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!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Marketing for your “ideal” customer

In today’s economy and digital age where you have to do more with less, it’s important to focus your marketing efforts to be most effective. Marketing and sales are all about: People. Since you are marketing and selling to people, you must understand who you are talking to and what they want.
Start by determining your target audience. “Target audience” refers to anyone you want to see your work, including current and potential buyers, collectors, gallerists, curators, arts professionals, journalists and art lovers in general. Depending on your goals, you may have several different targets and for different reasons. By figuring out your audience(s), you can focus on picking marketing and sales strategies that work best for them.

Do you know who your target audience is? Ask yourself these questions to figure out:

1.   Who is buying your work now? Start by determining where you sell and to whom. You may have multiple “types” of customers. For example, perhaps you discover that you sell most of your lower-priced works and prints at local Art Fairs to middle-class married couples, between the ages of 30-45. Then you determine that most of your higher-priced works sold at your openings are to business owners and executives over 50. This gives you an idea of who to market the next time you are showing at an art fair or holding an exhibit. (Note: the demographic figures can be estimates) 

2.   Who has purchased your work in the past? Go back through your old records and accounts and try to come up with a list of your old customers and any similarities among them. Your work style and sales approaches change over the years, so you may have attracted a different clientele in the past. Dust off that old mailing list! Maybe one of your old customers is interested in your newest body of work.

3.   Who asks about your work, but has not purchased? This can be in person, through email, social media or other means. Perhaps you get a lot of interest and compliments from female, businesswomen. Then you know this group may be a target for future sales or referrals of your work. 

4.   Do your customers have any shared interests? If you look at factors such as age, gender, socio-economic level, profession, etc., your current customers may have none of these in common. Perhaps they all just enjoy a certain theme in your work or share a similar philosophy. For example, one artist I know paints Harley Davidson motorcycles; this series appeals to idealistic bike lovers of all ages, socio-economic levels, races and nationalities. This can provide insight into how to reach these customers.

5.   Outside of your current customer, who might buy your work? Think corporations, associations, hotels, office buildings, government/public agencies; these groups have a tendency to purchase larger and more expensive pieces to fill open spaces. Interior designers, decorators and realtors also are constantly looking for pieces to stage properties and decorate homes and businesses.

6.   Who is your “ideal” customer? If you’ve looked through your customer database and figured out that none of them is your ideal customer, who is? Suppose you have a new series of sculptures you’d like to sell for $50,000 and above. You’re probably not going to have much luck selling to the same folks who buy your work at the art festivals. Instead, figure out who you’d want to buy your work. Is it affluent professionals and young collectors for their private collections? Or office buildings and cities for public display?

Once you’ve figured out your target audience, find out what they want, what they care about and their interests. Then you can create strategies that best reach each group. You don’t have to sell to everyone every time. The point of targeted marketing is that you are most successful in marketing your work and finding the right buyers. This also becomes more cost effective!

Updated 8.30.11:*If you’d like to learn more about marketing your art, join us for an online Webinar Training Series "Masterful Marketing for the Arts" starting this Thursday, September 1, 2011 with "Target Marketing for Your Ideal Audience." If you haven't registered yet, Sign Up Now for a discount on purchasing all 4 trainings for a great deal by Wednesday, August 31!!*  

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

**Do you enjoy these articles and would like to be kept up to speed on more tips, strategies and upcoming events? Please subscribe to my blog in the upper right-hand section of the page. I also love reading comments, feel free to leave your thoughts on what has or hasn't worked for you. Please share this article with others who may benefit from it. Cheers!