Friday, October 22, 2010

Breaking into Business: Overview

Today's post begins a long series of topics based on notes from a workshop that I attended: Breaking into Business: Professional Development Workshop for Artists. This was put on by the Vermont Arts Council. The workshop is broken up into two-days: Business setup and Marketing. I attended both days.

It was a fantastic workshop!!!! I learned so much about what I did know and what I didn't know. Over the next series of postings, I will be going over a lot of what I learned in more detail. For now, here's an overview.

On the first day, we went over the basics of our business. At first, we had to provide an "elevator" statement. Essentially, this is a quick statement detailing who we are and what is our product. It was interesting exercise to ensure that we have a "identity". The most effective business model is to have a "brand" or "identity". Customers want to know you for a particular aspect, rather than being semi-known for lots of things. For the rest of the day, we went over basic business aspects: insurance, accounting, lawyers, business plans, knowing your customers, etc.

The second day was about marketing. Once we had the basics of business down, it was time to determine best methods for marketing your work. This included, first, traditional methods such as press releases, building relationships with newspapers, radios, etc, and standard mailing/brochure marketing techniques. The next methods dealt with using the Internet and social medias (facebook and twitter) to increase your customer base. Also, included were techniques for email marketing and surveys. A final procedure dealt with methods for building effective web sites.

There was a lot of information for the two days and I was pretty tired by the end. Now, I just have to get my final plan into motion.

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