With thousands of stage managers and tens of thousands of unique visitors every month, SMNetwork is a prime target for software developers, tool manufacturers and other sellers of tech theatre stuff that might interest stage managers. We have this nice "tools of the trade" board that seems to be a good place for advertisers to promote their stuff. We're still waiting on the perfect killer app for stage management. But SMNetwork doesn't permit advertising, except from donors, and even then it has to be for non-profit charity events only. New members' links are mangled to prevent search engine optimization. So how do you bring your product to the attention of all of these stage managers? Well, we have some suggestions.
1. Register and post an introduction to our Intros board.
2. Spend at least a week reading about how we do things - especially the rules, and also some of our reactions to other products that people have brought to our attention. Some people have succeeded. Others have flubbed it really badly. Learn from their success/failure.
3. Designate the person in your company who knows the most about stage management to be your liaison to SMNetwork. They don't have to write well. They do need to be friendly.
4. Before you post anything that might even be remotely construed as advertising, send the text of your post to a member of the staff via the PM system. We know what will get removed for looking spammy.
5. This is a discussion board. If you introduce a product, do so in a way that allows discussion, feedback, critique and commentary.
6. Make sure your product is useful for stage managers. Do not attempt to sell us something made for directors, actors, or musicians and expect it to be useful for us as well. Our job is wholly different from any of the above.
7. The most successful promoters have offered us the opportunity to participate in beta tests, talk with the developers or otherwise help in the creation and tailoring of the final product so that it's actually something we can use. Stage managers like to build teams and fix things. This lets us do both and will help to build interest in your stuff in a far more organic way.
8. If you have any affiliation with the product you are trying to promote, you MUST disclose the affiliation. Better to come clean and say "this is made by my friend's brother's uncle" or "I worked on a show with the person who makes these items" than to have us catch you in it later on.
Here are some things not to do:
1. Please do not include a link to your product in your very first post.
2. Please do not pretend to be a regular Joe who "just happens" to like your product, when you're actually trying to sell it. Stage managers make a living out of being able to tell when professional liars are lying. We can see through you. You will be called out for it and banned.
3. Please do not assume you know what we do for a living unless you've actually done it.
4. Don't mention your product in your username, your posts, your intro, your personal messages, or your signature until you've made at least 10-15 posts as just a regular person. On any other site you'd need to pay real money to advertise. We require content, and a demonstration that you're personally invested and interested in the stage management community, instead of cash.
5. Stage managers are individualists and accustomed to a certain level of authority and respect in our work. Please do not treat us as if we are sheep, mass consumers, or stupid.
These rules are non-negotiable. No exceptions.