Do all of your emails start with something like “Act fast. Buy Now. Tickets on Sale,” etc.? If so, this resolution is for you. In your email campaigns and social media it can be tempting to write what you want to tell your fans. Instead, think about what they want to know. Here’s an example. You might want to tell them that they should buy a ticket to your upcoming concert featuring a local children’s dance company. In this case, your message would be “Buy a Ticket to our Upcoming Children’s Dance Concert.” But what your fan might actually want to know is who are the students? What pieces are being performed? What inspired this particular event instead of performing something else? In this case, the message would be something like “Hear what inspires a 7 year-old dancer to be her best.” You tell me which message inspires you more?
Your fans are smart, they know that you sell tickets. You don’t need to hit them over the head with it. Fans want to learn, to be entertained, to be delighted, to be surprised. You need to schmooze them before asking them out on a date. Give them a reason to say yes first. A good rule of thumb is that only every 4th message should have a sales call to action. Eveything else should be teaching, entertaining or delighting your fans to help them see why they should love you.
By the way, keeping your content relevant to what else is happening in the world is always a good thing. It shows you’re human, and that you pay attention to your fan’s lives. For instance, I could have said “Content is still King” in the title of this section (the original phrase was coined by Bill Gates in 1996), but that would be ignoring the fact that 77% of arts managers identify as female, and also would ignore the important discussions happening around gender equality and #metoo.