As the new year begins to unfurl, now is a great time to commit yourself and your performing arts group to actions that will help you to achieve even more in every sense in 2011.
Use the following resolutions, or make your own, but use this time to set goals, reach for the heights, and envision even greater success to come. You can do it!
Here are my suggested 10 resolutions, meanwhile, for performing arts groups:
1. Commit to Your Audience.
Keep your audiences in mind at all times, and ask yourself how you can better serve them in the coming year. Never miss an opportunity to show them that they are your primary focus, and that your goal is to entertain them, move them, and touch their hearts.
2. Raise More Money!
Make a commitment to bringing in the funds you need, and to doing so better than ever before. Do this using the best possible letters and materials, through more creativity, events, and fundraising opportunities, and with more appreciation shown to patrons and donors. Never miss a chance to say thank-you to someone who supports you this year. Ever.
3. Get Organized.
I know it's easier said than done, but while performing arts administration can be a notoriously cluttered or chaotic business, the reality is that this disorganization is a prime way for you to hemorrhage funds. So work with your team to organize your space, your finances, and your duties. And once you do this, stay organized, and never stop focusing on ways to improve, simplify and streamline your approaches, from ticket sales to fundraising.
4. Embrace Technology and Social Media.
Technology and social media are a must for any organization that wants to truly grow, succeed, and interact with audiences, press, and patrons. So look into updating your ticketing processes where appropriate, and make sure you are a polished, professional, yet accessible presence everywhere social media can go, from Facebook to Twitter to MySpace. All of these elements provide powerful tools for increasing visibility, sales and promotion, and will serve you well.
5. Connect with Your Community!
Strengthen and emphasize connections with other businesses and people in your community by taking part, giving back, and especially by patronizing or supporting the businesses, people or organizations who are consistently there for you.
6. Promote Yourself.
Never miss a chance to promote your organization and its news and achievements on a constant basis, and do so passionately and professionally. Don't just promote your next upcoming show -- send out press releases on everything of note, from season announcements, to new hires or creative endeavors, fundraising events, or readings, workshops, and more.
Also make sure that your website offers a terrific press section that lists all your latest news (from newest to oldest), and that you also make it easy for reporters to download items like press photos, head shots, logos, and anything else they may need. Don't forget to offer captions, photo attributions, and copyright info where appropriate.
7. Commit to Doing Your Best Work
Promise yourself that each show or event you stage this year is as good as it can be creatively. Look forward to a year in which you've never been more proud of what you or your team created together.
8. Stay Within Budget.
Period. Be creative with what you have, and never miss an opportunity to make ten cents look like a dollar onstage. But stay within budget. In the immortal words of the fabulous Tim Gunn, "Make it work."
9. Team Up!
You're not alone out there. So look for ways to join forces with other organizations within your community, especially any opportunity to share budgets as well as rewards. For more and more organizations in today's tight economy, this approach is proving to be smart, creative, and successful.
10. Brand Yourself.
Last but not least: Brand yourself, representing yourself well with a recognizable logo, approach, and niche. And make sure to commit to a year in which everything that represents you, does so beautifully, effectively, and directly. From your website, to your Facebook page, promotional materials and posters, news releases and press section, never lose a chance to brand yourself. It's how others will connect with you, identify with you, and support you, providing that gateway from audiences, patrons, or reporters, to you.
You can do it! And if you've got any resolutions of your own for 2011, don't forget to share them in our forums or comments.