I look at the arty black and spare screens where you can’t figure out what opens the thing, and when you find something small in the field of blackness you pick at it with your cursor hoping something will happen so you can see something.
Some time ago I read a book on direct mail advertising. Now the internet has taken over the direct mail concept– BIGTIME! But I am wondering whether my lack of followers might be explained by recalling what surprising advice was in that book:
The Direct Mail experts adamantly insisted that trying fresh, new approaches to advertising wares was simply not going to work. They taught their readers that one MUST look for the existing direct mail formats and copy them as closely as possible to even get a viewing.
This is not what a creative person likes to hear. Stay in the lines… copy the template…. keep originality out of it! Then you will sell stuff.
WHAT? Of course they were right, or at least, my versions of direct mail advertising were wrong.
Is it different with the internet? I see featured snips of other people’s blogs and web promotions, but mine is never among them. And I think my presentations are at least better than some of what I see.
The “market” reminds me a lot of other institutional entities. The first that comes to mind is school (I mean k-12), where you find that one wears certain kinds of clothes and talks a certain slang and fixes one’s hair a certain way (it was ponytails and pompadours when I was in Jr. High School), in order to be other than alien. But being “other than alien” is only the first step. One had to be outstandingly cool, it seemed, to get to sit at the “popular table” in the cafeteria.
Is this still true? Does my website or blog have to have a certain “this-year”s” look and language to get noticed?
Is this what I should do? Should I have such an enigmatically esoteric splash page that people have to spend five minutes figuring it out? Or a shocking statement at the top, or a controversial nude front and foremost? (I admit, I have tried some of these things, and the resulting comments are usually from some unsavory source that causes me to put it in the spam/recycle bin immediately without opening it. I save the short list of “real” responses like I save corsages from the old high school dance!!)
If mystery is what my website needs, I will certainly not make the grade. Mine, like me, just presents itself as what it is, no special “Gaga” novelties or amazing things frolicking across the screen, or no haunting music that emanates slowly enough that you wonder if your computer is finally groaning to a stop.
No, my website has big words (so I can see what I’m doing) and they pretty much say what I’m wanting you to know. Then it has pictures of what I do. I may be kidding myself that you are interested in some background about what I am doing, so I tell a story. Yes, I rattle on some. I often go back, embarrassed, and take out whole chunks of what I have published the day before. So I agree that I need to edit before publishing.
My nature is to be cheerfully friendly, sharing freely, telling truths, admitting human nature type foibles, and believing that others may like that I am like them in some of these ways.
It doesn’t sell. After all, they are not shopping for ME. They are shopping for something that is “them”.
This is where the glitch lies.
I need an agent. I need someone who is out there shopping in the market all the time, knowing what people are crowding around and buying. My nature is that I don’t shop! And I don’t crowd around things that others are crowing around. I like the exception. I like to find the one-in-a-million.
My blindness is that I keep forgetting that other people are not like me… that’s why I make art the way I do. No one else has made it. That’s why it needs to be made.
Anyone know an agent?