Today’s arts entrepreneurs now have the potential to develop and communicate with an audience pieced together, representing cultures across the globe. One may develop a pocket of interest in Canada, while at the same time having a loyal audience in Kenya, while having one’s base in the U.S. And so it goes, the arts entrepreneur pieces their audience together from many places around the globe.
Here are some tools that will enable you, as an arts entrepreneur, to begin communicating with and building your audience.
- www.mailchimp.com This is a more or less free Newsletter service. Mailchimp.com enables one to organize and send out Newsletters to their audience, to keep them informed. One of the cool features of this product is its extensive and detailed tracking capabilities. See who is and is not interested in your Newsletter. Who clicks once and who clicks seven times? What are they specifically clicking on? This is valuable information, as one can see where their true fans are and what they are most interested in about what you are offering or doing.
- www.wordpress.com Though there are many free blogging platforms available on the web, WordPress is robust, does well in Google search rankings and has become an industry standard. Communicate your specific thoughts, develop tags to be found, organize your thoughts into categories. With a simple plugin, understand where your audience is located and what they are interested in most in way of content on your blog content. Give them content for free and update often so that they return and eventually share your content. This interaction and communication can help lead an artist towards discovering their voice by having to deliver content. When one creates regular content, they quickly learn what they can and want to post about.
- www.bluehost.com is one of a large number of services that offer cost-effective web hosting. Bluehost, at the time of this writing, offers a range of bonus features and special offers for their low-cost membership.
- www.godaddy.com offers cost-effective domain registration, enabling you to grab that domain address which will help communicate your brand.
- www.facebook.com is a seemingly obvious platform. However, it is extremely powerful as a communication tool. This, combined with www.twitter.com, one has the potential to attract like-minds from around the globe and interact directly with them. Remember to always create content of value. Communicate with those who interact with you and update content often, always for free and with the hope that it will be shared. As an example of the power of Facebook and Twitter, consider their roles in the Arab Spring. Ex. Egypt’s revolution was dubbed the “Facebook Revolution“.
- Youtube offers the option of creating a YouTube channel. Create a lot of video content? Youtube enables one to organize that content into a sort of “TV channel”, enabling people to subscribe and receive updated content in their inbox. Remember to update content often and keep up quality content, always.
- Into Self Publishing? Check out www.lulu.com. This handy online service enables an author to print on demand. This means that an author who chooses to self publish no longer needs to have a basement full of books that are awaiting readers, which is risky, as they may not sell. With Lulu, when your book is purchased, it prints and is then shipped, saving authors the risk of purchasing numerous copies upfront. Even cooler, the author controls the lion’s share of profits and receives a book code (ISBN number), enabling the author’s books to appear through vehicles such as www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. Books can be updated over time, enabling authors to re-release books with updated editions. Once your book is ready to print, your audience will be the first group you contact, perhaps after family.
- Need an online gallery to distribute your work? Submit your work to www.saatchionline.com.
- Collect data and understand your business better by encouraging your audience to submit information on forms. Through popular websites such as www.wufoo.com, an arts entrepreneur can gather unique information about their customers, including detailed contact information, questionnaires and a wide array of other potential uses.
- For website creation, there are many online platforms available. www.wix.com offers an easy to use and attractive website building tool, which enables the user to choose from templates and to drag and drop. Want to do domain transferring so that your Wix site will not have “wix” in the title, spend the small fee to have your own domain listed and have your hosting provider assist with domain transferring. This will enable you to have your personal domain address on your Wix-generated (or other similar vehicle) website. Other remarkable platforms include iWeb and WordPress, just to name a couple. One of the great advantages to designing your website via an online platform is that your site can be updated from any internet connection. Adjust and update on the go!
These are just a few of the many tools one can find available today online or through their devices. Explore a listing of such content at the SMU Arts Entrepreneurship Tool Box.