Time to get serious!
Last week's "interesting" experience was one of those limninal moments; the moments that make one stop, take stock and decide one's course. Buoyed up and encouraged by tellers of far greater ability, it made me consider once again this concept--If we are to be valued in what we do, it must have appparent value to others. I'm pretty sure that had that gig not been a "gratis" gig, the ice cream would have waited. This isn't to say I won't ever do a volunteer gig again. Some of them are the most gratifying ones I do. If I do, I need to go with a better presence to let the organizer realize that what I'm sharing is one heck of a deal. How to do that?
1) Make sure the program you share is the best it can be. I already do this. I don't like to be out there, even for a "freebie," looking like this is the first time I've worked an audience. Still, I need to move beyond the sense that I only develop new programs or stories for paid events. I need to work on my work. Although I'm not in a position to do so just yet, I will go to one of the WOW Weekends in southern Indiana, highly endorsed by many tellers I respect. Sometimes to work on new stuff, an incentive like that helps.
2) Much as most of us are loathe to do so, I need to spend more time putting myself out there, so that folks know I have an enjoyable and meaningful offering for them to consider. I've made half-hearted attempts; a couple small ads in an area lifestyle monthly, home printed brochures placed in various locales. I even got up the guts once to contact the editor of a monthly magazine devoted to women's interests in the area. She replied, and maybe I need to follow-up on this again. Sigh. I hate doing that stuff.
3) If I'm to be better about putting myself out there, the stuff I put out needs to look better, too. I do have a website, but not a stand-alone site. My brochures look okay for home made, but I'm almost out. Hopefully my friend Karen Wollscheid, graphic designer to the storytelling world, can help me put together one that looks as cool as the one she did for another storytelling friend, Jenifer Strauss.
So, I thank those who took the time to pat me on the back and say sorry that happened to you. I also thank those who said, sorry that happened to you, now, what are you going to do about it?
Hopefully in the next few months, you can see a professional website, based on a professional brochure--with a schedule of at least twice monthly upcoming events. Stay tuned!