One of the main reasons I started blogging back in 2011 was that I wanted to play more organ recitals.
In Vilnius we only have 2 churches which regularly hold organ recitals - Vilnius University St. John's church and St. Casimirus church. The Cathedral and the Lutheran church might also from time to time invite people to perform but opportunities are rare.
I also traveled extensively throughout Lithuania with my educational organ demonstrations but I wanted to play more of standard organ concert repertoire which wouldn't necessarily sound well on our small village-type historical organs. And this for the most part could only be achieved on organs outside Lithuania.
At the time I was relatively unknown in the global organ world. Yes, I've had a number of international friends who were organists on Facebook and LinkedIn but our connection wasn't strong enough to get me invited to play organ recitals to foreign countries (I had played a few recitals abroad which were organized by my close friends and colleagues, though).
So I started to think outside the box. I thought why some people get invited to play organ recitals while others don't?
It turns out that the principle behind this selection process is the same as selling - people only buy from people whom they know, like and trust. Likewise concert organizers only invite organists whom they know, like and trust.
Just think for a second here:
Would you invite some completely unheard-of organist who sent you an email asking to play a recital in your festival?
Would you invite an organist who you know but you don't like (either personally or professionally)?
And lastly, would you invite to your festival or concert series someone who for some reason violated your trust or never earned it in the first place?
All those messages go straight into your Spam folder, don't they?
So #1 question in my mind was this:
How can I become a trusted organist in my circle?
And the answer turned out really simple but difficult to swallow: the only way that somebody will ever trust me personally or professionally is if I provide value and help them achieve their goals.
This was an aha-moment for me. A light-bulb turned on in my brain and I started asking even further: how can I help people in the organ world achieve their dreams?
Well, that's when everything fell into place.
I started blogging and helping people to learn how to play the organ.
Slowly my expertise grew and not only I got a benefit of teaching people about organ playing but also I started to receive invitations to play organ recitals.
Not at first, though. It was a gradual process.
But I was quite surprised when I was contacted by the organizers of Liepaja International Organ Music Festival from Latvia to perform in this festival on their world's largest unreconstructed mechanical organ (see video 1 and video 2).
After that invitations started flowing. It was all due to the daily value I provided to the people around the world in my Secrets of Organ Playing blog.
What about you?
Do you also want to play more organ recitals but just like me live in an area with few venues?
Then you also need to find a way to travel internationally and get more opportunities to play wonderful organs in various countries.
To get those opportunities, just like me you also need to find a way to increase the trust level you have in the organ world.
And to increase the trust, you have to help your target audience - people who are organizing organ recitals (usually other organists).
Blogging for organists is an amazing way to get more opportunities to perform organ recitals because over time when you share your work, ideas and the process and behind-the-scenes work that leads to organ recital your reach expands and your audience grows and your trust level deepens.
By the way, have you been invited to play an organ recital recently? What helped you to receive this invitation?
Share your thoughts in the comments.