Friday, July 20, 2018

How Making Videos Can Change Your Outlook

Whether it be creating original music, beautiful designs or even writing and self-publishing your debut novel, having creative talents is what sets you apart in life. However, if you want to make money from these artistic endeavours, then you need to to find an audience that you connect with. Modern marketing for creative types is all about bonding - creating a connection with people who appreciate and see the value in what you are creating, and who will literally buy into the same vision. No matter what you create, there will definitely be like-minded people out there who will connect with it. The only issue is finding them! 

There are lots of ways to market yourself, for example is awesome, but for small creatives, video remains one of the most enduringly powerful. You may have never thought about this platform before, but it’s a create way to forge a bond with your audience, while also being quite simple to get started.

Building a Bond of Trust

Getting to know your audience is all about trust - that’s what has the power to make your creative output a commercial success. And luckily for anyone who is more about the art than the business side, the hard sell approach is most definitely not welcome here. Modern creative marketing is all about exchange of information rather than pushing a product, and video is the ideal medium for that process. You provide interesting, relevant information, create connections, join in conversations - and the selling follows on from that. Video is a shortcut to making someone feel like they know you -  you only have to look at the monumental success of a new generation of ‘vlogging’ YouTube superstars to see how it can create money, without being sales-focused. They key is adopting a personal, conversational tone that shows your audience something new  - and as a creative individual, it's extremely good news that that process comes naturally to you.

Getting Started

The other amazing thing about video content marketing is that there’s such a low barrier to entry - getting started couldn’t be easier. Got a smartphone? Then you have everything you need, right there in your pocket. Don’t worry about fancy set ups with cameras and lighting - research shows that what video audiences are looking for first and foremost is ‘authenticity’. It works in your favor that shaky, slightly imperfect video comes across as more real than some polished production - as long as your message is strong and interesting, people will still connect with what you are doing. Simply download some video editing software onto your phone - most are simple to use - and cut your footage into something that really represents your passion for your subject. Once you get more comfortable, you can find sites where there are royalty free beats to add an extra musical dimension to your output.

Engage the Right People

If you’re still not convinced, the stats are all there to show that people really do respond better to video than almost any other marketing medium. Studies show that 68% of people would prefer watching a video about a product to any other marketing form.- and 76% would also share the video with their friends if it was entertaining! Social shares will increase traffic and boost sales - so you really have nothing to lose. Get experimenting with video today!

Have you or do you vlog? What has been your experience with it? 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

3 Reasons To Write Your Novel Quickly

Many aspiring novelists spend literal years just creating the first draft of their first manuscript. The struggling, aspiring artist, who hates his day-job and has been working on his masterpiece for 20 years, is a recurring trope in film and television.

But there are a lot of good reasons to not spend 20 years working on your “masterpiece”, not least of all because most authors have to do a fair bit of throat-clearing before they become good at their craft, and sitting on one book for a huge chunk of your life is a poor way of achieving this.

The author Joseph Conrad, originally Polish, wrote one of the great classics of the English language without even being a native English speaker. Resources like Effortless English Club could help you to do the same. But the point is, you need to get started, rather than procrastinating endlessly.

Great authors from Jack London to Stephen King have advocated a prolific no-holds-barred writing schedule. Here are some reasons why you should follow their example and write your novel quickly.

                                     Image via

It will help you to get into a “flow” state

Often, writers can become their own worst enemies, by obsessively over-analysing every single word they’ve put down on the page.

While this kind of analysis is useful, to a point, you should generally save it until after you’ve completed your first draft, at which point you can worry about ironing out some of the untidy bits, and polishing your novel into the masterpiece you want it to be.

Your first job, however, is to get the basic bones of the story assembled, and to put everything down in written form so that you have the “clay” that you can then fashion into a masterpiece.

Writing fast helps you to enter a flow-state where you’re not constantly second-guessing yourself, but are, rather, getting the words out.

It will help you to summon up your “muse” on a regular basis

Jack London is frequently quoted as having said that “you can’t wait inspiration, you have to go after it with a club”. 

There’s an idea among many creative types that you need to wait around for inspiration to strike, at which point you produce great art in a haze of mystical fervour.

While there is such a thing as a “muse”, however, it’s not the kind of thing you can wait for. You have to go after it, and the way you do that is by forcing yourself to write, regularly.

Before long, you’ll find that “inspiration” starts to find you more and more often.

It will allow you to learn in accelerated time

As mentioned above, writing is a skill that has to be developed. It’s developed partly by doing a lot of reading, but also through doing a lot of writing.

In all likelihood, you will have to churn out a substantial amount of written work before you’ve refined your craft sufficiently to be a success at it.

Writing fast allows you to speed through this process, adjusting and learning as you go.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Behind Every Great Musician, There's A Great Team

When it comes to our favorite musicians, we’re often blinded by the person in front of the camera. After all, personality is often as important as voice. Blame shows like X Factor, which have shown us that a great character can make up for a multitude of sins. On top of which, the general public now knows that talent isn’t everything. You could even go as far as to say that musicians nowadays are brands. 

But, as with any enterprise, the musicians are the face of a larger operation. You may only see Taylor Swift up on that stage. But, a whole load of other people have gone into the making of her. Which begs the question of just who is behind our favorite musicians?

Music teachers

If you want to go right back to basics, we should start with music teachers. Often, our teachers are the people who spark the interests we pursue in life. After all, they’re the first people who actually lead us in the direction they think we should go. And, music teachers often play a huge part in making a musician. Whether they spent years at university, or honed their craft with online courses like those offered by Kent State, you could argue that teachers are the most important people in the music industry today. After all, we wouldn’t have musicians without them. And, much to our satisfaction, many stars still credit their high school music teachers. Pop babe Ella Henderson even went as far as to say ‘I guess Mr Smith always has credit for why I’m here now.’. Well done Mr Smith!

Vocal coaches

Let us not forget that any singer also likely has a voice coach to thank for their well-oiled pipes. While you do need raw talent, most stars only reach the vocal heights they do through the help of coaches. In fact, those killer notes and varied tones wouldn’t be possible without this. Stars like Christina Aguilera have so much to thank their coach for that they’ve taken the mantel themselves. In fact, it’s only thanks to masters like Ron Anderson that we can still enjoy the dulcet tones of Adele. She's suffered severe voice injuries through her career. She got through it though. All because of her vocal coach!

The band

Debates have always been rife in music about whether the band deserve more credit. Whatever your stance, though, our musicians wouldn’t be the same without them. Florence would just be Florence if she didn’t have her machine behind her. And, the same stands for near enough any ‘solo’ singer you see. Just because they have good voices doesn’t mean your favorite musicians can play instruments. While many can (think Ed Sheeran with his killer guitar), this is by no means a given. And, no matter how good their voices might be, no artist could kill it without a little something to back them. So, you might want to search out the band before giving away all the credit.