1,000 True Fans

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I recently revisited a talk given by the excellent Diane Ragsdale in which she refers to Kevin Kelly’s theory of 1,000 True Fans*.

Kelly tells us “a True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.” Read More

Smile: customer retention

Trickle or Torrent: How Successful is Your Customer Retention?

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The idea of customer retention is quite simple: have the same people buy tickets year after year.

But, it is not that easy, and on the other side of retention is attrition: the rate at which your patrons leave, never to buy tickets again.

It is natural to experience some attrition, but, if the two sides of retention and attrition are not well managed, it can make the difference between a trickle and a torrent of lost patrons. Read More

Group of people

Are You Talking To Me? The Art Of Communicating

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In a noisy world of cluttered, distracting marketing messages, it is a good question. Is anyone aware that you are trying to communicate to them? Have you actually captured the readers attention, not just once, but on an ongoing basis?

Much of traditional marketing is a one shot deal. Money is spent on ad campaigns that have limited shelf lives, and the worst part is you have no residual benefit when the campaign has run its course.

But, if you place relationships at the centre of your communications, then you have something that can be yours forever.

Relationships are built on trust, value and communication. Relationships are about talking with people, exchanging ideas and sharing interests. Read More

6 Strategies to Guarantee Productive, Purposeful Meetings

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Our lives are full of meetings. Some are productive, but unfortunately many are not.

So much time is lost with wasteful, ill-conceived meetings. Imagine this scenario: a group of 10 people are scheduled to attend a 2-hour meeting. On average, it takes each member 30 minutes to travel to and from the meeting. That is a total of 30 hours, or almost an entire workweek, that has gone into that one meeting. It better have been worth it!

A couple of years ago, I vowed I would do what I could to lead meetings that valued time and the participants. Practice and experience taught me a lot.

Here are my six strategies that will help you lead productive and purposeful meetings. Read More

Elevator buttons

Quick Pitch in a Fast Machine

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It is the oddest thing, but I often provide awkward answers to the question, “What do you do?” I obviously know what I do, but condensing experience and variety into one or two sentences, my elevator pitch, is not as easy as it may seem.

That is why I was intrigued to read Charles McFarland’s recent post Three Steps To Nail Your Elevator Pitch in which he suggests we flip the answer to the question. Instead of answering, “this is what I do”, Charles suggests we go further by answering, “this is what I can do for you.” Read More

Computer keyboard

3 Questions to Launch Your Content Marketing Strategy

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Communications can be daunting and confusing. There are some many options today, it is difficult to know where to start, and there is so little time sort it out and launch a marketing campaign.

But, with a little time and a little preparation, you can develop a content marketing strategy that will get you on your way and give your communications some focus. Read More

Content is King

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Long ago, and well before I had heard the term ‘content marketing’, I discovered that sharing stories and information about music, dance and theatre had an amazing effect on building and retaining audiences. Rather than relying solely on the unrelenting deluge of advertising (‘buy tickets!’) and typical press releases, I wrote articles about the concerts I was presenting.

My best illustration of this is a jazz series I initiated despite the fact I knew nothing about jazz. Obviously, I had a lot to learn in order to succeed and to find an audience. I tackled both through research and writing. Read More

unrelenting friendly service

Fanvocates and Millennials

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No doubt you have some fans. These are the people who regularly attend your performances, retweet your tweets and like your Facebook posts. Perhaps they make annual donations or buy subscriptions. You know them to see them and you probably know their names by heart.

Your fans also are your advocates… or at least they could be with a little extra attention on your part.

Read More

Calling Culling Clipping

Calling, Clipping, Culling

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  1. Make sure you actually have a call to action: people will not take time to figure out what you want them to do. Be explicit and be clear. Tell them how to order, tell them what they will get, and tell them they have to do it right now.
    • Make sure you place the call to action front and centre. The louder and clearer the message, the more likely your ticket buyers will heed its call.
  2. Give clear instructions with limited options: narrow the options to help your customers focus and to reduce the confusion.
    • More than one performance or production to promote? It’s not easy, but consider focussing on just one. Read More
New York City Skyline

Know What You Do Well: Believe, Nurture, Trust And Share

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I recently finished Just Kids, a sensitive, personal and loving retelling by author, poet and musician Patti Smith of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Beautifully written, this is an homage to a friendship of remarkable depth and affinity.

It was only by chance the two meet: the poet and artist, and the jeweller and installation maker, each penniless and near homeless. The connection was instant, enduring for a lifetime and beyond.

If we did not know the trajectory of their lives, we could easily have said they had a profound innocence and naiveté, adrift and directionless in their youth. Read More