I am writing this in the air, on my way to Stockholm from London where I last night attended the opening night of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical, Sunset Boulevard, in London’s West End. It was a magical evening; Glenn Close, Fred Johanson, Michael Xavier, Siobhan Dillon and their fellow cast members were radiant on stage (including ENO’s Olivier-award winning orchestra and stellar ensemble) and the performance closed to standing ovations and such a loud cheer that the roof almost lifted. I was moved, so deeply touched by the performance that I still cannot shake the feeling that I have witnessed something quite out of the ordinary yesterday. Something that will stay with me – and the rest of the audience – for as long as we remember.
This morning we woke up to glowing reviews from prestigious magazines and newspapers in both the UK and abroad, and I am sure the whole production team feels such a great relief today. Their vision for the project worked, ENO has been under hardship for quite some time but now not only have they won an Olivier Award this week but also showed, once again, what excellence means in the world of theatre, arts and business.
Throughout the rehearsal period, people have been tweeting, Facebooking, Instagraming and sharing their support for the actors and the production online, asking about tickets and information about the show. In online marketing it is a common saying that you have to be where your target market is, you have to show up where they hang out and in this case, as an artist – or creative of any sorts involved with a production like this – you increase your chances of getting exposure by making sure you have set up your online media presence in such a way that people can tag you, include you in posts, PM you and connect with you directly to ask questions.
To give you a good example. Before we started, Fred didn´t have Twitter, or an official Facebook account, a YouTube channel or even a proper website. By just taking a few simple measures to set up these accounts and then aim to post daily, he is now allowing fans to connect with him directly and show him their support. And not only that, the other people in the production are able to include him in their tweets and FB posts (and vice versa), not only making it easier to communicate within the team but also create buzz and drive traffic to the various platforms and the production itself. And when you have more traffic, you rank higher in search engines so that press and potential producers looking to cast new productions are able to find you much easier.
You increase your chances of media exposure AND future gigs by making yourself available to the public eye. This way you can control what´s being said about you, post relevant info that you want media to know and it also increases your attraction as someone to hire for a new show. Why? Because like it or not, performing arts is an expensive industry and all producers want to see a financial return from their investment. If they know that you are not only talented and great on stage, but also actively contribute to increased box office revenues and media attention – well, then you have just increased your chances of being hired again. And again. Which builds your following, which adds more buzz to your brand, which makes you more fun to write about in the media. You get the drift.
My challenge to you is this. If you are an artist, an actor, singer, musician or performer of any kind and want to get more recognition for what you do – go over your online media presence, update it to include the latest info, biography, photos, audio and video links.
You might say at this point, “yeah yeah – I know. I just haven’t gotten around to doing that just yet.” Well, then I am here to say Do it TODAY! Don´t wait another day, tap into the flow and start sharing your voice with the market place to become a key player in your field.
Keep on Shining Brightly – On and Off Stage!
Founder and Managing Director,
From Sweden Productions