I went to see a show called Jekyll & Hyde at the Pleasance theatre in Islington. My friend had invited me as her boyfriend was in the show. She brought a gaggle of friends with her, but sadly we made up the majority of the 20 or so audience.
In an auditorium big enough for 200 we felt conspicuous among rows of empty seats. I wondered if there was a good reason for the low attendance, but my concerns were laid to rest when the show turned out to be a riot.
It was like a mash-up between Monty Python and Phantom of the Opera. Four actors played bawdy characters in a comic tale that hurtled along with bursts of one-liners from musicals. The small audience cackled, cheered and whooped at the ridiculous plotline.
It is great fun – so please go and support it if you are in London this weekend. Here is a link: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/jekyll-hyde#overview
Afterwards, I chatted to one of the actors in the bar and he told me the director had invested a lot of money in a marketing company to promote the show. He looked sheepish and told me: “I suppose I need to get on the phone and let a few people know about it.”
My heart sank. These actors were probably not making much of a profit from their weeks of work. They had paid a professional marketing company who did a slick job with the flyers, but ultimately they didn’t make an impact. The actors were still under pressure to bring in an audience.
I hate it when I see money go to waste and that’s exactly why I am choosing to teach creative people ways in which they can be in charge of their own marketing and feel empowered to raise the profile of their work.
I knew the director could so easily have been featured in the local paper or appeared on radio or at least attracted a buzz by sharing some of the brilliant moments of the show, or stories around it, on social media.
I also know that self-promotion is not an appealing subject for most creative people. Most pour their creativity into their projects – and I understand that.
However, what people don’t realise is that marketing is about learning to think creatively and investing energy into learning a few basic skills that can make the difference between earning a decent wage, getting clients, growing an audience and getting clients you really love – or feeling frustrated that nobody knows about you.
What most creatives don’t realise is that you are more likely to succeed if you can do it yourself. A PR or marketing company will never be as committed to your project as you are and they won’t understand the nuances that make your project unique.
Self-promotion is a creative skill – and you are much likely to be able to do a good job with your own ideas, because you are the person who knows what’s captivating about your work.
If you know any creative people who are struggling to get recognition for their work, please tell them about the workshop I have designed to teach them easy ways to build their profile. Please share the details of our workshop on July 6th.
Oh – and if you’re free until Saturday and in London – I really want to inspire you to see the show. It is fabulous and deserves a decent audience. Here is a link: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/jekyll-hyde#overview