Marketing is always a tough nut for the artist. All he wants to do is create, but then there come a point where he must market what he creates in order to survive and continue creating.
It is tough when you have a product that you know is superior, but lose sales because some large corporation has more marketing clout.
This happened many times with me in the 1980s when customers would be on the brink of buying one of my bikes, then at the last moment opt for a Japanese Nishiki, on Centurion. Both fine bicycles of that era, but could never compare to a hand built frame made by an individual craftsman.
The only reason they did this was marketing. These large manufacturers could place full page color ads in Bicycling Magazine. But at $10,000 a month for a single page ad there was no way I could compete.
I had to rely on bicycle dealers to sell to a small group of hard core cyclists who could appreciate the difference between a limited production frame, and a factory mass produced item.
Today the Internet levels the playing field somewhat but only slightly. I write here on this blog, and by the comments I get, I seem to have somewhat of a following of people who are interested in what I have to say. By promoting myself, here and on other social networking sites, I am drawing attention to my creative works, like my novel and my music.
At the same time I feel it is a big mistake to be too pushy. I don’t know about you, but it turns me off when the only message people have is buy, buy, buy, whatever it is that I’m selling. I am a strong believer that it is better to give than receive, and if keep writing stuff that people want to read, my needs will always be met. Of course the marketing professionals will cringe at this.
I remember back in the 1980s having a conversation with someone about the way all our manufacturing jobs were starting to go overseas. He stated, “We will become a nation of people selling insurance to each other.”
I feel his prophesy is fast becoming true; we are becoming a nation of marketers. The problem is, because no one is creating or manufacturing anything, there is nothing to market. We have an awful lot of people at this moment selling ideas on how we should all market ourselves.
We have life coaches, investment coaches, and if I hear the word “monetize” much longer, I swear I will run, screaming, possibly naked down the road. It’s like a homeless man on the street begging for change, and being told, “Give me ten dollars and I’ll show you how to monetize your homelessness.”
The old cliché of “The rat race,” is never as true as it is now in these tough economic times as people scramble over each other to get ahead. Don’t push your fellow man down to get ahead, help him over the obstacle first, and he in turn will help you over.
Do something productive, I am mowing the lawn of the abandoned house next door. I don’t get paid for it but at least it stops the place looking like an abandoned house. And, if I can’t help someone, at least I don’t rip them off by selling them false hope, in the form of some get rich pyramid scheme that makes me richer and leaves them poorer.