Artists, entrepreneurs, and companies tend to work diligently to not only be successful, but to be recognized as an entity that has the best product or service. After reading texts and viewing videos about position, I’ve come across several administrators stating, “we want to position ourselves as the market leader.” This led me to define the word position.
a.) a place where someone or something is located or has been put.
b.) a particular way in which someone or something is placed or arranged.
I concluded that no artist, entrepreneur or company can position themselves as anything. Your position is a place, and someone else puts you there. Harry Beckwith (author and marketing expert) states, “You can focus your efforts and your message, which sometimes can influence our position.”
That simple affirmation allowed me to think about how I’m perceived. Am I seen as a talented artist, or as a businessman? Do I want people to separate the two or see me as being both? My response is both, and I suggest the same for you. Too often, artists are not recognized as a business entity, nor do they identify themselves as such. It’s a new day, and it’s time for a change!
In business world, they say numbers don’t lie. A study taken in 2014 found that 73% of U.S. adults online use social media. They spend 37 minutes per day across channels, which is constantly growing. Social customers tell an average of 42 other people about a company, product, service or event. Lastly, users are 71% more likely to buy a product or service recommended by a friend.
With all the talent and knowledge we’ve acquired, let’s begin to leverage the position we have. Our market (including family, friends, followers) has already positioned us. We can begin by creating a positioning statement, or a statement on how you wish to be perceived. It’s essentially a memo about what you want to convey in every medium, especially through social media. You can establish your positioning statement by answering the following questions from Beckwith’s Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing:
Who: Who are you?
What: What business are you in?
For whom: What people do you serve?
What need: What are the special needs of the people you serve?
Against whom: With whom are you competing?
What’s different: What makes you different from those competitors?
So: What’s the benefit? What unique benefit does a consumer derive from your service?
There are other models for creating your position statement, but this method will allow you to have clear answers. Once we reopen ourselves as a business, and not just as an artist, it’s easier to use our position as a marketing tool to build interest in and around our live events and performances.