Review Category : Professionalism

Correlations Between New Artists and New Businesses

Adapted from

Artists are crazy for not thinking like entrepreneurs.  Because like it or not, that’s exactly what they are.

The best artists, like India Arie for example, are revolutionary, nonconformist thinkers and doers, challenging both traditional values and ways of thinking.

The best artists see the future. Their gift puts them ahead of the rest of society.

The same is true for business innovators: The best business leaders seek to build disruptive, lean, adaptive companies and are always pivoting their way to success.

So why don’t more artists and creative companies operate like the business startups they really are?

Maybe it’s because no one has laid out a path or framework for artists to think in these terms, not to mention that creativity is most often a solitary pursuit. But the time has surely come when aspiring artists, entertainment entrepreneurs, and other related professionals get empowered to see firsthand the problems both sides face, which are practically identical.

Actually, it is for this reason that iLAEA (iNSPIRED Arts & Entertainment Alliance) has evolved into a professional association for independent artists and other executives.  There was a sincere need and desire to help artists understand the potential they can have if they operate with a business startup mentality. iLAEA exists to help artists and professionals find and form communities of people that will embrace, consume, share and buy and appreciate their creativity in its truest form — without compromising that creativity for the sake of profit alone.

The primary challenge that all artists face is finding a way to share their work with the world — which is, at the end of the day, a product to be consumed. But wealthy patrons, record labels, and even angel investors most often put their needs first, compromising innovation and the risk-taking that fosters true creativity. If artists want to figure out how to navigate these issues, they need to start thinking like entrepreneurs.

Here are three ways to do exactly that:
Test and gather data. Companies are always testing new ideas and getting feedback from their consumers. But many creatives wing it and put out whatever they like. As an artist, you should respect your creative process — but at the same time, when you try new things, don’t be afraid to get feedback from outside sources and especially from your potential consumers. Track the number of likes and shares your music tracks get. Make notes of patterns and consumer segments that interact with your work the most. At the very least, you’ll gain some inspiration; at most, you could create a new genre of art. Whatever you discover, you can use this data to help make decisions in the future.

Be just as creative in building your audience as you are with your work. Just like a bootstrapped startup, you want to have the most people discover your work for as little upfront investment as possible. The best way to do this is to get creative in your approach to finding new fans and brand ambassadors. Come up with schemes to get people to listen to or view your work, get feedback, figure out what works best, and then scale those findings to build the perfect fan base. Preferably one that’ll share, like and buy what you produce.

Innovate and get better…or die. Bring something new to the table. And seriously new. Be a disruptive force and you’ll move 20 times faster than your “competitors”… or, in your terms, your peers. Brands, ad agencies and companies are always looking for the next best thing. Utilize the buzz that comes with doing something different to get noticed and build your brand. Otherwise, you’ll risk being irrelevant and ignored.

Artists are not readily recognized for all their greatness. And many startups do in fact fail. But if you think like a successful entrepreneur, that doesn’t have to be your fate.  If you are interested in ways to collect data or improve your artist/entrepreneurial efforts, contact us today at

adapted from

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Social Media – Don’t Discount the Timing

Posted on The Sydney Morning Herald: MySmallBusiness
By: David Wilson October 30, 2012

You know the feeling: a would-be viral social media post you wrote flops, utterly failing to kick up the buzz you foresaw. The reason for the wash-out might not be that your post sucked, it could simply be bad timing.

No matter how smart the post you type for Twitter or Facebook seems, if you send it when your would-be mass audience has checked out, your update may vanish without a trace. For your post to hit its mark, you must time it right.

True, variables abound. Timing posts may be more art than science, but here are some guidelines on finessing your efforts as Facebook’s influence continues to spread. According to an October 26 NBC report, Facebook now has 126 million users on mobile alone.

1. Integrate with the office

The obvious time to post a social media update, says digital agency owner Michael Simonetti, is when most people are around computers: during office hours.
Work-related social networking trumps all other opportunities, he adds. Despite the blocks many companies impose on social networks, people find a way, which may partly explain why mobile usage is surging.

The best slots in the average working day, Simonetti adds, are arrival time (8-9am), lunch time (12-2pm), and the period just before staff clock off (5-6pm).

2. Don’t overlook Sundays

Sunday night is a “hidden gem” for viral posting, Simonetti says.

While the weekend as a whole fails to win the audience you can gain during the week, Sunday nights are the exception for posting he says. In particular, he recommends the stretch between 7pm and 8pm.

That late Sunday slot can work as well as weekday hot spots, thanks, he reckons, to the “new age” of dual-screen viewers — people watching the television while browsing the mobile or tablet.

3. Track trends

Match topical events and trends, Simonetti says. The engagement of a trend — be it the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the US presidential race or Gangnam Style Korean dancing — dramatically boosts your social media post’s viral potential.

“On-topic and on-brand posts during or soon after these events are always a winner,” Simonetti says.

4. Segment your market

Think hard about the market you are trying to reach, says marketer Fran Iseli-Hall. If your target market is young mums, early mornings are best. If you want to target business owners, aim at early evening — from about 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Iseli-Hall says.

For fashion and events-related posts, weekends work well “because people are looking for stuff to do”, she says.

5. Mistrust Mondays

Mondays are a dubious time to share because they do not work well in any market, Iseli-Hall says.

On Mondays, people are usually busy getting stuff done and preparing for the week, dogged by a full email inbox to go through. However she warns against ruling the day out entirely from your viral campaign.

6. Use social media timing tools

Other experts advise that you test your viral timing tactics by drawing on the web’s wealth of measuring tools.

Options include TweetWhen, Tweetdeck and the widely-admired Tweriod. For both Twitter and Facebook, Crowdbooster claims to offer “a plan of action instead of just a stream of information”.

Note that the business-slanted part of Facebook, Facebook Pages, boasts an inbuilt timer that lets you send messages automatically as you sleep.
To access the timer, activate your Facebook Pages sharing tool marked “Share something on your Page”. Click the clock scheduling icon and you are away. The function is especially useful for synchronizing with an overseas city — be it London or Lima.

7. Curb your enthusiasm

You should limit your posts to one or two per day. Brands that post just once or twice a day generate a 19 per cent higher interaction than those that post three or more times per day, according to Buddy Media.

It recommends against more than seven posts per week and says a good general time frame is between 8pm and 7am – during those off-hours potential customers have spare time during which to make buying decisions.

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