Summertime, Summertime, Sum Sum Summertime!
We are in the midst of summer and, in spite of a heatwave in many areas, folks are making the best of it - ‘tis the season of lemonade, watermelon, flip flops, family vacations, and air conditioning.
Life takes on a different pace. Schools are out, so school storytelling opportunities are not as abundant. In some states, festivals are on hold until cooler temperatures. So we find some time that we might not have in the other three seasons.
No problem! Whether you are a beginning teller or a seasoned veteran of tale-telling, you might use this time for checking to see where you are with promoting your work. To help you do that, we have just the thing.
If you are a member of the Florida Storytelling Association, you might have seen our August 2015 e-newsletter, page 5, where Linda Goodman gave us some valuable advice on the fundamentals of promoting your work. This will be a good review for both the experienced self-marketer and also for the teller who is just starting out.
Storyteller for Hire: Marketing to Build Your Storytelling Business
So you know you can spin a good tale, and you want to make a living doing it. Fair warning: It will not be easy. Taking simple steps, however, can get yours to where you want to be if you are willing to spend the time necessary. Based on my 27 years of experience, these are some of the strategies that work for me. More will follow in future issues of this publication.
- Have a good product. If you want to make your living storytelling, you must have polished stories to market. Ideally, you should have a solid 45-60 minute program of good stories geared to a specific market. Your stories should be unique, and they should be stories that you love. You should have chemistry with your story, just as romantic leads have chemistry with one another in a movie. If the story makes you go "ah", it will have the same effect on your audience.
- Unless you have saved enough money to support yourself for at least two years, or have a partner who is willing to support you, DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB UNTIL YOU HAVE STEADY INCOME COMING IN ON A REGULAR BASIS FROM YOUR STORYTELLING ENDEAVORS to cover your needs!! It takes time to build a fan base that is large enough and diversified enough to support your making a living at storytelling. Don't allow yourself to be seduced by the sporadic lure of accolades and applause into putting your financial well-being on the line. This is not a get rich quick business.
- Set up a professional website. It should include photos, your biography, the benefits that your stories offer to your target audience, a summary of your programs and workshops, good videos of you telling your stories, and accolades that you have received from others. If you cannot create a website that looks professional, hire a professional to do it for you. You URL should be something that the public will readily associate with you (your name, your brand, etc).
- Craft your elevator speech; a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in your storytelling. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds. © Linda Goodman 2015
For more helpful articles like this, be sure to spend some time in FSA’s archives of our e-magazine. In March of 2016, the magazine found a new name, “The InsideStory.”