Sunday, January 27, 2008

Making a living as a storyteller, Part 5

I'm going to start to lump more sections together. Here's part 5 in my white paper on making a living as a storyteller:

Know that everything you do is marketing.

· Need to get a temp job to tide you over? Tell the people you work for that you’re a storyteller—though it has been years since I’ve had to do temp work, I built my mailing list with names of folks with whom I worked.

· Remember that your listeners are everywhere. That kid with his mother in the coffeeshop might be a fan, the person cutting you off in traffic might love your stories, the cashier at the supermarket might have a granddaughter just the right age to listen to you. Be polite and friendly.

Ask for referrals.

The person who has just raved about your work may not think to tell others about it, so ask for the names of others who might be interested in your work.

· Ask in person after the gig.

· Ask in a thank-you note. You always send these, right?!

· Ask in a separate mailing.

Here’s a phrase I use: “Most of my work comes by word-of-mouth. If you enjoyed my storytelling, please pass my name on to principals at other schools.”

Try direct mail.

· Consider sending postcards instead of full mailings.

· Don’t send one mailing and expect to get lots of work. It takes time for potential clients to pay attention. “I’ve had your postcard in my file for a few years and only now have the grant money to bring you in,” one principal said to me.

· Keep in mind that if you get even one gig, you’ll pay for much of the cost of a mailing.

· Never use glitter in your marketing materials. It just annoys people.

To be continued...

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