Marketing isn’t something you do when you are done with the work.
You can’t afford to wait until everything else is in its place to promote your art. You must be marketing consistently.
Marketing is more than taking out an ad or sending an email. Marketing is a combination of everything you do to sell or to gain recognition for your art. Everything.
There will be times when you must focus on the work in the studio, which means there is no room in your life for marketing tasks. But something is amiss if this drags on for weeks without attention to your business.
Don’t wait until you’re finished with a body of work before you start marketing it. Think about marketing daily. Actually, do more than think. DO your marketing daily – as you go.
You don’t want to wake up one day with the realization, Not again! I forgot to market my art! By this point, it’s probably too late to get the results you want.
Don’t think of marketing as separate from your art. Marketing is the final step of making: sharing your art with others.
But it’s more than that.
If you want to teach, you need a pool of potential students.
You need a following. And a following suggests there is a leader. If you expect people to sign up for your classes or buy your how-to book, you must step up and be the leader.
You’ve got to position yourself as an expert.
Becoming known for your skills is not an overnight process. It’s a process that you must be dedicated to and in it for the long haul.
I built Art Biz Coach using all of the tactics I share below. I think it would be harder to start my business today because the market is much noisier than when I opened back in 2002.
Your market is also robust. There are more people seeking instruction, and there are a lot more artists who are teaching in their own studios, in art centers and supply stores, and online.
In business terms, this presents both a threat and an opportunity. The threat is that more people are competing for students. The opportunity is that you can differentiate yourself.
The distinguishing characteristics of a successful, independent art teacher are:
At last week’s Social Sharing Savvy training sessions, I received numerous questions along these lines:
“How can I get more subscribers/followers/fans?”
Watch the language you use and the energy around it. In particular, I’m worried about using the g-word: get.
“Get” could mean anything. It could mean that you buy a list or sleazily grab email addresses from people who didn’t ask to hear from you.
To my ears, getting sounds greedy and aggressive. With get, the emphasis seems to be on quantity rather than quality.
It sounds like you’re only interested in the marketing numbers when you should be far more interested in connecting with people who, in turn, want to connect with your art. You don’t just want numbers. You want the right individuals to add up to those numbers.
Stop looking for shortcuts. Start doing the hard (and much more interesting) work of caring about people and connecting with them authentically.
Instead of getting, focus on attracting.
3 Steps to Attracting People to Your List of Followers
It’s a Memorial Day tradition at Art Biz Coach to offer a list of reminders for your art business.
This is a twist on that tradition.
With inspiration from the stage of Copyblogger’s Authority Rainmaker conference, I opened up my notes and share my biggest takeaways with you.
The thing to remember about live events, books, and even online classes is that not everything shared is going to apply to you. You’re either not ready to receive it, you’re past its relevance in your growth, or it doesn’t match your business model.
You have to look for the nuggets in these situations. I find that there is usually at least one thing from each talk, lesson, or chapter that is worth the investment.
Here are some of the highlights worth remembering.
At the mastermind retreats with my coach and mentor, everyone in the group receives a “hot seat,” where we are given the opportunity to tackle one big issue in our businesses.
For my hot seat, I chose to talk about my brand.
I drop a cat photo every so often as I share peeks of my everyday life. Dharma is exploring her new cat cave, but can’t quite commit to being all in. Are you all in on your brand?
To prepare the group, I reminded them of some of the websites and programs associated with my business:
Art Biz Coach (website and business name since 2002) Art Biz Blog (blog since 2004) Art Biz Makeover (live event) Art Biz Bootcamp (online class) Organize Your Art Biz (online class) Art Biz Lift Off (online class and self-study)
Stop waiting for the famous gallery dealer to call you up. Stop waiting for the artist agent-fairy to wave her wand. Stop waiting to win the lottery.
©2014 Claire Browne, Stem. Mixed media, 7 x 3 feet. Used with permission.
Start taking charge.
You have to plan for business growth. It doesn’t happen on its own. Nobody cares about your success more than you do, and nobody can do a better job marketing your art than you can.
Here are five steps for taking charge of your art marketing, which will send you well on your way to getting what you want from your art career.
1. Write down what you want.
Many people don’t get the life they really want because they haven’t taken the time to define it. They haven’t asked for it!
Steve Cranford, Creative Chairman of the New York agency WHISPER, was my guest in the Art Biz Incubator last week.
When I asked him in the interview why in the world a marketing firm would be called WHISPER instead of SHOUT, he replied: “The most important information you can share is whispered one-on-one.” Tweet this
Think about it.
When you take out an ad or post to your blog and social media sites, you are broadcasting to the world. You would love it if thousands of people see your message.
Because of this public forum, the language is less personal than if you were to have a private conversation. And therein lies the power of the whisper.
Anatomy of a Whisper
A client told me she was getting great results for her special sale by contacting people
One of the biggest excuses artists give for not being in more frequent contact with their lists is that they don’t want to bother people. You know what it’s like to receive tons of email and don’t want to contribute to the overwhelm.
I understand. Even though everyone on your list has opted in to hear from you, it still doesn’t feel right to email so many people if you haven’t established a marketing groove.
There’s a solution: Send emails only to people for whom they are appropriate. In other words, target your messages rather than sending every email to every person on your list.
All of the attendees at my Nashville workshop are grouped together on my list. Photo courtesy of Mary Claire Crow
Email marketing platforms like Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Emma have the capability to segment