Saturday, February 6, 2016

Up Your Networking Game: Invest in Professional Development

The end of your project may not be quite as close as you think-

Some amateur artists and writers have a propensity for taking a deep breath and calling it quits once their project is completed. The part-time indie musician uploads their song to SoundCloud and YouTube and moves onto the next gig. The beginning author who opens their box of freshly printed, minty-mint books, hands out a few copies to friends and family, and calls it a day. The untrained painter, the weekend potter, the candle-stick maker... many become trapped in the false security of 'completion.'

At this unfortunate stage, the project becomes stagnant, wallowing listlessly in a sea of similar concepts that also never seem to gain any steam.

This is where the opportunity to take your first true step as creator comes into play - by marketing your production to audiences who otherwise never would have chance to cross its path. You may do well to hire a marketing firm, but even those steps taken for yourself will garner results. Your adrenaline rush of having your project in hand has passed - now its time to monetize.

Welcome to the World of Networking

The fairy tale stories of producers and publishers stumbling upon a hidden gem in the massively chaotic world of Facebook, LinkedIn and similar online entities are just that - fairy tales. If you expect success to come to you without working for it, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning while being bitten by a shark while winning the lottery.

Those who move beyond wishful thinking take matters into their own hands and know to market themselves as well as their project. By Networking within associated circles, your voice acts to spread the word. You know your manuscript or latest LP is worth the attention - you simply have to move in the environments that can help it reach an audience.

Start by consulting a professional marketing firm. Many reputable agencies offer an initial free consultation to bring a marketing campaign into reality. Once the path is laid, take the next step and begin promotions. It could be at an independent bookstore for a reading, a regional trade fair for exposure, or a connection with a local arts group for a studio showing.

And all the while, you are your project's voice - the impassioned soul that wants only to spread the word.

But in order to do so, a little professional development might well be in order.

Aiming for the Next Level

With your marketing goal set, and the road laid out before you, the next evolution of your project includes investing back in yourself and strengthening your voice. This means looking for opportunities to build new skill sets such as public speaking, promotion, and especially creative expression. Knowing how to communicate your idea for others to engage with is significant to finding success.

Work on developing what is known as the 'Elevator Pitch,' a micro-version of your marketing line that is designed to pack the greatest punch in a very short amount of time. Think of yourself as being on an elevator with someone you want to listen, and you only have their attention for two minutes. Once that door opens, you've lost them. The pitch is crafted to summarize your expansive idea in a concise and explanatory manner so little is left to the imagination, yet the listener wants to learn more. Professional development helps you to refine this pitch, so when the time comes, you're ready to fire at will.

Advanced level classes in your craft are also greatly suggested, as they help to round you and your creative processes out by introducing new concepts. A painter might indulge in oil painting classes where before they worked in acrylics. A writer can take a mystery writing class when before they focused on fantasy genre's. An engineer can invest in drafting classes to better put their ideas on paper - whatever the focus, an artist can always find new horizons to explore.

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At Spotlight Publicity, we specialize in introducing the artist to the world. With a full staff focusing on exactly what your project requires, we put your ideas in front of your new audience. Please take a contact us for your free consultation.
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