Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The #1 Secret to Getting Discovered as an Artist, Entrepreneur or Independent Professional

Everyone’s just waiting to get discovered.

And that’s the problem: They’re waiting.

BIG mistake.

You can’t just sit around, hoping someone will discover how cool and special and unique and talented you are.

You’ve GOT to stick yourself out there.

And whether you’re a salesperson, writer, photographer, entrepreneur or entertainer -- the absolute, number-one, failproof strategy for getting discovered is:

BE MORE DISCOVERABLE.

Here’s a list of four ways to do so:

1. Get out of the house. I recently stumbled across as website that published the following list: “The 50 Hottest Victoria’s Secret Models Of All Time.” Don’t ask me how I ended up there. Not important. Anyway, after “carefully researching” the lovely ladies on the list, I started to notice a commonality: Every one of them was discovered in a similar fashion. No pun intended. Check out the ten most common venues in which these supermodels were first spotted:

• Shopping Mall.
• Flea Market.
• Six Flags.
• Supermarket.
• Cornfield.
• Beach.
• Talent contest.
• Pizza Parlor.
• Hollywood party.
• My closet.

What’s the commonality? They're all public venues. Interesting. I guess guitar legend Doyle Dykes was correct in saying, “Get your butt out of the basement and go out and play for people.” And I suppose my mentor was correct in saying, “If you want to speak more – speak more.”

DISCOVER THIS: If you want to be in the right place at the right time, you need to be in a lot of places. How many places are YOU in?

2. Position your unique value on a discovery platform. Speaking of iTunes and YouTube, let’s talk about platform. That’s the single greatest tool for driving your discoverability. And when I think of platform, I’m reminded of Lisa Donnavan (aka, Lisa Nova), a stunningly beautiful friend of mine from college. Well, OK, she wasn’t really my friend, but at least she knew who I was. Actually, not exactly. I’m pretty sure she used to call me George. Not the point.

What IS important is that after college, Lisa moved to New York to begin her acting career. Naturally, she struggled. (Who wouldn’t?) But instead of throwing in the towel and getting a job as a bartender, Lisa spent her days writing scripts for short movies, comedy monologues, song parodies and other entertaining vignettes.

Next, Lisa decided to post dozens of samples of her work on her YouTube channel. Long story short: After enough hits, views, comments and support, one of the producers of MadTV discovered her. And he liked her work SO much that the show eventually hired Lisa as a regular cast member. She now works as a successful actress in LA. And I would email her, but I’m pretty sure that restraining order is still active. Stupid judge.

DISCOVER THIS: More content = More visible. What discovery platform can you create a presence on with your unique content?

3. Persistence is the price of admission. Arty Skye has been producing and engineering music in New York City for over twenty-five years. He’s worked on over one thousand records with major stars like Madonna, Will Smith, Santana, Public Enemy and Alicia Keys. So, with fourteen Gold/Platinum Records and six number-one Billboard Hits, Skye certain knows what it takes to be discoverable.

“If you want to get anywhere, if you're really serious, you'll learn the guidelines and do everything possible to increase your chances of success,” Arty said. “Don’t be one of the thousands of people who email companies saying ‘please give me a chance,’ and then get confused and bitter when no one responds.”

I discovered this quotation on a 2008 article on www.GetSigned.com, a Discovery Platform where unsigned artists can share music and learn how to grow their careers. In the piece, Arty also shared a list of myths of getting discovered.

“Don’t assume that if you email and call enough people, someone will give you a chance,” he wrote. “Why should they? What you don't realize is that companies get literally thousands of emails everyday with people telling their stories about how they love singing and it’s their dream."

"Yet, some people have no recording, no music up on the internet, no live performances and the only step they've taken in their musical careers is to email companies asking for a shot. Sorry, but that's not the way it works. If you don't believe in yourself enough to invest in getting a good recording made, don't expect anyone else to believe in you.”

DISCOVER THIS: Calling a lot isn’t enough. Believe in yourself. Prepare yourself. Equip yourself. Are you a waste of people’s time?

4. Luck isn’t a profitable strategy. In March of 2007, one of the producers of ABC’s 20/20 contacted me about being a guest on their upcoming show called, “Luck: Fact or Fiction?” Apparently she had read an article I’d published called How to become the Luckiest Person You Know.

Naturally, as soon as I changed my underwear, I said yes. A week later, ABC flew a four-man camera crew, two producers and a news anchor to St. Louis. They filmed interviews at my office, shot footage from one of my speeches and followed me around town for two days. Overall, it was an amazing experience. More importantly, when the piece aired a few months later, more than four million viewers tuned in.

And within the next 48 hours, I received thousands of emails, booked several pieces of business and sold cases of books. Now, here’s the best part: On ABC’s website, millions of other potential show guests filled out an online form to be considered as an interviewee for that same segment.

But none of them were picked. Instead, the producer chose ME because she googled the phrase “luckiest person you know,” and stumbled upon my series of blog posts on that very topic. I’ll never forget email she sent me after the episode aired, “Scott, it’s a good thing you wrote those articles or I never would have discovered you!”

DISCOVER THIS: L.U.C.K. is an acronym for “Working Your Ass Off.” How could you find out where the rock created the ripple so you could go throw more rocks?

REMEMBER: If you’re just waiting to be discovered, you’re probably gonna end up just waiting tables.

Stick yourself out there. Make yourself more discoverable TODAY.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you boosting your discoverability?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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