We ultimately need to promote self and art. This takes work and time. Establishing a professional network and a network of fans is important. Social media is invaluable for this work. It takes time and patience to establish an effective presence in social media. Be focused. Make decisions about your markets, your communities, your choices of forums. The kinds of sharing you do will speak to your professional image, your online persona.
Promotion takes imagination and hardwork. You can really approach this process of promotion as creative activity. It can be fun (sort of) because there are so many ways to skin a cat in terms of how to build networks, and get your name and work out there. Of course don’t limit yourself to cyber communities. Get out and pound the pavement now and then. For our Composer of Music for Art this means visiting the shows of artists, putting calling cards down in likely spots where traffic might have some interest and relationship to her creative work.
The process of promoting your work is, of course, largely about making sales, winning commissions, establishing lucrative collaborations. Effort put into promotion also has a very positive, indirect spinof. It helps us keep the creative channels open – to enable that creative flow. When we are participating in the public forum, we are forced to be on top of our game, and that includes, inevitably, to be a bit competitive. A lot of us shy from blatant competition, and of course there are different ways to compete – we find our comfort level and our approach to competition. But bottom line here is that there is common knowledge out there about how to interact, how to produce, artistic technique that works and doesn’t, marketing that works and doesn’t, and we need to be in the public forum to be exposed to that knowledge base. Otherwise we waste a lot of time reinventing the wheel.
So don’t worry about losing yourself artistically, of losing focus on daily production, as you commit time and energy to promotional activity. There is a balance to be struck here. Promotional activity is in fact critical to your ongoing ability to produce effectively and competitively. So understand this process of promotion as an integral part of your daily creative effort. Let folks know what you are about. Invest energy in other peoples’ works as well. And realize the great internal housecleaning this activity achieves – opening up your channels for maximum creative power and productivity.