{7} Exercises in Marketability

Somewhere in Japan, there is a young Jamaican woman with a blog about art. At first glance, it appears to be one of those blogs that I usually skip over because a) I have no more than a passing interest in art and b) most of the blogs I happen across seem to be self-absorbed litanies that aren’t even entertaining for their effort (mine included). Mostly because I don’t know the author personally, but even then, if a blog doesn’t grab my attention by being witty or at least insightful at first glance, then I’m just not going to care. However this particular blog about art is interesting in two ways.
1. It’s authored by a Jamaican artist. Patriotic snob that I am, my interest is automatically piqued when I come across instances of my countrymen doing Things on the internet.
2. It’s quite a popular blog.

My introduction to this blogger wasn’t totally by chance. My dance company (Dance Spirit, to di worl!) hosted a seminar/retreat last Saturday and invited a few guest speakers to address us on a variety of topics. One of the topics was Making Sense of Heritage Economics, and under that umbrella the speaker led a short discussion on marketability. Using the ART: Jamaica blog as an example, she pointed out that we should embrace any and every avenue to market our company, since business opportunities can come from practically anywhere.

We’re a relatively new company, you see, so we’re eager to get our names beyond our immediate surroundings. We’ve already ventured outside of our home parish, and we’re well on our way to becoming the premier performing arts troupe of the western region, but we have yet to tap into the other parts of the island. Marketability is an idea we desperately need to embrace and so we were happy to hear anything she had to say on the subject. She pointed out that all the social networking we do can be a potent market force if it’s given direction. We can significantly expand our publicity just by adjusting the ways in which we communicate with the wider community.

Like this blog for instance. She challenged me to expand the audience I reach with my writing and use that same audience to advertise – not just Dance Spirit, but also myself. She pointed out (and I really should have realized this before) that I can use this blog to make myself more marketable, just like that artist in Japan. Now I’m not sure I can reach international acclaim with a blog that’s basically about my everyday humdrum, but it’s a challenge I’ve readily accepted.

While my readership on this particular blog is so low as to be non-existent, that’s something I can work on. I reach a very cosmopolitan audience with my Livejournal blog raspberry_rave, and even though I’d been working on that network for good on two years, I’m sure I can do the same, if not more, here on WordPress. I can tap into my Facebook network of real life friends, too, all in the name of expansion – reaching a larger audience.

Because, let’s face it, the whole point of blogging is to put yourself Out There. The internet allows us to share our thoughts in a way that was nearly inconceivable twenty years ago, with an audience that is beyond the scope of any other means of communication. All one has to do to harness a share of this vast and untamed wildness is speak and be heard. How can we not take advantage of that?


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