Top 5 Reasons Why You Need to Market Yourself
The reasons to market yourself and/or your performing arts organization are endless. It would probably be easier to list the reasons why you don’t need to market yourself. Today, I’m sharing my top 5 favorite reasons why you need to market.
Without fail, every time I see a business closed due to lack of business, I’ll also find a lack of marketing as well. Same goes with performing arts organizations and poorly attended shows.
Here’s the thing. Media’s coverage of the arts is dwindling. The traditional ways of marketing the performing arts don’t work as well as they used to.
There is good news though. It’s easy to take control of your own story and create your own marketing channel.
Bonus - though it doesn’t necessarily feel like it when you don’t have the knowledge (yet) - nobody can market you better than yourself. After all, nobody will have your passion!
You will always be your best cheerleader.
What are the top 5 reasons you need to market yourself?
To build the know, like, and trust factor.
This is probably one of the most important reasons to market yourself. When all factors are equal, people buy from the choice they know, like, and trust. (You’ll see the “know, like, and trust factor mentioned a LOT through my workbook, The Performing Arts Marketing Crash Course: Marketing 101 + Plan. That’s how vital it is.)
Create audience awareness.
After all, they can’t show up if they don’t know about you. Think of times you learned about a show after the fact or a company years after everyone else. Weren’t you a little mad (or at least annoyed) you missed it? Don’t do that to someone else. “Best kept secret” sounds cool until you have to fold because nobody knew who you were.
Provide proof of your abilities and establish expertise.
If you’re an organization, this shows others that you produce good work. If you’re a performer, this shows that you can - well - perform. Recently an opera friend told me about a friend of his that landed 3 jobs from a short Instagram video showing him nail a high note.
This can be as small as audiences being unsure how to pronounce your name or as large as going on strike or unexpectedly firing a high-profile person. Great marketing can play a major part in overcoming the obstacles you and/or your organization face.
Educate and build connection with your audience.
This is one of my favorite reasons as well as one of my favorite things to do in marketing. You can do anything from sharing more background into what you do and why you to it, to combating industry myths (like classical music is boring) to the prior mentioned overcoming of obstacles. When the audience knows more, they appreciate more. (And if they don’t appreciate it, then they’re not really your target market.) Furthermore, to create strong supporters, we have to connect with them more than just during a show. Consistent marketing helps that.
Bonus round pro tips!
For the performer: When all other things are equal, it will most likely be the person who better markets themselves over the person who doesn’t have any online presence.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard hiring directors in all genres say that they’re looking for what else you can bring to the table. This is especially true for the people who run smaller outfits and need those they work with to fill multiple rolls or at least be able to contribute helpful ideas in multiple areas of the organization.
For a performing arts organization: Marketing not only draws in audiences to the performances and donations, it also helps attract better talent to auditions and job openings. If you don’t think people are checking out what you put out there before applying, you’re kidding yourself.