Single-Tasking Is The Answer for Improved Productivity

Would you like to get more done in less time? Then quit multitasking!

Multitasking is working on diverse tasks simultaneously and, usually, doing them all half-heartedly: driving and talking on the phone; attending a webinar and responding to email; or writing a blog post and texting.

Research shows that only about 2.5% of college students can multitask effectively. Two point five percent!

©2011 Corrina Sephora, Hull Trilogy (dtl). Mixed media. Used with permission.

Studies now show that multitasking is a myth. You simply can’t give your attention to more than one thing at a time.

Health magazine gives 12 reasons to kick the habit, including the insight that multitasking dampens your creativity: “… multitaskers often find it harder to daydream and generate spontaneous ‘a ha moments’.”

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Let It Go: Delegating Responsibility

©Tara Pappas, The Release. Mixed media, 12 x 6 inches. Used with permission.

©Tara Pappas, The Release. Mixed media, 12 x 6 inches. Used with permission.

The biggest lesson from last week’s Art Biz Makeover: Let go of control.

After several discussions with my guests, it was clear that few people were willing to bring others into their art businesses.

When someone asked me if I ever slept, I happily responded that I got 8 hours sleep the night before. Really. And I did it because I hired people that I trust to stuff the goodie bags, get the name badges together, staff the registration table, select the music, order the food, and put out fires.

Delegate Responsibility

I learned a long time ago that if I was going to build my business to be more profitable, I was going to have to trust others.

I have read

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How I Screwed Up My Pitch and What You Can Learn From My Colossal Error

©Lisa Cirenza, Tubers. Acrylic and oil on board, 70 x 100 centimeters. Used with permission.

Tomorrow is the final day of this year’s Art Biz Makeover event, and I have scheduled a special session on pitching your art that includes a panel of art world folks who are pitched to by artists all of the time.

©Lisa Cirenza, Tubers. Acrylic and oil on board, 70 x 100 centimeters. Used with permission.

As I was preparing for this event, I approached someone that I wanted to sit on this panel of art experts. I broke all of my rules for pitching ideas to people and couldn’t have screwed up the situation worse than I did.

Here’s how it went down in an only slightly edited, simplified version.

Me: We’ve never met, but I teach artists how to build their businesses. I’d like to stop by and introduce myself.

Other person: I don’t see how

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Schedule Something Scary and Extraordinary

©Joey Feldman, Vicious. Pen and ink on paper, 28 x 20 inches. Used with permission

It’s scary to step up – to think bigger about what you’re capable of – and that’s exactly what I’ll be asking of attendees at Art Biz Makeover next week.

There’s very little motivation in the daily grind: update Facebook, schedule a few tweets, send a newsletter, write a blog post, work in studio. If you’re not careful, you’ll continue to go through the motions of life without doing something extraordinary for your art and for yourself.

©Joey Feldman, Vicious. Pen and ink on paper, 28 x 20 inches. Used with permission.

In honor of the witching season, I ask you to scare yourself a little. Give yourself a challenge that motivates you to get out of bed and into the studio every day. Take on a quest.

Anatomy of a Quest (with Examples)

According to Chris Guillebeau, author of The Happiness

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Who You Are and What You Do

what-you-do-550

Alert subscriber Clay Cantrell sent me the quote in this image some months ago, saying that it reminded him of me.

The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. [Tweet this.]

I tracked down the quote to, as best I can tell, fitness guru Bill Phillips.

I wanted to share this with you because I can’t think of a quote that is more inspirational for me right now, and I hope it serves you.

Who I Am

You know me as someone who is a no-excuse-action-taking-don’t-stop-working kinda gal. I have never had a problem taking action.

But that’s only a tiny part of WHO I want to be.

Who I Want To Be

Over the past few years, I have loosely been seeking some form of spirituality. “Seeking” isn’t really the right word.

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17 Surprising Ways to Lure People to Your Website

©Julie Gowing Hayes, Party Barge. Oil on linen panel, 20 x 30 inches. Used with permission.

The darnedest thing about having a website: just because you build it doesn’t mean people will come.

Creating a website is just the first step. Now you have to get people to visit it, and driving traffic to your site is an ongoing task. It should always be top of mind.

©John-Michael Korpal, Twig Balloons. Mixed media, 6 x 8 feet. Used with permission.

See if you could add some of these ideas to your marketing mix and get more eyes on your art.

Best, Basic Practices

1. Write a newsletter article with a hook, which requires recipients to visit your site to read the end of the article.

2. Tell people why they should click. What’s in it for them?

3. Give something away to people who visit your site and sign up for your list.

3. Mention your website address

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What Your Art Business Will Cost You

Maggie Ruley’s Key West studio. Used with permission.

When you own your own business, it’s important to look at expenses as well as income in order to remain profitable.

I looked into various (not all – not even education or supplies and materials!) expenses for artists and thought it might be interesting to share the results. Feel free to add to our completely unscientific list in a comment on the Art Biz Blog.

Maggie Ruley’s Key West studio. Used with permission.

Studio Space

These numbers are based on responses I received through Twitter and Facebook. (sf = square feet)

Central Virginia (476sf): $355/month Key West, FL (750sf – 3 rooms): $1600 for studio + store front

Ravenswood, Chicago, IL (600+ sf): $540/month Downtown Chicago, IL (sf n/a): $485/month Gages Lake, IL (1200sf): $500/month with utilities

Albuquerque, NM (175sf): $200/mo in nonprofit art center, includes utilities, not air-conditioned Colorado Springs, CO (400sf): $455 includes utilities

San Francisco, CA (154sf):

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This Is Only A Test: Marketing Experiments to Improve Results for Your Art Business

Painting by M. Jane Johnson

You are undoubtedly investing a lot of time and resources into your art business: websites, blogs, social media, newsletters, postcards, and more. As an entrepreneur interested in earning money from your art, you want to understand what’s working and what isn’t.

©C. Tanner Jensen, L’Air du Temps II. Oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches. Used with permission.

Every marketing effort should be a test. Nothing on your plate should be considered sacred.

You aim for increasingly better results. Test it!

What brings you the most clicks? What has given you the most shares on Facebook? What did you send that encouraged immediate responses from recipients?

Here’s a list of numerous things you might want to test to improve your results.

Online

Your goals: more visitors, more page views, more time on your site, more sales.

Increase the size of the image. Decrease the size of the

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Attract More Blog Traffic

Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson blog post

This article is an edited excerpt from the soon-to-be-released newest edition of I’d Rather Be in the Studio.

This Quick-Start Manual outlines the key areas you need to work on if you want more blog visitors. And who doesn’t want more blog visitors?

Focus on Content

More than anything else, good content will attract people to your blog. Create a regular schedule – perhaps once a week in the beginning – of writing and posting images of your art. Readers need to know they can depend on you.

Feature other people on your blog, like loyal blogger Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson did (above image). It encourages those people to share with their followers. I was so happy to see this nice write-up of my visit with

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Afraid of Sending Too Many Emails to Your List?

©2013 Nadia Nadege, Caminus. Mixed media on wood, 42 x 62 inches. Used with permission.

You have a lot going on. Back-to-back-to-back exhibitions, openings, and events.

How do you make sure the people on your list receive invitations without bugging them too much?

©2013 Nadia Nadege, Caminus. Mixed media on wood, 42 x 62 inches. Used with permission.

Building on my recent article about a schedule for your marketing tasks, I thought it might be helpful to cover a schedule for email – specifically for those times when you have a packed calendar.

Newsletter Content

Your newsletter or ezine is sent on schedule no matter what. If you promise monthly, you send it monthly, which, by the way, is a good timetable for most artists.

Your newsletter is for keeping your name in front of your list and building a relationship with the people on it. Most newsletters have multiple articles or sections, including an upcoming calendar of

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