Canadian poet @SelahGenesis demonstrates a neat product for Spoken Word artists and other speakers to make from their art

Our thesis at Starving Artists Anonymous is that ALL artists can and should make money from their art. The simplification of how to do this is thus: 
  1. Make your art.
  2. Make products from your art.
  3. Market your art and ideas (and by default, your products).
Easier said than done? Sure. But is it doable? I have had lots of spoken word poets tell me that they can't make products from their art, which really is in the event. It's a spirit in the room, and you can't bottle it.
I would argue that this spirit is actually bottled and sold by musicians all the time.

Here's a solution that I hope will inspire you...

The Power of Collaboration

Canadian Spoken Word artist Se'lah Genesis's Hip-Hop for Breakfast packages her poetry, produced and blended with laid back hip hop beats by SLWJMZ ("slow jams") as a short musical album. It comes with an e-book of her poetry as a bonus.  This project foregrounds the power of collaboration.  Se'lah may have spent a pretty penny on beats, mixing, graphic design, etc.  Or maybe she traded services, or leveraged friendships. Whatever the case, she got together with other creatives around her (or on the web) and put together a product that is worth spending money on.  And if she performs regularly in her community, she likely has at least a handful of fans who scooped this up as soon as it was available.  I also suspect SLWJMZ and the other collaborators helped her get the word out.  So if making projects out of your artistic output seems daunting to you, maybe you need to collaborate with others, sometimes supporting them, other times taking the starring role.

Make it yours 


Hip-Hop for Breakfast is obviously designed for the global urban demographic Se'lah comes from, but there is no reason you could not create a similar product geared to your background and musical tastes, and market it to like-minded people. Instead of a hip hop producer, maybe you would approach a violinist, or a EDM deejay, or a bluegrass band, or a gospel choir, or a...

You get the picture!

It can work for you. YES, even YOU!

Don't fool yourself into believing the popular and self-congratulating lie that your work is not marketable. This model (or some mutation of it) can work for any spoken word artist, poet, motivational speaker, or preacher.  So I know you can apply it to your brand of word art.

My point is your artistic output, your products, and your marketing efforts should be rooted in your personality.  In this way, your products and marketing (like your art) will be authentic.  There are lots of outlets, models and best practices for promoting indie music, and armed with the knowledge of who you are as an artist, you can make those strategies work for you.

If you are an artist, you are already an entrepreneur. You are already a small business. Whether you see yourself as a failing business or a thriving business is up to you

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