Category Archives: Building Your Audience

Taking Your Goods To The Market: A Chat With Shameless Performer AmyG

Photo By Jeff Cate
Photo By Jeff Cate
Photo By Jeff Cate
Photo By Jeff Cate

 

 

Finally, I was able to publish my first Thriving IPA Podcast of 2015! Yeah, Happy New Year!! I’m so excited to share the conversation I had with Independent Performing Artist Amy G.

In this episode you will hear Amy Gordon:

  • Reveal the key to booking her one woman show.
  • Expose one of Matlock’s childhood secrets.
  • Share the perfect investment advice that her Mother gave her when she was just starting her career.
  • Explain exactly how she launched her succesful crowd funding campaign.
  • Confess to what she would rather be doing.

Amy drops some serious knowledge about how to thrive as a performing artist. My advice is to listen and learn. Take what you need and throw the rest out the window. That is exactly what I did.  Enjoy!

Click here for more info about Amy Gordon

Click here for more info about Michelle Matlock

Listen, if you like what you hear SHARE this post with your friends right now.

Take action. Write down three ways you can take YOUR goods to the market. Make it happen.

Not sure what to do next? Let’s figure it out. Let’s talk about it.

Email me  Matlock@thrivingipa.com.

Keep Thriving

 

Diabolo Empire: A Conversation With Tony Frebourg About How He Turns His Ideas Into Serious Cash Flow.

My Conversation with juggler acrobat Tony Frebourg was at the very least inspiring. This very talented Independent Performing Artist has mastered the art of diabolo and generating income while he is sleeping.  What I love about Tony is that he is passionate about what he does and he is dedicated to improving his discipline for himself and others, all  while generating  hefty returns. He is a perfect example of how one can stretch beyond a specific talent and create a thriving creative career and lifestyle.20131007_150422DSC01549

My advice is to not judge and to just listen. Then ask yourself, “What can I do to improve my discipline for myself and others?”, “How can I use my ideas to generate income while I’m sleeping?” and “Do I have what it takes to go from just surviving to thriving?”. Of course you do!!  Write down three ideas that pertain to your talent, that could potentially become another stream of income. I wrote down:

(Listen to my conversation with Tony Frebourg by clicking below. The sound improves after the intro. Please don’t be stingy, share with others)

1. Self publish my play.

2. Create a DVD of my show.

3. Provide a space where artist can rehearse, perform and learn.

Which one of your ideas could allow you to earn income while you are sleeping? Make it happen. Can you imagine the amount of time freedom you would have if you earned most or some of your money while sleeping? Make that dream a reality.

If you are struggling with this idea of making money while you are sleeping and or you are interested in brainstorming this concept with other Thriving Artist in the world, join my Thriving IPA Mastermind by emailing me a request at Matlock@thrivingipa.com.

The Thriving IPA Mastermind is a private Facebook or Linkedin group made up of a group of performing artists who discuss, support and experiment with ways to make mutiple streams of income. We are in pursuit of  generating more income for more time freedom. Join in the fun.

Thank you for reading and listening. If you have made it all the way to this final sentence, please share this post by clicking your favorite social media share button above.

Check out Tony Frebourg by clicking here.

Look at some of Tony’s innovative products for Diaboloists.

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YOUR DREAM SCHEME, AN INCREDIBLE PLAN TO THRIVE

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” ― Gloria Steinem–

To be a thriving independent performing artist (IPA) we must dream big and take action.  It is not enough to keep our  dreams in our head. We must find a way to put them on paper in a creative way, so that we can actually see what we want and take actions toward making it happen. Every building has a blueprint. This post will focus on how to create your blue print as an IPA. I call it a DREAM SCHEME, which is a business plan for the IPA to thrive.

Before I dive into DREAM SCHEMING, I want to clarify that this is not traditional business planning at all. I am not a financial or business expert. I have carved my own path in this business of show and I am sharing some of the  tools  and practices that I believe took me from struggling to thriving as an artists. What works for me might not work for you, but at the very least, I hope it inspires and motivates you to open your mind, take action and keep exploring until you find what works for you.

Your DREAM SCHEME  is one-third of what I’m calling THE FOUNDATION. THE FOUNDATION is a set of 3 business skills that every thriving IPA should practice. My last two posts focused on the first 2, which were BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE and PERSONAL BRANDING.  I believe that if we embrace and begin to practice these  business skills we can create thriving careers and lifestyles as IPAs. Let’s get to work!

Your DREAM SCHEME  can be a vision board, a journal, a note book, a poster, a bunch of sticky notes or any combination you prefer. It should be something that you can focus on and see everyday.  Your DREAM SCHEME  is how you will turn your desires as an artist into reality. This is a way to clearly state what you want and then identify the actions you need to take to get there.

DREAM SCHEMING should be done as if you have no fears, no financial limits and no rules! This is between you and the universe, so do not hold back. Also, keep in mind that it will change and grow over time so don’t wait, just start.

A DREAM SCHEME can include all sorts of creative inspirations, pictures and quotes, but I have identified 4 details that your DREAM SCHEME must include to really thrive as an IPA.

1. YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

If you have been following this blog and taking action, you already have your personal brand in place (Yippeee!). If not, then read my previous blog post on how and why  you should develop a (click) PERSONAL BRAND.  In short, your PERSONAL BRAND is your mission and/or purpose (your why) as an artists. Once you clarify this for yourself, place it at the top of your DREAM SCHEME in big bold writing. Everything in your DREAM SCHEME should reflect your personal brand.

2.  YOUR DESIRES

Your desires are a list of all the possible ways to generate income as an artist. Make a list. Here is an example:

A. Performing

B. Creating an online business (be specific)

C. Selling homemade cookies

To be a thriving IPA we should think about mutiple streams of income and passive income. I’m not talking about your survival jobs (there is nothing wrong with slinging drinks and passing plates, I’ve been there, but let’s dream bigger). I’m talking about dreaming up ways to make money while you are sleeping and creating a life that allows you to have more time to create and perform. I’m talking about generating income from doing the stuff that you really love to do. Only list things that you really love to do. Even if you believe you can’t generate income from it. We have entered the age where anything can be monetized, so don’t block your potential.

This is where your creativity and your business collide and make magic.  If you feel bad about the idea of monetizing your passions, I have to chanllenge you and ask why you feel that way? Who in the world told you that it is wrong to get paid to do what you love?  If you love what you do, you should get paid a huge amount of money for it. To be a thriving IPA you must shift from doing it just for the love, to doing it because it also pays you very well (never lose the love, though).

Once you have your list of income generating possibilities, go through the list and ask yourself the following five questions about each possibility. If you answer NO to any of the following questions scratch that possibility off the list and move on. This exercise will allow you to narrow down your list and get really focused on taking some action and moving forward. Here are the five question to ask yourself about each of your income generating possibilities.

  • Do I have the knowledge, skills or abilities to provide this product or service or am I willing to train to get them?
  • Is this idea aligned with my mission and or purpose (YOUR PERSONAL BRAND)?
  • Am I willing to dedicate the majority of my time and energy on this for the next 13 months?
  • Is there a clear market of people in the world already spending money on this type of  product or service
  •  In ten years will I regret not having pursued this?

Once you have narrowed down your list, the next step is to focus in on each idea and to create action steps toward your goals for generating income. A goal without a plan is just a wish, so let’s make these goals  a reality.

**I have placed a section of my personal DREAM SCHEME and additional material that is essential to this process on a BONUS page that is reserved for subscribers. SUBSCRIBE HERE to get access.

I have a strength in helping people get started. Click here if you want a little motivation.

3. MARKETING STRATEGIES

Your DREAM SCHEME should include all of  your marketing strategies.

First, let’s clarify what marketing is.

Marketing is everything you do to teach consumers about the value of  your product or services.

Think of marketing as a whole pie. The peices of that marketing pie are everything from your website to social media to advertising to headshots to what people say about your product or services. Marketing is the big picture.

As IPAs there are three major marketing strategies that we should be dreaming and scheming about. Here they are:

A. HOW TO BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE

 I suggest you check out my previous blog “THE #1 WAY TO THRIVE AS AN INDEPENDENT ARTIST”, which is about this very important skill and then add your stategies and ideas on the subject to your DREAM SCHEME.

I’ve also created 10 AUDIENCE BUILDING STATEGIES that you can get on the BONUS page, but you must be a SUBSCRIBER to this blog to get access to this material. Click it to get started.

B. CREATE YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER AVATAR

If  your desire is to generate income from selling a specific product or service, it is in your best interest to create an Ideal Customer Avatar for each product or service. The idea is that you will create your Ideal Customer Avatar by identifying all the characteristics of your ideal customers. Think about  all the common aspects of your ideal customers, from demographics to age, income, gender, marital status, industry, beliefs, lifestyle, hobbies and interests.

Now use these characteristics to create a single Ideal Customer Avatar. Be specific and very detailed about this person. You want to create their name, age, hair color, where they hang out,  what they read, their fears, concerns and issues.

Once you have created your Ideal Customer Avatar you will have plenty of material that will inspire your web copy, sales and promotional materials and the design of your product and services. You will be able to really connect with your customers by speaking and thinking as they would.  This exercise is genius and is something you can start using right now.

For more specific questions to answer for creating your Ideal Customer Avatar SUBSCRIBE to this blog and get access to the BONUS page, where you will find a complete list of  questions that will help you create your Ideal Customer Avatar.

C. IDENTIFY A NICHE MARKET

Identifying a niche market for your solo show or performaces can be key to thriving as an IPA. First,

a niche market is a small market segement on which a specific product or service is focused.

For example, when I was marketing my one woman show, I focused on colleges and universities. This is actually a huge market, but because of the subject of my show I was able to identify a small subset of the college market that could be interested in booking my show, which was African American and Women’s Studies Departments. I found my niche market and it became very lucrative. Identifying your niche market can lead to a very thriving career. In this case, thinking small can result in big returns.

4. FINANCIAL STATEGY

Your DREAM SCHEME must include everything you desire when in comes to generating income. Please read the previous sentence over and over again until it sinks in. Again. Include your financial dreams in your DREAM SCHEME.

Look, as I stated before I am not a financial expert and I am still learning about money and how to attract it, manage it and make it flow. But what I do know is that if you are struggling financially as an artist, you have to change your mind in order to change your money situation. This is what I have experienced and what I believe.

What I have experienced, is when I think I don’t have enough money in my life, I don’t get enough money in my life. As soon as I feel grateful  and made myself believe that I had more than enough, my financial situation changed almost immediately. One day  I decided to act as if I had more than enough money, so much that I had to give it away. Suddenly opportunities for me to generate money just started to come outta no where. I know it sounds like bs but it’s true. Try it. Let me know what happens.

The most powerful financial transformation happened to me the day that I decided to write myself a check for an amount of money that I thought would change my life forever. The amount was not crazy, but it was significant. I placed that check on my VISION BOARD where I could see it everyday. Six months later I was offered a contract for that exact amount of money that I had written on that check in January. It  changed my life forever.

Use your DREAM SCHEME to get specific about the amount of money you want to generate, how you want to generate income and the kind of  lifestyle that you want to live as a thriving artists. Dream big, be specific and take action. It can be as simple as writing it down and placing it somewhere that you can see it eveyday. 

Guess where there is more amazing info about financial stategies? Yep. The BONUS page. Get access by SUBSCRIBING. Click it.

Please help me out by SHARING this on the social media site of your choice. LIKE it if you like.

Hey, I hope you start DREAM SCHEMING today.

Is there anything you find difficult about DREAM SCHEMING? Leave a comment. Or contact me directly by clicking the link below.

I’m right here if you have questions or you want to connect.  Procrastination is the number #1 cause of failure. Now is the time to start thriving.

THE # 1 WAY TO THRIVE AS AN INDEPENDENT ARTIST

“The market needs you, we need you and the tools are there, just waiting. All that’s missing is you and your vision and your passion”-Seth Godin, Tribes

One of my biggest failures came in the fall of 2007. It was a lesson that I will never forget. I was commissioned to create a performance piece for Dixon Place in New York City. This of course was not the failure. This was actually a great success in my career. The failure came during the run of this commissioned show. The show was called Sum Of Us and it was a collaboration between myself and a NYC band called Inner Princess. We had nine performances of our original gender bending creation and I think we had an average of 10 people at each performance. The small lower east side performance space sat 50 people. What I learned from that experience is: In order to fully thrive as an independent performing artist (IPA) we must build and nurture our own audience.

This post will focus on the #1 way to thrive as an independent artist and that is BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE, which is one-third of what I’m calling THE FOUNDATION. THE FOUNDATION is a set of business skills that every thriving IPA should practice. In my last post I focused on PERSONAL BRANDING and my next post will focus on your DREAM SCHEME. I believe that if we begin to embrace a few tools of the entrepreneur like this one, we can create thriving careers for ourselves.

What I know now is that as independent performing artists we must continue to build an audience outside of our performances and they must have the potential to follow us anywhere. Back in 2007 at Dixon Place, my mistake was that I thought that Dixon Place would pack the house for us. I was under the impression that they would provide an audience that would show up to see our show. I was wrong. People go see artists that they know, follow and love. As independent performing artists, who want to thrive, we have to build and maintain relationships with the people who will support us. Not only do we have to build our audience but we also should stay in contact with them. We have to treat them like our best friends. Shout outs every now and again are important.

We also need to think outside of our bubbles. What I mean is we need to think nationally and internationally. Imagine if you get the opportunity to perform outside of your city, state or country. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you had a following that you could invite to a live performance no matter where in the world you perform? This is the level of thinking that we need to have to become thriving artists! Build an audience all over the world. This is the profile of a thriving independent performing artist.

Your Facebook account packed with” friends” is not enough. You may think that your one billion friends on Facebook is all that you need to reach your audience, but the truth is that you do not own your list on Facebook or any other social media site.

The fact is that social media sites own all of those contacts and if they decide to change the rules about how you can communicate to your fans and friends, there is not a thing that you can do about it. I’m not saying that you should not use these sites to your full advantage as an artist. What I am saying is BUILD AND NURTURE YOUR OWN EMAIL LIST. An email list is yours to control.

Now, this is where the hard work begins. This is the stuff that no one wants to do. Building an audience that really follows you is hard and takes dedication. It’s grunt work and it separates the thriving from the barely surviving.

Building an audience takes time and patience. If you use the right tools and you are creative you can get a snowball effect that builds your own engaged audience for the long-term. This is not about just getting a million “likes”, this is about building an engaged community of people who will support you and your work for many years to come.

I have created a list of 10 AUDIENCE BUILDING STRATEGIES that all thriving artist use to create a following outside of their performances. Some of these strategies I have been using for years and some I have just discovered. I am now using most of these strategies to grow my email list and the results have been mind-blowing.

I’ve created a BONUS page full of strategies and resources that you can start exploring today and it is reserved for subscribers to this blog. I will always share valuable info with you here, but I will also share some BONUS material for those who really want it. You can subscribe right here on this page. I respect your privacy and will never share your email with anyone else.

Thank you subscribers! You give me motivation and energy. I really appreciate it. If for some reason you didn’t get the BONUS page password in your email, just shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. Thanks again!

If you have not subscribed yet and are interested in 10 AUDIENCE BUILDING STRATEGIES that you can start using now, join me in becoming a thriving artist by subscribing. You will get the password to the BONUS page on your subscription confirmation page. Once you enter the password on the BONUS page, which you can find on the menu bar, you will never have to enter it again when you return to this blog. This means you will always have access to all bonus material in the future.

SUBSCRIBE HERE

Meanwhile, if you want to read a life changing book about the importance of building your audience, pick upTribes: We Need You to Lead Usby Seth Godin. You can also find it at The Survival Market, a book store I specifically designed for performing artists or any independent artists who want to thrive. There are many other titles there to explore, so go get ’em!

Please help me spread the word by SHARING this post on your favorite social media site. Like if you like. Also feel free to comment or email me always at Matlock@thrivingipa.com. I welcome whatever you have to say.