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June 4 | Webinar Session 1
12:00 - 1:30pm

"Building your Website: Goals & Mission"

This session will help you create a map to your career through the web, with an emphasis on personal mission statements and the use of imaginative marketing tools. Defining ones self as an artist is a difficult task. It takes the patience to constantly redefine and edit one's achievements and goals, an understanding of your peers and crititcs, and a keen ability to explain yourself in direct and attractive terms.

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  1. 1. Presents
  2. 2. Building your website: Goals and Mission <ul><li>Defining oneself as an artist is a difficult task. </li></ul><ul><li>It takes: </li></ul><ul><li>patience to constantly reassess one's achievements, goals, and progress </li></ul><ul><li>an understanding of who your peers and critics are </li></ul><ul><li>a keen ability to explain yourself in direct and attractive terms </li></ul><ul><li>This session will help you create a map for your career through the web, with an emphasis on personal mission statements, and through imaginative marketing tools. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Beginning who I am…
  4. 4. <ul><li>I am a composer, an educator, a performer, and an entrepreneur. I direct many programs in the city: I am the Associate Director of Making Score, I teach with the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composer Program, and I am the director of VisionIntoArt Presents, Inc. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Then…1998 VisionIntoArt began as a school project in 1998, with performances held in dance studios. VIA won an interdisciplinary grant from Juilliard which funded our first public performance at Lincoln Center Institute. The following year VIA went on to perform at key note performances at the Council on Foundation, North Carolina School for the Arts and Dickinson College.
  6. 6. Now…2007 VIA has performed over fifty trans-media performances in festivals, halls, museums, theaters and clubs across United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, and Mexico. VIA has commissioned fifteen new works from composers since 1999, and has performed over one hundred works by emerging and established composers of our day. VIA has additionally commissioned five poets, four visual artists, six filmmakers, six choreographers, four directors, five writers, three lighting designers, three sound designers, and has worked with over sixty musicians, actors and dancers as guests to the VIA core group, creating a truly interdisciplinary community.
  7. 7. <ul><li>All this work has broadened my vision of the field I work in; it has helped me make useful contacts, and has allowed me to continue my passion as the director of my very diverse group. I was initially attracted to New York because of it’s multiculturalism. This eventually has become one of the trademarks of VisionIntoArt. </li></ul><ul><li>I have always been driven to create a safe community for the artists I work with, and all I’ve learned so far has helped me make informed and intelligent opinions. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Your website should be a clear map to who you are. </li></ul><ul><li>Begin by assessing your skills. </li></ul><ul><li> A well-rounded musician today has interests in multiple areas: </li></ul><ul><li>performance and collaboration (be it musical or cross disciplinary) </li></ul><ul><li>education--ensuring the future of what we do </li></ul><ul><li>administration--managing your career </li></ul><ul><li>production--new avenues of expression; collaboration, multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>publicity and marketing--how do you spread the word? </li></ul><ul><li>… and countless other creative outlets relevant to your craft. </li></ul><ul><li>Regardless of whether you choose to illuminate all these different areas as work for hire, these fields are necessary in today’s artistic journey, which is less reliant on managers and outside agencies, and more reliant on you! </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Website </li></ul><ul><li>Websites are incredibly important as you all know, and are a good way to keep people constantly updated with your activities. All the fields above should help you build a clear website. HTML websites are usually preferable as flash can sometimes discourage viewers because of slow loading. You can still be artistic without flash, or with minimal flash. The following are good examples of this. </li></ul><ul><li>Check out: </li></ul><ul><li>(I love this website--it is fresh and puts a fun spin to her info) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>( a good website and blog, combined) </li></ul><ul><li>Great web designer: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>I designed my own website on, </li></ul><ul><li>A very simple host that is easy to use, and easy to update. </li></ul><ul><li>Regardless of whether you go with a designer, always </li></ul><ul><li>know how to update your site, so choose a host you are familiar with. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The fields <ul><li>Following are examples of standard fields: </li></ul><ul><li>Calendar </li></ul><ul><li>News </li></ul><ul><li>Bio </li></ul><ul><li>Works </li></ul><ul><li>Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Contact </li></ul><ul><li>Then, according to your specific interests, you may want to add: </li></ul><ul><li>Special projects (a group you are affiliated with, multimedia projects, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Listening Page </li></ul><ul><li>Watch </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Store </li></ul><ul><li>Photo Gallery </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>See,, for group, performer, and composer approaches to fields. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, none of these should be right for you--custom make your own! Also, remember to choose few and specific fields. </li></ul>
  11. 11. All About you! <ul><li>Take a second and write down some categories for your site that are specific to you as an artist. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Who is your Audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Curators, presenters, grant makers, and collaborators will be looking at your website, so you need to think about what they are looking for. Curators and presenters will be looking to see the quality of your projects: be clear and concise with each, and make sure you have great documentation. Grant makers will be looking to see how clearly you are defined as an artist, and what systems of support you have set up to fund your project. This is where having a clear mission statement, and a flashy section on past accomplishments, will help. </li></ul><ul><li>Artists will be interested in all the above (as all of your audiences will be), with an emphasis on documentation. Today, photos, recordings, and videos are essential. As a general rule for your performances, have a clear idea of who your audience is and have innovative ideas for how to reach them. Your website is your chance to show off any marketing strategies you may have. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Knowing what AUDIENCE your activities are targeting helps grant makers and curators understand your intentions better. </li></ul><ul><li>As an example, VIA targets three primary audiences through its performances: </li></ul><ul><li>1) High School Students - High school students are highly creative, yet may be turned off by musical and artistic educational experiences traditionally offered by public schools. Furthermore, high schools are increasingly dropping funding from their arts programs, and outside programs are relied on more heavily than ever to take the place of traditional outlets. VIA is dedicated to providing students with access to high-quality art and music as a way to expand their education and involvement in their community. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>2) Young Adult and Young Professional audiences - Young Professionals (25- 40) are looking for a way to connect to their culture in an authentic way, to truly enjoy a concert-going experience, and to socialize in unique settings. VIA is committed to reaching audiences outside of the immediate artistic community. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>3) Visual art, music, and film/poetry enthusiasts - </li></ul><ul><li>When VIA was formed, we understood the need to unite audiences divided by the barriers of genrefication. The gallery audience was not attending classical music events, and similarly, the music public was not necessarily attending gallery or poetry events. VIA's collaborative community of artists draws audiences from each discipline, creating an audience that transcends genre and allows art to be organic, collaborative expression. </li></ul><ul><li>By performing in different venues, museums, clubs, theaters, schools, etc. VIA continues to expand its audience base. VIA targets new audiences through myspace, various blogs, websites, and radio stations (WNYC, ASCAP radio). </li></ul>
  16. 16. Marketing <ul><li>Knowing your audience helps you market yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>So you have to ask: How do I plan to market myself? Who do I want visiting my site? </li></ul><ul><li>This is incredibly important. Take what you have learned thus far about yourself, coupled with people’s first impression of you. Put a positive spin on it, and work on making yourself marketable! </li></ul><ul><li>I found it is harder to think of this in personal terms than if I am describing my group. But it is necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>So, if I were to ask myself--what stands out about me? Here I go… </li></ul><ul><li>I am a woman composer </li></ul><ul><li>I have multimedia interests </li></ul><ul><li>I have global interests-musically, culturally, and sociologically </li></ul><ul><li>I direct a non-proft, started a music program for underserved communities </li></ul><ul><li>My music is romantic and echoes the places I have traveled to </li></ul><ul><li>I love education </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Paola Prestini’s music takes the listener on a journey through different life experiences, creating an aural and visual map of the different countries and cultures that have inspired her.These travels sonically reflect the impact that collective identities, cultures and values have when they meet and dissolve in a person whose artistic roots are the collective sum of many parts. </li></ul><ul><li>This culminates in a romantic vision told in the form of calls to prayers, spirituals, narrations, and electronic resonances that come together with visuals to create Prestini’s unique voice. </li></ul>Paola’s Mission
  18. 18. <ul><li>Below are examples for the points we think about when VIA markets itself, and how we created our mission statement: </li></ul><ul><li>We are a collaborative group based in new music </li></ul><ul><li>We hail from different countries </li></ul><ul><li>Many of our works have a political edge </li></ul><ul><li>Our brand of multimedia includes popular interests and can be marketed to a wide audience </li></ul><ul><li>New Music: New collaborations: VisionIntoArt </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborating across forms and cultures, VisionIntoArt creates transmedia works drawn from today. Transcending genre--from New Music to Geopolitics--VIA challenges audiences to see and hear art differently. A diverse, multi-disciplinary collective, inhabiting sound and sharing process, VisionIntoArt embraces the role of the artist as public intellectual and political touchstone. </li></ul>
  19. 19. All About You! <ul><li>Look at your mission statement, and try to come up with four innovative ways to market yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing your mission and how to market yourself will help you develop a language for how you explain yourself to others in your speech and your materials. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>FANS </li></ul><ul><li>The ultimate goal for your site is to cultivate a fan base. Most of the fans visiting your site won’t be attracted to your site because of your awards, or who produced your CD. </li></ul><ul><li>They will be attracted to your product:your music. </li></ul><ul><li>The best response you can get from someone is based on an emotional response, a type of “state change”. </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning: invest in your product, your music, as that is what will sell your site. </li></ul><ul><li>No other factor will affect your success like a large fan base. You can still achieve success if you don’t have a record deal or manager as long as you have lots of fans. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Assume nothing. Be clear in your mission statement about what you do, and make sure your site is clear and simple. Imagine you are being introduced to you for the first time. </li></ul><ul><li>The navigation of your site needs to be simple, and the navigation bar should be in the same place on each page. </li></ul><ul><li>Add some interactivity to you site. A poll, guest book, message forum to your blog, e cards, are a great way to start. </li></ul><ul><li>Mister Poll </li></ul><ul><li>Bravenet </li></ul><ul><li>Sparklit </li></ul>
  22. 22. Title Tags <ul><li>Title tags are the html code for your pages. The words you use between the <title> and </title> determines what appears in the top title bar of your browser. Search engines use this to determine your site; so…. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you define yourself succintly through key words: meaning, <Paola Prestini, composer> may not be enough. <Paola Prestini, Composer, Multimedia Artist and Educator> will land me more hits. </li></ul><ul><li>Using taggers will help you generate more traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Look up: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  23. 23. Cultivating that fan base: Public Radio Stations <ul><li>Research Radio Stations to play your work </li></ul><ul><li>List of NPR stations </li></ul><ul><li>Public Radio Fan </li></ul><ul><li>Research Internet Radio Stations to play your work: there are independent sites, and spin-offs from local NPR stations that are a great source for online airplay. </li></ul><ul><li>Radio Free World </li></ul><ul><li>Shoutcast </li></ul><ul><li>Radio Tower </li></ul><ul><li>Once you do get air time: promote your site!!! </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Assemble a list of contacts you have in these different fields. Always begin with contacts that are closest to you and then spiral out from there. If you do not know many people, then it’s time to do some research. </li></ul><ul><li>Look online and create a database; </li></ul><ul><li>The database should include: </li></ul><ul><li> service organizations, educational institutions and foundations as well as the directors, assistants, mentors, and teachers who populate them. </li></ul><ul><li>You should also be looking for media people: writers, editors, producers, radio show hosts and radio station directors etc, who can give you exposure. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: we are all in this together! </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Once your list is assembled your goal should be to meet with as many people in person to ask for advice. Email introductions can work, but a direct phone call is always better. These meetings are the best way to learn from others’ experiences while letting people know you are seeking work. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not be afraid to ask for introductions that can potentially open other doors and opportunities. I found that most influential figures are often generous with their advice and time. They will admire your effort, and it will remind them of the paths they once took. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>You will need to create promotional materials that are available to view and are downloadable on your site. This is how you market yourself, so the language you use and style you choose is very important. </li></ul><ul><li>The topics can be modified for personal or organizational use. Remember, it is important to begin somewhere, so don’t be discouraged if you do not have material to fill out the topic fields below. </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophy is equally important, and as long as you keep it succinct, supplement the fields with short philosophical statements about the direction you are headed in. There is only one way to grow and improve, and it’s by trial and error! </li></ul>Trial and error…
  27. 27. <ul><li>Current Programs </li></ul><ul><li>This is an interesting category. Presenters and grant-makers want to know about your programs, or main interests, as a way to understand your goals and direction. </li></ul><ul><li>Even if you are starting out, this is a constructive way to clarify and codify your patterns and interests. Remember these are broader categories that summarize your main activities. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Current Projects and Season </li></ul><ul><li>This is where you want to share season dates and upcoming projects. Presenters and curators are always looking for innovative programming, projects and collaborations. </li></ul><ul><li>You can list proposed projects, but in general it’s best to list projects you are already in the process of trying out and that have a completion date. This is what open rehearsals are for: they allow you to experiment in safe settings. </li></ul><ul><li>I encourage any artist or group to open up rehearsals for constructive criticism, and for potential engagements with curators or presenters. </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>The following are VisionIntoArt Programs: </li></ul><ul><li>1. VIA Thematic Performances (works presented in theatrical venues) </li></ul><ul><li>The development of interdisciplinary work with resident artists in an arduous, process based fashion resulting in one large multimedia work per year </li></ul><ul><li>These multimedia performances are presented more often on tour in national and international venues such as Teatro Manzoni in Italy, MACO in Mexico City, and in NYC at venues such the Whitney at Altria, and Symphony Space. </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>2. VIA Medleys (shows presented in museums, halls and clubs) </li></ul><ul><li>VIA Medleys are non-thematic shows that feature the ensemble collaborating with visiting artists to VIA-they are our playground for new ideas. These shows are presented in clubs such as Joe’s Pub, the Stone, Bam Café, and the Whitney Live series in New York City. </li></ul><ul><li>These performances are generally $12 and under or free, and generally attract a younger, club going audiences who follow the music and spoken word scene. Audiences: students from our education programs; fellow myspace bloggers; diverse audiences from all New York boroughs. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>3. VIA Education </li></ul><ul><li>VIA believes the future of new art lives in education. All VIA artists are experienced and committed teachers. VIA has taught and conducted educational residencies with organizations such as the Whitney Museum in collaboration with Youth Insights, the American Composers Orchestra, Presbyterian University, Dickinson College, and EtnaFest in Italy. Each VIA Project has a designed education segment offered for elementary school through college. </li></ul><ul><li>VIA holds a longstanding partnership with Brandeis High School, an empowerment school in NYC. VIA focuses on teaching the principals of composition through music technology. </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>4. VIA Recordings </li></ul><ul><li>All VIA works are recorded, and all shows include electronics and recorded backing tracks that are created throughout the year. VIA works in a loft in Greepoint Brooklyn that doubles as a recording studio. </li></ul><ul><li>This type of documentation of the VIA repertoire broadens exposure and assures a longer &quot;listening life”. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Short Comprehensive Downloadable Press Kit <ul><li>The following is a presskit for VIA that tells our story succinctly: </li></ul><ul><li>Mission </li></ul><ul><li>Background/History </li></ul><ul><li>Projects/Programs (with reviews interspersed throughout) </li></ul>
  34. 38. Publish and Promote your Blog <ul><li>Blog is short for web log. It helps your fans know more about you. Make sure you stay focused on your identity as this will help you develop your base from a marketing perspective. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are good blog services: </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul><ul><li>LiveJournal </li></ul><ul><li>Type Pad </li></ul>
  35. 39. <ul><li>Check out these fabulous critics and their blogs: </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Smith (also reviews for the New York Times) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Alex Ross (also reviews for the New Yorker) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>For other interesting blogs: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>For other interesting music critics: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  36. 40. A good newsletter: We use this: Here is a constructive site on how to build a newsletter: Remember to include photographs of your activities, (we live in a highly visual world), and provide work samples with music or film, if relevant. As you develop in this profession, remember to keep people in the loop about your activities. Certain periods may be dry in terms of work, but if you continue to send emails, send newsletters, maintain a blog, make phone calls and maintain your contacts (without exaggerating!), work will always come.
  37. 41. Create your own Podcast <ul><li>You don’t need an iPod to create your own cast. A podcast is like an interactive visual blog, and you can use several different sources like iTunes, Yahoo! Music Engine, and FeedDemon. It’s a great way to show off your new studio work, a new collaboration, and you can even speak directly to your fans. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are a few podcasting resouces: </li></ul><ul><li>Gcast </li></ul><ul><li>PodOmatic </li></ul>
  38. 42. Myspace, Facebook and YouTube, oh my! <ul><li>Developing your Myspace page in tandem with your Facebook and YouTube music pages and linking it to your website is essential. </li></ul><ul><li>This cross-pollination broadens your marketing scope. </li></ul><ul><li>Additionally, consider having a presence on sites where music fans visit such as: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to choose which site works for you….you do not need to do it all and spread yourself thin. </li></ul>
  39. 43. Make friends with other artists! <ul><li>Remember that other artists are not only valuable in terms of sharing and learning from each others’ experiences, but you can also be a great resource for each other! </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a relationship with artists you admire: </li></ul><ul><li>Trade links </li></ul><ul><li>Share mailing lists </li></ul><ul><li>Share industry connections </li></ul><ul><li>Share promotion tips and advice </li></ul>
  40. 44. Reviews <ul><li>If you do not have reviews from well-known critics, ask mentors or artists you respect to review a concert or work of yours. These are important validations of your person and career. </li></ul><ul><li>Get to know reviewers by visiting their websites, blogs, and by emailing them. Many of them are the ones who will release your press releases…Many of them also have blogs, which are great ways of getting reviewed prior to a large scale review. </li></ul><ul><li>For how to list reviews: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Ask your fans to post reviews on Amazon, Myspace, and CD Baby </li></ul>
  41. 45. Tracking fans for your site… <ul><li>Remember to gather email addresses at each of your events, and also to gather them and keep up to date with your mailing list on your site. </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking your visitors is easy by installing which helps track what states your visitors are from, what time of day they visit, and which pages are most frequented. This is a free service. </li></ul><ul><li>You can also improve your chances of getting listed with priority in search engine results through the following sites: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>You can submit your site also to search engines: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  42. 46. Selling your music <ul><li>You can upload and sell your music once you have it at a place that you are proud of at the following sites: </li></ul><ul><li>Amazon mp3 </li></ul><ul><li>Rhapsody </li></ul><ul><li>eMusic </li></ul><ul><li>Napster </li></ul><ul><li>You can distribute your music trough iTunes OR you can do it through other sites like CD Baby ( </li></ul><ul><li>They will then point you in the right direction for distributing your music for digital sales through the above mentioned sites like Rhapsody, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>You should also link these sites from your website once you have it hooked up. </li></ul>
  43. 47. <ul><li>Friendships are important-everyone you meet along your path to success should not merely be considered a contact, but a window into a new perspective or world. People are attracted to honesty. Offer people a direct view into who you are, and success will be yours. </li></ul><ul><li>Lastly, don’t forget to talk about your site(s) in all media interviews! </li></ul>