AMPING UP YOUR ART MARKETING: Baby Steps!

AMPING UP YOUR ART MARKETING: Baby Steps!

Backwards and baby steps can help us move forward in everything.

I now look HISTORICALLY old!

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 Big Purple Fish..

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!

LESSONS FROM THE FUNNY PAGES: Big Dreams SHOULD Be Scary!

No, I’m not running out of ideas for other ‘Lessons’ series I’ve started. It just seems like lately, lessons are everywhere!

Today’s insight came this morning while reading our wonderful local newspaper, The Press Democrat. I always save the comics (In color! Every day!!!), crossword and Dear Abby for last–like dessert. There’s also not just one word scramble but two: JUMBLE, and a new one for me, SCRAM-LETS. (I can’t find links to these, sorry!!)

The mini-lesson about these word scrambles is, I used to work really hard to solve them. I had a couple of logical, methodical strategies for attacking them. I got really good at it, too. Until one day, I wasreading up on why those CN Y RD THS? thingies on Facebook are actually easy to read. (Turns out our brains automatically fill in missing vowels and out-of-order letters, as long as the first and last letter are in the right places.) I realized word scrambles are similar. I could identify almost every scrambled word by simply glancing at it. The mini-lesson? Quit trying so damn hard!! (see example below)

The big lesson, though, was buried in the SCRAM-LET, which usually features a wise saying or adage with the last word or two missing. These are so easy, you can actually work backwards–figure out the missing word, fill out the letters to the word clues you have, and discover the missing letters in the unsolved scrambled word. (Why is explaining it so much harder than simply doing it?!)

Today’s adage was, If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not BIG ENOUGH.

Yeah, yeah, I thought as I finished. Dream big. So trite.

And yet……

The things I’ve been worried about as I go to sleep at night, the things I worry about as I start my day… They all involve taking the next steps to rebuild my artist reputation out here on the west coast.

They are all about starting over. Only this time, knowing how much time and energy that’s going to take.

Even worse, they’re about worrying that this time, it’s not going to work.

If I approach a gallery, and if they accept me, and I give them the best of my current work, I worry that I won’t have any more good ideas in me.

If I sell an item online, I worry that the buyer, not having seen it in person, won’t like it.

If I pitch a column to a new magazine (because I think I’m being slowly ‘let go’ from my current gig, and no one wants to tell me), I’m afraid I’m not good enough to get another gig.

Part of me just wants to kick myself. ALL artists worry about running out of good ideas. ALL artists worry that, like Hollywood, we’re only as good as our last movie. Er…exhibit/show/column. ALL artists worry that somebody is going to be disappointed in our work.

But the rest of me knows we never learn a lesson for keeps. (Well. Not me, anyway.)

We need to learn those lessons over and over, practicing them, internalizing them–until our work habits are so solid, we finally learn to believe in ourselves. Til we know truly, in our hearts, that one setback will not break us.

Even then, life can kick us back to the starting line. A family crisis. A health issue. Losing a job, a cross-country move, AND NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND THAT TUBE OF RAW UMBER PAINT I KNOW IS IN MY STUDIO SOMEWHERE!!!! (Sorry about that. Once again, I have to go buy a replacement for something I KNOW is somewhere in my studio…..)

So I’m going to make an appointment to visit the gallery that’s expressed an interest in my work. I’m going to send a pic to a new customer who’s ordered from my online store, of the exact piece I’ve made for her. And I’m going to submit my images to a big art tour coming up this fall.

If I fail? Well, there’s always another opportunity. There’s another chance next week, next month, next year.

And I must remember that other life lesson that’s so hard to learn:

Sometimes, in order for a new door to open, an old one has to close.

P.S. A few people have contacted me, asking where the heck my online store is. My Etsy shop is dormant for the time being, but my shop at Bonanza is still open. http://www.bonanza.com/booths/luannudell

My goal is to replace “sample images” with individual images of each piece of jewelry. And hey–maybe I could start, like, today!

A sample 'hard-to-read text" (NOT) as found on Facebook.
A sample ‘hard-to-read text” (NOT) as found on Facebook. And oh! Notice it spells ‘without’ wrong!