Storytelling: how to engage and keep clients
On Thursday, August 8, the Ladysmith Arts Council hosted an online talk about promoting yourself and your art in the digital age, with the first part featuring Terry O’Reilly. Terry is known to those CBC listeners who enjoy his podcasts and radio show, Under The Influence, and before that, The Age of Persuasion. It has long been a favourite of mine. I save them up and listen to them on road trips. His specialty is marketing and he has won many awards for his work in the ad world. It is all psychology, one of my fascinations. His way of presenting information is well-done, drawing the listener in and entertaining while educating. He is a master storyteller.
The event had around 670 people attend, and it was great to see artists from all over Vancouver Island and beyond. Terry’s talk was very informative. He emphasized the importance of having and properly telling a story, framing things so people can relate and want to know more and maybe have a part of that story for themselves. As humans, we are all about meaning, and meaning making. Blending information about the piece, like how it was made, why it was made, along with information about the artist helps create a story and engages potential buyers.
Something that is important to remember is that the story needs to be authentic (oh, overused word lately). People can tell when a seller is just looking to sell. You have all probably had the experience of meeting someone and realizing that that Person X would love to talk to you, have lunch etc, but it has nothing to do with wanting to know you. S/he is all about selling you something. It puts most people off. So tell a story that has meaning to you. I can see this as a change in mindset and something that many people might need to work on to feel comfortable doing. If nothing else, give titles to your work! It’s a start!
Part 2 was Inga Petri of Strategic Moves, with “digital tips and tools”. It was also excellent and I will do a separate post about it.