We have some time now for some practical planning for our new reality as performing artists.
As so many artists are jumping on the live streaming platforms to hurry up and schedule shows, put out tip jars, ask for donations on various social crowd funding platforms, I thought I’d lend some additional ideas for how to spend this time.
Certainly, all the above are great options to help build your brand and share your talents with your people.
In addition, let’s think strategically so we can plan for now and for later.
Here are some general strategies that you might consider doing no matter your target audience or venue type.
Clearly, when you consider your specific audience, your writing and your conversations with your contacts need to be appropriate for that contact and the type of performance situation they represent. For example: How you reconnect with a Principal, or PTA coordinator or teacher at an elementary school will require a different conversation than that of a performing art center programmer or a club owner or a librarian.
This is the perfect time to really consider who your contacts are and how you might be an asset to help them through their current situation and just perhaps, save a potentially lost gig.
Let’s dive in.
Here are a few things you might begin right now to get a jump on your future.
- Make a list of every gig that just got cancelled. (Arggg! I’m sure you know them by heart at this point.)
- Categorize them by the various venue types: Schools, colleges, libraries, clubs, house concerts, PACs, festivals, corporate gigs, fundraisers. (What else ya got?)
- Take the category that you have the largest number of cancelled gigs. As an example, I’ll use the elementary school category just to demonstrate how you might think bigger about this.
- Now it’s a scramble. Schools are closed, mostly. Those that are closed, are trying to get classes going online. Those that are just closed for now and are considering how soon to reopen, are wondering how to get classes online in the meantime.
Things for you to think about:
1. Can you present your show in an online format?
2. If you could, what would you need to make that happen? What logistical hoops would you need to jump to set up a live streaming performance, similar or close to the one you were booked to present live?
3. If it wasn’t exactly like the live show, how could you pare it down to make it work?
4. Now let’s write a talking point script to offer to your contact who booked your live show.
Talking Points for a Phone Conversation with Your Contact
Let’s work with the fact that the money previously allocated for your gigs is still there. They haven’t spent it on anyone else, so, in all likelihood, it is still there.
When the school begins to present classes online, having an aspect of cultural programming planned into the week, could prove to be a break for teachers, an attention-grabber for students and a relief for parents working at home.
That main point is your conversation starter.
You want to help during this crisis and provide a cultural enhancement to the school day.
Since the program was already scheduled, the money is already allocated, we could reschedule our program to be delivered through the school’s online teaching platform to fit the schools online scheduling soon to be in place.
The time and date and link can be sent through the school’s email to the parents.
When you address your cancellation with a solution to the situation and an offering that adds to their challenging switch to online schooling, you may have more opportunities to salvage some of those cancelled gigs.
Now for any other venue type that you work with who have cancelled your gigs, think about that situation. Consider that audience. Create a talking point model for each of your cancelled gig venue types. Some might work better than others. But this exercise just might help you think beyond the shock of cancelled gigs and lost income and move you closer to building a solution-based relationship with your contacts.
Give everyone a week or so to stop reeling.
Use that time to think about your audiences, plan your programming, consider your talking points. Then reconnect with purpose, a solution and help in the most thoughtful way. Send a very short email before your call that says, “I’d like to offer some help with your online schooling situation, I’ll give you a call,” that might help get your call answered.
What audiences do you serve that might offer an opportunity for a bigger solution? What are you doing to nurture those relationships for immediate possibilities and future opportunities?
Leave me a comment on the blog.
To your health and well-being.
Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, Future Dance.
And for more career boosting tips, articles, books, resources, tele-seminars and online courses, visit me at Performingbiz.com