Things That a Poet Should Have
Do you think you have everything you need as a poet? Of course, you need bars and depth. You need a level of entertainment, a few metaphors and similes, and your truth. It can be funny; it can be honest—it can be a tear-jerker or a mix of everything. But, these are the things that go without saying. If you’re going to be a poet or expect people to take your craft seriously, there are a few things that you should have when you perform. Here is a quick checklist.
1. A QR-Code.
We’re in 2021, and we’ve been in the digital age for over a decade. So, when technology throws you an alley-oop, it’s your duty to slam dunk it with two hands. In this case, the alley is the QR-Code. I’m willing to bet that 99.9% of the general public owns a smartphone. So, how convenient would it be to show them your QR Code and send your website, merch, or Spokenword tracks right to their phone for easy download? It’s better than telling them your website address and hoping that they visit it later. Let them scan the code and put your stuff right on their screen right away. More sales. More convenience. Welcome to 2021.
2. A Website
This really should be common knowledge, but just in case it isn’t—you should have a website. Everything you do, everything you’re involved in, samples of your Spokenword, your merch, your books—should all be in one convenient location for your fans and future fans. When you talk about branding, your website can be the main force behind people knowing who you are—when they don’t even live in the same country as you. World tour, huh? Get that website going and keep it updated!
3. A Business Card
It may be a bit old school, but business cards are still a thing. Your name, email address, social media handles, or whatever other public information you want to give people access to—should all be on your business card. Get an excellent design, a matte or glossy finish, and you’re in there.
4. Professional Photo Shoot
Ok, the selfies are cool, especially the one with you posing on your birthday. And the one with you standing in your breezeway outside your apartment is nice. And I really love the one of you posted on your Camaro in your driveway. But, if you want people to take you as a professional, you need professional photos. You don’t have to go all out, either. Even some of the newer iPhones and Droids have EXCELLENT depth-of-feel photography. You can take some with your camera, and it can LOOK professional—and the look is all that matters.
Ok. It’s cool that you can spit, and you got bars. But, what are you giving to the people besides your poetry? It has to be more—, and it should be more. Monetize your words. Increase your brand awareness. Create t-shirts with some of your most popular phrases. Write books (plural). Create SpokenWord projects and stream the tracks. You can do so much with what you have, and you need merch/product if you’re going to create multiple streams of income from your brand.
These are just five things to build your foundation, but there’s more. Build your brand as a poet, make access to you as convenient as possible for your fans, and always have the mindset of creating multiple income streams. Sure, you’re in this for the love of SpokenWord, and I get that. But, it doesn’t hurt to make a little bread while you’re here.