you do best
three: Marketing as performance art
adore Drew Barrymore. I find her unapologetic create-what-you-want-and-connect-how-you-will
attitude refreshing. Plus, she's 28 years old and has produced
two successful films with top female stars.
Like me, you may have opinions about her work. But
her accomplishments are impressive. Her secret? She is unencumbered
by the need to convince others and more importantly, herself
of the value of her work. Every step along the way reflects
her spunky, sassy, dynamic style. She
knows her audience and "performs" to them.
She epitomizes marketing as performance art.
Every day each of us is in the performance of our
life. As artists and creatives, our life pleasure focuses around
creating anew ... again and again. We relish transforming the
unknown into the known, illuminating life in a new way. Whether
through the world of words, image, movement or music, our creative
work ultimately culminates in a "performance"
a showing, a theater date, a concert, some type of engagement
between you, your work and those who want what you create: your
Often, I watch artists run from their prospective
audience because marketing their art feels like cheating or demeaning
their work. But when I say marketing, I am not promoting becoming
a sales person. In fact, I'm suggesting quite the opposite; you
don't need to become anyone other than who you are. Be
a performance of you and your art. Let people experience the feeling
they'll get from your art through their conversations with you,
from your business cards, your Web site, your brochures, your
OK. But right about now you might be asking:
"How do I actually do this?"
like to give you a success-insured script to follow. But if you're
going to "be" your art with people, you'll need to trust
your unique style and voice. That's the place of aliveness that
To do so, I invite you to first identify
the core threads of your work. No one knows these better than
you. These are your most compelling performance elements. By honoring
them and designing your particular art of connection around them,
you enhance your ability to connect with impact and expand
your comfort in doing so.
As an example, here are my five core elements
and how I use them in my work:
Create a powerful "environmental"
Build an interactive experience
Use color, light and texture to set the tone
Highlight the cathartic moment
Challenge an old way of thinking
Here's how each element translates
First, I always bring prospective clients
to a "transformative" environment, one that physically
reorients their life perspective. It might be a fabulous garden,
a teahouse, an amazing spa. Much like in my theater work, I believe
this inspires expansive thinking and self-believing. By providing
a place of visual transformation, internal shifts can occur in
soft but powerful ways.
Second, interactive experience is central
to all my work, beginning with initial connection. I move as quickly
as possible from e-mail to creating a personal relationship
even with international clients. They get to "experience"
our relationship; I try to never have to "tell" them
about my work.
I see many artists keeping a distance between them
and their clients and trying to talk to (rather than with) them.
The old art adage of "show, don't tell" is my primary
guide point. By saying less and allowing clients to experience
more, they get a visceral understanding of the work.
Third, when I design my promotional materials I
let color, texture and image illuminate the flavor of my work.
A picture speaks a thousand words, yet I continually see materials
that are divorced from the character of the person. Dare to show
yourself and reveal your unique style in your Web site, business
cards and promotional materials.
Ah, the cathartic moment. Whether I am a director,
concept designer or coach, I reach across the line of comfort
to ask my clients/audience the intimate questions and create an
opportunity for them to see something from a fresh lens. Isn't
that why people seek out and buy art? To see from a new perspective?
To infuse their life with meaning? I don't wait until the performance/finished
work for this to occur.
And finally, by inspiring and not preaching
I can help people change to a new way of thinking in their
own way, in their own time.
the end, all marketing does is give people an opportunity to make
a new choice for their life, so they can more easily succeed in
performing their life.
Take a moment and list your elements. Consider
your artwork. What are your core threads? If you don't know, ask
a few friends or acquaintances for feedback. Then get creative
and see how you can infuse those concepts into your performances
and connect in the world.
And remember: like Drew Barrymore, creating your
marketing performance by doing it your way means you are doing
what you do best. Plus, it just might be a lot more fun!
Don't miss Part
one: Dare to connect and Part
two: Confessions of an introvert.