Last year saw the rise to fame of the most influential and speculative personality to hit the social media scene of this side of the planet. Since the beginning of last year’s election year – and whether his political comments were mischievous or simply telling things as they are – thousands of Zimbabweans followed him on facebook. Who am I talking about here? I am talking about the unmasked character, Baba Jukwa.
To this day he/she still hides behind the profile picture of a cartoon granddad (I can just see him/her sitting behind his laptop with that smirk on acting like the twenty-first century ‘father Zimbabwe’. To this day there is still a whole lot of speculation surrounding who this (these) might be and what their agenda is.
Any who, this is not about Baba Jukwa. It’s about all you creative artists and how most of you to this day and age still see the use of the internet as leisure. I want you guys to take example from Baba Jukwa and other similar examples as their popularity did not just grow overnight. Jukwa realized that the internet was a remarkable thing which he would use effectively as a communication tool. Jukwa was an opportunist that understood the current pressing issues and what his audience wanted.
So in a way, if you analyze it the way I have, Baba Jukwa was an artist. He was a good marketer and opportunist. So why can’t we as artists and creative also utilize this bag of tricks (the internet) so that we succeed in our careers.
Below I have compiled 8 ways in which artist can use to take advantage of this World Wide Web with a limited budget:
1. Know your Market
Before you spend a cent on marketing yourself as an artist, first
figure out your market. Set yourself apart from the competition. This
is because a successful marketing strategy relies on a clearly defined
audience. If you know your product you will be able to figure out your
market. For example, what is their age group? What are your fans
interested or affected by the most? What is their financial situation?
Once you are done with the customer profile, you then have to
determine how and where to reach them.
Set yourself apart from the competition. The fact is you are not the
only artist in the country, let alone in the world. There are
thousands of other entertainers trying to sell products or services on
the Internet. Thus, you need to make your brand unforgettable. What is
unique about you or the type of art you create? What do you value the
most: money, fame or simply expressing yourself?
Now that you know your target market, plan your budget accordingly.
There are a lot of platforms that are available online at no or little
4. Your own site
Firstly you need to consider opening your own site. It is essential
for artists to have at least a minimum web presence.
Building a website can be as complicated or as simple as you want it
to be. You can get someone to design then run the website for you –
which normally comes at a high cost. Or I recommend creating your own
site. But you do not know a thing about Web page designing? No worries
there is a way out. If one does not want to do any of that technical
stuff but still want to have control over their site if they opted for
an automatic site builder.
The result may look a bit prefabricated but you can create a simple
site through a step by step wizard or simply filling in a set of
templates. Most domain registries and hosting services (such as
www.peterbuckley.com, www.tripod.com and www.wix.com) can be used.
Once you have published your page, the real problem begins. How do you
get people to visit it? You may advertise or send your URL address to
people you know. But the rest of the online world can only get there
by either taking a link from another site or by finding you through
a search engine.
To increase these links, contact fellow artists and entertainment
pages and suggest swapping links.
Blogging is one of the best ways to get your art or galleries found by
the search engines and provides excellent content to fuel your other
social marketing activities. A blog (or weblog) is a special kind of
frequently updated webpage consisting of short posts arranged with the
most recent at the top. It can be composed of a daily log of a
person’s life, thoughts and discoveries. You can also post new work,
promote upcoming shows or give your readers the behind the scenes to
your creative processes.
Audio blogging (podcasting) and Video blogging (vlogging) are other
trends you can take advantage from. The. Best known blog hosts include
the following, all of which are free or inexpensive to use. Blogger,
Sparkpod, LiveJournal, WordPress loads of others. What are you waiting
for, it only takes a few minutes to setup your own.
6. Maximize your social media presence.
Having a social media page is free, simple to use and gives you access
to over one billion people. Don’t just sign up for these services and
about them. Start being active on social media.
Post your events and invite people no more than two weeks before the
show date on Facebook. Too early and people forget. Repost new info
about the event a week out, three days out and on the morning of your
While most of your Facebook work
should be done well in advance, Twitter is best used just a couple
days before the show.
7. Jukwa style
there are many advantages to choosing a pseudonym. Sometimes what you
write might not be published not necessarily because of what it is,
but who the author is. Or it can be because of the content relayed.
Content that lashes out at the government or those in leadership.
Hence the author just wants their privacy. Sometimes, it can be a way
famous author to test whether they are still writing as well as they
used to, or if they are perhaps past their prime. Whatever the
reasons, the authors who
have used a pen name may surprise you. There are many authors with pen
names out there, plenty who would surprise you. Here are just give
famous authors with pseudonyms!
8. Get offline
Finally, an important thing you need to know about being online is…
wait for it… getting offline. Yes I said it; you need to shutdown
that computer and invest time in doing some traditional marketing.
There is no use in standing in front of the screen all the time and
not doing some actual work on the ground. Go out there and interact
with your audience, colleagues and potential sponsors.
You can approach local radio and TV stations about doing samples on
air the day before your shows. Approach local newspapers and offer
interviews to be printed days before your show. It not only opens you
up to thousands of potential fans, but it gives your brand as an
artist instant credibility.