purchased her artwork. It’s artsy and functional.  She will, according to her time plan, choose one of these people to send an email or note to in order to build a relationship with them.   Over time, all of the people on her board have been connected with.  There are many other ideas for incorporating your art into a business task.  You can use your creative brain to come up with solutions to help you accomplish your business tasks while keeping in mind your desire to be artistic.

If there is a will, there is a way.  You only have to decide if you want it bad enough. “It” being a successful arts business!

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

Leave a comment

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