How to Build a Student Following - Online and Off

How to Build a Student Following

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:

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How To Attract More Followers to Your List

How to Attract More Followers

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

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34 Marketing Insights from the Authority Rainmaker Conference

Marketing Insights from the Authority Rainmaker Conference

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.

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Is Your Brand Missing You?

Dharma is exploring her new cat cave, but can’t quite commit to being all in. Are you all in on your brand?

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

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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.

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.

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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

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5 Steps to Take Charge of Your Art Marketing (and Why You Must)

©2014 Claire Browne, Stem. Mixed media, 7 x 3 feet. Used with permission.

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

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Activate Your Marketing for a Bigger Audience

Yellow Male Cat

Is your marketing too passive? Are you putting your art out there and hoping someone will see it, buy it, or give you a show?

Jack isn’t always interested in being active.

I’ll confess that I’ve become complacent with my marketing. I write my blog posts every week and post to Facebook and Twitter. Then I sit back and wait for something to happen.

And I rely too much on my existing list without reaching out to new potential audiences.

Fortunately, my coach is correcting my ways. She’s amazed that I have had such good results, and pointed out that I could help a lot more people if only I’d become more active with my marketing.

This got me thinking about all of the passive marketing that

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A Solution for the Mailing List Conundrum

The sign-up form for this newsletter on the Art Biz Coach home page.

Have you been baffled by what to do with the two lists that many artists have: one list for newsletters and a second one for blog posts?

My predicament (and solution) might be of interest.

Please read on even if you don’t have this issue because I’m sharing big news that affects your Art Biz Coach and Art Biz Blog subscriptions.

For years I have been struggling with confused artists who don’t understand the difference between subscribing to the Art Biz Blog and subscribing to my Art Biz Insider newsletter. I get it!

The sign-up form for this newsletter on the Art Biz Coach home page.

I was confused myself. What do I post on the blog? What do I save for the newsletter?

Many of you probably struggle with the

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Instant Relief from the Pressure of Pitching Your Art

wand

Poof! That’s the sound of the pressure vanishing like magic. That pressure of trying to hit a home run when you contact someone about your work. Maybe it’s an email to an interior designer, a meeting with an art consultant, or a letter to a gallerist. You want them to show your art, buy your work, or represent you.

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