Blog

How to Build a Personal Brand 2 of 4

brand_2_of_4_blog_newsletterThe following is a continuation of where we left off last week in our special “How to Build a Personal Brand” series.

• Review deciding what feeling you want your brand to evoke and write it down.
• Write more about that feeling.
• Now connect your single word to the feeling. Remember we came up with a word last week. Write down the word and feeling connection.
• Write down the benefits of your brand.
• Write down how your brand will inspire others.
• Write down an image for your brand.
• Write why people might seek out your brand.
• What is the good you do with your brand?
• Imagine getting people writing you telling you how much what you do has changed their lives. That’s where you want to head. It is like starting a dialogue – an interaction with your fans. For example, starting a YouTube channel can help make this happen. Create a channel that helps people in some way that is related to your work.
• Consider starting a video channel. If you were to do this what kind of videos might you make?
• In other words a feeling of strength and empowerment for all those who dare to go down a different road? The possibilities are endless.
• Don’t worry about the haters who sometimes leave messages, if you are sincere in your approach, making a new video a week can help you build a fan base. And be sure to put keywords that relate to your work in the tags section as well as place a link back to your personal arts website.
• Make your first video and put it on your channel.
• Tell someone you trust to go to your video site and watch video.
• Get feedback regarding video from that person.
• Check to see if you have feedback on your video page.
• If you have a comment how might you respond to that comment?
• Respond to the comment. You have begun the process of interacting with your fans and engaging them with your brand.
• Once you are clear on what you stand for, you can then start some social media accounts including possibly Twitter, Facebook and a blog. Plus maybe a YouTube channel as mentioned earlier. These are all ways you can share your thoughts and feelings based on your word. Your art can come into play by drawing from it to illustrate points that you make.
• Start doing posts that relate to your word as seen by others.
• Build your social media platforms with content that relates to your word.

Building a Personal Brand 1 of 4

brand_1_of_4_blog_newsletterAs you’ve probably noticed our focus has changed lately to an exploration of how to “Market Creativity.” We believe that artists (musicians, writers, filmmakers etc.) deserve to learn the steps it takes to use promotional techniques to advance their creative careers as independent artists. To us the term “independent artist” means building your own audience so that you are not at the whim of your particular industry. The topic we are going to take a look at over the next four weeks is the building of a personal brand.

• The first step in succeeding with a personal brand is to stop trying to be everything to everyone.

• Ruminate over the fact that the more simple a brand is, the more powerful it is.

• Your audience is currently searching for a single word. What is that word? Once you know what that word is, you are on your way to building a personal brand.

• It is important to come to terms with the fact that a brand is more powerful the more simple it is.

• You are creating a community and a movement. What is your revolution all about?

• How will you share your passion in terms of the word with your audience? By what means are you going to take to reach them?

• You’ve got the word, so now you’ve got to figure out what you stand for. What do you stand for?

• Remember, art makes you feel something. What is the feeling you are trying to project? How do you project that feeling to your audience? What is that feeling? Anger? Calm? Powerful? Whatever it is you need to be able to write a sentence about it.

• How will you share your passion in terms of the word with your audience? What is the means you are going to use to reach them?

• Still on the topic of how you want to make people feel, how might you revise your sentence based on the core of what you are doing? For example are you making a statement for those feel “different?” How are you empowering them? How are you giving them confidence? And so forth.

• In other words a feeling of strength and empowerment for all those who dare to go down a different road? The possibilities are endless.

• What road are you taking people? To their success? Define success.

• You have the option while building an actual business to also build a persona. What is the persona you are trying to project?

• What is the reality of how others perceive your persona? What can you do to make your outward persona more of who you really are and want to be perceived as?

• You can have someone follow you around with a camera and then put it on YouTube as a way to track the evolution of your personal brand. Or maybe your brand is about introversion and being quiet. In which case you might have to figure out how to express this.

• How is your work/life balance? What is your personal life like? How does your personal life inform your outer brand?

• Can your outer brand affect your personal reality? Do you need to have a balance of the two? Or is it all the same thing?

• Do you have a hard time getting up the courage to be a brand? How might you change this?

• Artists of all kinds, regardless of your art form, sometimes have a hard time marketing themselves. But the fact is, to be successful, you’ve got to get out there and talk about yourself. How will you talk about yourself and in what setting?

• Talking about yourself can also be communicating about yourself through other means as in various marketing media types. What are your various marketing media types?

Artists: Get More Fans Using Mobile Marketing

mobile-marketing-emailHello Creatives of many different art forms. In our continuing quest to use digital media to promote your artistic work and broaden your audience, we bring you now mobile marketing.

• Technology has changed our attention span so that it is now very short. This means you must make your message clear in an instant, especially when reaching mobile users. Get your message down to one sentence.

• How will you craft your message so it is understood right away? As mentioned, a mobile message needs to be quick and simple. How can you condense your message even further so it can be conveyed in just a few words?

• You have created a “Heading” so now add more to your mobile message under the byline. Does the text you are adding match the short version of your message?

• Today over 80 percent of consumers are concerned with mobile marketing. Because of this we need to analyze what are the things that are important to customers?

• Research the best possible email marketing solutions and choose one, next writing it down.

• Set up your email marketing solution.

• Test your email marketing solution.

• Figure out first message that you will send to your audience.

• When thinking about mobile you want to make sure that your offer is in line with their interest. People are annoyed when your message is not aligned with their interest. Is your message aligned with their interest?

• If message is not aligned with their interest, change it.

• Make sure that the benefit is attractive to them, whether the benefit is out of fear or desire – fixing fear or giving a way to realize their desire. Decide on which tactic and rewrite accordingly.

• You have to realize that a certain percent of your audience is going to be marketing immune, not moved by your mobile messages. So make sure your message or series of messages build to something your prospect can get excited about.

• So you need to be relevant with the right message, for the right person at the right moment. Put yourself in their shoes – does the message truly appeal to your demographic?

• Finalize your message.

• In doing your mobile marketing, if you get customer to your landing page you want to make sure it converts. Work on copy (text) of “sales letter” you will use on landing page to get reader to sign up for your newsletter.

• Test text on audience member of your demographic if you can.

• Is your tactic clear? Is the “sales letter” coming from place of either desire or fear? If not one of these then strengthen message.

• Consider giving your demographic something in exchange for signing up for your newsletter. Decide on instantly downloadable eBook that you want customer to get in exchange for email.

• When writing eBook (or getting someone to write eBook), think of it as an info product based on desire or fear of your prospect.

• Finalize your eBook product

Using Social Media for a Campaign

07_to_social_or_not_to_social_email• Should you use social media as an audience building tool? To social or not to social? That is the question. What role does social media really play in your campaign? When we buy something we do so because we believe that it is something that is going to do something for us. If you decide to use social media does your message reflect this in terms of being desirable to the prospect?

• And when you are communicating this message on social media, how do you do it so that it does not come off as too aggressive?

• It is recommended that you use social media as a way to engage with your customers (though you could do this with email) as well as a means of showing the association of what you do to others.

• The mistake that many make when using social media is to try to close the deal using it. Although this can sometimes work, in general it is a good idea to use social media as a way of communicating new information to your fans and customers and engaging with them.

• It is most importantly a method of engaging the customer. Ask questions after communicating a useful idea.

• Remember, marketing is a work in progress process. You keep refining as you go. Learning from what works and what doesn’t. Are you making it relevant to the customer as something that matters to her or him?

• You need to break through the noise. Your product needs to have a clear use. You have to raise the bar to stand out in the crowd. And social media can help you with this, though, as we have mentioned, it needs to be done in a way that engages the client so that it is interactive.

• Take the emphasis off from boasting about your accomplishments to asking the audience questions. This doesn’t mean you can’t tout your accomplishments but it is all in how you communicate this message.

• The emphasis needs to be on sharing.

• You need to appeal to your audience’s core desire and fears. Do you understand fundamentally what they want?

• You want the interaction on social media to resonate with your prospects?

• When you ask questions of your fans it can be from either a place of fear or comfort. Both can be powerful but the trick is in knowing when to use which one.

• There is what they want as well as what they don’t want. Both work. Have you tried an approach of having them use a product or tool for what they don’t want?

• Can your product or service prevent what they don’t want from happening?

• Social media communications need to get to the root of their desires and fears.

• If your audience is coming to you and saying “This is what I’m afraid of, this is what I don’t want” then this is the approach you are going to want to use with them.

• Listen to how they engage with you via social media.

• If they are saying “I want this and want to become it” then that is the message that matters.

• In closing out of this week of social media we think it’s important to mention the use of ads. In the past we’ve talked about the effectiveness of them. You need to assess if your marketing budget can handle this.

• With social media ads always keep it short and sweet. You need to be communicating a message that is going to immediately catch the attention of the user either from a place of fear or comfort. The reason that ads do so well of course is because this in the end is the point of most social media – to market to a demographic.

• And since many social media sites don’t allow you to reach a vast audience organically, you may find occasions when ads make sense. Whatever message it is that you communicate through social media, make sure it is consistent and of use to your audience.

John Yianni Stamas Says Use Writing to Grow Your Audience

06_writing_is_rewriting_email• Our goal with this series is to provide you the artist, entertainer or creative business, with the best information possible so that you can grow your audience of fans and clients. Let’s say you are in the midst of planning a campaign that you intend to launch soon. Ask yourself the question “How am I going to get this message to my audience?” Write down the first things that come to mind.

• If you wrote “influencers” this is a good choice. Why? Because if you collaborate with a blogger who has influence in the area that is your market, you are extending the reach of your message.

• Figure out an influencer in your area of expertise and contact him or her. Offer to interview this person in your publication or propose a co-promotion where you both promote and link to each other. Plan on using writing you have developed thus far in this campaign. It will likely take some rewriting since “Writing IS rewriting.” Be sure to include mentions of your co-promoter. The ideal situation is that he or she writes about you and you about him or her, both of you providing links to each other.

• As we’ve mentioned, three very important aspects of a campaign are target, offer and copy. Rewrite your copy, making sure it’s offer is something that is going to resonate with your target.

• Test message on someone from your target demographic. What kind of feedback do they give you?

• Integrate the feedback.

• Retrace your steps thus far in this campaign development process and ask yourself if you fully understand what they want and why they want it.

• Decide if you are going to do a series of emails or other means of getting several messages out to your target.

• If you are going with the series of emails option, make sure that the content of each email gets better with each new correspondence.

• Fine tune your email sequence.

• Ask yourself the question “does this email series unfold logically?“

• Make any tweaks that you need to do in order to make the progression of emails make sense and tell a story.

• As you rewrite your email sequence, put yourself in the position of your target.

• Ask yourself, “would this series of emails convince me I need to get this product or service?“

• If the answer is “no” go back to the drawing board and figure out how to optimize your work.

• A good way to check your work in terms of your email sequence is to ask “does what I am offering fit into my audience member’s life?“

• Define in your series how your product or service not only solves a problem for him or her, but also fits into that person’s life.

• Fine tune your series integrating this idea.

• Look at what you are offering to your target as a tool he or she needs to solve a problem. Are you offering a desirable tool?

• Rewrite your copy to amplify the necessity of having this tool on the part of your prospect.

• Go over all your emails one at a time. Rewrite. Rewrite. You are soon to go on to the next level!

Hello Creative Businesses & Artists – Here is How to Craft Your Offer

05_craft_your_offer_email• Hello Artists and Creative Business Owners, whether you are promoting your career or business when crafting your offer think in terms of “results.” Results can include solving the problem of the client or fan or in the case of artists – entertaining or engaging. With this in mind, write down how your product/service/entertainment provides results for your clients/fans.

• Remember, when selling yourself or your business it’s not about the tools or features but has to do with the benefits. What are the benefits to others when looking at your art or using your product or service? Make note of your response.

• It’s also about problem solving. How does what you do solve a problem? Be sure to remember this for future activities.

• When crafting the offer you want to think about the value you are providing. Does the value of what you do match the price you charge?

• Hopefully you give more value than what you charge. How is this true for you specifically?
• What are the motivations of your consumer? Be sure to be clear on this.

• Exploring the motivation of your audience member or client can often be reduced to answering the question “why?” Why should they want to engage with you?

• Remember, they are putting down their hard earned cash so how is this exchange going to delight them?

• Is there a fun aspect to what you do? Explore this.

• Examine this from another perspective. Frame what you are doing through these questions “Who” comes first, “Where?” is the second, “What?” is the third, and “Why?” is the fourth. Can you answer all these questions as they relate to your offer?

• Keep going back to understanding whom your audience is as you fine tune the campaign for your offer.

• Revisit the motivation of your target. What are their needs and wants?

• Take a gander again at your “How?” What is the means of you getting your message to your audience? Does it involve more than one contact? What are the ways you build trust with your subject?

• Describe in detail the levels and media involved in reaching out to your prospect. Think of it as a plan. What are the steps in this plan?

• Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. If you were him or her would you follow the bread crumbs to your offer?

• Another way to think about getting your message out is understanding the fact that often your audience will determine the medium. Where do they hang out? How do they seek out what they want?

• Do they get to your offer through social media? Do they find what you are selling via a series of emails?

• Even though much of what we’ve gone over may sound repetitive, keep in mind that communication is an ever evolving concept. Make note of your communication style and ask yourself does it suit your message and is it the best possible way to contact and motivate others to take action on your offer?

• Now that you have crafted your offer, soon it will be time to launch it. Go over your offer for spelling and other mistakes.
• Read your offer out loud – does it convince you to buy?

• If you can, test your offer on members of your target demographic and revise from there.

John Yianni Stamas on Building Your Audience

who_is_your_audience_made_easy_emailTime to go back to the central idea – who? Who is your target audience?

If you want to build your audience it is highly recommended that you start an email newsletter. Even if this task sounds daunting, or if you think you have nothing to contribute – think. Everyone knows something about a certain topic. Uncover your topic and you have taken the first step toward building your audience through your newsletter.

Do you have a topic you are passionate about? Chances are that, that passion translates to you being an expert in something. Who could use this expertise? Remember, as long as you know more than your audience about a certain topic, you are an expert. Or even if members of your audience know more than you do, your job in that case is to help to remind them of what they know.

Breaking the idea of “Who?” down. Be very specific and look at what they do to achieve their wants. What is their problem? Your product, service or newsletter needs to be a solution to that problem. Sometimes the question “Who is my audience?” can be achieved through doing reverse engineering. Look first at your expertise then think in terms of what problem does your expertise solve for your audience?

Next you want to think about “Where?” Where am I going to find these people in their highest concentration? If you have started a blog on the topic of your expertise, you can approach prospective members of your audience online and ask them if you can do a story on this person in regards to her or his particular path. Integrating future audience members into your blog can be a win-win situation because you gain an audience member and ally and she or he gets some web publicity.

The key here is not big numbers but rather, audience-specific niches. Where do these very specific audience members get their information? If you are having a hard time figuring this out, start doing searches online in regards to key words that relate to the topic. This is a brainstorming session. Inserting key words into a search engine will provide you with fresh insight into locating your audience. Or, the key people behind the websites you discover could be future stories and interviews for your blog.

So “Who?” first and “Where?” second. Once we know where they are, ask yourself the question “What are their buying habits?

Consider going to the place where your customers are located. You may even uncover a future partner who reaches the same audience as yours.

If this is the case you could even offer a co-promotional venture for which you do an interview with this blogger and she or he does an interview with you.

Now we are at the “What?” What is it that they actually want to buy? We cannot stress enough that you want to think in terms of your solution to your audience’s problem. This will answer your question of “What?” The “What” is your solution.

How is your solution transmitted? Do you have an online ebook containing the solution or will you write one? Writing an ebook, although this may sound like challenging task, can actually be made more simple through “re-purposing.”

Chances are if you’re a blogger that you already have on your blog a lot of tips on your solution. This means that you can convert your blog entries into an ebook. Your audience will appreciate getting the solution they need all in one place. Truth be told, there are very few new ideas. Therefore your ebook might be reminding your audience of what they already know. This affirmation can give your audience the courage to pursue whatever it is that you are writing about.

Get specific in what your offer has to be to come across as desirable to that audience.

Finding a way to tap into being desirable to your audience is as easy as tapping into your own passion. If you are excited about your topic, you will be able to come up with reasons as to why your audience will want to purchase your item.

John Yianni Stamas Discusses Your Artistic Leads and Fans

03_get_leads_emailYour artistic leads and fans. No matter what kind of an artist you are – actor, writer, painter, game designer and so forth – the way you promote yourself has changed. An artist these days needs to acquire leads to build her or his base. The more people you have in your corner the better. The difference between what is happening today as relates to the past, is that for the independent artist you now need to develop your own fan base as opposed to leaving it to someone else to do so.

Although building a base can be a challenging problem, it is ultimately much easier than knocking on the industry’s door of your particular art form hoping someone will step up to help you. If you create your own self sufficient method for your career in the arts you are much better off.

But how do you acquire leads and fans for your artistic career? How do you get people to want to follow you? First you need to understand who your fans are. What makes them tick? Can you get very specific about qualities they posses? Once this is accomplished it is then vital that your position on issues matches theirs. You need to be the personification of what they represent and desire.

You, in a sense, become a mirror for your fans. You reflect what they want to see. Sometimes it is a good idea to be somewhat ambiguous so that they project on to you who they want you to be. Many people are searching for affirmation that who they are is acceptable. They want to be told by you that they are “okay.” This is the job of the individual who has fans: letting followers know that they are just fine the way they are.

In an ideal world this is an authentic procedure. In other words the message that you truly believe in is alligned with the message that your fans are seeking out.

For more specifics on how to accomplish getting leads, please visit the Art Gush Online Education website.

Develop Your Content

02-creating-content-for-campaign_newsletterWhat’s the best way to develop your content for your website, newsletter or blog? The first step is to decide what is the big picture your wish to convey? Then, everything else follows from there.

In our case, at the moment, the big picture we are trying to convey is “Develop Your Content” which is also the title of this, our latest installment.

Therefore that’s another tip: give your article a title that summarizes what you are trying to get across.

Writing content for your website, newsletter or blog is important? Why? Because one of the top ways to achieve search engine optimization is to develop your own original content. The reason for this is that the longer readers stay on your web page reading, the higher your ranking becomes on search engines.

Why would you want a good ranking on search engines? Because that makes it more likely that you will be able to achieve your “call to action.”

What is a “call to action?” It is the thing that you want the reader of your content to do – for example click this link.

Don’t feel like clicking our link? That’s okay. Just remember that writing is your friend. And the more you do it online in the right places, the better you will be at broadcasting your message.

Currently we are covering content development in our latest course at the Art Gush online education website entitled “How to Do a Campaign.”

Lights Camera Read 2017 in Retrospect

01-planning-campaign-newsletterIt is only now, nearly halfway through January, 2018, that we can begin to assess what 2017 was for us at Lights Camera Read in terms of our arts and educational programming and explorations.

For starters, this newsletter in 2017 underwent a transformation. Now more than ever we are about providing DIY solutions for artists and arts administrators to be able to communicate with, and build, their audience.

Our Lights Camera Read partner Art Gush turned one year old in August of 2017, marking an important landmark for this arts and media online education site.

Also in 2017 we celebrated what might be one of our last live Platinum Pias Community Awards Show for Artists. Depending on the feedback we get regarding the upcoming web version of the Pias on March 21, it may become an event that is online-only. The Platinum Pias are a tradition that we’ve been doing annually since 2010 and an event that many of you have attended over the years.

But probably the most important event for Lights Camera Read in 2017 was the decision that in 2018 the organization will likely undergo a makeover. It doesn’t mean that we’ll do away with Lights Camera Read entirely, but it does seem to indicate that another primary entity might be born to better serve you, our artists and arts administrators.

This new organization, should we decide to launch it, will be a powerful ally for artists and arts administrators everywhere.

It’s no secret that due to changes in our country, charitable arts organizations, like the fiscally sponsored Lights Camera Read, will likely have a much harder time with fundraising because there is no longer the incentive to donate in terms of tax benefits for donors.

This means we are not alone in our quest to make positive changes to flourish and be relevant in 2018.

We look forward to continuing to bring you audience and arts building tips as well as keeping you abreast of the Lights Camera Read 2018 metamorphosis!

P.S. This week on Art Gush we debut part 1 of 8 of the new DIY offering: “How to Do a Campaign.”