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:
No more repetitive emails, please.
Your art exhibition, class, workshop, or event has so many facets that there is no reason to send the same emails and social media posts for your promotions. They get a little stale after awhile.
Years ago, Marcia Yudkin wrote a guest post for me on this topic. It was an article she originally wrote for her readers that got me interested.
I still think about that article and keep that list as a reference. It’s time to revisit its premise for you, my artist readers.
Here are plenty of ways to promote your exhibition, event, or teaching.
Many of these suggestions lend themselves to emails. Others could easily be used on social media. Use your noggin to decide.
Exhibition or Event Enticements
Rotate images of your art with short 2- or 3-sentence stories for each.
Do this for two reasons: 1) people are more likely to get excited about a show when they know what they’ll see and
A checklist can keep you on task for your exhibition.
The tasks on your checklist, and the deadlines you give them, will depend on the following:
– The type of exhibition (juried, self-curated, open studio)
– If the venue is in charge of sales and refreshments or if that’s up to you
– Whether you’re showing with other artists
– How much time you have to plan
Do It Now
Set a goal. What would you like to have happen at this exhibition or as a result of it?
Plan your budget. How much can you afford to spend on materials and framing? How much can you allocate to promotions, printing, and a reception?
Identify a theme and
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.
If you’ve ever questioned the reason for making art, you’re not alone.
After a particularly rough time, you might catch yourself asking, “What’s the point?” You might even begin to see your work as frivolous.
With so much bad news being printed and broadcasted, it’s easy to overlook the bigger picture. These thoughts might enter your head:
Shouldn’t I be out there saving people?
Shouldn’t I be waging peace and protecting the environment?
These are noble pursuits, but are they why you, in all of your magnificence, were put on earth?
After being asked these questions by a number of students and clients, I thought of at least eight reasons why you should be making art.
You might be making mistakes in your art business that are holding you back from big growth.
Mistakes aren’t bad, and I don’t want you to feel like you have to be perfect in everything you do because seeking perfection is a sure way to be paralyzed by fear. We have to make mistakes in order to learn and to grow.
Mistakes are only detrimental if you keep repeating them without learning and correcting your ways.
Are you making any of these mistakes?
1. Not knowing where you want to go with your career.
I’m not talking about the need to have a specific plan, but I’ve noticed how few artists, especially when they’re just starting out, don’t “get” that running a business is serious stuff. You’re no longer making art for pure pleasure.
Everything changes when you start asking for money in return for your talents. For some artists, it changes for the better and you’re fired up to get your art out there. Other artists can’t stomach the pressure and lose all interest in making art. They can’t seem to get into the studio.