Seminars offer self-marketing tips for creative types

With more than 30 years in the music business, drummer and producer Dan Shinder knows a thing or two about success. His latest venture is Drum Talk TV. It launched in January and now reaches a half million viewers in 70 countries.

It would never have grown to that point, he said, if he hadn’t known how to market himself. It’s a factor he’s noticed lacking in other right-brained people — the inability to reach their audience.

“Creative types often have no idea where to start (marketing themselves), or even the questions to ask, so they can build their business,” Shinder, a northwest resident, said. “They don’t know what they don’t know.”

Now, Shinder has begun a seminar-based program called Marketing The Creative Mind. They take place in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas. The next one is set for 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at 6600 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 123.

Artist types in any category — visual arts, performing arts, music, hair, makeup, fashion, film and video, graphic arts, interior design, photography, writing, healing arts and culinary arts — can learn to reach broader markets, he said. The seminars use visual tools for examples, which are perfect for the artist-type brain to absorb. Perhaps best of all, they are taught by those in the arts and entertainment field.

There are five sessions of Marketing The Creative Mind covering various aspects — how to establish your identity; social media tools and how to make use of them; how to convert your audience into paying clients; the sales process; perfecting your marketing videos; what your website should include; and how being a nonprofit can work to your advantage.

The five-session seminars teach time management as well, which is crucial, Shinder said, because the artist must wear more than one hat to conduct a one-person business. Artists should set aside a set number of hours on a specific day that is devoted to marketing themselves.

The first Las Vegas session was held Nov. 9. Shinder and his partner in the venture, Lori Shube, limited it to eight people and videotaped them in a question-and-answer segment for future use.

The impact of social media was brought home to attendee Philip Gelb, founder of Phoenix Drum Co.

“The presence that you have — your Facebook page, your Twitter, the image you portray — is very important because anybody you solicit to do business with, if you’re trying to pick up a new account, a new customer, the first thing they’re going to do is check you out (online),” Gelb said. “That’s how they’re going to take your temperature.”

Lynette Owens, owner of Simple Healings Wellness Spa, 7398 Smoke Ranch Road, attended. She has been in business for 15 years.

“It was what I expected and a little more,” she said. “He kind of covered all the bases. … a kind of ‘How to Run Your Business From A to Z.’ “

She plans to attend the next one.

Patrice Arnout, founder of the French American School of Arizona in Phoenix, said that until people attend the seminar, they may not realize how much it was needed. He said he got a better vision for steering his marketing campaign.

Why are artistic types hesitant about promoting themselves?

“I’m guessing because some artists live in their own world and think that by just being good, they will be successful,” Arnout said. “But, unfortunately, that is not enough.”

The seminars teach artistic types why it’s essential to present oneself in a professional manner and that even little things matter. Shinder told of a saxophone player who wanted to work with him. At the end of their meeting, when he asked the man for his contact information, the sax player handed him a business card.

It was for a landscaping business, the man’s day job.

It’s understandable to have a day job, Shinder said. Most artists do. But it’s important to keep the two separate when you’re selling yourself as an artist.

Similarly, a business card should be legible. Some artistic types take poetic license to heart and design a card so arty, it’s nearly impossible to read the phone number. Others might use a business card designed a long time ago, complete with outdated design elements.

Some seminars include special speakers. Traci Smith, a music promoter, was one. Her portion included branding yourself and getting endorsement deals. Ed Francis, of Round Rock Drums and Rhythm Works, is on the docket for the Feb. 22 seminar in Texas and plans to cover competing in today’s changing business landscape.

“Those that do (undertake the business of marketing themselves),” Shinder said, “are extremely successful at it.”

The cost to attend a seminar is $89. To sign up, visit

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at or 702-387-2949.

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