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Artists, Craftspeople, Musicians, Festivals, & Others that exhibit, perform or work in the music, art, craft, festival biz and special events industry, will find these past Newsletters of interest.

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Years 2012-2014. To access a back issue, click the Newsletter title. Use the search box above to find a topic in all years.

January 2015 Newsletters - Artists & Crafters | Musicians | Food Vendors | Promoters | MarketPlace

Artists and Crafters News:

Social Media "Netiquette" for Successful Artists

by John R. Math

artAre you marketing and branding your art through social media and getting the results that you desire? Have your efforts in social media so far been worthwhile? Do you feel comfortable in establishing your presence in this new medium? Are you up-to-date on the effectiveness of this media? If you said “no” to any of the above questions then it may be time for you to brush-up on your social media "netiquette" as your effectiveness may be improved by adhering to the unofficial rules social networking.

In social media try to develop connections and relationships with people rather than advertising, promoting, selling something and by spamming people. People want to be educated, engaged and informed by you, rather than being “sold” by you.

When reading an interesting post about your art share it with your followers, friends and in your networks. By doing this, your followers will remember you, follow you more closely because of your attention and begin to connect with you.

Always be upbeat, positive and helpful with your followers, friends and networks. Remember that "social networking" is a tool that is used to develop relationships and contacts that are related to you in the art business. Do not just send posts and announcements about selling your artwork to your followers as this may be considered as spam and it will cause people to drop you, unfollow or eventually block you. Send interesting posts related to the art world and people will look forward to your posts, Tweets and updates.

Do not send negative or offensive posts, Tweets and updates. You are trying to meet people and build a following. Remember, this is called social media and people want to follow an upbeat and positive person. In addition, whatever you say, write or post will follow you forever, so think twice before you post!

Read more!

Musicians News:

What's Wrong with 'American Idol'?

by Bob Baker

positive attitude

It's one of the most popular TV shows of recent years, drawing tens of millions of viewers every week. Even I admit, American Idol is fun to watch. The show provides all the elements of good pop culture entertainment: passion, emotion, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, dreams attained and lost...

So, what's wrong with American Idol?

Considering it's lumped into the "reality" TV category, the show is doing a great disservice to aspiring musicians (and the public at large) by distorting perceptions of how the music business really works. It sends an outdated message of "dependence" on the industry vs. the more realistic "independence" that artists have today to control their own careers.

The Talent Discovery Myth

Instead, labels look for artists who are already developing themselves, attracting fans, and selling CDs on their own. There's less risk with an act that has a track record.

Also, the American Idol auditions, in particular, create the illusion that most aspiring musicians lack talent and are delusional, struggling and starving. In reality, there are thousands of talented performers across the country who make good money, have hundreds of devoted fans, and are steadily building careers.

Here's just one example of this modern reality: Over the past seven years, the web site CD Baby has sold more than $12 million worth of CDs (1.3 million units) by independent, unsigned acts. A tremendous amount of quality music is being produced and sold outside the mainstream.

Read more here!

Promoters News:

The Basics of Promoting

by Jackie DeVore

Properly marketing your event is the most important step to filling those seats, and getting your event off the ground. Let these tips help you get started with your promotional tactics:

Promoting events

  • Create a Contest: Offer your attendees a chance to win something by attending your event. You can easily start this competition online, and announce the winners with a ceremony at your event.

  • Cross-Market: The more audiences you can reach, the better. Find someone that has an event or business that is related to yours, but not in direct competition, and cross-promote between the two organizations. This is a relationship you can both benefit from.

Read more here!

Food Vendor News:

Important Questions to Ask When Researching Food Concession Venues

by the Writing Team at Food Service Warehouse

When you contact local venues and organizations about applying to be one of the food concession vendors, there are many questions to bear in mind. Below is a list of helpful questions that you will want to be sure and ask the event coordinator before you decide whether or not an event is right for your business.

The No-Brainer Questions:

These are the questions that everyone will ask. Before you begin asking about any other aspects of the event, confirm that dates and location of the event are correct. Once you have done this, you can move into more specific questions.

The Basic Questions:

These are questions that will give you answers that are important to know such as attendance, fees and other charges.

  • What is the expected attendance? This is quite possibly the most important question to ask as this will give you an idea of how many customers you can expect to visit the event. If you are speaking with a event that is having its first season, ask for a reasonable estimate based on the organization’s research.
  • How many other food vendors are participating? You will need to know how many competitors you are up against. If there are too many vendors, your profits will not be worth the time you invested. However, if there are too few, you run the risk of being inundated with customers and running out of supplies.
  • What are the event’s hours? Finding out what the event’s hours are will tell you whether the event is right for your concession business or not. If the event is held in the earlier hours of the day and ends before lunch, it is best not to book that venue if your primary menu items are served in the afternoon.
  • Will admission be charged? If the organization behind the event is charging admission, attendees will be slightly less likely to spend money on concession food because they feel as though they have already spent enough just by entering the event.
  • What is the space fee and how is it charged? Even moderately small events will charge a space fee, and it is critical to find out how much it is, whether it is a flat fee or a percentage of total sales. If it is a flat fee, find out how the fee is calculated. If the fee is based on a percentage of sales, obtain the percentage and the deposit required to book the space.

Read more here!

Event Promoter News:

Tips for Taking Great Photos

by Julie Cochrane

jade dream necklaceUpon landing in your online shop, your photos are the first thing that speaks to your customers about your work. If the photos are out of focus, pixelated, confusing, or poorly lit, you've lost a potential customer. If you don't take the time to share excellent photos of your items, don't wonder why you aren't making any sales. It is the most important thing about online selling; good photos of your work pay off.

Fortunately, you don't need to be a professional photographer to take decent photos of your items. Here are some tips:

  • Get a tripod for your camera. An inexpensive small table top tripod will ensure a steady shot.
  • Natural lighting won't let you down, but using the flash on your camera always will. Flash photography will change the colors of your items, create glare, or otherwise misrepresent your craft, period. So, set up your display near a window, or if you go outside, take your photos in the morning or afternoon when the sun is not directly overhead.
  • Open your camera's manual and learn about the white balance setting. It's easier than you think, will only take a second, and you will be glad you did when your pictures are brighter and cleaner. If you use plain white for your background, make sure it is truly WHITE by white balancing your camera. I often see grey-white, underlit backgrounds and it looks terrible. (Another great solution to giving your stuff great lighting: try googling "creating your own at-home lightbox" for photographing small items. It's easy and cheap to make your own mini photography studio!)

Read more!

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