Self Promotion

If you are someone who happens to be self-employed like I am in the voiceover and music industries, what are you doing to promote yourself on a daily basis or are you even promoting yourself at all. Are you the type of person who is not afraid to assert yourself, or would you say you are on the  quiet and shy side. Are you afraid to tell people about what you do because it may feel a little uncomfortable or maybe kind of like you are bragging? Are you afraid of coming off too pushy? Or, on the other hand, because you have a passion for what you do, does talking about it come naturally to you everywhere you go?

As I write this, I’m thinking back to when I recorded my very first demo. I was very excited about the professional quality of it, and when it was all completed, I was all set to sit down and begin making phone calls to introduce myself to prospective clients. All of a sudden, I felt paralyzed. Does this sound familiar? Have you been there? I remember thinking, Oh this can wait a few days, and then a few days turned in to a couple of weeks. Subconsciously, I was making excuse after excuse and if I remember correctly, I was probably spending a good part of the day on Facebook instead, not that there’s anything wrong with spending time on Facebook, but I think you get the gist of what I am saying.

So what was it that snapped me out of this, you might ask. Honestly, I had to do some self talk and give myself a wake up call. I woke up one morning and said, If you don’t do this for yourself, noone else is going to do this for you. This is your business, not anyone else’s.  I realized that I had to take a chance and jump in with both feet. There was no boss standing over my shoulder saying You’ve got to make those phone calls now.

I have now become very used to making phone calls and introducing myself to people, and it has become second nature to me. Have I made mistakes along the way? Of course. We all do, and we learn from them. That’s the cool part.

I’ve put together some possible suggestions which I hope may be helpful, especially to those of you who are getting started in your own businesses:

1: Before calling and introducing yourself to the Marketing Director of a Fortune 500 company or the Creative Director of an ad agency, do a little homework. Look at the company’s website to find out exactly what they do. Jot down notes about things that you particularly like about their site so that you can compliment whoever you are speaking with  regarding what you noticed.

2: Before picking up that phone, put a little script together sticking to the main points so as not to get off track. In other words, put your 30 second pitch together.

3: Test it out on a close friend who has been in his or her own business for a long time, and ask them to critique it.

4: Now. Go ahead and make that first call, and when you do, be yourself, listen carefully to how the person on the other end of the line is responding, and don’t forget to smile.

These are just a few little suggestions to encourage you to get started.   I believe that There is an art to this thing called self promotion.

If any of you would like to respond or have any other  thoughts after reading this, I always welcome new input.

Isn’t there an old saying that says Practice makes perfect?I believe that the more you practice the art of self promotion, it’s bound to get better and better instead of scarier and scarier. Go for it, and good luck!

Social Networking and You

Do you tweet, and if so, how often? Do you have an account on LinkedIn, and if so, how many connections do you have? Are you on Facebook, and do you have a business account as well as an account with family and friends? Are you blogging, and how often?  Oh, and we can’t forget Google Plus. And my final question is: Do you even care about all of this?

After attending a meeting where social networking was the topic of discussion, I began wondering, how did all of this take off so quickly. It seemed to spread like wildfire, and now, no matter what your point of view is regarding this, it’s here to stay.

I’ve heard people talk about how they tweet every 15 minutes, and others talk about how vital it is to maintain their presence on LinkedIn in order to build those professional relationships. Then on the other side of the coin, I’ve talked to people who have said, it’s a waste of my time, and I want nothing to do with any of it.

For me, as someone who happens to have no vision, it is a challenging experience. Because I am not able to use a mouse and only use key strokes, I have found many sites geared toward social networking to be non-user friendly.

So if you or I decide not to engage in social networking, is that going to prevent us from getting work? I don’t think so, but I do believe that the chances of getting work and establishing some great new relationships are much greater if we give this our best shot.

Here are some tips that I have found to be helpful:

1: Don’t put pressure on yourself. If you are new at this, start out slow, and begin with a site that makes you feel most comfortable. Your choices are still your own.

2: Set your own time limit on a daily basis whether it’s 15 minutes, one hour or whatever it is. You can’t really get involved in this unless you begin to enjoy it.

3: Read some books for beginners if you are new at this. There are many out there.

And if you honestly don’t care one way or the other, that’s okay, too.

Do you tweet, and if so, how often? Do you have an account on LinkedIn, and if so, how many connections do you have? Are you on Facebook, and do you have a business account as well as an account with family and friends? Are you blogging, and how often?  Oh, and we can’t forget Google Plus. And my final question is: Do you even care about all of this?

After attending a meeting where social networking was the topic of discussion, I began wondering, how did all of this take off so quickly. It seemed to spread like wildfire, and now, no matter what your point of view is regarding this, it’s here to stay.

I’ve heard people talk about how they tweet every 15 minutes, and others talk about how vital it is to maintain their presence on LinkedIn in order to build those professional relationships. Then on the other side of the coin, I’ve talked to people who have said, it’s a waste of my time, and I want nothing to do with any of it.

For me, as someone who happens to have no vision, it is a challenging experience. Because I am not able to use a mouse and only use key strokes, I have found many sites geared toward social networking to be non-user friendly.

So if you or I decide not to engage in social networking, is that going to prevent us from getting work? I don’t think so, but I do believe that the chances of getting work and establishing some great new relationships are much greater if we give this our best shot.   

Here are some tips that I have found to be helpful:

1: Don’t put pressure on yourself. If you are new at this, start out slow, and begin with a site that makes you feel most comfortable. Your choices are still your own.

2: Set your own time limit on a daily basis whether it’s 15 minutes, one hour or whatever it is. You can’t really get involved in this unless you begin to enjoy it.

3: Read some books for beginners if you are new at this. There are many out there.

And if you honestly don’t care one way or the other, that’s okay, too.

Change

There’s an old saying that says, nothing is forever, and as we all know, life is full of change, and whether we want it or not, change is just a part of life. Some changes we resist, and some we find adventurous. I myself have never done well with changes like moving or wishing a friend well when they move. I become pretty comfortable with my set routine. But on another note, change can be good, and change is growth.

I wanted to take a little time and share with you changes that I feel have been happening gradually in the music industry over the years. This is just one example:

A very close friend of mine has been performing at a restaurant that has been a landmark in this area for many years, and they have decided to close their doors which will leave every employee out of a job including him. That    makes me very sad, and because  this has been on my heart, I thought I’d share some other  thoughts that it has brought to my mind regarding the lack of live entertainment that we are seeing now in comparison to the 80’s and 90’s.

How many clubs have replaced live bands with DJ’s who just spin records all night long or maybe they have karaoke nights instead of hiring professional musicians. Aren’t we losing something called personal touch?

It’s sad to say this, but it seems that in our country, the arts are very under appreciated. In our schools, the music and art programs are the first to be cut.  That is why I admire celebrities like Herb Alpert who started a foundation to keep the arts alive in schools for under-privileged children.

In our country,  I see  the arts gradually being forgotten or placed on a level of low importance. In European countries, they are placed on a level of high importance.

I get on a soapbox about this.  For me, music is a healer, and it’s live music that brings people together. How can we cut self-expression and not continue to encourage it in generations to come. Thanks for reading. Your comments are welcome.

Put First Things First

Don’t ask me why it’s taken me such a long time to get back to working on my blog. Could it be the rush of the holiday season? If so, that’s a pretty poor excuse, but whatever it is, it’s good to be exercising these writing muscles again.

I thought I’d write something a little more personal this time around, but I think this really applies to both our personal and professional lives.

When you hear the word priorities, do you cringe? Would you rather not think about what your most important priorities are on a daily basis because maybe this reminds you  of those projects that  you’ve been procrastinating on?  Why do we find ourselves so often neglecting our most important priorities.

Now that we are in the midst of the holiday season, we’re all rushing around as we do every December, feeling more stressed, and wishing we had more time to get those cards out, those presents wrapped, and then there are the bills that still have to be paid, and the regular daily jobs that we have to do.  Right? They never go away just because the holidays are here. Life still goes on.

If you stop to think about what is important for you to accomplish on a daily basis in comparison to what is urgent,   For everyone, it’s something different, depending upon each personality and lifestyle.

What about putting first things first, whatever that may mean to you in order of importance. If we look at what we consider to be urgent, then we need to ask ourselves, How urgent is this? Is it really  necessary that I  get this done immediately?Or is there something else that’s a little bit more important that I’ve put on the back burner for a while that I need to give my attention to.

What about making two lists, one for  the things that you feel are urgent     and one for those things that you feel are important.    You might discover that the things that you’ve thought of as urgent, are really not that urgent after all. Only you will know the answer, and you probably will end up learning a lot about yourself in the process.  Just some food for thought.  Happy holidays!

Tina

Thanks God, it’s Friday!

Is that what you say at the end of every week? Has your job gotten so old to you that you could do it in your sleep? If you are in that particular place right now, I know what that’s like. I, too, have been there, and it’s not fun.

When I think about how many people in our country live for their weekends rather than enjoying each day as it comes, that’s sad.

If you are in that place, what steps will you take to get yourself out of it,  or is it just easier to stay in your comfort zone? After all, you’re pretty secure there although nothing is secure these days if you stop to think about it. The days of someone working for the same company for 25 years are long gone.

Maybe you have a dream that you’d like to pursue, but you feel you can’t because your job is draining you of any energy that you might have left at the end of the day.

 Here are some thoughts that might solve your problem just a little bit:

1: What about taking time during a break or lunch to make some marketing phone calls to begin working toward fulfilling that dream that you’d like to pursue, whatever it may happen to be.

2: What about attending networking events after work where you may be likely to meet people who can help you along the way.

3: What about attending some educational workshops or webinars on the weekends in order to get closer to accomplishing your goals.

4: What about taking an hour   every couple of days and devoting it to social networking to help you make some of the connections that you’d like to make.

 There’s an old saying that says, when there’s a will, there’s a way, and I believe that’s true. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it. Now you can say Thank God its Friday because you know that on the weekends, you’re going to be pursuing your real passion!