This is the first of five parts on how best to manage marketing during this particular time period…or beyond. While Story Crossroads sees “story artists” to typically mean spoken word storytellers, these tips apply to all performing artists or professionals across industries.
5-Tips for 5 Days:
- Tip 1 – Website – TODAY
- Tip 2 – Social Media
- Tip 3 – E-Newsletter & Email Lists
- Tip 4 – Ideal Client
- Tip 5 – Art of Consistency & Branding
Please have a website and do not have “Facebook” count as your landing page…
When I search for a story artist as a producer of events and grant writer, I am hoping that their website comes up first. Or that a website even shows up.
I have been flabbergasted.
Now, I promised to have this be a “short and sweet” series so I will leave some of my reasoning out. Though, I am trying to secure funding FOR YOU through grants, sponsorship, or other means. NOT having a website greatly hurts me. So…help me, help you, help me.
Oh, and I will be blunt. Nothing will be “sweet” except for the tastiness of your website if you take the advice hinted by this audit.
Quick 10-Question Website Audit:
- What do you see when you go to your homepage WITHOUT scrolling? Do the most important parts show up? Are the headers easy-to-read and obvious?
- Do the CRISP images used on the website, especially the homepage, reflect what you do? If you tell stories, is that clear? If you dance? If you teach? If you play instruments?
- Do you have 1-3 images to represent who you are on the home page? Any more than that…crowded!
- Is your Press Kit actually labeled “Press Kit” or “Press”? Don’t have one? That is a major issue you need to fix now.
- Does your website use a slider feature on the home page? This was popular about a decade ago. Styles and tastes change in marketing. If yours has a slider, get rid of it now.
- Do you have font styles and sizes that work with the people who need to read your site? Large enough, not too fancy, could be helpful for those who are dyslexic, proper and dark enough font color according to background color, etc.
- Do you have written, audio, and video (closed captioning) options?
- Where are your social media icons so people can follow you? Easy to find? Not even there? What!?!
- Do you have an updated calendar of your events? Calendars are not required. If you have a hard time keeping it up to date (or embarrassed), then don’t worry about having it. Better to be updated or not have one at all.
- Is it obvious that this is an “active” site with new blog feeds, social media feeds, polishing/buffering of wording?
You may be surprised that the biggest names in storytelling often cannot pass this website audit. Word-of-mouth has been your friend. If you do have rockstar status in the storytelling world, have your professionalism match through your website. If you do not have rockstar status though want to improve and even wish to get there, then have your high-quality storytelling match your high-quality website. That simple.
Scoured Many Storyteller Websites…Only One Passed:
- Bill Harley – www.billharley.com
Awards for Most Improved Websites & Still Great:
- Bil Lepp – www.leppstorytelling.com – still would like to see some tweaks though WAY better than in the “early years” – would like to see “Bio & Press” separated for ease of finding – “Bio” is linked more with “About” – do love his new branding and use of “BL” in several places, super smart
- Mara Menzies – www.marathestoryteller.com – still need a “Press” and have to click “Menu” to get the headers – amazing visuals and smart re-branding, also easy to see the site is “active” – her old website will need to feed into this new one so it is the same no matter which one people use – almost has “slider” feel for homepage but could work (perhaps slow down how often it switches?) or stick to one intriguing image (like the gold paint – super captivating)
- Donna Washington – www.dlwstoryteller.com – great visually, need more readable and larger font for headers, need “Press”
If you want me to give initial thoughts and do not mind well-intended bluntness, I am open to letting you know if you email firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, this is complimentary.
See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities with three options to watch it featuring our panelists: Dr. Caroliese Frink Reed, Sheila Arnold, Darci Tucker, and Brian “Fox” Ellis. We are grateful to funding from Utah Humanities.