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Originally Published – June 2013

Any Chance You Get

Artists can be flaky, hard to talk to, difficult to pin down, flighty and completely irresponsible. Who do I know, because I am an artist, and I just described me.

A few days ago, Ian emailed me concerning an interview I had lined up, but still needed a response from the interviewee.  For some reason, the writer I had lined up failed to email back responses to the second and last phase of our interview.  After two reminders, I decided she just did not have the concern or time.  I guess it was not that important to her.

There is now a half-finished interview sitting in my email, glaring at me, challenging the concept embedded in my mind that I always finish what I start.  But it was not to be.

So in this month’s column, I would like to pass on some words of wisdom.  No, I am not a guru in this, just someone who knows from experience as an interviewer and artist.

Your name is your brand.

Some of you are wondering what I mean by the above statement.  So let me explain it in simple terms.  When you self-publish, the audience identifies you by your name.  What you need to do is get your brand, or name, out there.  People need to identify your name with the genre, be it graphic art, music, short stories or novels.  You want people to recognise your name and attune it to your art.

One way of doing such is to make sure our name gets in print.  You achieve this by not only getting your work out there but by giving talks, presentations and interviews.  The biggest one is the interview.

Why do I say interviews are the best way of getting your name out there? Because you control what the audience gets to know about you.  When you have a good interviewer, they will guide you through the interview process and build the questions based on your responses. The steady steps bring together the whole picture your audience will see.

And further, it will allow those following you to see the inner artist(s) they think so highly of.  You are not building your brand.

Be wary, though, for your brand can be damaged easily by not following through, especially if you requested the interview.  Doors start closing for the industry talks to one another.  Take the interview I tried, but could not, complete.  If the person decides to pursue an interview with another paper or magazine and I am asked my opinion, I will say they never completed the interview process.  With such a recommendation do you think they will continue the interview process with this person?  Of course not.  The interviewer will be under the impression the interviewer will, at one point, stop the interview in an incomplete state.

With the loss of an interview, the interviewee will lose free advertisement.

Let me repeat that for you – FREE ADVERTISEMENT

With rising costs for advertisement, an interview is one way to push your product to the people whom you may not be able to reach due to limitations in your own budget.  Why would you want such to happen?  One interview, covering two or five pages, is your brand in front of the nose of those who are looking for you.

And if that is not enough, look at the costs involved.  A five page add your target audience wants to read and be enthralled with, at no cost to you, would normally cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.  With the readers seeing your interview, even if only 1% charge and buy your publication, the interview would be well worth it.

Can you afford to lose such free advertisement?  I know I couldn’t, and knowing the interview could be picked up by another magazine or paper, the sky is the limit.

Don’t give up the chance of free advertisement.  Volunteer for interviews in publications whenever the chance comes available and see it through.

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