|Lyquid Talent website design for dancers (style 5)|
Since I started freelancing, I have taken on many roles. I am no longer just a dancer dancing for my big company employer. My roles as a freelance guest artist include teacher, marketing director, video editor, negotiator, travel agent, writer, editor, social media director, choreographer and so much more. Honestly, I often surprise myself with my ability to learn something foreign to me, often with repeated failure before triumph. I enjoy a challenge and love to relish in the subsequent success. But sometimes I don't have time to figure out something that is immediately important or I absolutely can't figure out whatever task I have in front of me. This is exactly what happened when I was trying to build my website.
As a freelancer, it is important to have a handful of items to market yourself. Aside from this blog, I have business cards, a performance reel, photographs, and my resume. One important tool that I had spent years without was my own personal website. These days people spend more time on the internet than they do most other things. Taking all of my above marketing tools and putting them together in one place on the web is not only efficient, but helpful in expediting my search for work. There was only one problem. I couldn't find the time to figure out the complexities of building my own website.
My partner has always been proactive in pushing me to do things, from completing my Associate of the Arts (AA) degree during my time at PNB to throwing my Contact event for freelancers. He started his own business back in April, Spaces Transformed, and bought a website builder for his business' website. The company that he purchased his site from had a (supposedly simple) drag-and-drop editor. After he spent weeks fighting with the program, he finally created his website (while very nice, it is still very glitchy when trying to edit). A month or so after he had completed his website, he was sent an offer to buy a new domain and one year of hosting from the site. The price was too good to be true, so I reluctantly purchased my domain in the hopes that it would inspire me to finally work on my site. Following that purchase, my domain sat unused for about 4 months. I was simply throwing money down the drain. Once I finally committed to making my site, I felt entirely overwhelmed by the daunting task of understanding the ins and outs of website design. After consulting with a friend who had recently created her own site using wordpress, I quietly gave up and started working on other things to cover up my unwillingness to fight the good fight.
I strongly believe that if you put effort towards making something happen, it will come to fruition in one way or another. In the process of putting together my Contact event, I came across a new website design company, Lyquid Talent. This Chicago-based company had reached out to me a few weeks before I began planning my event. I figured why not give them a call and see if they would be interested in donating a package to be given away to a freelance dancer. I was very pleased after speaking with Jeff Serani, Lyquid Talent CEO, to find that he was greatly supportive of my event and interested in helping current and potential freelance dancers (beyond his goal to give established and aspiring professionals a web presence).
|One of Lyquid Talent's media-friendly styles (style 6)|
|One of Lyquid Talent's more artistic options (style 11)|
Now that my site, BarryKerollis.com, has been up and running for a few months, I have had time to see the many benefits in having a website. When I contact companies to let them know I am available for work, instead of uploading my resume, photos, and providing a link to my performance reel in each email, I just offer the link to my site where each of these items is cleanly organized. This saves me a great amount of time, allowing me to contact more companies. On more than one occasion, directors have complimented me on my beautiful website. I also have a calendar to tell my friends, family, and fans where I will be performing next. Lastly, there is a contact form that allows anybody that wants to reach me, whether a potential employer or fan, to get in touch with me. The benefits of my site outweigh the modest monthly cost for the company to host my site.
As I gain more experience, it becomes more apparent that I can't figure everything out on my own. Lyquid Talent came into my life at the right moment to help increase my visibility, decrease my stress level, and fill a great need. I needed help promoting myself as a freelancer dancer. For company dancers, it could be giving oneself a way of promoting their image beyond the company with which they dance. For students, audition season is quickly approaching and mailing out audition packages can be extremely expensive. With all of this in mind, Jeff and the Lyquid Talent team are allowing me to thank my dedicated readers by giving any dancer that reads my blog a special New Year's offer. From the moment this blog is posted until February 1st, 2013, Lyquid Talent is offering to create your personalized dancer website for $19.99 (88% off), plus the $15/month hosting fee. Just follow this link (SPECIAL OFFER for Life of a Freelance Dancer readers), pick your design, and sign up. Thank you and I hope that this offer will help you start your dance year off on the right foot! Happy New Year!