Reputation is Key:

Amplify what others say to deepen the impact of your marketing

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The top three reasons visitors make decisions to engage with your organization are: 

  1. Schedule
  2. Reputation
  3. Distance (Location)

Let that sink in for a moment.

It feels pretty obvious someone would choose not to go to a museum when they’re busy. It’s also natural someone would choose to engage with an arts company nearby – whether that’s home or during their travels.

But the reputation of a company also plays a huge, undeniable role in where people spend their time, money and energy. And there are certainly ways to amplify your own good reputation in your marketing efforts to capitalize on this!

In mid-October, I attended Capacity Interactive’s Digital Marketing Boot Camp for the Performing Arts. Capacity is a brilliant company that has helped a ton of arts organizations catch up in the digital space. Boot Camp features smart speakers – and I don’t know if it’s because it’s an arts conference or what, but almost all the speakers are also funny, charming and make compelling cases for their best practices and strategies!

Colleen Dilenschneider of Know Your Own Bone and IMPACTS Research and Development was a keynote speaker. You should read more about Colleen, because she’s amazing and full of interesting data.

Colleen’s talk “The Data-Informed Importance of Digital Engagement for Arts Organizations” went over data from the largest survey of market perceptions of visitor service organizations in the US.

The data she discussed with us about the habits and viewpoints of high-propensity visitors – those most likely to attend your shows or visit your museum and come back for more – was fascinating.

This data is where we learned people engage based on: schedule, reputation and distance.

You don’t have any control over other people’s schedules or where they actually are. Reputation, however, you have some power over that.

Reputation is built in two ways:

  1. What you say about yourself
  2. What others say about you

Colleen shared with us that what others say about you is 12.85x more important to your audience than what you say yourself.

Whoa. That’s huge.

what others say about you is 12.85x more important to your audience than what you say yourself.

So what are ways you can use or amplify what others say to increase the likelihood that people will buy into what you’re offering?

Today I’m going to throw out a few ideas you can activate as early as tomorrow and also plan for in 2018.

Keep in mind – the first step in building reputation is to provide an awesome service, make a difference and/or really make people happy. Otherwise, you will NOT have an easy time with the below.

It’s Testimonial Time.

No matter if you are a small business owner or a choreographer, ask your clients and audience to send some words about why they love what you do.

What do they gain out of interacting with your brand? Reach out to your biggest fans first, and make sure you get their permission to share! Use their words in your ads, on your website, on sales pages and more.

Seek Out Cross-Promoters.

Contact like-minded and like-missioned organizations you admire, and ask if they’ll do an exchange of promoting your work.

Make sure you have something genuinely awesome to offer them in return and that it feels mutually beneficial. Come with a goal in mind so there is clarity and structure and set expectations around your ask.

B-Roll That Excitement.

Film and photograph the experience people have seeing your shows or working with you. (Again, don’t forget to get their permission.)

Capture the joy, the breakthroughs, the satisfaction your clients have in a visual medium. Then you have a store of media to share in campaigns, on social, on your website…

Encourage Word of Mouth.

Sometimes my consulting business experiences a lull. It’s infrequent and generally short-lived, because I am a lucky lady with a super supportive network. But it happens to ALL OF US.

Keep a list of your most-beloved supporters. The ones you trust with your life and who already gave you rockin’ testimonials. Write them a sincere and loving request for referrals or to share your next event.

Bring (or Tell) A Friend Deals.

Newsletters like The Skimm and Girls Night In are good examples of this – they know how to encourage shares.

Make a “bring a new friend” deal on ticket prices. Find a way to track and reward those who share with something fun in the mail or discounts, etc.

Make Everything Easy to Share.

In that same vein, make sure it’s soooo easy to share your content.

Can everyone swiftly pin, post and forward your work? Are you locking down video embeds or hiding the Facebook share button on your website? Don’t! It makes more of an impact if someone other than you promotes what you do!

Happy reputation building and awareness spreading!

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    I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.

    Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.

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