Tag Archives: marketing

Fringe Thoughts 1: Referral Ripples

GnR Opening CMJ (4)

Keena Ferguson, Peppur Chambers, Keaton Talmadge & Jeanette at opening reception for Gracie & Rose.

For four years, the Hollywood Fringe Festival has served as a  microcosm of the local arts to come, and sets my brain a-whirling. Since the community is the inspiration for these random and often lasting Fringe Thoughts, I want to share and continue the conversation.

Fringe Thoughts 1: Referral Ripples

The  feeling of community has always been one my favorite parts of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. It feels markedly increased this year. Rather than a few companies doing the cross-promo/community thing well, while others learn from them, this year it pervades the entire Festival.

That is a wonderful evolution in its fourth year. Just some improvements I’ve noticed:

  • People were on top of participant discounts well before June. This encourages your built-in audience to attend, which increases word-of-mouth and could ensure a steady stream throughout your run.
  • Most of the shows refer their audience to other Fringe shows in their programs.
  • Others take extra steps to also suggest verbally the other Fringe shows their audience should see and call out the Fringers in the audience. Last night Rati Gupta did this with her signature great flair.
  • The hashtag #HFF13 was off the hook since late April/May.
  • Projecting the twitter & instagram hashtag onto walls in Fringe Central Station encourages more interactivity.
  • A group of shows banded the “First Fringe Club” together for publicity.
  • Three storytellers also combined resources: Bill Ratner, Michael Kass and John Grady.

The veteran Fringers know these ropes, but I’ve hardly seen it in such force so early. You can tell who attended the Town Halls and/or has experience. These Referral Ripples help audience members know where to start when looking at the website or brochure. It’s intimidating to try to choose between all the available shows.

Every time an audience member hears directly about one more show, their interest may become more piqued and they could talk about it with their friends. Every time that fellow artists help each other, you’re actually helping your audience, plus encouraging them to see more live theatre. The more they see, the more they’ll talk and these are the Referral Ripples we need to increase live theatre as a vital and valued part of our community’s lives.

Last night we had lots of Fringers at Gracie and Rose‘s opening, and I knew about half of them before the Fringe and the other half (pictured above) only once it started, eleven days ago.

So Huzzah to you all and Carry On. If we can capture these concentrated efforts for theatre all year round, audience development stands a chance.

Read or Watch my full coverage of the Hollywood Fringe on Bitter Lemons.

Here are the Gracie and Rose Fringeships:GracieAndRoseFlyerFR

Ceremony by Michael Kass

Take me to the Poorhouse by Liz Femi

The Ruby Besler Cabaret by Anastasia Barnes

Love Actually Isn’t by Dan Johnson

The Real Housekeepers of Studio City by Heidi Powers, Tom Moore & Joe Greene

Daddy by Olivia Peterson

And also playing at our venue, the Art of Acting Studio: IAMA Fest 2013

Workshop: Promote your Play w/ Video

Should plays make a trailer or teaser like the movies? 

How does a live experience translate to a short video? 

How can videos translate to butts in seats?

Promote your Play with Video

Saturday, April 20th (10am-1pm)

 UPDATE 7:11pm : This workshop is postponed until a later date. Please email smb@combinedartform.com for more info.

Upcoming Workshops

Talk through your own ideas for video promotion, and how to prepare to talk to your team. 

Theatre Asylum 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038

Register for workshop: $40 individual, $60 to bring a team member

Basic tips for a Kickstarter video from Diani & Devine below

I asked our special guest Victor Solis more: 

CMJ: What are some key guidelines for creating a trailer for a  live show?
Victor-Solis-260
VS: First, discard any preconceived notions you have about trailers and don’t study any movie or series trailers.  Think in the medium of live performance because your ultimate goal is to attract people to see your live show.  In your trailer, show the viewer the most powerful elements of your stage: live performance, human emotion, and the magic of a world created in a contained space.  Give the viewer an incredible taste of what they can expect from your show and leave ’em wanting more.  Nothing is so strong as the temptation of mystique.
CMJ:  That’s a great goal, now how should we start the creative process for the trailer?
VS: The fundamental approach to conceiving an engaging trailer employs the same key considerations you would use in designing any promotional piece of content such as a poster, postcard, mailer, or social media post.  Start by identifying the strongest emotions and human themes evoked by your show.  Suppose those are nostalgia and wonder.  We want the trailer to ultimately evoke those feelings and identify them with specific characters or performers.  If your show has a narrative line, show us a sliver of the key emotional beats in the narrative.  Your trailer is just a few nibbles to whet the appetite.  Think like an audience member: what would you want to see?  Performers’ faces full of emotion; movement in space; light, color, set dressing; a taste of the sound design.

CMJ:  How about the mechanics of actually shooting and editing the trailer?

VS: From a technical standpoint, you’ll need a seasoned editor who clearly understands your show and will craft the trailer to meet your goals.

Ask filmmakers you know for references to creative editors and commit that person to your trailer before you start shooting.  Your second key collaborator will be a thoughtful cinematographer who will capture as many useful clips as possible from your rehearsals. This small, tight-knit team of yours is necessary to create an effective trailer in an efficient span of time.
Could you do this yourself?  Sure, but do you realistically have the time to take on a new project concurrently with your live show?  Be pragmatic and enlist a couple of eager people who want the experience and will bring their comparative advantages to your project.  You can cultivate two great new collaborators with unique skill sets who may even promote your trailer to their circles.
CMJ: What are items people will need for a quality video project that they might not anticipate if they don’t work in film?

VS: If you’re recruiting a couple of good creative film craftspeople like your editor and cinematographer, they will ideally answer your technical questions about the video process.  If they’re skilled, then you can focus on the creative decisions and let them deal with the technical filmmaking decisions.  Anticipate enough time to talk with your team to carefully plan your shooting day (ideally just one) and post-production.  Aim to shoot when you have your show’s tech running so your footage looks as similar as possible to the actual show.  Make time for clear communication, ask plenty of questions, and always plan in advance.

###

Victor is a writer-producer at Hachitan Entertainment, Inc. in Southern California.  He co-created the 10-episode award-winning series “Generic Girl” and is currently developing feature films and original online series.  An experienced educator, he jointly produced the 22-episode course “How to Plan Your Series Production” on CreatorUp.com.  Watch his recent work at:

http://youtube.com/genericgirlseries

.

MAY 1 – Twitter: how to build audiences!

Register

MAY 8 – Pitching Your Show (reprise due to popularity in March)

Register

MAY 11 – Marketing Strategy in the Thick of Production

Register

5 Inspirational Stories for Self-Producers

Here are the Top 5 Inspirational Stories for Self-Producers,

New audience must feel invited as individuals, not a mob.

New audience must feel invited as individuals, not a mob.

inspired by conversation at last week’s workshop:

1. Audience Development Blog: Loving Your Donors – Although specifically about Donors, truly good advice for all who show interest in or attend your event. Also see Kickstarter Tips – again, specifically for fund-raising but great ideas on making your audience feel loved.

2. Seth Godin’s Blog – He somehow always reads your mind and delivers the right message. One of the only blogs I get sent directly to my inbox every morning.

3. Facebook Post Tracking Spreadsheet – An easy way to track times of day & types of posts that work the best. Originally created by The Marketing Spot. This one’s more practical than inspirational, unless you’re like me and are inspired by analytics!

4. Talkbacks & Tamales “By Being Welcomed, Instantly I Belonged” – An audience member reacts to her first time at the theater where I work, geared specifically towards making people feel invited & welcome.

5. Who Won’t Be at Comic-Con and Why That’s a Problem – an article by Corey Blake on how Comic-Con has nearly shut out any possibility of new attendees.

This Saturday, Build Your Marketing Strategy in 3 Hours

The sooner you register, the more detailed research I can do for your project!

FEB 23
Build Your Marketing Strategy

10am-1pm

Pay for Workshop

What is your show’s story? We’ll peel away all the layers of people who would be interested in the story you want to tell.
Who is your audience? How can those layers be organized in a way that you and your team can target?
Who are your audience’s influencers? Who has your audience’s ears & how can you begin a relationship?
How can you target them? Just what it says, tailored to the platforms you’re already using or are most efficient.
Basics of a pitch to media & bloggers  With fun examples.
Includes basic media list The sooner you register, the more research for your specific needs I can do. It’s all about relationships; lists mean nothing without engagement.

See you there!

——

Saturday, Feb 23rd (10am-1pm) at Theatre Asylum

$40 / individual workshop

Bring another from your company or show for $60 total

 Pay for Workshop

All 5 for $175. – Pay for all 5 Workshops

Can’t make this one? Watch & interact via live-stream* (email after registering) or pay for the archived video w/ visuals.

*Live-stream requires at least 24 hours notice.

Comment below or email smb@combinedartform.com for more info.

Marketing Homer Simpson

Boy, that could be a great sequel to Being John Malkovich.

Workshop at The Indy Convergence

Workshop at The Indy Convergence

Last week I had a great time coaching some individuals on Self-Promoting Without Annoying Your Friends. We discussed a writing career, re-branding your acting image, a nonprofit to Save the Arts & brainstormed another attendee’s germ of a creative idea using Homer Simpson as an example (that was a tough one!).

I’m always excited to talk through the muddy waters of social marketing with people, and everyone present said they found takeaways they could put into practice right away. That is always the goal and I’m happy to report mission accomplished!

See also: 5 Inspirational Stories for Self-Producers

WHAT I LEARNED:

Every workshop gives me valuable information. I learned that teaching in a chair doesn’t work for me. I learned that outlines are my friend and flexibility my bestie.

I’m psyched to do final prep for this Saturday.

The sooner you register, the more detailed research I can do for your project!

FEB 23– Pay for Workshop
Build Your Marketing Strategy

10am-1pm

What is your show’s story? We’ll peel away all the layers of people who would be interested in the story you want to tell.
Who is your audience? How can those layers be organized in a way that you and your team can target?
Who are your audience’s influencers? Who has your audience’s ears & how can you begin a relationship?
How can you target them? Just what it says, tailored to the platforms you’re already using or are most efficient.
Basics of a pitch to media & bloggers  With fun examples.
Includes basic media list The sooner you register, the more research for your specific needs I can do. It’s all about relationships; lists mean nothing without engagement.

See you there! 

——

Saturday, Feb 23rd (10am-1pm) at Theatre Asylum

$40 / individual workshop

Bring another from your company or show for $60 total

 Pay for Workshop

All 5 for $175. – Pay for all 5 Workshops

Can’t make this one? Watch & interact via live-stream* (email after registering) or pay for the archived video w/ visuals.

*Live-stream requires at least 24 hours notice.

Comment below or email smb@combinedartform.com for more info.

Drop into a Free Social Marketing Workshop

Most self-producers do it to get their work out there – so how can you  reach audiences beyond your friends and family?DSCN9326

Mon Feb 11 (7-7:30pmPT) 

Social Marketing Broadcast*

FREE! See if these workshops are a good fit.

I’ll review all the workshops & give at least one takeaway for each topic. Send your questions via the comments or @OutreachNerd.

Also RSVP on Facebook for insider tips.

UPDATE 8:30pm: Thanks to everyone who asked questions! That’s Alice from Project1979, Tim Keaty from Surfing Aliens, Scott Marden from Will Play For Food, Asmara Bhattacharya from Cypress Philharmonic.

I’m available for follow-up 30 minutes after the Broadcast ends via twitter or just comment below

Theatre Asylum is excited to present the Social Media Boot-Camps  with Outreach Nerd, Cindy Marie Jenkins. Learn how to turn your team into effective promoters, hone your pitch to the press, write a marketing strategy using your talents and create brand ambassadors to increase word-of-mouth. Cindy Marie Jenkins will run the interactive workshops, giving useful takeaways regardless of your budget or manpower.

*The Fine Print: Opinions expressed are my own & not representative of any clients: past, present or future.

I use many brands for examples but do not necessarily endorse any one over the other.

Have fun!

Blogging for Personal & Professional [Outreach Nerd]

Every month Rachel Stoll joins me on Outreach Nerd to detail some aspect of social media marketing.

Tuesday 11/20 – 9am PT

Blogging for both personal & professional use.

WATCH our segment on Tumblr.

WATCH our segment on Pitching to Media & Media Lists

ABOUT RACHEL, from her site: I’ve been involved in social networks for nearly a decade, well before the term social media came about. Now, I work professionally in social media marketing. I design creative and engaging strategies for clients that achieve measurable goals on a variety of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Pose, LinkedIn, Etc. Sometimes I write about marketing. This year I co-wrote a 3-part series in MAGIC Magazine titled “Social Media Marketing for Magicians.”

I do other things besides work! Running and hiking are really great. Sometimes I play video games and attend comic-conventions. I used to produce and do marketing for Los Angeles theatre and I even started the LA Theatre hashtag in 2010.  Right now I’m finishing up myMaster’s Degree in Political Science.

Thanks for reading this. Feel free to read my blog which is a mix of all my interests or browse the subsections of the site.

ABOUT ME

—–

See the full schedule

Subscribe to YouTube
http://bit.ly/theCMJstoriesBLOG

Facebook.com/theCMJstories

Don’t miss a segment @CindyMarieJ

Remember your 1st time?

24th Street Theatre hired me to handle their Outreach/Marketing for the 15th Anniversary Season, now in full swing.

There are many reasons why this work excites me, not the least of which is the fact that my job is to tell the stories coming out of this amazing theatre every single day.

One highlight, though, is the 1st time campaign. We want people to feel welcome bringing their kids to 24th ST for their first experience of theatre, and so our friends & staff are telling me about their 1st times.

Remember yours? Share it!

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