Spoken Word Poetry Marketing 101 – Introduction To Marketing For Spoken Word Poets
The Three Basic Types of Poets When It Comes to Marketing:
The hobbyist is the poet who loves poetry as a form of expression. They do not have aspirations of making money from their work and therefore see no reason to promote themselves or the work that they produce. Every now and then, the hobbyist will get the urge to share some of their work via their Facebook or social media accounts but this is about as far as they go when it comes to marketing.
Very few of the poets that are performing in the NYC metro area are hobbyists when it comes to marketing.
The Amateur Poet
The amateur poet has aspirations of somehow profiting from their work. They usually have an account at ReverbNation, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and/or Instagram. They are also likely to have a blog hosted on either WordPress.com or Blogger.com (also referred to as Blogspot), Wix.com or of some blog hosting type. The amateur poet lacks a general understanding of how to position themselves in the marketplace as a professional poetry writer. They also fail to understand how to properly use sites like Facebook (webpages which are FREE to use — USE THEM!) to find prospects that are willing to purchase their work. It should not come as a surprise when I tell you that the vast majority of amateur poets spend the bulk of their time promoting themselves and their work to other poets.
Most of the poets that you will see on a nightly basis at spoken word poetry events in New York City are amateur poets when it comes to marketing.
The Professional Poet
The professional poet knows that poetry marketing is showing people what they are ALREADY looking for. They know that people rarely go to open mics and spoken word poetry events to buy poetry — they go to HEAR poetry. The professional poet also knows that people that like to hear spoken word poetry will often purchase the works of their favorite poets, but they don’t do this immediately — it takes time. To streamline the time that it takes, the professional poet uses a marketing plan.
The professional poet has a defined marketing plan that starts with having their own website/weblog/webpage. They also understand that their name is their brand and THAT is what needs to be marketed (you want to make it easy for your fans/followers to remember you. If your brand is your name – who you are professionally known as – it won’t be hard to remember and search for you). The goal of having a website/weblog/webpage is to give potential buyers a place to find and interact (connect) with you and what it is that you have to offer. This is the primary goal of a professional poet.
The professional poet understands that everything that they do should be done in an effort to increase the popularity of their brand. This means that when they perform at local open mics, they are giving a sampling of their work. When someone says, “I like your work,” they respond by thanking them and letting them know that more of their work is available here (on their website/weblog/webpage) and then give them the address. On their website/weblog, they use an autoresponder, which allows them to send more of their work to the people whom have expressed an interest in seeing more of it.