Monday, November 12, 2012

Marketing Ourselves

I came across an article by Brian Miller, Arts Branding Sucks, Here are 4 Ways to Fix It, via Facebook, and found it to be an interesting and practical take on how to find an audience and market ourselves to the general public. We’ve all had experience marketing ourselves to our peers with recital posters and word of mouth, but I’m fairly certain that my recital poster making skills that have consisted of printing out pictures of Harry Potter, Nazgul, Hobbits, and screencaps from The Office won’t get me too far in the real world.

What I found to be the most useful bit of advice in this article was realizing that our potential audience is usually not as interested in what we do as we are. Advertising a concert as simply a concert will reach fellow musicians, but not the broader public. To reach that audience, we have to figure out how to sell what we do to the public in a way that is meaningful for them. I liked Miller’s idea of selling the ballet to guys as a first date option. It’s plausible and reaches a demographic that may otherwise not have gone to the ballet.

Miller also reminds us that selling is not selling out. I’ve always been awed by people who have a natural flair and ease with self-marketing and networking. As a super introvert it’s not something I’m good at, and I doubt I’ll ever feel comfortable with it. But remembering that I’m selling what I do, and not selling myself out is a helpful nudge in the right direction.

The start of the article mentions how the London cultural scene has been completely revamped by this kind of thinking, and now reaches a much broader audience than it had previously. That is a hopeful prospect and a tangible model we can keep in mind. Marketing is a very large and real part of our lives that does not get as much attention as it should in our education. Perhaps that may be a requirement of all music students some day in the future. Until then, it is our responsibility to stay informed and updated on how best to market ourselves to the world at large.

1 comment:

Paula Wertheim said...

Just like in a service business: no matter how high a price you charge, people will continue to buy as long as they like YOU.