Sometimes inspiration emerges from a thick fog. Other times it sticks out like a donkey in a pineapple suit. I’ll let you guess which the following was.
Last Saturday I received a DM from an intrigued musician. She was wondering how online performing could be used in addition to “real-life live performances”.
I love messages like this. Your questions become my guide. You help me make sure the Digital Recitalist is answering your needs. Before I launch into today’s topic, I want to thank you for your courage to ask questions. You can get in touch and ask them anytime.
Ok, back to how you can use online performing in your career.
Content to build
You have many accessible places to build your own audience. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc.
You can build an audience by creating regular online content. The exciting part is that you can open it up to people from all around the world. Or focus it on people from a specific location.
If you’re based in Manchester, you could create content that people in that location would love. Local chamber groups can be particularly effective with this. This is an example of being a musician that is of the community. I have written about this in detail here.
Or you could be running a festival that promotes unfamiliar works. You might think this has a broader appeal than its geographic setting. You can create content that would appeal to the UK and beyond. People who love to explore unfamiliar chamber works. You could include exploration of pieces, interviews with performers, composers, Q&A’s, online learning etc.
The aim is to provide content that is valuable to your audience. This helps build support for what you do. It builds relationships.
Now you are building an audience for your work. You are boosting your reputation. You are becoming known. Now you have performing options.
Like bees excitingly hovering around lavender, your audience hovers to your online content. It’s time to allow them to experience one of your performances. You have two options.
You can put on your traditional recital. You have plenty of experience with this. You may find your average audience numbers grow. This is due to having spent time building your online audience. This is more noticeable if you’re concentrating on a particular geographic area.
But what if you have an audience who wants to watch your performance, but it is too far to travel? Or travelling is prohibited through restrictions and costs?
This is where online performances can help you. You can open up the opportunity for your audience to join your performance.
There are three ways you can do this:
- Live Streaming
- Hybrid event
Digital Recitals give every audience member the best seat in the house (if you set up the tech to do this). This is a great advantage for audiences. You allow them to see and hear details that get obscured in an auditorium. You can give your audience an experience that they will value. It’s one of the main reasons we watch performances on TV. You get the best view. More people are watching online content on their TV’s.
Hybrid events could be a good way to cater for in-person and online audiences at the same time. I recently attended a hybrid event online. The online audience had an input in the performance. We got to share our experiences of the past 12 months with the in-person audience. It helped me feel part of the event.
I foresee an added bonus for your online efforts.
Venues want to know that they can cover their costs and make a profit on your performance. One of the ways to secure this is through ticket sales.
This is where your online audience and performances can help you. You can approach a venue asking to perform an in-person recital. You can show that you have an online audience that will definitely come and buy 30, 50, 100 (whatever your number is) tickets. This makes you less risky. More desirable to book.
You’ve now increased your in-person performance opportunities through online activities.
This has the potential to boost your reputation within the profession. People will see that you are performing to audiences. Venues are booking you. As you pick up momentum, more opportunities arrive your way. It all started by building your online audience.
You can use online performing to enhance your reputation as a classical musician. It starts by building your audience. I was listening to the Music Works podcast. They did a great round-up of where the profession is. The next two years may well be bumpy. But there are opportunities. One of them is that you can continue to build your audience through the ups and the downs. You can start doing this today. It’s a journey I’m currently doing myself.
As soon as you have people engaging with your content, nurture those relationships. When the time is right, organise performances. You can start off small and then grow. Over time it can help you become more desirable to venues and promoters. You’ll know that you can sell X number of tickets to your performances. It puts you in a stronger position. Boosting your reputation in the profession. Opening up opportunities.
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