November 18, 2009
Artists are becoming very savvy about marketing themselves these days. Everyone's out there on FaceBook and MySpace and Twitter sending out news about their work and related upcoming events to generate interest and hopefully sell tickets.
So it's a little disconcerting to hear about artists who are not only unwilling to promote themselves but seemingly against the idea.
An exasperated arts presenter shared with me a story about a group of musicians who had done nothing to help her promote a concert she was hosting for the group at her venue. The group has no mailing list and no web presence. They didn't put the word out at all. Consequently, there were 40 seats filled in a venue that seats 450 for their concert the other day. What's worse is that many of the people who came to see the concert were invited guests of the artists on stage who all expected complimentary tickets.
Luckily, the group isn't typical of the artists that the presenter brings in. But it seems as if she needs to adopt a different strategy vis-a-vis this particular set of artists and others who may be equally or somewhat reticent about pitching in on the marketing front. If I were in her position, I'd probably do the following:
1. Allow each artist only two comps.
2. Tell them that they cannot perform at the venue again until they get a mailing list together and some kind of web presence, even if it's just a free blog on Blogger.
3. Tell them the audience needs to consist of at least 100 paying customers in order for them to see any return from the box office split.