Incredibly successful media mogul Oprah Winfrey does it all –highest rated television talk show in history, Oprah’s Book Club, O Magazine, the Oprah Boutique, the Oxygen TV Network, and even philanthropy with Oprah’s Angel Network. But she didn’t start out that way. Oprah had humble beginnings in rural Mississippi. She began her broadcast journalism career in high school and anchored the news at a Nashville TV station at 19 years old. She continued her climb up the TV ladder until the creation of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Since then, she has added to her success with supplemental income through other avenues.
So what does Oprah’s story have to do with you? We all have the ability to boost our storytelling income through “storyselling.” Residual earnings through book, CD, and merchandise sales can significantly boost your income. In addition, you can also explore the possibility of a consulting career in addition to your storytelling career.
Become an author. You don’t necessarily have to find a “big time” publisher to author a book. Informational booklets and handbooks are perfect for a niche market like storytelling. You can sell your books through your website and email newsletter. If you have a book with a traditional publisher, ask for a vendor account so that you can purchase the books at wholesale discount. Then offer it for sale on your website and through your email newsletter.
The sales of audio books are booming! Cash in on the listening trend and record a CD. Sell your CD stageside after shows, offer it for sale on your website, find audio CD distributors such as Book Wholesalers Inc., the Book House, Follet Audio-Visual, or the AV Café. Place your CD in stores: local record stores, bookstores, specialty boutiques, and toy stores are great places. On the web, get your CD on CDBaby.com and Amazon.com.
If you ever go to a concert, bands always have their merchandise for sale – hats, t-shirts, buttons, stickers, you name it. When fans love your work, they want to buy your merchandise. Wearable promo also gives you greater visibility as your fans advertise your name and logo.
Susan O’Halloran takes her groundbreaking work in storytelling beyond the traditional venues. She works as a diversity consultant to corporations, boosting her visibility as an expert as well as her income. As a consultant, you can also write manuals, teach classes, and coach people. Knowledge is a hot commodity and people will pay top dollar for it. So what is your area of expertise? How can you turn what you know into what you sell?
Jeri Goldstein, author of How to Be Your Own Booking Agent, says, “As a creative individual, you have the opportunity to bring that light which sparks your art into your business and fashion the career you have dreamed about. Practice the art of doing business and your business will allow you to practice your art.”