Creating a Facebook Splash Page with Allison Markin

• March 27th, 2011

Today, I talk to Allison M. Markin, who dishes on how to create a Landing or a Splash page for your Facebook Page.

Links: Splashtab

All She Wrote Consulting

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Becoming More Bloggable

• September 8th, 2008

Last month's interview was about the basics of starting your own blog. This month, I interview Rebecca Bolwitt (Miss 604), who is the number one blogger here in Vancouver, about how new media is changing the face of traditional media. We also talk about how to use new media to promote your work.

Links:

Metroblogging

Beyond Robson

The Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance

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Welcome to the Blogosphere

• July 30th, 2008

bfd_book.jpg

This month, The Art of the Business focuses on how blogging can help market your work as an artist. I interview Shane Birley and Susannah Gardener, authours of Blogging for Dummies, The Second Edition.

Please note, there is no introduction to this podcast, we simply get right into it. And it ends--well, you'll see.

Here is a list of URLs that we refer to throughout the interview:

Left Right Minds

Blogging for Dummies Blog22-07-08_1458.jpg

Hop Studios

Buzz Marketing with Blogs

Pug-A-Day

WordPress

Blogger

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to Shane Birley and Susanah Gardner. Blogging for Dummes, the Second Edition, is available widely in bookstores, and I highly recommend it as an informative, but easy read. Special Thanks also to Dave "the sound guy" Rankin.

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The Art of the Business Part 6: Managing Your Cash Flow

• June 30th, 2008

This month's The Art of the Business deals not so much with marketing tips and tricks, as some basic ideas for managing your cash flow as an artist.

Please note, that, because I live in Canada, the information about taxes is specific to us.

URLs referenced in this podcast:

Canada Revenue Agency

Simply Accounting

Quickbooks

Union of BC Performers (has info on business expenses related to actors)

CARFAC (info on business expenses related to Visual Artists)

The Prosperous Artist

Enjoy!!

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Staking out your spot on the Web

• June 9th, 2008

This month's podcast deals with setting yourself up with an invaluable marketing tool: the website. Lots of great information, tips and tricks.

Here are the URLs that are referenced in the podcast:

Madeleine Peyroux: a wonderful jazz singer/musician.

ETSY: if you are selling a something you made yourself, ETSY is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade.

Doteasy: Sells URLs (just one of probably a million, but they are who I use, and I’ve been happy, so I thought I’d give them a plug).

Madeleine Wood: is a friend of mine, and an amazing painter. She is doing really well, and her excellent website has something to do with that.

Provost Pictures: is a company I have been working with for several years now, and we have just completed a complete overhaul of the site that I am quite proud of. This site also contains an example of a downloadable press kit. A big shout-out to Janet Baxter, who is our excellent webmaster, and also a photographer.

Special thanks to David Rankin, instructor at the Capilano College Interactive Design Program.

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Repeat after me:

• May 1st, 2008

Facebook is not just for fun anymore. It's a really useful marketing tool.

Listen on to find out more....

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On the Topic of Touchpoints

• May 1st, 2008

This month's Art of the Business is a month late. Sorry. If you had my month, you'd understand why...

But for now, you get two-for-one!

Enjoy!

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Putting a Value on Your Work

• March 4th, 2008

The Art of the Business is a podcast dedicated to tips and tricks for marketing artists. This episode, #2, explores how to value and price our work as artists.

Websites referred to in this podcast:

Flying Solo

Biz Books

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The Art of the Business, Part 1

• February 5th, 2008

The Art of the Business I

As actors, we spend a great deal of our time training to become masters of our art. We go to theatre school, we read all the books on acting, we train with coaches, and we apprentice. At some point, a lot of us decide, often out of frustration, to produce our own work. So we pick a project, put up the show, and then are incredibly disappointed when a mere 20 people (or less) show up every night. You lose money, you lose self esteem, you lose your moxy. You get pissed off—you wonder who is out there supporting theatre, where are your friends, where did all the people go whose shows you have been supporting all these years?

In April, 2001, I had that exact experience for the first time. In February, 2006, I produced my third show. Five Women Wearing the Same Dress did 88% at the box office and turned a profit. What made the difference? Marketing.

Theatre schools teach us the best acting techniques, but they severely lack in teaching us the business. This column, which will write on a monthly basis, is focused on that—the business of being an artist. I will offer you tips and tricks from my own experience as a publicist for the past six years. Because, quite honestly, nothing makes me happier than going to the theatre and seeing a house full of people I don’t know. It’s the best.

Why are we so resistant to putting time into the business of our work? Well, first of all, it’s not sexy. Wouldn’t you much rather be using your time creatively? Sure, of course. You can create all day, but if no one sees it (or ideally, buys it), what’s the point? Secondly, plain, old ordinary ignorance. What are the best ways to market yourself? How do you do it? Many artists feel overwhelmed by these questions. And, you may not want to hear this, but sometimes you just gotta do it—set aside the time, and make yourself sit down and do it. It may not be sexy or creative, but it is so, very important.

Where do you begin? Start by asking yourself this question: what is it that makes you (or your company, or your theatre project) unique? On any given night in Vancouver, there is a myriad of choices, and you are not just competing with other theatre offerings. Films, restaurants, live music venues are all competing for your dollar. So why would someone want to come and see your show? It may be a unique staging, a script that hasn’t been produced here before, a rising star, or a hot topic. But you need something that makes you stand out. You will use this “uniqueness” as the basis of all your marketing.

Are you still stumped? No idea what makes you or your company unique? Then the place to start is with market research. This involves putting together a survey and getting it out to at least your family and friends, and, ideally, complete strangers. My friend, Bart Anderson, who teaches at VFS, has a survey he gives all of his acting students. It includes questions that help to pinpoint what people see you as (age, race, occupation, etc) and what they don’t. (if you want a copy of it, just email me)

If you are lucky enough to be doing a show in the near future, include an online link to a survey (you can use sites like surveymonkey.com for free) or a hard copy of your survey in the program. Offer to put their name into a draw for a prize if they answer your survey. You can find out tons of information this way, about what makes you unique, what your audience is like, and how to reach them. For more information on how to create surveys for theatre, read this article on the Mission Paradox blog.

Until next time….

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