Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Six Ways to Empower Your New Year

We all get trapped in the flurry of holiday parties, shopping and travel arrangements at this time. It can be quite time consuming and stressful to get it all done. We may even forget about the important things in our lives.

That's why I propose you try the following suggestions before the New Year. It will help you wrap up this year on a high note, and start the right path in the New Year:

1. De-Clutter: This refers to your home, car, purse or life in general! The Chinese technique Feng Shui, teaches that clutter is a major cause of chaos, sickness and stress in our lives, and it constricts the flow of energy. Try winter cleaning--dump those old papers, broken appliances and unused trinkets. According to my sister Annette, an Ayurvedic Educator, it is best to do this during the full moon period (now until December 24!) per Kabbalistic teaching. So get a headstart now!

2. Let Go of Old Baggage: Similar to clutter, holding on to baggage can restrict our energy flow and keep us from moving forward. Forgive those that have hurt you, ask for forgiveness and let go of past grievances or mistakes. Whatever you're holding on to, is it really worth it? You'll feel much better when you lift the weight and move on!

3. Reflect on 2011: Think back on the year--have you been leading the life you want and fulfilling your purpose? What did you do right this year? Remember to celebrate those accomplishments! Did you have any difficult experiences? If you haven't done so yet, turn these into positive opportunities to grow and learn.  

4. Set 2012 Goals: About a week ago I gave some guidelines for setting goals. I challenge you to have one or two HUGE "Masterpiece" goals that stretch you out of your comfort zone and get you to aim high in 2012. If you need a bit more assistance, download my free "Sketch Your Goals" Guide for making 2012 your best year ever!

5. Rest and Recharge: I know it may be difficult this time of year, but try to take at least a couple of days to do NOTHING. That rest period may be the perfect time to reflect, let go of the past and set goals.

6. Give Back: Make it a point to give during this holiday time. You can donate a few dollars to a cause you care about (such as an arts charity like Artista Foundation), donate your clothes to a Salvation Army drop off, or donate your time to a local soup kitchen or orphanage. It is a wonderful feeling helping others, and you will receive way more in return! 

Do you have any other suggestions to empower you into 2012? I'd love to hear them! 


For more guidance on setting goals, creating a plan for action and leading your best life, check out Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This e-book program presents 12 strategies for success and is designed to motivate you to increase your productivity, reach your goals and ultimately fulfill your purpose! Plus it's a great holiday gift!

For more FREE tips and strategies and to get instant access to the "12 Secrets to Success Strategies" video with more great insight from Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM), sign up now:
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Are You Aiming for the Stars?


Note: Before I forget, check out my newest Coaching Program which starts in a couple of days...July 26 (the day before the Olympics!) to get you big transformation results in just a few weeks, developing a high performance mindset to achieve your dream goal! Hope you can join me, space is limited!  Here's to your success! ~Alex


For my part I know nothing with any certainty,
but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
~Vincent van Gogh

Right here and now I’m giving you permission to aim for the stars with your dreams. Does that sound a bit cheesy? Well I am a motivational coach pushing you to reach your greatest personal and professional success! 

Always aim high with your goals, even if some seem out of reach. The worst that can happen is that you push yourself beyond what you ever imagined possible. Who knows, you may even reach your goals! 

In less than six months, I wrote a book, and can now say I’m an Author. That all started with a vision and a goal. I didn’t want to just keep writing articles; I firmly decided to write a book! Then I followed up and made it happen. 

There’s also the income goal. Whenever I start talking to my clients about earning hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, somehow it gets out of their scope of reality. Is earning this much income really out of your reality? If you’re working in line with your purpose—what I call your Masterpiece Purpose--you deserve to earn all the income to which you aspire. Since you’re getting paid to do what you love anyway, why not earn as much as you want doing it? You must first see yourself worthy of receiving it. 

Essentially, aiming for your real aspirations allows you to truly live a
purposeful life. Although it’s not always about money, focus on what you really want and don’t be afraid to think it, want it or say it. 

When you get some down time, meditate and reflect on your goals. Remember, don't just reach for the trees...aim for the stars!



*If you'd like to further your training, check out one of my upcoming Webinars including Strategic Online Marketing, Branding and Publicity! Sign up now before space fills up!


This article is derived from Ch. 3 on Goals from Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This e-book program presents the 12 most powerful strategies for success and is designed to motivate you to increase your productivity, reach your goals and ultimately fulfill your purpose


For more FREE tips and strategies and to get instant access to the "12 Secrets to Success Strategies" video with more great insight from Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM), sign up now:
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

'Tis the Season to Set Goals!*

On the journey through your life, goals are like your destination points you map out in advance. The first step in determining your goals is to identify what you desire in life. What are your aspirations? What do you wish to accomplish now and in the future? You must determine this first to know what to reach for! 

The trick to setting goals is making them S.M.A.R.T.**: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound: 

Make Goals Specific: Your goals should be as specific as possible. Start with the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, Which and Why. For example, specify that you want to own a three-bedroom, beachside vacation condo in Miami Beach, Florida. Try to be as detailed and visual as possible for each goal.

Make Goals Measurable: Each goal should be measurable in order to evaluate whether you have achieved it or not. For example, a goal to “make more money” is not measurable. How much do you really want to earn? Is it $5,000, $50,000 or $500,000 more per year? Notice what a difference just one zero can make to your goal! It’s easiest to measure goals by associating them with numbers. Ask yourself “How Much?” or “How Many?” for each goal.

Make Goals Attainable: When setting goals, I coach my clients that nothing is outside their realm of possibility. At the same time, your goals shouldn’t be outside of your scope of reality. Ask yourself, how will you accomplish each goal? For example, would you like to have your “dream home” or “dream vacation,” but feel it’s only possible by winning the lottery? If so, these are not realistic goals for you. You don’t want to give up on any goal because it’s not feasible or believable in your mind.

Make Goals Relevant: Make your goals relevant and important for you and your life. Let’s assume your goal is to obtain your Master’s degree. Is this something you really want to accomplish or others want for you? Your goals should always be in your best interest.

Make Goals Time-Bound: Setting time limits for your goals helps you direct your attention on how best to accomplish them. Are you to complete your goal in three months or three years? Set a specific time frame for each goal. With a deadline in mind, you can begin to work backward toward obtaining it by focusing on the steps you need to take now to reach your goal.

When you make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound, you are more likely to commit to accomplish them.

*'Tis the season to reflect on where you are and where you want to go in your life! If you need a bit more assistance, download my free "Sketch Your Goals" Guide for making 2012 your best year ever!

This article is derived from Ch. 3 on Goals from Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This e-book program presents 12 strategies for success and is designed to motivate you to increase your productivity, reach your goals and ultimately fulfill your purpose

For more FREE tips and strategies and to get instant access to the "12 Secrets to Success Strategies" video with more great insight from Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM), sign up now:
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**Citation: Doran, George T. “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives.” Management Review, Nov. 1981, Volume 70, Issue 11, p. 35-36.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

5 Actionable Steps to Brand Yourself Today

I've mentioned before that Branding is a long-term success strategy. The following are 5 actionable steps you can do today to increase your Branding image and recognition.

1. Visualize and set Long-Term Goals - Aim high in all areas of your life, including your success, fame and recognition as you want it. Visualize exactly how you want your life to be. Based on your visualization, write down your goals 5, 10, 15 and 30 years out.

2. Ask your clients for Testimonials/Endorsements - Ask a few of your most satisfied clients for endorsements and post them on your website or newsletter. 

3. Document your work - Think in terms of a retrospective down the road. Document the work you have sold in the past, any awards, honors and press articles received, etc. [Okay this may take more than a day.. perhaps a weekend. But it's worth it!]

4. Do a Google.com search for your name - Make sure the first page of Google.com is all positive or at least factual! Create a Google.com Alert to spot any negative postings associated with your name.  

5. Add tags to any of your websites online - Your tags should include your name and a few keywords that you most want to associate with you. Apart from your website and blog, include tags on YouTube videos, Flickr images, etc.

*If you missed my last webinar, click here to get your free bonus. Or check out more upcoming webinars this month on topics such as Branding on 4/23, Strategic Marketing and Publicity!

This article derived from Ch. 10 on Promotion in Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This e-book presents 12 strategies for success and is designed to motivate you to increase your productivity, reach your goals and ultimately fulfill your purpose

For more FREE tips and strategies and to get instant access to my "12 Secrets to Success Strategies" video, sign up now:
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Are You Creating A Successful Brand?

So you'd like to attract more clients, sell more work and charge higher prices. But then you see yourself falling into the same patterns and routines where you become like everyone else...one of the masses.

Instead, remember the first two of my "3 Keys to Marketing Success": You-niqueability and Memorability. In other words, work on those areas that reflect how you are most unique and memorable. This is part of a strategic and vital Branding effort for your marketing plan. Most people don't ever take the time to concentrate on this. But you are You-nique and memorable!

Branding elevates you and your business by allowing you to:

1. Focus on who you want to be. Your brand identity is based on what you aspire to be, and that should always be forefront on your website, social media presence and marketing campaign. For example, if you aim to sell to a more affluent market, it may not be a good idea to participate in local craft fairs every week.

2. Focus on your You-nique value: There is only one You. That's what people are buying. When you price according to your value, you don't have to give discounts down to the ground to sell your work (unless of course, you are branded as a discount business!). Why should you? You worked hard to create your unique product and deserve to charge what you deserve for it. 

3. Focus on long-term success. You may have to forego some profits in the short-run by not cutting your prices or opting for business practices that may develop over time. Be patient. Branding is not about overnight success, but prolonged, steadily increasing success. It's worth it!

Taking advantage of your You-niqueability and Differentiating yourself will make you irresistible and stand out to your clients. And always maintain confidence in yourself and your abilities! 



This article is derived from Ch. 10 on Promotion of Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This e-book program presents 12 strategies for success and is designed to motivate you to increase your productivity, reach your goals and ultimately fulfill your purpose!

For more FREE tips and strategies and to get instant access to my "12 Secrets to Success Strategies" video, sign up now:
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Are you Scheduling Enough "Recharge" Time?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an Article about how important it is to delegate when you don't have "Enough Time." Recently I found out on Twitter about the "Slow Movement" and the need to slow down, refresh and take back your life! After coming off an energetic launch for my Sculpt Your Life Success Program as well as a myriad of Art Basel events this week, I decided to take a "slow" moment to just calm down and relax. It felt amazing!  

Are you giving yourself enough “recharge” time? Here are some tips for recharging your life: 

1. Schedule “recharge” time in your calendar in advance. That way, other errands or tasks won’t easily distract you. Make your friends and family aware of your schedule so they don’t interrupt you during your “recharge” hours. As an entrepreneur, I can work all day but since I love what I do, I don’t see all of it as “work.” I still need to find “recharge” time throughout the day. On days that I work from home, I try to take a 20-minute afternoon nap and go for an energizing walk. These little breaks are refreshing and help recharge my mind. Oftentimes, I even schedule other meetings around these breaks.

2. Take off periodic "recharge" days. This can be done on a weekly, monthly or seasonal basis. I try to schedule one day every couple of weeks of "me time." Even just a weekend of doing nothing or engaging in a physical or spiritual activity can be incredibly uplifting. During the holidays, take at least a couple of days to unwind and recharge prior to the hustle and bustle of shopping and family gatherings.

3. Schedule at least two weeks of vacation each year. If you’re not taking enough
vacation or rest days, what are you prioritizing instead? If you have not incorporated vacation into your overall life goals, now's the time to revisit your goals and make it a priority. Rest and play are crucial for living your Masterpiece Life!



The above excerpt is derived from Ch. 4 of Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This program has 12 keys to success and is designed to motivate you to increase your productivity, reach your goals and ultimately fulfill your purpose

I also encourage and welcome comments and appreciate you forwarding this article to others who may find it valuable.

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece" Special Introductory Launch


It's finally here.. I've been working hard over the last few months to complete the Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece Program designed to get you to focus on your purpose in life, set goals, plan and take action, overcome fears and criticism and increase your mastery so you can lead your Masterpiece Life. Wow that's a mouthful!


I'm really excited to be launching this Program, which includes an E-Book and Call to Action Journal. I wanted to create a Program that was Inspirational--by using quotes and stories of the Master artists from the past--and also Motivational--to begin to take action now. If you still have aspirations that you have not yet accomplished, then this Program is for you.

I've designed this to be an affordable Program that anyone in any place in their lives can follow. To read more and see what other Bonus items you can get, click Here. You could even win a free Kindle Fire!

P.S.- Now during the Holidays, I'm thankful this year for my successes as well as my failures that have become learning opportunities. I wish you much love and prosperity this season and into the new year.

Here's to your success...Bon Voyage on your journey!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Overwhelmed and Can't Find "Enough Time"?


Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.
~Leonardo da Vinci
How are we going to complete all our tasks today? Many of us entrepreneurs and professionals get caught in the trap of never having "enough time." We regularly feel overwhelmed with having too much to do all by ourselves. Guess what? You'll never have "enough time"!

In many cases, there is work you don’t want to do, don’t do well, or just don’t have any "additional time” for. For example, assume this week you must create a new website, set up accounting software and print marketing material. Even though each of these projects may not be particularly difficult to undertake individually, you prefer not to handle any of this “busy work.” Plus it may take an inordinate amount of research and execution time to perform each of these tasks properly because you are not an expert in any of these functions.

Delegating some administrative tasks may be a blessing! For affordable prices, you could hire an assistant or contractor to handle duties such as answering emails and creating marketing material. Many assistants are professionally trained and actually want to help you! Ask friends and colleagues for referrals, search online databases of freelance professionals or research a reputable local concierge service.

Apart from administrative duties, assess other areas in your life that may be zapping undesired time and energy every month. Can you eliminate or lessen unimportant routines, processes or frivolous requests? Can you create automated systems for recurring items, such as online billing services? Finding solutions to even these menial tasks can feel liberating. 

Imagine what freeing up 10 hours a week of this “busy work” would do for you and your business? Passing off these items will get your mind back to focusing on your Masterpiece Purpose. You can even use that extra hour or two a day for fun or rest! Delegating these tasks actually affords you more time, energy and the possibility for profits! Do you really want to sacrifice your sanity, health and potential masterpiece work to save a few bucks?

When life starts to get tough and you don’t know how to handle it, remember that all it takes is one small step forward. This may also be the right time to seek additional support, hire an assistant, call a success coach or attend a productivity seminar! You can handle it! 
   
*Excerpt derived from Ch. 5 of Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM) Success Program. This program has 12 keys to success and is designed to motivate you to increase your productivity, reach your goals and ultimately fulfill your purpose

I also encourage and welcome comments and appreciate you forwarding this article to others who may find it valuable.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thank you for all your support!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support these last few weeks! 

Through last week I was working on the final touches of my book and have been highly immersed in completing and publishing the e-book program. This is a culmination of the best strategies to help you reach your greatest level of success! I'm really proud of the book and program! More details to come!

This week as well I had to leave town due to a family emergency, and have had little access to internet. Thank you for all the thoughts, support and understanding during this time. 

I will be resuming my weekly blog posts in the next couple of weeks and will share the details and date of the Success Program launch by then.

My sincerest appreciation and regards!

~Alex

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Power of Partnership: Leveraging the help of others to succeed

In Western society (particularly in the U.S.), being a lone hero is somehow encouraged and respected. We often feel that we have to do everything ourselves, saying “Yes, Yes, Yes” and multitasking several jobs at once. No one’s ever surprised when we finally break down or get sick, because it’s just not humanly possible to do it all!  
To be successful, there is strength in numbers. “Group think” is highly synergistic. This means that it’s better to have several people working with you, than just you working.
Finding partnerships is a catalyst for elevating you to the next level. These are some ways you can apply the group approach to help your business:
1. Join a Cooperative or Association: There is power in community! These groups are designed to pool resources together to help their members. There may be business associations, chambers of commerce and other such organizations in your city that are available for you to join. Also take advantage of communities online, such as ArtistaMundo.com, which provide each member with benefits such as an online portfolio and search databases.
2. Create a “Master Mind” Group: A Master Mind is essentially a small group of 5 or 6 like-minded and successful peers that meet once or twice a month. You share ideas, frustrations, concerns, advice and requests with the group. You brainstorm together, benefiting from the experience and knowledge of others, plus they provide third-party unbiased objective views. Make sure that everyone in the group wants to succeed and they are more positive than negative. The last thing you need is a pessimistic “Debbie Downer” contradicting or bashing all your ideas. Another option is to join a group coaching program that functions in the same way, but is led by a professional (in this case, me).  
3. Find an Accountability Partner: If you can’t find a whole group, just one other friend or trusted professional such as a Coach can serve to keep you focused on and accountable for your goals. Similarly to the group, this person can provide valuable insight and advice on a consistent basis. If it's your friend, you can cross-mentor each other. The advantage of having just one other person is the flexibility and attention to strategize your issues more intimately.
4. Find a Mentor: Sometimes you do need to seek out others you admire who are where you want to be. A mentor can be a former boss, professor or some other highly respected person you meet with regularly, or anytime you need advice. Another option is to ask someone you don’t know personally but respect, such as the CEO of a company you greatly admire. Depending on their availability, you can ask just to chat on the phone or treat them to lunch. They may be highly flattered for the request and want to help you because successful people like to give back! Take advantage of these situations to ask for advice and feedback.
5. Assemble your “Dream Team”: You excel at what you do best. Find other people that excel at all the jobs that take away valuable time from your creative process. Search online for concierge services that can hire a part-time assistant or intern so you delegate all the administrative work, social media or marketing that are time and energy zappers. Seek experts who are holding workshops or informational sessions in areas you need help in. Perhaps you need professional consultants such as accountants and attorneys. Ask your local SCORE or arts and business council if they recommend affordable professional resources. For example, in Miami there is a group called LegalArt that provides affordable or pro-bono legal services to artists. Even if you think you can’t or shouldn’t spend money on hiring these folks, remember that what you’re not delegating out may be costing you a fortune!
Sometimes all we need are little nudges along our path to success. Leveraging the help of others will help you tremendously, if nothing else to free your time and energy so you can continue to do what you do best. 

*If you need additional help on your road to success, check out some additional resources: my new book Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM), join me in Individual or Group Coaching, check out an upcoming webinar or workshop.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Marketing your Art - Mini Training Video

Check out this 15-minute clip from a larger segment I did on Marketing for Your Art Business. I go over some principles of Traditional Marketing, Sales, Online Platforms and Branding. 


Hope you find it useful!




Find out more information on the "Masterpiece Marketing" DVD Training Series or one of the individual courses on marketing. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Masterpiece Marketing" Product Launch!

I'm launching a new marketing video training series! I've been working feverishly to complete this, as many of you artists who were unable to attend my workshops or the webinar series have been highly interested in the information. Here it is! 

Each of the 3 DVD Video Courses are sold separately.... but it's actually a better value to get all 3 video courses plus the bonus video for just $67!! This is a limited time offer only good for the next week as this is the product launch!

This is specifically made for Fine Artists, but the concepts and strategies can be applied to mixed media, commercial art and other arts genres as well. Below are more details and you can read about each one individually in the Products page.

Here's a short explanation on the series:

Here's to your artistic success!!!

"Masterpiece Marketing" 3 Video Course Series plus FREE Bonus Video!


 
Take Marketing, Sales & Branding to the next level with this "Masterpiece Marketing" DVD Video Training Series. Create strategic marketing plans for your business that are personalized and suited for you and your work! Based around Alexandra's 3 Keys to Marketing Success to allow your work to stand out!

Video Course #1: Traditional Marketing & Sales
Video Course #2: Online & Social Media Marketing
Video Course #3: Branding for Long-Term Success  

Plus BONUS Video & Workbook Questions: Targeting Your Ideal Audience - this 45-minute video and applicable workbook questions will help you identify your ideal clients, find new leads and organize your client lists (Valued at $19.99).

Alexandra's practical and easy-to-follow approach guides you through each of the video courses. Follow along to a step-by-step video presentation of the most important marketing topics relevant to fine artists. The Manuals, available as PDF's, include detailed Notes summarizing the video to easily read at any time. Take the lessons to a new level by answering intensive questions for each section, allowing you to better comprehend and apply the concepts specifically to your business. The programs also include suggested reading resources and Actionable Steps to further your business practice even further.

Buying all 3 Video Courses, plus the BONUS video, is an excellent value at just $97.00, and a must-have for moving your fine art business forward!!

Training Series Introductory Offer: Just $67.00 for a limited time only through October 17, 2011 at midnight EST!! (Price Originally $97.00). 
If you're ready to take your Marketing, Sales & Branding to the next level: 


P.S. - If you have used and are satisfied with this course or would like to refer any of the ArtistaCoaching products, sign up for the Affiliate Program to earn 30% commission on these products. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"ArtistaTip" Question: How to Attract Customers

Today's "ArtistaTip" question comes from Patty from Philadelphia who asks:

Q: I feel as though I'm running around in circles trying capture my clients; I wish they would just come to me. Do you have any suggestions?

~Patty, Philadelphia, PA

A: This is a great question and I've received many similar questions and concerns from artists lately. Without knowing your background or where you are in your business, I recommend focusing your efforts on a Branding campaign for you and your work. Branding is all about finding your niche and uniqueability, or your expertise that people remember you by. Once you hold that memorability factor, you can begin to attract more of your followers who love your work. Branding is not a short-term technique but a long-term strategy; however you can begin today to increase your efforts. Make small changes to your website or in your marketing material to reflect your You-niqueability. Ultimately remembering that you and your style are unique can build your confidence, which aids you in attracting more clients! 

For more information on branding or marketing, check out one of my upcoming Webinars or workshops Scheduled, topics include Branding on 4/23, Strategic Online Marketing and Publicity. 

Or check out my new success e-program Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM)!

*If you'd like to submit a question for an "ArtistaTip", please email Alexandra@ArtistaMundo.com.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Marketing your Art Online


It’s no secret that Social Media and online tools are very cost effective for marketing your work. The problem is that everyone’s using it, and there’s way too much clutter online. How do you know the right people are even seeing your message?

Consider the following points when creating your marketing plan online:
1.  Be Aware of your Goals: Online Marketing can be particularly effective if you wish to promote your art to all your online followers. You may even be able to attract a good amount of your friends and supporters to attend your openings and events with just a simple Facebook event invitation. But if your goal is to sell your $5,000 pieces, you may need a more aggressive, creative and tailored approach.  

2.  Be Aware of your Audience: Who are you trying to reach online? If you want all your followers to know about the latest series you created, or about the newest partnership you formed with a local curator, then go ahead and share online. However, if your intent is to reach buyers to buy your expensive art pieces or attend your next opening, they may not be hanging out on Social Media or reading all your perfectly manicured e-newsletters. I always suggest doing research to determine where your clients are.

3.   Be Aware of your Medium: There are so many social media platforms and online tools out there, which one do you choose? Once you know your Goal and Audience, again, research can help you figure out the best strategy. Facebook and Twitter are well-known for engaging with your followers, but have you ever considered LinkedIn to find a certain type of buyer or agent in your area? Perhaps you have a great client email list but you haven’t sent out an e-newsletter in 6 months. Look at what approaches have and haven’t worked in the past. And don’t be afraid to try something new!

Nowadays we move so fast that we often do things too quickly or spontaneously. Whenever possible, try to brainstorm and come up with a plan in advance before implementing it. It will also serve you to do a bit of research to see what is the best strategy given your Goals and Target Audience. You may be surprised or amazed what you find. A week or two of preparation and research could save you a lot of time, energy and money in the long-run!

For additional resources on promoting yourself, check out Ch. 10 of my success e-program Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This e-program takes you through the 12 essential strategies for success! Here's to your future!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How Traditional Marketing May be the Edge you Need

We've been bombarded over the last decade with talk about how social media and online marketing are useful, practical and affordable! However, many of us are spending more time online and less time building personal relationships with key clients, agents and partners. Since buying art is largely an emotional experience, online tactics may not be as effective. Instead, a more sensorial and customized approach usually works best.

If you've felt that something is missing in your sales approach, you may need to add back the traditional marketing techniques that were employed before the Internet became popular. As humans, we like to feel special. Receiving a mass email does not particularly make us feel special. Receiving personalized, one-on-one attention customized to our needs and wants, does make us feel good!

Some elements you can bring back into your marketing plan can include some of these long forgotten direct marketing strategies:

1. Phone Call - We're so buried behind our email, that we've forgotten what it's like to make a sales pitch on the phone. Your phone is still one of your best tools for getting attendance at your events and ultimately sales.

2. Studio Visit - Although online sales have been increasing over the years, buyers are still largely accustomed to experiencing art with all senses. What better way than through a personal invitation to your studio? While there, you can tell your "story", answer questions and show them your fabulous repertoire.

3. Snail Mail Post Card - Don't worry about your post card getting portrayed as "junk" and thrown away. If you create a professional invitation or post card with a high quality image of one of your best works, it will likely end up on the refrigerator or even framed! Always include your contact information on the card!

4. Newsletter - A real, live newsletter can definitely make you stand out these days! However, a personalized, professional e-newsletter can be effective as well. The goal is to keep your buyers up to date on your events and newest art work so you remain top-of-mind. Remember to add any awards, public commissions and media coverage you've received. 

Ultimately, persistence is key! Sales don't usually happen overnight, so maintaining consistent follow-up with your buyers is crucial. Dust off your old tried-and-true methods and get cracking!

What has and hasn't worked for you? I'd love to hear your comments!

*If you'd like to learn more about traditional marketing, you may be interested in
one of the Training courses or future Workshops Scheduled. Or if you need additional help on your road to success, check out my new book Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM).

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Art of Networking and Making Connections

Have you ever been to a networking event in which you talk to dozens of people but don’t seem to find a connection with anyone? Or worse yet, you find yourself in the corner by yourself?
Many artists and arts professionals I know are shy or simply dread networking events. In order to elevate your success to the next level, you’re going to have to communicate about yourself and your work. By not attending these events, you are forgoing possible opportunities to find new leads and sell your work. 
Recently I participated in a really great tele-seminar “Mastering the Art of Quick Connection was as easy as 1 - 2 – 3!” about networking and making connections. The chat was hosted by Lisa Marie Platske, President & CEO of Upside Thinking, Inc. who was interviewing Bonnie Ross-Parker, CEO & Founder of “The Joy of Connecting®”, two fabulous ladies that help other women and entrepreneurs succeed.

Bonnie's approach takes the “work” out of networking and her three-part connecting system is easy and effective. In order to make a quick connection and increase your success in any networking event, remember to do the following:
1.     Differentiate
2.     Be Memorable
3.     Make a Difference
Differentiate: Always be yourself and feel free to be different. If you’re shy, an easy conversation starter that gets others to approach you is wearing your own personalized name tag with your name, business and logo. Also try going out of your way to make a connection. Rescue that person who’s alone simply by introducing yourself; they’ll be so grateful and more likely to be interested in learning more about your work. You can even connect people you’ve met that have things in common. One time I connected a young designer who needed copyright legal advice with a qualified attorney I had met earlier in the night.     
Be Memorable: This refers to your appearance and behavior. As far as your look, people remember those who stand out. Go ahead and wear your wild jewelry or blue hair if that’s “you.” Even simple things make a big impact. Once I attended a professional networking event where everyone was wearing black or neutral colors while I wore a red outfit. I made a lot of good connections that day. When it comes to behavior, try to leave a positive impression. Be a great listener, invite people to come to your next opening or send articles they would enjoy. And try not to be remembered for the wrong reasons, such as having one too many drinks.
Make a Difference: People see right through those who are too sales-y or self-serving. What are you doing and saying to others? Are you leaving positive imprints in people’s lives? Think of those who have made a difference in your own life and model yourself after them.
Although you should try to stand out and make a good impression, it’s about making real connections and fostering those relationships. It’s better to have a great conversation with one potential lead rather than have superficial chats with 30 people. And if you do make some positive connections, remember to follow up with them with an email, call or personal invitation to your next exhibit.
Lisa Marie Platske is the President & CEO of Upside Thinking, Inc., an international leadership development company which provides coaching/consulting to leaders and business professionals; she can be found at http://www.upsidethinking.com and http://www.DaretoShareEvent.comBonnie Ross-Parker, aka "America's Connection Diva" is CEO & Founder of “The Joy of Connecting®” which helps business women and entrepreneurs create relationships and professional alliances through connections: http://www.thejoyofconnecting.com.

*If you need additional help on your road to success, check out some additional resources: my new book Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM), join me in Individual or Group Coaching, check out the Masterpiece Guild, or one of my DVD Training courses.

I also love reading comments, feel free to leave your thoughts or what has or hasn't worked for you. Please feel free to share this article with others who may benefit from it. Cheers to you!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'll be holding the webinar series "Masterful Marketing for the Arts" over the month of September. Here's a little preview of the series of marketing webinars:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Financial Freedom: What does this mean?

In my business I’m constantly challenging the notion of the “struggling artist.” Certainly many people nowadays, including artists and creatives, are trapped in the Month-to-Month financial game. However this happens no matter what industry you are in and how much income you make. I’ve had clients earning over seven figures who scrambled every month to make payments. 

Working in banking many years, I learned that Financial Freedom is highly subjective and personal. For some, it means living “comfortably” now and when they retire. For others, it’s having millions of dollars set aside to be able to live whatever lifestyle they wish.  

Whatever it means to you, Financial Freedom starts with Saving. In order to save, you must have an idea of your budget, income and expenses. It may not be easy at first, but saving requires discipline. The beauty is that small actions today have a great effect on what happens to your tomorrow.  

How about being a slave to debt and your expenses? We’re in one of the worst debt crises of all time. Yet, if you are disciplined, you can begin to turn around your life from a position of indebtedness to independence.  

Even with a financial background, I’ve made mistakes with money. It was glaringly apparent when I became an arts entrepreneur and had to deal with fluctuating income. Fortunately, I used my past experience as a wake up call to learn and implement “the way”!  

We all need a Plan that works, and stick to it. Financial Freedom doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to get out of indebtedness, and it takes time to build a nest egg. BUT, you can begin to change how you manage your finances immediately, which can lead you to a positive path. Little by little you’ll find your way to your golden eggs. It just takes the first step.

Remember the great quote by Vincent Van Gogh: “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” 

*This article is derived from Ch. 9 on Business from my new e-book Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM) designed to give you the 12 Strategies for Success!


For more FREE tips and strategies and to get instant access to the "12 Secrets to Success Strategies" video with more great insight from Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM), sign up now:
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Art Marketing Workshop was a success!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 we held the first of a series of educational workshops for artists and arts professionals. In this workshop, we discussed multiple marketing tactics and ideas for strategic long term success.

We were joined by special guest Rosie Gordon-Wallace the executive director of Diaspora Vibe Gallery in Miami. Many thanks to Rosie for providing valuable insight from the point of view of a Gallerist. Diaspora Vibe is a wonderful organization which supports emerging artists from the Caribbean and Latin America. 




Rosie and I discussing marketing tips and strategies

The workshop took place in "La Cueva" (the cave) of Casa Panza Restaurant in Miami, the site of many flamenco shows in the popular Spanish restaurant. The setting was a beautiful backdrop for learning and interacting with the group. A happy hour was held afterward in the adjacent bar. Sangria is refreshing during the hot Miami months! 

Marketing presentation
Thank you to all who attended and who helped to make the event a success! 


Monday, August 15, 2011

Taking Action: Are you ready to jump?


The last article I wrote on the power of Positivity sparked a few comments on the part of taking Action in this down economy. Many of you are tired of going to the same art circuits, tired of sending out another email to your same distribution list, tired of spending money on advertising, etc., with little or no results. 

So what is really holding you back from making it? Many times we think it is the fear of failure; but oftentimes when we self-reflect, we realize it is actually the fear of success.
“Fear of success, really? You mean, we don’t all want to make millions?”
Yes, that’s correct.
Subconsciously, of course.
In self-help talk, this may be in the form of emotional baggage from the past telling us we're not good enough, so we aim low. 

Usually we just get comfortable in our own little world, doing the same things we’ve been doing all along. Anything apart from our same routine seems like “work.” Success requires action, and many times this is outside of our comfort zone.
Remember that quote from Albert Einstein? “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
So it’s simple: if you’re not getting the results you want, then change your methods and do something different. Okay so... change requires action. Which means you might actually have to work. 

If you’re an artist, then by nature you're passionately and creatively pushing the limit with your artistic style. Use that same passion and creativity to think outside the box and push your work! Stop being so damn comfortable!
Sometimes we’re just not ready or willing to Act. If that’s the case, then don’t blame anyone else for your lack of success. But if you do try something new, you may actually get a new result!
Don't get caught up in other limitations such as your age, experience or level of immersion in your work as a reason why you can't succeed.
One of the best examples of pure drive is from a relatively new artist in his late 50’s who jumps at every possible opportunity presented to him. Once I held a Call to Artists for an ArtistaMundo exhibit, and he was the first to apply. Come to find out he has an exhibit about every 2-3 months, some in other countries, and he is always asking me about possible future collaborations. Other artists who know him personally comment that he gets around and really moves his work. He even works a regular full-time job! Geez, talk about dedication!
You don't have to be pushy or aggressive. But you must take a Risk. If it’s the fear of rejection that is stopping you, remember there’s no real threat in taking action. It’s amazing what will happen if you actually knock on a door or two. You may be surprised at the positive response you get. And if the response is not what you were expecting, perhaps it leads to something better!  
So again I ask, what’s holding you back?
If you’re scared, it’s okay. If you want, I’ll hold your hand.
But just jump!


*If you need additional help and motivation on your road to success, check out my new book Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM), or join me in Individual or Group Coaching, check out the Masterpiece Guild
 
If you enjoy these articles on marketing and success, please subscribe to my blog in the upper right-hand section of the page. I also love reading comments, tell me what marketing tips have or haven't worked for you! Please feel free to share this article with others who may benefit from it. Cheers to you!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Interview with Rosie Gordon-Wallace, Diaspora Vibe

Interview with Rosie Gordon-Wallace from Diaspora Vibe Gallery in Miami (December 2009)!

I'll be interviewing Rosie in the Art Marketing Workshop this Wednesday in Miami from 4-6 pm.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Staying Positive in this Economy


Recently I gave a Marketing presentation to a class of art students and mentioned that a major part of success is Positivity – the art of staying positive. The Professor, who is an accomplished artist, asserted, “With this terrible economy over the last few years, it’s so difficult to stay positive.” I replied that now is the most important time to keep your head up, keep working and pump more energy into marketing yourself... rather than distressing about the so-called recession!
In reality, anyone can make it during a “down economy” because it’s just a state of mind. In my case, I worked in a “downward” industry over the last few years yet continued to grow my income every year because I was unique and specialized in my field (this brings up the subject of personal Branding, which I discuss in length in my workshops).
With that in mind, here are some tips I recommend when you’re feeling down about the economy or any other negative factor:
1. Stay Purposeful and Focused. Remember your purpose and mission as an artist: to share your inner passion through your work. Now more than ever you should focus on creating magnificent works. Don’t waste your energy worrying about things outside of your control. In fact, if you do start to feel the fear creep in, set your intention to allow your worries to inspire an amazing new body of work. Think clearly and positively about what you’re here to do, stay true to yourself and stick to your mission.
2. Stop hiding behind excuses. Many of us blame external factors such as the economy, politics, world conflicts, or even our families for our own problems. We often convince ourselves that something won’t work out, before even trying it (a self-fulfilling prophesy). These are just ways to mask our own insecurities. Only YOU are to blame if you are not successful. What if you show your portfolio to a Gallerist, and she doesn’t like it? Well if you don't make an attempt, you’ll never know. Plus you can use it as a learning experience to ask for feedback, potential leads or other resources.
3. Don’t Listen to “Debbie Downer.” We often get caught up in what other people complain about themselves and about our limitations. Remember those who constantly tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, really don’t know what is best for you. Oftentimes they try to talk you out of pursuing your art career in favor of getting a “real job.” Chances are these same know-it-all’s have never made it big because they hide behind their own fears. Very successful people naturally are optimistic and encourage you to pursue your dreams. Try to gravitate toward these and other positive influencers in your life.  
4. Hope for the best and just jump! No matter how hard it may seem right now, it can only get better. If your usual sales methods aren’t working due to this “recession,” maybe it’s time to up your game and think outside the box. Continue to get out there. You may have to muster up the courage and literally knock on a few doors. Put your fear and pride aside and take the leap!

Keep in mind that if you’re doing what you love, this is in itself a reason to rejoice! Continue to stay focused and purposeful, and overcome internal fears that can drive you away from what you should be doing. While everyone else is wasting energy worrying about the economy, this is the perfect opportunity to stand out and shine!


*Much of this passage can be found in Ch. 8 Staying Positive in my new book Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This book is sure to get you thinking positively to steer you on the right path toward success!

I'd love to hear what has worked for you, feel free to leave comments whether you agree or disagree. And share with anyone who may be interested! Cheers!