The Only Gift You Need to Build Your Mailing List

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What I love most about the holidays isn’t receiving gifts. It’s giving them.

I love everything about the process: from trying to find the perfect gift for a special person on my list, to wrapping it and watching them open it.

I throw parties and give “lovely parting gifts” to our guests (as if the party wasn’t enough). I decorate envelopes to delight recipients.

The thrill of gift giving is sacred in my book.

Unfortunately, when building a business, giving gifts can be tarnished by the giver wanting or expecting something in return. It’s part of the list-building process.

In return for your email address, I offered 6 free video lessons or perhaps a checklist, special report, or webinar at some point.

These presents are easy for me to deliver because I offer a service. I have loads of content that will help you gain recognition and sell more art.

It’s harder for artists to offer gifts in return for email addresses.

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Planners and Bullet Journals (Curious Monday)

Planning for Artists

It’s getting to be the time of year when we start looking for new calendars and planners for the New Year.

I am highly reliant on my electronic calendar and task lists, but I’ve never given up paper for the daily to-dos. And I’m constantly refining how I use each piece in the planning process.

What Do You Use?

How do you keep track of your schedule, projects and tasks?

What do you have on paper? What’s your preferred method for using paper? Notebooks? Journals? Daytimers? Bullet journals?

What is kept electronically? What programs do you rely on to keep you focused?

Please share in a comment below.

When you’re finished commenting here, please hop over to my Facebook page and share a pic of your planner with the top post.

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What Are You Grateful For (Curious Monday)

Painting of a feather by Rebecca Finch

Every morning in my morning meditation, I include a moment of gratitude. I want to remember my blessing and honor the people who have come into my life and the things that make my life easier than most of the world’s population.

I truly believe that we don’t get more yumminess until we appreciate what we already have.

With that in mind … What/Who are you grateful for during this week of Thanksgiving?

Share the love in a comment here.

Know this: I am grateful for your trust. Always.

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Your Weekly Self-Promotion Routine

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The Artist’s No-Excuse Weekly Self-Promotion Routine is printed on the inside cover of the 2011 edition of my book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio.

Five years is a long time in this fast-paced world, so it’s time to update that list and make it workable for late-2016.

A Sample Weekly Self-Promotion Routine

There is such a thing as a promotional campaign, but mostly I want you to think about your promotions as ongoing. You’re consistently sharing your art with the world. It’s a routine you commit to.

Perhaps it would be helpful to see what a self-promotion routine could look like. But before we get into it, I have a note of caution.

Don’t take this literally. This is just an example.

I don’t mean to imply that you should do these tasks on the day of the week that I assigned them to. Obviously, you should move things around to work with your schedule and goals.

Nor do I want you to think that you need to do all of these tasks every week. You might select one or two under each day for the current week.

Make it work for you!

As you work on your self-promotion routine, remember

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5 Reasons You’re Not Making Enough Money in Your Art Business

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When your income doesn’t match your aspirations, it’s easy to blame everyone but yourself.

But my students and clients understand that you have to accept 100% responsibility for your results when you want to be successful.

With that in mind, let’s look at 5 reasons why you may not be reaching your income goals.

1. You’re out to lunch.

What I mean by this is that your head just isn’t in the game. You enjoy making art, but you aren’t quite committed to turning it into a business.

The thought of the work required to run a business, or even the thought of finding out what might be required, is more than you can handle. So you ignore it.

It might not always be this way, but until you confront the truths about making money from your art, it ain’t gonna happen for ya.

2. You’re out of mojo.

We have all been in this dark place. The Universe rudely cuts the source of energy and magic that has been propelling us along.

Sometimes it happens after an opening or after a show comes down.

Other times,

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Aligning Actions with Words = Success

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Do your actions align with your words?

What I mean is: if you say that you want a successful art career, are you doing what it takes? Or are you exerting the minimum effort without any thought of your future?

If you say you want one thing, but aren’t taking action to support that one thing, you are out of alignment. You’re confusing the Universe – probably because you have mixed feelings yourself.

If you proclaim that you want a successful art career, I have six questions to to ensure that your actions align with your dreams.

1. Do you maintain a regular studio practice?

I don’t mean to imply that you have to be in the studio from 8:00am to 5:00pm every day for six days a week. I’m just asking if the art is getting made.

Without the art, you are not an artist. Without the art, you have nothing to promote.

Without the art, a successful art career just ain’t happenin’.

2. Are you promoting your art consistently?

Or are you promoting your art only when you feel like it?

Consistent promotion doesn’t equal bombarding your list and followers with your art. It’s about having a schedule and sticking to it rather than marketing whenever it strikes your fancy.

If you’re a dabbler, you have the luxury of marketing whenever you want to.

If you want a successful art career, you have to get over the idea that

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Why You Should Raise the Prices of Your Art and How to Do It

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Two things are certain when it comes to pricing your art.

First, it’s a struggle for most artists.

The difficulty with pricing art is legendary. You’re not the only one who doesn’t have it all figured out. Even if you’re confident in your prices today, it’s almost guaranteed that you will question them again within a few weeks or months. You heard it here first.

Second, there’s a good chance that your prices are too low.

Many artists – especially those who are just starting out – undervalue their art. Their work isn’t priced correctly to be able to split 50% of the sale with a gallerist or art consultant.

Artists who price their work too low are making things difficult for other artists who are pricing their work appropriately for the market and who need to make a living from sales.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you would be happier getting higher prices for your art. Yes?

But you don’t know if your art warrants it or if this is the right time. Right? You’re scared to make the wrong move.

Fear not! Here are 5 reasons to raise your prices and how to do it.

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How Do You Use Video? (Curious Monday)

Debra Disman Mural

Loyal reader Debra Disman says that she would love to see how artists are using video.

Please tell us!

What is the focus/subject of your videos?

How long are they?

Where do you post them?

What kind of results do they bring you?

Do you have help or do you do it yourself?

What have you learned about the process?

Feel free to add a link to your video.

Don’t do video? Share your favorites in a comment.

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Making a Living as a Teaching Artist (Podcast)

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The secret to making a living as an artist is that there are no secrets. Artists find their own paths and each path is unique.

There are some qualities, however, that you must have:

– Stamina
– Ambition
– Motivation
– Talent
– Resilience
– Boundaries

And … a willingness to learn, adapt, and grow.

It also helps to have a positive outlook, people skills, and a grateful heart.

Elizabeth St. Hilaire has all of these – in spades. I have always admired her business savvy and work ethic.

I was delighted to spend 3 days with her recently. During a hike together, where we talked mostly about art and business, I blurted, Hey! We should do a podcast while you’re here.

So we did.

In this podcast, Elizabeth breaks down where she generates income (teaching, licensing, art sales, books, and DVDs). She also outlines the various teaching models that are available to artists today.

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How to Write a Want Ad That Attracts the Perfect Assistant

Elisha Dasenbrock portrait of eyes

You thought …

It sure would be great to have someone help me with my art business. Any old warm body will be better than nothing.

Boy! I am going to have all of this extra time to work on my art and I won’t have to do anything else. (Scene setup: I think you were smoking somethin’.)

So you hired an assistant to work in your studio or office. Either would be fine with you.

Hooray! Your first hire.

Fast forward to the inevitable:

Yikes! What was I thinking? This person can’t do anything right and I’m spending too much time teaching him.

Wait just one minute.

It’s not the employee’s fault if he’s not a good fit. It’s your fault because you didn’t hire correctly in the first place.

Assistants can’t do a good job if they don’t know what’s expected of them.

The onus is on you, the employer, to get super clear on the person you want and need to help your art career grow.

You won’t get the right person until you’re certain what you want from them.

So stop deluding yourself that any warm body will do. The any-warm-body mentality usually results in wasted time and money.

Use this outline to write an ad that helps you attract the perfect assistant.

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