Get the Gig with Arts-U workshop 

Session for artists, musicians and performers to learn about self-promotion set for March 28 at Maury Young Arts Centre

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ANICK VIOLETTE - Jess Robson is leading the Arts-U workshop Creating Self-Promotion That Gets You the Gig on March 28.
  • Photo by Anick Violette
  • Jess Robson is leading the Arts-U workshop Creating Self-Promotion That Gets You the Gig on March 28.

Jess Robson doesn't like the word authenticity—and for good reason.

"It's become so diluted for me," she says.

Certainly it has been a buzzword in recent years for companies attempting to cut through the noise in our digital age. Instead, Robson—a marketing expert, writer and creative—is drawn to the idea of vulnerability as a way to build trust.

"Vulnerability that comes from an honest place that's told in your voice with stories that you're comfortable sharing that help share your lived experience—that's what's important," she says.

Robson will be leading the Arts Whistler workshop Creating Self-Promotion That Gets You the Gig, running as part of the Arts-U series to offer professional support for artists, musicians and performers, at the Maury Young Arts Centre on Thursday, March 28.

Over the three-hour session, she will help participants craft the right language to promote themselves—whether it's through writing or speaking.

"They will absolutely walk away with a more intimate understanding of the words that best describe their work, their passion, their 'why,'" she says. "They will also have a clear sense and understanding of how to make the process of writing less painful. And, the big aim is they'll feel empowered to bring more of themselves to everything they write."

Robson started out studying commerce at the University of Victoria and was on track to work in HR when she had a "quarter-life crisis."

"I knew I wanted to create and be creative and write, but I didn't know how to do that in a corporate setting," she says.

Instead, she quit her corporate job and started taking on small copywriting gigs. Eventually, that morphed into running her own business helping companies with web copy and other writing.

Her main goal is to tap into the unique voice and tone of each client and help that come through in their self-promotion. "(It's developing) an understanding of what their voice is or their tone is to come to this place of debunking the fact that everything has to sound professional—and digging into a bigger conversation about what you sound like as an individual," Robson says.

While she's primarily worked with businesses, the same skills apply to artists who are trying to connect with clients, book shows or write grants, she adds. "Any time they're in pursuit of having someone say, 'Yes' to their work, that's where I want to leave an impact," she says. "It could be an email introduction, social media, anywhere people market themselves."

The workshop, meanwhile, will teach participants some hands-on skills and allow them to practice honing their voice and writing, with Q and A opportunities throughout.

"They can expect conversation and a collaborative approach to creating together," Robson says. "I tell a bunch of dad jokes. I show up in my full awkwardness and try to be the most honest version of myself. They can expect to be really welcomed to be themselves."

Arts-U: Creating Self-Promotion That Gets You the Gig takes place on Thursday, March 28 at the Maury Young Arts Centre from 6 to 9 p.m.

The event is 19-plus and participants are asked to bring note-taking material. Tickets are $30 for Arts Whistler members and $35 for non-members. Get them at artswhistler.com/arts-u-workshops.

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