Last Friday I ran a round table discussion for those responsible for social media in the various different concerns of the precincts of Southwell Minster. I have been advising in social media at the Southwell Music Festival since 2014 and I had been invited to chair this discussion in order to encourage and consolidate best practice among the other groups with links to the Festival.
It’s sometimes a little difficult to know where to begin with such discussions. I was aware that at least half a dozen of the 15 or so participants were already using the principal social platforms capably. Consequently, I started from a position of assuming some simple practice – though it emerged that one or two did not have any social media experience at all.
The key though is for all those who use social media – rather counterintuitively – to talk to one another before either day to day use or on a concerted campaign. From my perspective, the nature of social media means that listening to the experience of others is as valuable as trying to lecture on it and in this way I think the discussion was useful.
Tomorrow morning I have been invited to give a talk to the South and South East Equity branch on ‘Effective Social Media Use‘. As a freelance classical session singer, I use all available tools to maintain and promote myself publicly as a competent and available performer. Managing information about myself and distributing it to (potential) employers and audiences online is now an essential part of the work that any freelance performer does. You can read about my work in this area here.
This talk is designed to show what online platforms for self promotion are available and suggest ideas about optimising their use. Though my experience is that of a singer, I hope that it will be of interest and use to all performing artists, whose own experiences I look forward to hearing and sharing at the Young Vic Theatre, tomorrow 21 November at 11am.
Last weekend I attended the latter half of the second Southwell Music Festival. Because of other commitments I was unable to attend as a performer this year (the old adage, ‘never book a deputy better than you’ was taken out of my hands and the bass section of the Southwell Festival Voices was excellent whether in individual or corporate voice!).
However, I was there in an official capacity, helping to maintain the website and social media platforms. It’s an important role for a company such as this that wants to match the quality of the musical output with competence and professionalism on the periphery. Informing and involving people is always best done face to face with performers, staff and volunteers in and around the Festival itself but indirect engagement via mobile internet is now a sine qua non for such an operation.
The Festival, was a success (actually it was of unstintingly first class quality and a little overwhelming – more here) and I hope that those who engaged with the Festival vicariously through alternative media felt something of that too.
Part of my work as a freelance performing artist is trying to find the work that I do. This involves self-promotion, which can be complicated and time-consuming task. These days it’s made a bit easier with the internet, not least as there are a number of free tools and platforms that one can use to maintain a professional profile.
I have been involved with generating media around the projects of which I am a part for a few years now and yesterday I co-presented a seminar in which I offered that experience to other artists. I was giving the Building Your Online Presence seminar as part of the company McCaldin Arts, for whom I have been Media and Communications Manager for the past three years.
My specific task was to help the group construct a basic website using a free, web-based site construction package and I also co-authored the latter part of the session on social media. We gave the four-hour seminar at the City Business Library next to the Guildhall to universally positive feedback.