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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Profile as Advertising

Now that we have the ground work laid out for our Little Marketplace, let's turn our attention to advertising.   Once users look at and/or listen to your music,  they will likely take a look at your profile and your website.  I want everyone to think about what the experience will be like for them.  So many times we build our profiles and websites as an expression of who we are as a person or an artist from our own perspective.   If we want to increase sales, we need to take a view from the customer's perspective.  
Ask yourself what is it that defines you, makes you special or makes you stand out?  Include these things, especially if you have a particular passion.
Then you must think about what filters conductors use to whittle down the choices? I trust music from certain publishers.  I trust music that doesn't come with a colorful cover.   I trust music from people whose works I have seen or heard other groups perform.  
The last is the most important.  Don't bother listing what schools you went to or even what famous teachers you studied with.  No one cares but you.  Instead, note what ensembles have performed your works.  The more prestigious the ensemble the better but just telling me that the Washington Valley Community Choir sang your "Agnus Dei" tells me someone else thought it was worthwhile.  
Use the multimedia elements available on ChoralNet profiles.  Do you have a sound file or better yet, a video of one of your performances?  If you have had performances and not got a video or recording shame on you for poor planning.  Think outside of the premiere performance to getting repeat performances.  You can pick up a decent digital camera for around $100.  A Zoom H1 digital audio recorder does an amazing job for just $100.  If you know you forget about these things ask your spouse, a friend or supporter to come with you and make the recordings.  We work in an art of fleeting moments.  You must capture them to share or they are lost.  Don't be afraid of the performance being imperfect.  Performances are always imperfect!  An experienced conductor can easily hear through the poor performance to the quality of the music.  That said use the best recording you can.  Don't make a video of an audio recording with just still pictures of the choir.  If you don't want to or can't use the video of the choir performing, then make a video of the choir lipsyncing to the recording in a beautiful place.  Could you sit through an old film strip presentation anymore? Don't make your viewers either.  
How important is that picture of you?  If you are drop dead gorgeous and in your 30s go for it.  If you are younger or older and do not have the benefit of having your face splashed all over the media, let them see you for who you really are, the person that created that beautiful music.  Don't ever put your face on a copy of music that children are going to hold in their hand. 
So if you haven't set up your profile or you haven't looked at it for a while get busy.  Check out my profile for use of media.  My claim to fame is my choir's videos so I have included several.  Know that I am after a completely different kind of fish than you are.  You can link to your audio recordings in our Library. If you use .mp3s uploaded directly to your profile they will be truncated.  Feel free to upload additional recordings to our Library that you want to use in your profile while you are entering your info for the Little Marketplace. 16 MB max size. 
I will be writing a post about what I feel should be on a website soon.  I will be looking at many of your websites and will ask privately for permission if we critique them in the forum.  Any volunteers to be critiqued?
Please add your two cents, experience or corrections. 
Replies (4): Threaded | Chronological
on January 26, 2012 2:48pm
Thanks, Jack, for the kick in my butt to improve my ChoralNet profile.  I have reworked it this afternoon to focus on my choral compositions,  added links to webpages about specific choral works, and imbedded three YouTube videos.  It turns out that I do have a YouTube video of "To a Locomotive in Winter" that I had forgotten about, which I should add to the note sections of the Composition Showcase entry for that piece.  If I still have editor privileges, I will do it myself.  If not, I would as you to add it.  Thanks a million for all you are doing!
on January 26, 2012 3:24pm
You are back on as editor.   I wonder why I didn't think to mention listing major composition contests that your specific pieces have won?   This also shows that someone else liked your piece.  One small critique.  I would leave the dates of the performances off, especially as those dates get farther and farther in the past.  When a conductor looks at your piece, it is new to them.  Why make the age of the piece a major factor in your advertisement?  Just my opinion. 
on January 26, 2012 3:58pm
Thanks!  Done and done!
on January 27, 2012 8:20am
ChoralNet totally supports all of you using your ChoralNet profile as a "storefront" for your work if you do not have a separate website.  I will also add that if you do not wish to receive an individual email everytime someone uploads another file to the community library; your ChoralNet email subscription options are many and varied.  Click on the "My ChoralNet" tab at the top of your page and then on "Subscription email options". There you can set email options for any community to which you are subscrtibed.  For instance, you could receive a weekly digest for this community alone.  Or even just a list of subject lines (index) and if something looks interesting you can then go check it out.  Meanwhile you can retain the "individual email" settinsg for your normal ChoralNet mail or forums, or whatever.
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