The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

Uses of video: Blog intro August 18, 2009

Filed under: Blogging,Marketing with YouTube — Rebecca Coleman @ 7:14 am
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I’ve been thinking so much lately about how to start incorporating video into my blog. I just got a new Mac with a built-in webcam, so it’s not implausible to think that I might start doing some vlog posts at some point.

But what I’ve been really wanting is to have a video with me introducing my blog. You see, while you might be able to get a sense of who I am from my written voice, I really want folks out there to get a sense of my energy.

So, yesterday, I asked Simon to shoot a video introduction to my blog for me. The results are below. I’d love to hear what you think, and if you think this might be something you could apply to your own business. This video is on YouTube, but will live permanently on my “About” page.

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Please don’t call me a “social media expert” August 17, 2009

I recently did an interview with Corwin Christie for the Technology in the Arts blog. As you know, in June, I launched my e-book: Getting Started With Social Media for Artists and Arts Organizations. Since then, the good little marketer that I am, I’ve been exploring every avenue to promote it, so I was totally jazzed when Corwin found me and asked to do an interview with me.

I have to say, those were some some tough questions, but I like a challenge. You can read the final post here.

The back says "because this t-shirt says so"

The back says "because this t-shirt says so"

In the introduction to the post, Corwin rightly goes on to reflects on the term “social media expert”, which is a term that I have always felt uncomfortable applied to myself.

Really, anyone with a Twitter account can call themselves a social media expert. I mean, there’s nothing to stop them. There is no professional association of social media experts, no university or college certifications. Our world is so new, we are literally making it up as we go along.

What alarms me about the term “social media expert” is, people who are just jumping on the social media bandwagon may come across a self-professed “social media expert” and purchase services from them: a course, some consulting, or yes, an e-book. And it’s really buyer beware. Just because you call yourself a social media expert, doesn’t mean you are Gary Vanderchuck or Guy Kawasaki.

So, here’s  a couple of ways to tell if someone is really an expert or not.

1.    What are the numbers? Check out their profiles on Facebook and Twitter. How many friends do they have? What is their Twitter follower-to-followee ratio? Do they have a Facebook Fan page? And if so, how many fans? This point is about sheer quantity.
2.    Do they offer value? Check out their posts on Facebook and Twitter. Are they all personal? Are they all links to cute YouTube puppy videos? Or are they links of value, linking to their own blog, or someone elses’ about the latest and greatest in social media?
3.    Do they have a website? Is their website entirely dedicated to selling, or are there some freebies or useful information? Is there an about page so that you can get to know a little about them?
4.    Do they have a blog? How long have they been blogging for? Does their blog have an about page? A blogroll?

These are all useful criteria for judging expert status.

Personally, I’m uncomfortable with the term. I prefer to think of myself as someone who is learning about this stuff, but I’m just a little ahead of the curve. And maybe a couple of people along the way can benefit from my experience.

For a bit of fun (and some solid info) on the topic, check this out.

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Happy Birthday to me August 14, 2009

Filed under: Life — Rebecca Coleman @ 5:20 am
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Today’s my birthday. And not just any birthday. You see, today I turn 40.

Me, four days ago, at the Tower of the Winds in the Roman Agora at the Acropolis.

Me, four days ago, at the Tower of the Winds in the Roman Agora at the Acropolis.

So today’s blog post is dedicated to a little self-reflection.

More than anything today, I feel really, really grateful. I have a successful business, a great kid, and someone special, with whom I just spent two weeks traipsing around Greece (fodder for future blog posts, for sure!). I just bought a newer car,  I have food in the fridge, and am able to pay all my bills. In other words, I’m in a really good place right now.

This really good place feels extra good because the last two years have been the darkest time of my life. I won’t bother with those details, but let’s just say when it rains, it pours. But over the last six months or so, I am finally feeling like I am through the woods and into the light, and coming, truly, into my own.

When I reflect on my twenties and thirties, I see some pretty clear patterns. My twenties were all about living my life in the way that other people wanted me to. My thirties were all about breaking free of those expectations. I’m still working on it–a lifetime of living a certain way is certainly not going to change over night–but I’m getting better.

As I turn 40, it occurs to me that I’m not actually learning too many new things these days. I am, however, re-learning things constantly. And a big one that keeps coming up for me is around fear, and keeping my life small. I’m one of those people that hates to be disappointed, so sometimes I keep my expectations low or I create excuses to explain why I can’t do something. Going to Greece taught me, again, that I am very capable, and when I put my mind to do something, I will figure it out. To borrow a phrase, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. And in the end, it all works out. So, as my friend Tanja Dixon-Warren says, say yes, then figure out how to make it happen.

Let that be my motto for the next 40 years and beyond.

Thank you for indulging me. It’s the best present ever. Except maybe chocolate.

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