This post is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews. She's blogged since 2002 about the business side--and the spiritual inside--of art. She says, "I share my experiences so you won't have to make ALL the same mistakes I did...." For ten years, Luann also wrote a column ("Craft Matters") for The Crafts Report magazine (a monthly business resource for the crafts professional) where she explored the funnier side of her life in craft. She's a double-juried member of the prestigious League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (fiber & art jewelry). Her work has appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers across the country and she is a published writer.
AMPING UP YOUR ART MARKETING: Baby Steps!
Backwards and baby steps can help us move forward in everything.
Last week, I raved about the powerful insights I’ve gained already from watching just two AMP webinars (Art Marketing Playbook), a series created by FASO’s marketing guru, Dave Geada of DBS Marketing.
Great marketing insights often mean revamping, not just our approach, but also our website, our email newsletters, our social media accounts. And with great revamping can come great overwhelming-ness. (I just made that word up.) Big projects can be daunting, especially if they aren’t in our ‘primary’ skill-set. (I’m comfortable with social media, but changes in my approach were needed.)
I’m happy to find that I’m doing a lot of things right: Knowing my ‘creation story’, using the best social media platforms (Facebook biz page, Instagram account, a lively email newsletter, the “new artwork alert”, etc.)
I was sad to learn all the things I’m doing wrong. And devastated to learn how many things I’m doing wrong. A lot of work lies ahead.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by big multi-step processes. And when I’m overwhelmed, my lizard brain instantly leaps in to protect me.
“You’re doing it wrong! It’s too hard! Just stop, crawl away, give up, hide in a hole somewhere!! Make it go awaaaaaaaay!!”
You probably already know that doesn’t work. And yet, being overwhelmed can mean we put off the repairs, edits, restructuring efforts so necessary for doing better.
So I sat with all this new knowledge, wondering how the heck to get it all in place in a timely fashion.
Today I had a brainstorm.
I remembered what’s worked for me in the past when dealing with uncertainty. Here’s the way I’m thinking about this that might help you, too.
The power of this strategy is to think about your desired end results, you goal. Then think what has to happen to achieve that goal -backwards.
Yes, you read that right! What has to happen before you have another great painting in your inventory? Finishing a painting. Painting. Time to paint. The right paint, for the surface. Figuring out the palette. The right surface. Composition. A subject. An idea.
So maybe we: Recognize we want to paint. List ideas for a subject. Find that subject to create. Maybe take a picture of it, or find the perfect plein air site. Check our supplies to make sure we have the right size canvas, and the right paints, and paint colors. Set aside time to paint. Etc., etc. until we finally have the triumph of a new work of art in hand.
Breaking down these steps is powerful. And breaking them down into tiny steps is even more powerful.
So, baby steps.
First tiny step: Update my profile portrait image. Further step back: Find/make a new portrait image.
“Making a new image” was hard. I’ve been struggling to make a new profile portrait for months. Since I haven’t had a haircut in months, it’s a lit-tul hard getting even a somewhat flattering selfie, and selfies tend to distort our faces too much. Older pics are pretty discouraging, too.
But then I remembered a set of portraits my partner and I had done a few years ago, to celebrate our wedding anniversary. They’re tintypes, black and white, and we love them!
So my first baby step was: Find those pictures. It took awhile to find them, but I did.
I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate them into my social media, though. Until, doh! I realized I could photograph the photographs. Baby step!
Once that was done, my next baby step was easier: Update one social media site.
I started with my Google accounts: Google (Gmail, etc.) On Dave’s suggestion, I also added a small pic of me in my email signature. Done!
Encouraged by this, I decided to update more sites. FASO. I added the tintype image to my “not artwork images” section, then swapped out my old profile portrait. Done! Hey, I’ll write a little newsletter about my new portrait. Done!
I was on a roll. I quickly updated my Facebook and Instagram accounts. Done! What about my Wordpress blog? Done! With editing, cropping, updating, etc., it took few hours to get it all in place.
But I’m feeling much better about everything now.
The feeling of accomplishment is palpable. And knowing that’s one item I can scratch off the to-do list? Huge.
I know those other things on the list will also feel like too much. As I work my way through them, I’ll continue to share what I’ve learned.
But I’m grateful I remembered that going backwards can actually be a powerful way of moving forward, with everything in life.
Let me know if this helps YOU move forward today. And if you’ve found powerful ways to incorporate those new AMP strategies, share them here! Someone maybe be very grateful you did. (Me!)
If you know someone who would find this article helpful, pass it on to them! And if someone sent you this, and you liked it, you can find more of my Fine Art Views articles here, and more great marketing advice at FineArtViews.com, or subscribe to my blog at luannudell.wordpress.com too.
Remember: We’re all in this together!*
*And nobody gets out alive. But whatever makes it better, is a gift!
The Baby Steps to Giant Dreams
The 65 Rules Great Artist Websites Follow
A Social Media Guide For Artists