Saturday, May 16, 2020

Magic Beans
Marketing Thoughts Offered By Janel Behm

I admit it.
I can’t hide it any longer.
I have a secret identity.

You may know me as a barefooted storyteller with a passion for tales rooted in myth and ancient magic, but long before I became a story artist I was and still am…an entrepreneur.

Over the years, my husband Dennis and I have created, bought and sold several businesses. I don’t pretend to be a marketing expert or advertising guru, but over the years I’ve acquired several “magic beans” of self-promotion that have served me well in my adventure as a storyteller. My “beans” have helped me cultivate opportunities and create gigs at a magical pace with minimal effort.

Five of my favorite magical self-promotion beans:

Magic Bean #1 – Truly tell who you truly are.

Promoting yourself as an artist isn’t selfish or egotistical, it’s actually quite generous. When you tell others what you have to offer, you give them the opportunity to share in the gifts you have been given. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, and don’t pretend that what you have to share isn’t of value.

Magic Bean #2 – Do what you do, NOT what you think you can sell.

One of our favorite businesses is a concession stand where we sell funnel cakes at fairs and festivals. We don’t sell pizza, cotton candy, or barbeque, which are also very popular. We sell funnel cakes and we sell a lot of them because they’re the best funnel cakes you’ve ever tasted. Similarly, I tell ancient myths and wisdom tales. Humorous personal narrative and five-minute moth stories are hugely popular right now, but that’s not what I feel called to do. Honing in on your niche doesn’t make you unappealing to the masses, it makes YOU irresistible to YOUR target market.

Magic Bean #3 – Separate your personal prejudice from your professional goals.

Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with technology which means I love to hate all things digital. Don’t even talk to me about Facebook, it makes my tummy hurt. Professionally, I understand that social media is the most effective way to reach my target market and follow trends in the storytelling world. I’ve learned to set my personal aversion aside so that I can professionally reach my tribe.

Magic Bean #4 – Find the social media sweet spot.

It’s not about how many friends you have on Facebook, it’s about how many of those friends follow you. Post too frequently and you become white noise that no one really hears. Post too little and people forget who you are, and your message never gathers momentum. Craft your posts like you craft your stories…interesting, informative, and entertaining.

Magic Bean #5 – Find a “Media Magician”

The smartest thing I ever did was engage someone to help me with my social media, website, and promotions. My “media magician” spends hours helping me create Facebook posts, adjusting photos, and crafting text that will keep my style consistent across all platforms and in alignment with who I am as a teller. She manages areas of self-promotion that I don’t enjoy which frees me up to do what I LOVE – walking with Story, researching and practicing.

Now, you might be wondering how to find your own media magician and my answer is rather simple: Decide that there’s a place on your team for such a sorcerer and then don’t stop looking until you find one!

Finally, remember that no one can listen to your stories if you don’t tell them you have something special to share.

May these beans help you grow your self-promotion and share the magic of YOU and YOUR stories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Janel Behm is an actress and storyteller from Ohio. She now makes her home in Nokomis, FL. To learn more about Janel, visit her website,