Just One Thing.
Last week I taught a great group of artists a workshop called “Marketing and Self-Promotion for Artists.” I offer an art business workshop each month through a local art venue. However, there’s a problem with marketing. The problem is there are so many ways to market, so many tried and true ways, that, if you’re a beginner, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. I’ll be honest with you…the more types of marketing you do, the more success you’re likely to have. But, if you’re an artist, being in the studio is probably at the forefront of your priorities….not marketing your work. Can’t you just hire someone to do it for you?
To know if hiring someone to market your work is a good option, answer this question –
Who cares more about the success of your art career than you do?
Most likely you’ve answered, “No one! I care more than anyone else possibly could!” That’s why YOU need to have some idea of how to market your own artwork.
So what should you do?
Far be it from me to “should” on other people. There are a lot of activities you can do to get your marketing program up and running, from creating your website to making new contacts and networking (just fancy jargon for “meeting people”). You could produce marketing materials like business cards and brochures, volunteer for some art events, or jump on every social media platform known to man. If you did all this, how could you possibly have time to paint, sculpt, create? Hey, if I could create ANYTHING, it might be more time (click to Tweet).
As I introduced different ways to market last weekend, I noticed my class began to look somewhat like game on the African plain. It’s not that they were sticking together or peacefully grazing, no. Their eyes got big and their bodies got tense and twitchy. Really, I’m not a predator, not really. See? So I followed with….
“Just choose one thing.”
Even when choosing “just one thing” concerns arose:
- I don’t have the resources
- I’m not clear on my vision
- I don’t have the money
- I don’t know how
- I don’t have time
Yep…that time shortage showed up over and over. “I don’t have time. “ Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but if you don’t want to be your own biggest collector, you’d better make time.
We artists love doing art. It’s those “other things” we don’t want to do. Well, here’s the tough truth…being a business person doesn’t mean you only practice your core craft, it means you work in every aspect of making that craft a business. You wear many hats. This means you do the banking and book keeping, you take care of the inventory, you do the marketing and look for opportunities to show your work. You apply for the proper licenses and pay your taxes. You may even go as far as doing framing, photographing and packaging your own work. When you are rich and famous you can have others do it, but initially, you’re your guy. (click to Tweet)
I’ve talked before about how to structure your work. You don’t have to spend a ton of time marketing, but you should spend some time marketing every day, or at the least a couple times per week. I usually schedule it in the morning, because my brain hasn’t booted up yet, and I know once I get into the studio it’ll take wild horses to drag me away. So, man up…or, er. woman up and schedule some regular time for marketing your work. Identify the task that will have the most positive impact and take the dive! Don’t get overwhelmed. There are a lot of choices, not a lot of demands. “You see, marketing is like a man wearing moisturizer – if you’re not doing it, just a little can make a huge difference.” (click to Tweet)
Get the support you need, and choose one thing. Then let us know how it goes right here. We’re all on your side. You’ve got this.
Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter
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To learn more about my professional development workshops go to my coaching page or contact Blue Line Arts