My last few posts — about musicians marketing themselves by using their core values, and about musicians finding their own audience — have developed into lively conversations, as people comment. If these subjects interest you, and you haven’t looked at the comments, you might want to do it. You’ll find ideas, experiences, suggestions, and — because there’s more than one way to do all this — disagreement. I’ve learned from all of it.
And maybe what I like most is that people are sharing their experience. Which gives us case studies, about how to do what I’m talking about. I’ve posted Jeffrey Biegel’s account of what he’s done, making it a separate blog post.
And now here’s another story, from soprano Katherine Giaquinto. I’ve known Jeffrey, from his blog comments, for years. Katherine is new to me. (And I’m happy to meet her.)
Here’s what she wrote (in a blog comment, originally):
As artists, we have to be both the product and the promoter, n’est-ce pas? I’m an opera singer who’s preparing a three-month audition tour of Germany this spring, and I’m one week away from a fundraising recital which is the launch of this journey. I’ve been learning through this process that you have to reach out, personally, and develop real relationships with your audience members. And you also have to have something to give back to them – an exchange. As performers, our exchange is experiential. My current strategy has been to create little one-minute videos to introduce myself to new audiences, tell them a little bit about this German adventure, and then welcome them onto the ride with me. I’m going to be taking my supporters with me to Germany through videos, photos, and blog posts. Here’s an example of one of the videos, where I take people inside the rehearsal process.
The learning curve for online marketing has been steep, but rewarding. Most rewarding of all has been picking up the phone or sending a personal email, and then sitting down with a new music-lover for a good conversation.
“You have to have something to give back to them.” Crucial! You keep people involved by continuing to share yourself. These people aren’t your captive audience. They’re your friends. As Katherine says, they’re taking the ride with you.
And her video is well worth watching. It shows you don’t need slick video production. We see Katherine talking, while her accompanist sits at the piano. Katherine’s not fancy. She’s just being herself. Which is more than good enough! And while the pianist doesn’t say a word, she smiles and reacts, showing that she’s a friend, too.
Then Katherine starts to sing, and dissolves into the music. She doesn’t look at the camera. She doesn’t ask for any response. She doesn’t sell herself in any way. And that’s powerful. You can’t help but be drawn in. Her singing is compelling, too, making me wish the video was longer. But no — it doesn’t need to be, because soon there’s going to be another one. A one-minute video, which you can easily decide to watch, since you know it’ll take just a minute of your time.
And it leaves you eager for the next one. Bravo, Katherine. And thanks so much for showing us what you do.