How to get more exposure for your creations

Website design By BotEap.comThe spaces to publicize one’s own creations are many and few at the same time. It takes months, and mostly years, of hard work and patience to finally reach the general public. I have connected with some of the most incredible artists and supporters in North America and have followed their suggestions and advice very carefully. And as a result, I received more exposure in a couple of months than I had in over three years!

Website design By BotEap.comIMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS

Website design By BotEap.comMany independent artists believe that once their CD or book is out for sale, the job is done. They think they can trust the quality of their work to sell itself. While this isn’t a bad thought at all, it’s also important to realize that sales obey the 10-90 rule: 10% creativity and 90% promotion/marketing.

Website design By BotEap.comStart by asking yourself the following questions: “What is my long-term goal as an artist? What do I want to do with my creation(s)? What is my mission statement?” Be very honest in your answers, because they will determine your career and how long you can last in the business. Being an artist involves many things. You must be professional in your approach, dedicated and aware of your environment and global issues. It is also essential that you are willing to support other artists and causes, and serve as a positive role model. Always acknowledge your fans and supporters, those who work behind the scenes for you. And most importantly: build relationships before you think about sales! This is the first step in gaining the respect of fellow artists and therefore exposure.

Website design By BotEap.comWEBSITE/PROFILE PAGES

Website design By BotEap.comNowadays, if you want to attract more followers, you need to create a website or at least have a regularly updated profile page. This is very easy to do, especially if you are not computer literate, and it’s free.

Website design By BotEap.comFor a website, use Wix or Weebly. They are excellent!

Website design By BotEap.comIf you’re a musician or spoken word artist, you’ve probably heard of reverb. I use it myself and love the fact that I can send out pre-formatted newsletters to my fan base, create a street team and launch missions with the click of a button, and promote my CD and tracks through easy-to-share widgets. Furthermore, people can also help spread the word by sharing the widgets almost everywhere on the internet.

Website design By BotEap.comBLOG/COMMUNITY

Website design By BotEap.comIf you want to build your online presence, it is very important that your fans and followers participate. They want to know more about you and what matters to you. A blog is a very nice tool to use. You can talk about anything, address your fans’ questions and concerns, educate them on topics that matter to you, and invite them to join in the discussions. You can also promote yourself. The best blogging services are WordPress and Blogger.

Website design By BotEap.comYou can also join writing communities and forums like Red Room and share some of your stuff there.

Website design By BotEap.comNETWORKS

Website design By BotEap.comSocial networking sites are essential for promotion these days. The best part is that they are totally free! Be sure to check out Facebook, Twitter, Ning, YouTube, and MySpace. Ning is especially impressive as it offers tons of options!

Website design By BotEap.comYou can also use Internet radio. I recommend Blog Talk Radio. There are tons of streams every day and the good thing is that you can also interact in the chat rooms. Thus, you have the golden opportunity to “meet” presenters and listeners who often happen to be presenters or promoters of the art. I used this medium and met great people. I have been invited to numerous shows, which has allowed me to promote my books and CDs, and tell the world why I am a poet and spoken word artist. I was introduced to many new listeners. Traffic to my site has been huge ever since I started listening to BTR shows!

Website design By BotEap.comIf you’re not camera shy, you can also host your own show using your webcam. This is something I do once a month with Livestream (and people love it!). When you join their site, you receive access to a personal study. From there, you can upload your own videos or YouTube videos and stream them 24/7. Then feel free to embed the screen anywhere you like.

Website design By BotEap.comUPDATING YOUR STATUS

Website design By BotEap.comSome of your promotional time should be used to update your status on the different networks you belong to. You will attract more followers. However, it can take a long time. You should be able to do it in a convenient place. Use TweetDeck or Hootsuite.

Website design By BotEap.comBUILDING A STREET TEAM

Website design By BotEap.comYou can only do so much on your own. At some point, if you’re like me and work only 14-15 hours a day, you’ll burn out. You have to be able to trust others.

Website design By BotEap.comA street team is a group of people committed to helping an artist spread their work. The artist sends the group on miscellaneous missions (never involving money from the group) and the best street teamers are rewarded in different ways. What I love about this concept is that it allows an artist to connect with her fan base on a different level. It gives them exposure and makes the fans a full part of the success of the artist. On the other hand, street teamers get free stuff, which is always nice!

Website design By BotEap.comReverbnation offers you the perfect way to do it: once your mission starts, the site keeps track for you and all you have to do is check your stats!

Website design By BotEap.comONLINE AND OFFLINE SALES

Website design By BotEap.com95% of poets follow the path of self-publishing. For me, self-publishing is more rewarding than challenging because I have to promote all my products myself and it gives me the opportunity to really get to know my readers and listeners. Print on demand or POD is a great service and I highly recommend Lulu. Open an account, upload your files, fill in the necessary information, and you’re on your way. They will print your books, CDs, calendars, photo albums and images for you. Use your Paypal account address to receive royalties when people buy your products through your (free) personal store.

Website design By BotEap.comIf you only focus on music or spoken word, there are some good options available. I heard that CD Baby is very good. I personally use Reverbnation and Audiolife. The two sites have teamed up to allow Reverbnation members to sell their merchandise and music for free. All you need is a Paypal account. Set up your store (in two minutes), upload your files, fill in the information, and start selling your CDs, MP3 albums, single tracks, Tshirsts, and tote bags in minutes. And to be honest, the royalties are pretty decent.

Website design By BotEap.comYou can also sell your music digitally, using major retailers like iTunes or Amazon.com. Reverb allows you to do this very easily!

Website design By BotEap.comDIVERSIFICATION

Website design By BotEap.comI have a motto: the more you have to offer, the more exposure you get! It means you have to diversify. And don’t wait for others to do it for you. Do things YOURSELF!

Website design By BotEap.comMake a list of all your skills and see what you have to offer. If you are a poet/writer, you could offer on-demand poetry/speeches or proofreading services. If you are a hobby photographer, why not sell your photos to other artists for their book/CD covers? And if you really master two or more languages, you could also translate documents…

Website design By BotEap.comAnother good idea is to design your own unique merchandise (t-shirts, tote bags, mouse pads, mugs, greeting cards, etc.) and sell it through services like Zazzle or Cafepress. All you need is a PayPal account. They give you a free store that you can promote anywhere you want. And the royalties are pretty decent.

Website design By BotEap.comThe good thing about diversification is that it makes it more difficult for people to label you in one category. You may end up attracting a lot of different people!

Website design By BotEap.comLAST WORDS

Website design By BotEap.comAlways remember this: treat others as you would like to be treated. Before throwing links at someone, properly introduce yourself and get to know them a bit. You will be amazed at the amount of help and support you will receive in return!

Website design By BotEap.comAlso, don’t hesitate to ask for tips and advice from those who have proven successful experience in your industry. Keep a notebook and pen handy at all times, and write down any suggestions and ideas that come to you. Sometimes a little thing makes a big difference.

Website design By BotEap.comFinally, frustration and discouragement are part of the job. Take a few days off, enjoy life and come back refreshed! 😉

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