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Yianni Stamas Talks About DIY Artist Marketing

diy-artist-blogArtists 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.

And the good news is that today, because of technology resources, it has never been as fun and easy.

It all starts with branding. You want to get people thinking about your work in terms of a word or a feeling. Something simple is always best.

You want to aspire to inspire others. You want your work to inspire someone to do something. All the big companies do this. They often focus less on the benefits of what they are selling and more on the feeling that the brand creates.

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. By creating a channel that helps people in some way that is related to your work, the responses in the comments can make you feel good. It can keep you going.

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 fanbase. 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.

Or take for example the newsletter you are reading. We enjoy hearing from you with your questions and feedback. This is a big part of why we keep producing.

But before doing any of this, the first thing you have to do is figure out what it is you stand for. Remember, your art makes people feel something. You have to make people feel through your art.

What is it you make people feel? Is it calm? Is it anger? Whatever it is, for starters, you want to be able to describe it in a sentence. For example, the core of what you are doing could be for all those who feel “different” you will provide empowerment. In other words a feeling of strength and empowerment for all those who dare to go down a different road. And next reduce it all down to one word. In the case of our example that word might be “Empowered.”

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.

You are working toward becoming an artist who stands for something specific and who is starting a movement that makes people feel something.

Think about the artists who you admire. Chances are they are doing this.

Remember, you have an opportunity now to share your process. Explain your art. Tell us why you created it and what it represents to you. Of course there are those who want to keep interpretation to themselves. If this is the case with you, then this can be a part of how you represent yourself.

Another thing you can do in your sharing is share other things that related to your brand, you word. For example if your art is meant to empower, then you can share books, passages, quotes, photos and so forth that also evoke that word.

The idea is that you are the head of this movement that you are creating. You want people to experience your art and feel the word you have selected.

Everything you share on social media will now be about your word.

You can also juxtapose the art of others to show from where your inspiration comes. Of course, the art you share of others should relate to your word.

Also, you can partner up with people who believe in the same thing.

People are searching for a feeling. They want a feeling to come across. It is all about feeling and sharing emotions.

It can be a challenging process and one that at first may not feel as though it is succeeding. But if you narrow your focus and are persistent it will happen for you.

You need to stop trying to be everything for everyone. You have a specific audience and that audience should be searching for the word that you represent. You’re not just creating your art for yourself anymore. You are creating a community, a movement.

What you are doing is sharing passion about that keyword that you have chosen. So what is your word?

Your Creative Goals in 2018

06-promos-for-artistsWe are writing this shortly before the New Year. Chances are some of you are thinking about the New Year and maybe even making resolutions in regards to your creative pursuits.

They say that the way to stay true to your resolutions is not through willpower but rather to be grateful for what you have. Apparently this leads to better results.

Regardless of how you are approaching your resolutions, you may be worried that you will not stick to the projects you wish to accomplish in the New Year. Consider the possibility that you are focused on the wrong resolutions.

One of the indicators that you may be pursuing the wrong goals is that they are very general without steps known to achieve them. Goals must be specific with actionable steps. This is especially true of creative goals.

Another kind of unhelpful resolution are those that are off target. Off target in that they don’t actually match where we are in our creative development or as developers of creative output. These kinds of resolutions have us jumping way ahead or jumping sideways regarding our goals. Wrong resolutions waste time and come with a cost.

Whereas right resolutions keep us on target and smarter. They make us feel better about ourselves because we can actually follow them.

But how do you distinguish the difference between right and wrong resolutions? For starters, you might want to pick one important way to be more productive.

In some ways it comes down to time management – working 15 to 30 minutes a day on a particular goal. This is the logic behind our Art Gush project approach. Step by step goals daily at the rate of only 3 steps a day.

You an also set things such as writing regularly in small incriments of daily word counts.

Something else to consider is picking an important skill in your art form that you need to master. What skill in your craft is important but you have been putting it off?

Or to get even more specific, which of your projects is doable? The key concept here is selecting one that is achievable. Achievable means that you can do it if you put your time and energy into it. Achievable for you is where you are in your creative development.

What project is achievable for you, now? You want to pick resolutions that are closely customized to you. Become a sharper creative.

Who’s Your Audience?

youraudienceAs we’ve stated in the past, knowing who your audience is as well as how to reach them are two of the most important things to be aware of when advancing your career as an artist.

For some, their audience is much like themselves, they are in a sense their own demographic. For others their audience is very different from themselves.

We have found two tools that can be helpful for promoting to and keeping an audience. They are having an email newsletter and using social media.

You need, on a regular basis, to reach out to your audience. Email newsletters and social media are both ways of doing this. These days Facebook is looked upon by some as being for an older audience only – when in fact you can also have success targeting the younger set.

Something to consider while creating your audience, is to use paid ads on Facebook. Of course you’ll want to do as much as possible employing “organic” non paid methods first, but when it comes to reaching a very specific demographic, Facebook can be a good bet.

Would You Want to Make a Movie?

04-distribution-newsletterRegardless of the kind of artist you are (writer, actor, painter etc.) due to advances in technology it’s easier than ever to be able to make and distribute a motion picture.

But why would a creative who is not a filmmaker want to create a film? It could be for reasons of artistic exploration or even to promote the artist’s work.

For example a writer might write a screenplay and then make it into a film to display her/his writing, whereas an actor could create a movie to showcase her/his acting, while a painter would possibly produce a motion picture to present her or his paintings in a story context.

The promotional possibilities are endless for a variety of different kinds of artists. And it doesn’t mean that you’re selling out and not being artistic by doing something to promote yourself. The fact is most creations are a form of advertising in one way or another.

There’s a term used in PR which is “newsworthy” meaning of course that something is worthy of being in the news. Making a movie, especially if it’s connected to a topic that is very popular at the time, can be newsworthy.

And once your film is completed you can distribute it and maybe even make a profit. Digital distribution includes DIY video on demand transactional platforms – such as Amazon Video – as well as possibly subscription based platforms like Netflix and Hulu etc.

We go into more detail about digital distribution in our current Art Gush online course “Digital Distribution Methods” which is #4 in our “How to Sell a Movie” series.

Digital Distribution Options

03_digital_movie_options_newsletterHow to Sell a Movie: Course 3 of 7 – Digital Movie Distribution Options

As of this writing, there are a lot of filmmakers who want to be on Netflix. Unfortunately – also at this moment – Netflix is one of the most challenging of the digital movie distribution options to get on. First off you need to have a film that can compete with the others on this venue.

And secondly, even if you get on Netflix, unless you are on heavy rotation within the service, chances are very few people will see your movie anyway.

The good news is that there is a popular digital movie distribution option that is easier to get on.

We are talking of course about Amazon Video. In our third installment of “How to Sell a Movie” on the Art Gush Online Education website, we discuss Amazon Video and how to upload your film onto that service.

Of course, just being on that digital distribution platform is not nearly enough. You have to have a kick ass web marketing campaign in place to ensure that folks purchase views.

Thankfully, creating an effective digital promotion campaign is possible. Though, especially if you don’t have much of a budget, you need to know what you’re doing.

Art Gush methodologies were developed just for that purpose: cost effective digital promotion techniques – and we’re not necessarily speaking about social media.

John Yianni Stamas Discusses Digital Film Distribution Elements

distribution-elementsAs we established last week, selling a movie today is much different than it was even five years ago.

In order to sell a movie you need distribution elements or deliverables as detailed in the current Art Gush course.

We live in a digital age therefore movies of today are distributed digitally. This also opens up the playing field for filmmakers who have a good film as well as effective marketing.

To further detail the digital revolution following is some of the wording from the “bundle” (all inclusive access to courses) promotion page of “Art Gush: Online Education to Advance Your Creative Career.”

“The Time Has Never Been Better to Create Your Own Artistic Movie – Your Vision, Career and Self Expression Realized!

Here’s the exciting news: the digital stars have aligned so it is easier than it has ever been to create, distribute and promote a full length digital movie as an actor or any artist. Literally all you need is a camcorder (actually you could use your phone), a digital editing app (very inexpensive these days) as well as inspiration and tenacity. Put this together with the three stars and you have the total creative package to highlight your work!
The Three Digital Stars Have Aligned

What are the three digital stars of the alignment?

They are:

1. Content Creation

2. Online Distribution

3. Digital Promotion

Selling a Movie Marketing Before and After

01_how_to_sell_a_movie_newsletterThis article is going to cover how to begin marketing a film either before or after it has been made.

One of our websites is Art Gush which features online education to advance your creative career. On this site we recently spent an entire year creating a new installment every week, each of which taught three easy steps a day on the topic of how to make a digital feature film.

The goal of the course series is to make a motion picture in a virtually solo introvert-friendly manner. Ever since we completed this production process there has been an interest in “How to Sell a Movie.” This makes sense because once you make a film you need to sell it.

Therefore, the next several installments of this newsletter will be about an evolving seven part Art Gush course series known quite appropriately as – you guessed it – “How to Sell a Movie.”

Just as the process of creating a motion picture has changed greatly over the last decade due to technology, so also has the methodology of selling a film.

It used to be that you would make a movie and then get a distributor to distribute it. But we have now entered the age of DIY digital distribution and sales/marketing.

This means whether you have made a movie or are thinking about making one, you have a lot of great resources to help with doing the marketing yourself.

For the individual who hasn’t made her or his film yet, you actually have a terrific opportunity to start promoting your movie from day one. You can shape your creative project so it appeals to a very specific audience. This is important because once your picture has been completed you will have a film that has an audience.

On the other hand, if you have already completed a movie you may not have thought much about your motion picture’s audience. If so, it is critical to define who is going to watch your film.

Once you know who your audience is you can begin marketing to them. If you haven’t made your film yet this may include starting a blog so the behind-the-scenes of your project can be documented.

If you’ve already finished your movie, you could do a blog on the process of marketing your film.

More to come on the topic of “How to Sell a Movie!”

Benefits of having a Blog

benefits-blog-newsletterHave you been thinking about starting a blog but aren’t sure if it is actually going to be helpful for your career or business? What are the benefits of having a blog?

If building your organization’s or your own presence on the internet is a part of your marketing strategy, then a blog can be a great idea.

A blog can also help you with organizing yourself. The reason is that having one is much like having a time every week or so to check in with your business.

And the neat thing is that blogs and email newsletters dovetail nicely. Here’s how it works…

Let’s say you’ve decided that once a week you are going to send out an eblast as well as do a new entry in your blog. It’s a productive approach to write your blog entry first and your newsletter second.

Why? Because if you write a blog entry that is about twice as long as your your latest intended newsletter email, you can use the same content for both!

In your newsletter you use the first half of your content that leads up to a point where the reader is interested to learn more. It is at this point in your newsletter that you put a link that connects the user to your blog.

Having people click from your newsletter to your blog is good for your it in terms of showing the search engines that there is interest. This will likely help with your overall web ranking status.

More can be found on this topic in our current Art Gush edition entitled “Part 9 of 9: How to Create a Web Publication.”

Should You Rebrand?

08-should-you-rebrandLast week we talked about building a team and began to explore branding. In this edition of the Lights Camera Read newsletter we are going to look at the question “Should you rebrand?”

Rebranding is a subject currently being examined by our Art Gush Online Education site that teaches a daily step by step approach to promote yourself as a creative person and to thrive artistically.

First off, let’s answer the question “What is branding?” Some say it is a combination of marketing, strategy, design, identity and logo. But whatever it is, it’s a way you can take some control of how you are perceived.

Rebranding then is metamorphosing the way folks see your brand based on changes you or your organization may have undergone – a kind of update if you will.

How do you know you need to rebrand? One reason is because customers and fans are not engaging with you as much as they used to. Maybe your brand is dated and in need of modernization?

Once you’ve made the decision to rebrand you might want to take a look at your mission. Are you still fulfilling your mission? Do you need to engage your audience more in regards to your mission? What are the changes you need to make to you brand to achieve more engagement?

As mentioned in past installments, we at Lights Camera Read are considering doing a rebranding starting in January as a graduate school project. Our organization started in 2009 as a way for youth to learn to make videos and do writing inspired by favorite books. Hence Lights Camera Read. It was a program that was done in several branches of the New York Public Library.

But now we are focusing on online education and our audience has expanded and changed. Our diverse audience is now interested in becoming empowered with learning that provides them with benefits including promotional strategies and ways to evolve artistically.

As our audience has changed so has our mission. So if we do a rebranding starting in January we may change our name or possibly develop an additional entity.

As always we love to hear from our readers. Please contact us with any questions or feedback.

Find Your Image

07-find-your-imageWhen we say “find your image” we mean literally “finding your images” as in discovering stock graphics and photos for your website. It’s often best to create your own photographs and graphics if you can, but this is not always possible. Therefore stock graphics and photos become a viable alternative.

Of course another type of “image” is your brand – how people perceive you. That’s why it’s a good idea to figure out what your mission is so that you can in turn establish your brand. Your stock image choices should reflect your brand.

There are some very good stock image and graphics houses available. Many of them you have to pay for, but some of them are free. A simple series of online searches will uncover both stock images that are at no cost as well as those that require remuneration. So it is suggested that you do searches and make a list of choices.

Speaking of branding, because of the thesis that we have decided on for graduate school, we are likely going to be doing a “rebranding” of “Lights Camera Read” starting in a few months. We may even change the name during the rebranding process.

Wikipedia defines rebranding as being “…a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders.”

But lest we get too far off the track of photo and graphic image acquisition, let’s discuss your next step after making an internet list of the image vendors you are considering.

Next you insert your images into your website alongside your text. Remember, these images should reflect your mission and brand. Don’t be afraid to go back to your images source for new ones if your current pictures don’t aptly reflect you and your business and organization.

Finally, be sure to market to your audience that your site has been updated.

For more information on “Finding Your Image” please visit the online education site Art Gush.