It all started with a casual suggestion:
"You should teach other performing arts groups how to do that."
OK, in truth it didn't start there...
The desire to work with performing arts marketing first sparked while helping the striking musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony and forming/marketing Save Our Symphony Fort Worth (SOSFW).
Ever since then, it's gently nudged my brain.
This above statement was the response from my friend after telling him everything I did for SOSFW.
It was also the statement that became the lighter fluid to ignite the spark into a full-blown flame and new direction for my career.
My parents will tell you I was born with a flair for the dramatic.
From my first performance as a bunny in elementary school, the stage has felt like home.
Through middle school, high school, and parts of college I played flute and piccolo. In college I added in singing, dancing, and acting - performing in school productions as well as community theater. After graduation, I became a professional ballroom dancer.
Though I went on to other careers in event planning and then professional home organizing, performance never left - whether it was producing entertainment performances for large-scale events or entertaining my organizing clients though the decluttering process with a song and dance.
Like many, I lost my job in the 2008 crash and decided to start my own business.
(First as event planner then as professional organizer.) This allowed me to put my advertising degree to work.
But there was a catch.
While the knowledge and theories from marketing stayed the same, much of the execution did not.
Not to get all creaky-voiced "back in my day," but technology rapidly advanced after I graduated. The programs that are commonplace now weren't back then. The internet was but a wee babe. Social media and blogging didn't exist, much less work it's way into becoming a fabulous marketing tool. Video was wildly expensive and labor-intensive to create.
Now we can do all of that and more from our phones.
Our phones people!
So what did I do?
I taught myself.
Googled. Researched. Pinterested. Practiced. Failed. Researched more. Practiced more. Kept going until I hit on what worked.
Much like we do in the performing arts - research, practice, sometimes fail, switch gears, and keep going until it works.
And most importantly - I've remained nimble enough to pivot quickly as the new marketing mediums changed.
Because every time someone changes an algorithm or sneezes, you've got to change your marketing mix again.
But the good news?
I've done all the work so that you don't have to.
To have an audience, you must market. But when you're spending all of your time with production, it can feel like there isn't the time to market.
However, if people don't know about your show then you won't have an audience.
There is nothing sadder than performing to no audience. #beenthere
I can show you how to market efficiently and effectively so that you can get the word out as quickly as possible and then get back to doing what you really love.
How do you want to learn?
Melinda Massie is a published author and performing arts marketing consultant. She teaches performers and performing arts organizations how to market themselves. She also teaches for TCU Extended Education.
Prior to helping performing arts organizations market themselves, Melinda had award-winning careers in ballroom dance, event management, and professional home organization. She has a degree in advertising and public relations.
When not helping others market themselves, you can find her performing with the Fort Worth Opera, cooking and eating indulgent foods, pretending to run, or drinking champagne.
And not necessarily in that order.