Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Have More than Just One Job

While producing theatre shows over the last year, I've learned so much about what it takes to put on a successful production. It's no wonder why artists bloody HATE doing this work as it's not glamorous at all, people second guess you at every turn, and when you have to get something done, sometimes you have hurt and offend people's feelings so that they can put up the best show possible.

One of the many duties I've picked up is website design, maintenance, and group promotion. I've helmed the task of putting together the websites for two groups thus far, and after getting up something that I felt people wanted to look at, then the task of putting together things like newsletters, graphics, bios, show dates, ticket management, and contact information began. This task is like pulling teeth. I think to get one site up it took me a good solid week of 12-14 hour days to get the content together, and then once you look at it, it doesn't look like a whole lot Then maintaining it with news, pictures, and flashy presentations becomes the next task. After that is done, then keeping folks visiting the site and clicking on buying tickets or attending shows is the next challenge. It's all very time consuming and overwhelming at times.

As a result of doing this work, more time is being invested in my own projects as well. I've started to see the power of marketing and why so much time is devoted towards it. It's the ultimate art of manipulating people into doing something they wouldn't normally do . With no formal training, I've learned how to market with mailing lists, newsletters, various social networking entities, e.g., Myspace & Facebook, using press releases, print/posting flyers and posters, and hitting up online boards and chat rooms to promote. The game was stepped up by including seeking and getting advertising in programs, supporting fundraising activities, cross-promoting with other groups and companies, putting on promotions where it costs a little upfront but pays off in the end, getting radio, TV, and web spots, and the tried-and-true word of mouth promotions. Now I want to step up my game even more!

Yesterday I drove to Barnes and Noble looking for an escape from my 2 days of captivity in the house while the Wifey and Baby Boy went down souf to visit with family. I took a look at the marketing books and saw a lot of information there but nothing that was had "real world", practical marketing ploys. There was a lot of theory in the book which I do believe I need to read and understand, but at this time I would rather have something a bit more immediate that would touch on the theory along the way. I've been tinkering with the idea of taking a college entry-level class on marketing to get a more formal understanding of it as some point. I found nothing that I was willing to pay for and then left to get get some cheese from Julio's for the next day .

After I got to Julio's I shared with a bartender friend of mine my predicament of always thinking about what can be done to generate interest in all of my projects. He then turned me onto the Google Analytics, Keywords, Trends, and Adsense to help shape the online presence of these endeavors. After talking to him about it, I decided to try it out on a smaller scale as MySpace and Facebook are now getting into that space as well. I posted up an ad for the Courageous E.P. this morning around 1AM and had a very meager budget. In the span of 8 hours, I got 485 views of my ad! That's 485 more than I would've had without in my opinion. So, I am geeking out at the possibilities this could bring.

I feel like I may have a future in marketing. I'm not sure where exactly but this skill I'm developing is worth some money. I need to start hooking up with people in this industry to teach me more.

Currently listening :
Year of the Dog...Again
Release date: 2006-08-01

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

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