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Be the Gateway: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Creative Work and Engaging an Audience Paperback – March 7, 2017
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About the Author
Dan Blank is the founder of WeGrowMedia, where he helps writers and creative professionals share their stories and grow their audience.
He has worked with hundreds of individuals and amazing organizations who support creative people, such as Random House, Hachette Book Group, Sesame Workshop, Workman Publishing, J. Walter Thompson, Abrams Books, Writers House, The Kenyon Review, Writer's Digest, Library Journal, and many others.
Dan's work has been featured by Poets & Writers magazine, the National Endowment for the Arts, Compose Journal, Professional Artist magazine, and 99u.
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Top Customer Reviews
Dan’s strategy involves ignoring the stats and concentrating on connections. That might sound obvious, but few people do it well, or even know where to start. Be The Gateway provides a detailed roadmap and engaging case studies.
The "Gateway" entails guiding people to a fascinating place (your work) that they want to enter and explore further. Dan focuses on three elements: (1) story (be a storyteller, no matter what medium you work in), (2) creator (let people experience their inner world through you and your work), and (3) topics (choose unique narrative themes that relate to your story).
“Instead of framing the value of your work by how it performs in the market, you define it by how other people experience the world through your creative work—the stories and experiences you share, and the topics you talk about.”
Be The Gateway also warns against a practice many artists (especially introverted ones) share—they “hide away in complete silence for months or years and then make a big announcement.” When no one responds, they wonder why. Building a "Gateway" to and through the creative process remedies that awful “sound of crickets chirping” feeling.
Be The Gateway gives concrete instruction regarding:
* How to craft a biography that communicates your narrative.
* Why you shouldn’t immediately jump on social media to promote your work.
* Why “mid-level doers” can teach you more than “influencers” about social media.
* What small, actionable steps you can take when feeling overwhelmed.
My favorite quote from the book:
“A gateway is not a clever pitch to buy a product. Musician and artist Brian Eno put it this way: ‘Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences.’”
Highly recommended for creative professionals who feel intimidated by marketing and wonder if there’s a more inspired way to promote their work.
Standing out on the overpopulated world wide web to let my target audience know I exist feels impossible on a daily basis. And yet, Dan’s book offers practical steps and exercises on how to do just that — connect with a single person while leveraging social sites and the internet. He also shares ideas on how to connect with people in person and with specific examples.
This book is helping me identify and communicate my focus — what I’m “willing to fight for”—in my bio, mission statement, projects, and actions. Dan has me paying attention to how my daily life aligns with my creative work.
Happy co-creating to all of you.
Blank puts the focus on how you want to impact your audience. It takes you beyond numbers, statistics, strategies. In his own words, “You are a gateway. The creative work you share, the way people discover it, and the interactions with you become the threshold someone moves through in order to be opened up to new experiences, new ways of seeing, and new possibilities.”
Most marketing experts proclaim that building an email newsletter list is the only effective way to promote your work. Forget social media, they say. Blank’s advice: the social media channel you should focus on “…is simply the one that allows you to connect meaningfully with real people.” That comes down to using a “…wide range of communication channels and methods, not just one social network.”
Blank offers lots of practical steps for promoting your work. If you have little or no audience, for example, he says build your audience one person at a time. Connect with others long before you’re ready to launch your work. Focus on individuals, not “an audience.”
Being a gateway is all about “…extending the experience of your creative work to at least one person in a meaningful way.”
Opening the gate is about finding your people. He says, “Your audience lives by narratives. This is how they express their identity. They want a narrative that makes sense of the world.”
I strongly recommend this book. It has helped me re-think my priorities, develop a new focus, and begin to lay out a practical approach for building my audience and promoting my fiction.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Blank's tone is encouraging but also no nonesense, and I appreciate that.Read more