Stop doing this and you’ll have a way nicer summer

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Stop doing this and you’ll have a way nicer summer

Warm summer weather has finally arrived where I live, and along with it comes the annual summer slide… that state of mind where all you want to do is go out and play in the sunshine! 

We all know that fall is an important season for art shows, networking and sales, but if you don’t take advantage of the summer months to prepare, you might miss the boat!

Most artists I know either slack off and tell themselves they’ll work hard in the fall to make up for it (and end up feeling guilty about their choice) or burn themselves out trying to do too much at once.

Neither of those scenarios is a good one! Slow and steady wins the race, remember?

So this summer, I want you to commit to doing these two things, so you can enjoy yourself AND continue to build a healthy, thriving art business!

First: Stop putting everyone else’s needs before your businesss needs!

I know your cousin is moving, that annual fundraiser is coming up again, and your daughter’s soccer league is pushing you to volunteer again, but how important are these things to you?! Will they help you reach your ultimate end goal? 

You need to prioritize yourself and your dreams this summer. What do you want to accomplish most? What would move the needle most in your business? 

Every time you get a request – from your family, your friends, or that friend-of-a-friend you met at a picnic that one time – I want you to stop and really consider what they’re asking for and why you feel like you have to say yes. How much of your time, energy, and mental space will their request take up? Probably more than you anticipated!

By saying “no” to requests that eat up your time and brainpower, you’re saying “yes” to yourself and the art business that you love. 

Trust me on this one: saying no the first time is hard, but it does get easier with time. :-)

Second: Stop trying to get everything done all at once

Your second most important task is to sit down and make a list of all the things you want to get done this summer. Now, visualise yourself after Labor Day… Which of “all the things” you listed will really matter? Which ones will really move the needle?

Identify 1, 2, or 3 desired outcomes and outline why they are important, what strategies you’ll use to accomplish them, and how you’ll know when you’re done.

If your desired outcomes are really big ones, break them down into smaller pieces (and by small… I mean 20-30 minute tasks!). Then schedule all those tasks on a calendar so you’ll know what you need to be doing when, and won’t waste time figuring out what to do next.

Now commit to working on just one of these things each day!

By creating a step-by-step, actionable roadmap, and checking off one small thing each day, you’ll build steady momentum… and at the end of the summer you’ll congratulate yourself on everything you accomplished!

Need some help staying focused this summer?

As always, I’ve got your back! If you have mixed feelings about juggling business, family, and fun during the summer months, then The Artist Entrepreneur “Summer School” is exactly what you need!

What is The Artist Entrepreneur “Summer School?”

I’m offering 4 extremely targeted “workshop + toolkit packages” over the course of the summer. In these workshops you will not only learn, but also implement (with my support) strategies and tactics that will actually move the needle in your art business… at a ridiculously low price!

During July and August, we’ll cover:

1) Finding Your Niche and Connecting with the Right Audience

2) Branding and Pricing Your Art for the High End Market

3) Getting More Clients to Say YES! and Selling without Feeling like a Sell Out

4) Facebook + Instagram + Email = Growing Your Art Business

And the best part is… I’m offering these workshops + toolkits individually, so you get to choose which areas you want to focus on this summer OR take advantage of my bundle offer and spend the entire summer with me!

What’s included in The Artist Entrepreneur Summer School packages? 

Each of the Summer School packages includes:

A 75 minute live and recorded workshop on the package’s area of focus. You can join the workshop live, listen to a replay, or do both!

A 60 minute live and recorded group Q&A call exclusive to our Summer School group. During the call, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me anything you like about the topic we discussed during the workshop for advice on applying it to you, your business, and your challenges!

A printable worksheet to support you in the implementation of the concepts I’ll be teaching during the workshop.

A printable checklist that will guide you through each step so you don’t feel confused or overwhelmed about what you should be doing next.

In addition to this great content, you’ll get lifetime access to all the material so you can come back to it as many times as you need!

Who is Summer School for?

Summer School is for artists and creatives who are ready to get out of their own way and take action in their businesses.

Surrounded by a group of like-minded artists, you’ll get proven strategies and tactics you know you should be implementing in your business but just haven’t gotten around to doing yet!

How much does Summer School cost?

Once summer is over, the recordings of each of these workshop + toolkit packages will be available on my website for $97 USD each. Join The Artist Entrepreneur Summer School today and pay only $47 USD per package! Not only that, but you’ll get live access to me, which you won’t be getting if you purchase from my website this fall…

Stop trying to guess your way out of building your business, and start doing things that will actually get you results!

Join Summer School today! Click below and register for the package(s) of your choice!

PACKAGE 1: Finding Your Niche and Connecting with the Right Audience (July 12, 2017)

PACKAGE 2: Branding and Pricing Your Art for the High-End Market (July 26, 2017) 

PACKAGE 3: Getting More Clients to Say YES! and Selling without Feeling Like A Sell Out (August 16, 2017)

PACKAGE 4: Facebook + Instagram + Email = Growing Your Art Business (August 30, 2017)

SUMMER SCHOOL BUNDLE: Get all 4 workshops, Q&A calls, worksheets, and checklists for only $147 USD!

And don’t worry if you are out of town or unavailable on these dates because you’ll have lifetime access to all the recordings!

Got questions about The Artist Entrepreneur Summer School? Just leave a comment in the comment section below! 

I’d love to help you grow your art business this summer… Are you in?

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3 things you need to be doing if you want to sell your art online

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3 things you need to be doing if you want to sell your art online

Hey there artist entrepreneur!

I’m sure you’ve heard about this and it’s the dream of so many artists (and maybe yours too): selling your art while you sleep! 

Although it might seem too good to be true (and many blogs out there will try to make you believe that it’s easy… hint: it isn’t), it IS possible – with a large dose of drive, creativity, and follow-through – to build an art business and sell your work online. 

This is especially true right now, when the art market is in its infancy when it comes to selling online. Artists and art merchants are just starting to figure out how to do it properly and collectors are still figuring out how to choose and purchase art on the internet. That means that if you jump on the bandwagon now, you will be way ahead of the curve when buying art online becomes a mainstream practice. 

There are many tools, resources, and apps that can help you grow and scale your online art business, but before you start researching and investing in all of these tools there are some basic steps you should be taking. They all start and end with the same goal: building your online presence.

Oh I know, it’s scary to put yourself out there! But if you want to sell online, it’s not enough to post images of your work on Facebook with a price tag on it. 

Sorry, but that just won’t cut it. 

Selling your art online means building a brand and being visible, while also using basic (yet essential) best practices for digital marketing.

So, here are three things you can start working on today if you’re planning to sell your work online: 

1) Have an easy-to-navigate, responsive website

These days there’s just no excuse for having a poorly designed website. There are plenty of “done for you” options (like Squarespace) where the only thing you really have to do is upload a logo, customize the colors, and set up your products page. 

You need to make sure that your site is clean, crisp, and easy to navigate with clear calls to action on each page. Include an artist bio and artist statement, use bright, clean photos, and above all – make it easy for someone to purchase your work!

You already have a website? That’s great! Is it responsive? (Responsive means that it looks good on phones and tablets too!) It’s essential that your website is responsive for two reasons. First, we know that more than 50% of online shopping is now done from phones or tablets, and; second, Google gives SEO priority to responsive websites when showing search results. 

2) Build your SEO and attract traffic

Having a website is all well and good, but if you want to sell online, you need to attract visitors to make it truly useful. “Build it and they will come” is not a strategy that works anymore. (Has it ever???)

Spend the time to research keywords that are relevant to you and your artwork and use them in your art descriptions, your blogs, and in the rest of your web copy. Also make the most of your website’s built in SEO capabilities (or install Yoast and use their suggestions, if you’re using a self-hosted Wordpress site).

You can also attract traffic by getting press coverage for you and your work, or simply by being yourself and commenting on other blogs, websites, groups, or on social media posts.

You don’t need to be “salesy,” but if what you have to say is interesting, people will start checking you out!

3) Grow a healthy email list

If your website crashes and can’t be recovered, Facebook shuts down your business page, or Instagram continues to reduce the amount of people who see your posts due to their fancy algorithms, what’s going to happen to all your followers? They’re not going to know what happened, and chances are you’ll never hear from or see them again. All your hard work growing your audience would be lost.

That’s not a situation I want to see you in (and unfortunately, I’ve seen some similar, very sad social media stories happen to artists). That’s why I highly, highly recommend that you start an email list as soon as possible. There are plenty of options out there for free or at very low cost for simple email collection, like Mailchimp, or MailerLite. So set it up and get it running!

Email marketing is still the most cost efficient way to sell online, but for it to be successful you’ll need to be vigilant not only in creating valuable content to share with your list, but also constantly working toward adding new people to your list.

Getting a website up and running, attracting traffic, and growing your email list can seem like big, intimidating goals to set. But these are the basics of selling online. You don’t have to do it all in a week. Break these larger goals down into smaller pieces, and just focus on accomplishing one small task at a time. 

Before you know it, you’ll find yourself with a vibrant, bustling community of fans… and lots of art sales!

Where are you at in this process, and what could you be doing better? Leave us a comment below, we love to hear from you!

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The “S” Word… but not the one you think.

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The “S” Word… but not the one you think.

Can you guess what the word is?

I’ll give you a clue: it’s a critical skill that every artist and creative needs to master if they want a successful business, yet so many of you feel so much resistance towards it…

I’m talking about selling!

But why? Why is selling such a bad word? Why is it that most people associate selling with creepy, outdated, used car salesmen techniques?

Really, when you think about it in a rational way, and stop letting your beliefs and emotions get in the way, selling is simply offering your expertise (either in the form of a product or a service) to someone who can benefit from that expertise, in exchange for compensation.

That’s it.

There’s nothing more to it.

Well, actually there IS a little something more to it – if you don’t put your expertise out there and let people know that you have a product or service to sell, then chances are people won’t purchase it… because they don’t know about it! (I learned that the hard way when I launched my first business!!!)

So what’s holding you back? Why are you so self-conscious about selling if you know it’s the key to the success you so deeply desire?

If you are like most of the artists and creatives I know who feel icky about selling, I’d like to ask you these three questions:

1) How do you feel or react when someone tries to sell you something?

If the answer is “annoyed,” then you might want to reconsider that mindset. Everyone is trying to make a living, and no one is forcing you to buy anything. If you are triggered when someone is trying to sell you something, ask yourself why you feel that way, and what is it about the product or technique that makes you feel annoyed? Often, it’s way more about you than it is about the person who’s trying to sell you something.

If, on the other hand, your answer is “I’m ok with it,” then why aren’t you giving yourself the same generosity when it comes to selling? You have just as much right as anyone else to be in business!

2) When’s the last time you had an amazing sales experience?

I’m sure it has happened to you: you walk into a store, start talking with the salesperson, and you immediately form a connection. The salesperson asks all the right questions to understand your needs and wants, and comes up with amazing options that you have a hard time choosing between!

There is so much to be learned by simply looking at how experienced salespeople interact in the field. You can learn so much about sales technique simply by observing how experienced salespeople interact with others! Think about amazing sales experiences you’ve had and how you can reproduce some of those experiences for your own clients.

3) How can you offer enough value so that your clients feel like you’re doing them a favor, instead of the other way around?

I recently spent three days in a remote hotel to reconnect with myself and write a bunch of content. The experience was a little on the expensive side, but oh so worth it! It seemed like the staff tried very hard to think about everything I could possibly have needed, making my experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. The result? I really felt like I got value for my money. I’ll definitely go back, and I’m going to tell anyone who’s interested about my experience and invite them to visit that place as well.

How does that relate to you? Well, if you want to feel really good about selling, make sure your offers are super valuable for your clients. Go the extra mile and make your people feel special about making a purchase from you.

You can resist the idea of selling as much as you like, and I know I’m going to get replies from a few of you telling me that I just don’t get it; artists and creatives simply cannot be good at selling.

But the truth of the matter is, whether you are selling your work to a potential client, selling yourself to a gallery, or selling an idea to a strategic partner, we all have to sell as entrepreneurs, whether we are artists or not.

We can either have fun doing it – because we are sharing our gifts with the world – or continue feeling icky about it and stay exactly where we are.

Did today’s topic about sales trigger you in a positive or negative way? Share your thoughts with us on in the comment section. I can’t wait to read what you have to say on this topic!

With love,
Catherine
 

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Three Reasons You NEED to Promote Yourself More Than You’re Doing Now

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Three Reasons You NEED to Promote Yourself More Than You’re Doing Now

If you’re like most artists I know, you have a dream you’re working toward: you want to live off the money you make from selling your art. But unless you’re unlike most artists I know, you also struggle with getting your work in front of the people who will buy it.

There’s a few reasons for this difficulty: you’re not sure how to reach your audience, you’re not sure how often or what to post, and you feel really weird when you post about your own work. You feel like you’re shouting “Look at me! Look at me!” from the rooftops.

Let me tell you, you’re making this far more complicated than it needs to be.

I know, I know… it feels scary and conceited to post about your own work… especially when you do it every day or multiple times a day like I’m suggesting you to do. But there are three really good reasons for you to follow my advice: 

1) People are bombarded with thousands of images every day

Think about it… how many images do you see between getting up in the morning and going to bed at night?

In a single day, you might casually scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, “heart” the photos on your Instagram feed, and – at the end of the day – hit up your Tumblr dashboard to catch up on your favorite bloggers. Right before bed, you scroll through Pinterest to look for ideas on sprucing up your apartment. And that’s all before you account for the visuals you encounter walking, driving, and in your household!

My point is: pictures of your work get lost in the “noise” very, very easily. Share images of your work, your inspiration, and your vision often to get a piece of that “attention pie” and stay top of mind with your fans and followers.

2) Facebook and Instagram algorithm changes are making it harder and harder to reach your tribe

Not only do you have to carve out some visual space for your art, you also have to be strategic about what content, how often, and when you post. Over the last few years, Facebook and Instagram have implemented algorithm changes impacting what type of content users see when they log in. These algorithms are constantly being tweaked, and filter the content you post based on how much and how often your followers interact with it.

This is why it’s so important to post interesting content, to include a “call to action” that encourages viewers to respond or share it, and to post and repost content often!

3) You need to feel “familiar” before your client will buy from you

Statistics show that, on average, people need at least seven touchpoints – or positive interactions – before they will purchase something from you. How is that going to happen if you’re hiding in your studio, feeling like you’re boasting if you post “yet another” picture of your artwork?!

It won’t happen, that’s what. Posting at least once a day gives your fans (and potential buyers) plenty of chances to get to know you, see your work, connect with your story and artistic process, and respond to your prompts. So do them (and yourself) a favor… and put yourself out there!

Above all… don’t let yourself get discouraged. I know that social media feels daunting – especially when you have so many other things to do! So don’t be afraid to repurpose content, reshare it on different platforms, and repost often (because no one, except maybe your mom, sees all the content you post).

Just keep at it, and before you know it you’ll have an enthusiastic following!

How are you using social media to grow your art business? Let us know what’s worked for you in the comment section below!

Think someone you know would benefit from my tips, blogs and events? Then be a good friend and share this post with them. :-)

I look forward to reading you!

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You don’t have to be on social media 24/7... if you do THIS!

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You don’t have to be on social media 24/7... if you do THIS!

Hey there Artrepreneurs!

Did you join me and over 200 artists last week when I did a Facebook live video on The Artist Entrepreneur Network and shared my top productivity tips? If you missed it, check out the replay here.

There was a general consensus amongst the group that we all want to spend more time doing what we love (in many cases that was creating art) and less time doing things that drain our energy…

…And social media came up (more than once) as something that really drains our energy!

Do you agree?

We’ve all, at some point or another, fallen into the trap of spending way too much time scrolling through our Facebook or Instagram feed for absolutely no reason or purpose whatsoever, and then ended up upset because we’d lost all this time accomplishing absolutely nothing.

There’s no shame in admitting this. I’ve done it, my clients have done it, and I’m not sure I would believe you if you said it’s never happened to you!

If we don’t use social media as a way to help us reach our goals, it can often leave us feeling empty and isolated, rather than bringing us closer together as per its initial purpose.

So what should we do? We all know that social media is a great tool that gives us the opportunity to connect with our audience, but at the same time, we all want to spend less time on it.

In today’s post I want to share 3 strategies to help you spend less time on social media, while continuing to build your creative business in an effective way.

1. Meet people in real life and build genuine connections

Did we all forget that there are people right outside our door that could become buyers of our work? I feel like we’ve all been focusing so much on social media lately that we have forgotten that there are people, in our community, who could become either clients or strategic partners for our business and who could help us grow our reach.

It does require getting out of your comfort zone and getting in front of people you don’t know, but the results are always meaningful.

Think about your end game: who do you want to sell your art to? who can help you reach more people? Identify organizations and events in your community that you can join to network with these people. Focus on meeting one new person at a time and you’ll notice huge progress in your business!

2. Reach out to media, bloggers and influencers to be featured on their platforms

Getting press for you and your work is a great way to build your credibility and increase your visibility. And it’s easier than you might think. It only requires a good dose of commitment and research to find the right people to connect with and the right story to share with them.

Getting featured on blogs, podcasts and media that pertain to your ideal client will generate traffic to your website and ultimately, get you sales.

3. Use social media purposefully

I don’t want to make social media the evil here because I know firsthand how great a tool it can be, if you use it the right way. We all have some work to do in disciplining ourselves in the way we use it.

Do we let social media take over our lives, or do we leverage social media to reach our goals? Of course, we all want the latter. Whether it’s by using a timer to control how much time we spend on each platform, decluttering the number of pages, groups or people we follow or simply allowing ourselves a couple of days off social media every week to focus on other things, we are all responsible for using technology in a way that serves us, not the other way around.

Saying that social media is not going away is probably the understatement of the century! But we don’t have to be victims of it. Yes, platforms change, algorithms may decrease our visibility, and people’s needs evolve, but if we want our businesses to keep growing over the long run, it’s our job as entrepreneurs to evolve with these changes.

We can either complain about it or embrace it. Again, I choose the latter.

How are you managing social media for your creative business and what additional tips do you have for us to find balance with it all?

Let us know in the comments below, or join the artist community The Artist Entrepreneur Network over on Facebook!

Can’t wait to read you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You won’t be getting a medal for this…

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You won’t be getting a medal for this…

“Wonderful, you did it all by yourself!”

Did anyone tell you this when you were a child? Or maybe, if you are like me and have children at home, you’re probably constantly telling them this to encourage them to do things on their own, and develop their autonomy.

While that is absolutely true growing up, trying to do #allthethings by ourselves, without support or community is probably the worst way to go about things when we are starting and growing a business, whatever that business is.

Why? Because building a business is difficult and it takes a lot of dedication, patience and resilience.

Of course, at first, the idea of working for ourselves, by ourselves can seem like paradise! No one to report to, no one pushing us to do things we don’t want to do, no need to put on make-up in the morning… Like I said, paradise!

Yet, after a while, the same things that we were so much looking forward to, can become the things that make our entrepreneurial journey the most difficult.

Don’t just take my word for it. In the 2013 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 34 percent of entrepreneurs - 4 percentage points more than other workers - reported they were worried. And 45 percent of entrepreneurs said they were stressed, 3 percentage points more than other workers.

And one of the top stress factors of being an entrepreneur, is without a doubt: loneliness. 

That’s right. Isn’t it ironic?

We are conditioned throughout our childhood to be proud of doing things “by ourselves”, yet when it comes to building and starting a business, that’s probably the worst thing you could be doing!

I see it first hand with my clients, but also with the artists that actively take part in The Artist Entrepreneur Network, those who seek support AND those who reach out to others who need it by giving them support, do much better and feel much better about their business.

Whether you are just starting out or at a point where you are ready to scale your business, you should surround yourself with people who can listen, help and lift you.

Here are 5 ways you can get out of isolation and thrive in business:

1)    Join an online community: I know, we all want to spend less time on social media, I get it. But finding a space where you can connect and share with like-minded creatives can be a constructive way to use it. Did you join The Artist Entrepreneur Network yet? It’s full of artists and creatives ready to support you!

2)    Join a local support group for entrepreneurs: There’s definitely power in meeting and connecting with people face to face. You’ll learn from each other’s experience and this networking opportunity could lead to new friendships, and wait for it, new clients! Check out Meetup or look for local business associations on Google.

3)    Create a Mastermind: Mastermind groups are great because we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. But who said you had to pay for them? Know a few people who are in business and could benefit from a support group? Offer them to join your mastermind. My tip to make it work: Make the rules of engagement and what is expected from each participant very clear AND have a start and end date so that everyone knows what they are getting themselves into.

4) Reach out to a mentor: So many entrepreneurs have been there before you, so why try to reinvent the wheel? Reach out to someone you know who’s been there and see if he/she would be open to the idea of mentoring you for a few months. Don’t know anyone? Many local organizations offer mentor-matching opportunities.

5) Hire team members: I know, it might sound counter intuitive, how can you think of hiring someone if you can’t even make ends meet. I get it, investing in your business is scary, but growth almost always requires some sort of investment. I’m not saying you should hire a full-time assistant, rather look at what your needs are, and see if you can find a freelancer that could help you a few hours a month. I promise, it will cost you less than what you think.

Because, like my mentor told me *again* last week, “No dear, you won’t be getting a medal for doing it all yourself.”

You see, even I have to be reminded of the importance of community and team work once in a while!

What are your thoughts? What do you do to feel supported or support others? We want to hear your ideas and experiences. Leave us a comment below!

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3 things I’ll be talking way more about in 2017… And how it all relates to building a house.

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3 things I’ll be talking way more about in 2017… And how it all relates to building a house.

How are the first couple of weeks of 2017 treating you? Still excited and motivated about all the opportunities that you will create? Or are you starting to feel like that proverbial deer in the headlights, i.e. confused about what’s coming your way?

I get it, we all (myself included here) deal with January the best way we can. 

Even if we are super energized and excited about what’s to come, it can be a difficult time for many.

Because I know and can relate, I want to help! That’s why this week, I started working on my 2017 content calendar and outlined the themes I wanted to write and talk about this year. 

As I was brainstorming ideas, it quickly became evident that 3 very strong themes kept coming back to the surface. These 3 themes are concepts I’ve already talked about with you in the past, but this year, I want to go more in depth so you can learn to MASTER them all (because I absolutely know you can).

Ready to hear what they are? Here we go!

1) Proven Strategies

Who said you have to reinvent the wheel every time you release a new body of work or launch a new program? Not me! On the other hand, isn’t doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results the definition of insanity? According to Einstein, yes it is! 

So what is a creative to do? 

I’ll tell you: it’s all about strategy planning. 

Could you imagine building a house without having blueprints for it first? Of course not! So why would you think building a business would be different?

If you want your business to be sustainable, then you need a plan for it. I’m not talking about a 250 page plan that no one will ever read. I’m talking about an actionable plan that you will review every 90-days to help you stay focused.

2) Consistent execution

Having a great plan and amazing strategies are great, but they will be worth less than the paper on which they are written if you don’t put them into action. Being consistent day in, day out, when implementing your strategies is key to growth.

I don’t believe in overnight success. Those who are described as such, have usually spent weeks, months and even years toiling in the shadow in order to create that success. 

Patience might not be one of my biggest qualities (just ask my kids!), but over the years and especially since I’ve been an entrepreneur, I’ve realized how important it is. 

If strategy is the blueprint you will use to build your business, then consistent execution could be compared to the laying of the bricks, the plumbing, the electricity… It will take time, you will need to follow your plan thoroughly and you probably won’t be able to do it all alone and as quickly as you would have hoped. 

But if you work through your building plan consistently, you will one day get it done and you’ll be grateful you invested in quality materials and qualified professionals, because you will have a house that will keep you warm and cozy for years. 

3) Entrepreneurial mindset

What if I told you that strategy and execution will be work zilch if you don’t actually work towards becoming the creative entrepreneur you want to be? Continuing with my house building analogy, if strategy = blueprints and execution = the steps to building the house, then mindset is without a doubt, and you’ve guessed it, the house’s foundations.

A house is only as solid as the foundations on which it sits. 

Let’s be honest here, being an entrepreneur is hard. Being a creative entrepreneur is even harder.

Why? Because most of us have been raised to believe that creativity, art and emotions don’t mix well with business. We’ve grown up with this belief and most people you meet on a daily basis feel the same way. 

Even worse, some will go further and say that it is wrong for artists and creatives to want to make money.

How can we build sustainable, profitable businesses that gives us an opportunity to create a positive impact in the world if we perpetuate those kinds of beliefs?

We can’t. And we shouldn’t.

It’s only through mindset work, community and engagement that we will be able to break through the “starving artist” myth and grow and prosper as creative entrepreneurs.

Ready to build the creative business of your dreams in 2017? 

Maybe you have a question or something you feel is holding you back or keeping you from moving in the direction you know you were meant to go?

If so, now’s the time to ask! I’m just about ready to start recording my new audio series which will come out (I’m hoping) in the next couple of weeks. This audio series is dedicated to YOU and will answer YOUR Qs.

So if you’d like me to answer one of your Qs, it’s as simple as clicking on the follwing link and telling me all about what you are struggling with! https://catherine65.typeform.com/to/j8T9rb

Who knows, I might choose your question and answer it on my show! 

Get your Creative Business Q answered here: https://catherine65.typeform.com/to/j8T9rb

I can’t wait to read you, and most of all, help you build that creative business we both know you were meant to have!

With love, 

Catherine

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What I'm thankful for this year? You of course!

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What I'm thankful for this year? You of course!

Although I’m Canadian and our Thanksgiving took place last month, I didn’t see any valid reason to not take this opportunity to be grateful for all the people, things and events that have showed up in my life and my business this year.

In fact, I felt so inspired that I created a short “homemade” video just for you!

Once you've watched the video, I’d be so grateful if you left us a comment below by sharing with us…

  1. Where do you need support to grow your art business and career? How can The Artist Entrepreneur best support you in 2017?
  2. What is your favorite Foundation or NGO that supports the arts and/or education? The Artist Entrepreneur is committed to consistently giving back to the community and we want your suggestions on the best ways we can do that!

So leave a comment below and let us know! I look forward to reading you!

Not a member of The Artist Entrepreneur Network and interested to join? Click here to connect with over 13,000 artists and creative from around the world through this free community.

And in the meantime, I want to wish you, wherever you are in the world, a happy Thanksgiving day, spent with people you love! 

With all of my love,

Catherine

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7 Mistakes That Are Keeping Starving Artists From Thriving

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7 Mistakes That Are Keeping Starving Artists From Thriving

This blog post was first published on the Huffington Post.

If you are anything like me, then you are more than tired of hearing about the “starving artist” myth. If there’s something I don’t believe in, it’s the notion that artists can’t succeed in business. As a matter of fact, I wrote a blog arguing the complete opposite last Fall.

I truly believe artists can run profitable businesses without compromising their artistic and creative integrity. In fact, this should be true of all business owners and leaders.

The starving artist myth is a limiting belief that’s been passed on from generation to generation and it’s about time we put an end to it. Not only is it disempowering to artists trying to promote themselves and their work, it’s also a barrier for many talented teenagers and young adults who will not pursue a career in the arts from fear of not being able to support themselves and later on in life, their families. Many will major in a more “socially accepted” program and pursue a career they don’t enjoy. No wonder depression and infidelity rates are through the roof. Our society just doesn’t value doing what ignites your passion when it comes to earning a living. Instead, we are conditioned to do “the right thing”, even if it makes us incredibly unhappy.

So what should you do when the thing you are really good at, the thing that really drives you and excites you come Monday morning isn’t putting food on the table?

In my opinion, you have two options:

Option #1: Keep your passion as a hobby and suck it up at your day job.

or

Option #2: Make a personal, professional and financial plan, push through resistance and turn that passion into a thriving business.

I know both options very well. I’ve tried them both. No, I’m not a professional artist, but I work in the art business, and let me tell you, I’ve had to jump over my share of hurdles before I got to where I am today.

As I evolved in the art world and worked with artists from all walks of life, some starving and some thriving, I was able to pinpoint very concrete reasons why thriving artists are thriving and starving artists are, well, starving...

In a nutshell, here are the 7 mistakes that keep starving artists from thriving:

Mistake #1: They aren’t clear on their goals
When I ask artists what their vision is for their art career, the answer I often get is “to sell my art”. That, my friends, is neither a vision nor a goal. To be able to thrive in your art career you need to know what you want and create a plan to get it. Without a clear vision, everything you do is just hoping and guessing.

Mistake #2: Their pricing strategy isn’t working for them
Way too many artists sell themselves and their art short because they think that their prices are what’s keeping them from getting sales. The fact that the art industry has one of the least transparent market out there doesn’t help artists to be clear and confident about their prices. But one thing is certain, people will only take you seriously as an artist and value your work the day you start valuing your own work. Not the other way around.

Mistake #3: They aren’t using the power of storytelling
Social media has completely changed the way artists communicate with their fans and collector base. Only a few years ago, all communications from artist to collector were made through the gallery owner. Today, artists have the opportunity to create a brand for themselves, build relationships and connect directly with their collector base through powerful storytelling. It’s not to say that galleries don’t have their purpose, they still do, but artists can now control their message and stop relying exclusively on galleries for exposure.

Mistake #4: They don’t follow through
Call it consistency, call it follow-through, call it showing up, call it whatever you want, as an entrepreneur, because that’s what today’s artists are, entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to stay focused on what’s important and do what needs to get done. Building an art business takes time. So when artists jump from one thing to the next, I see so many missed opportunities simply because they simply don’t follow through.

Mistake #5: They aren’t comfortable promoting themselves
Selling has a bad reputation in the art world. Many artists feel that selling is beneath them or that collectors won’t take them seriously if they promote themselves. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Collectors want to see the artists they are following get visibility and sales, because it reassures them that they are making the right decision to invest in them.

Mistake #6: They can’t handle rejection
As entrepreneurs, artists need to learn that rejection is simply part of the process, that there will be many no’s before they get a yes. And the persistent artists, the ones that don’t stop after being told no over and over again, but rather listen to feedback and act on it, are the ones who end up making it.

Mistake #7: They don’t follow-up
So many missed opportunities are due to a lack of consistent follow-up. Maybe it’s due to their fear of rejection, but many artists pass on sales or visibility opportunities just because they don’t follow-up with their contacts. It really is as simple as that.

Most of time, a few simple tweaks in terms of mindset and how artists manage their business can make a huge difference in revenue at the end of the year.

Need help creating a simple, yet profitable plan for your art business? Then download my free guide "The Seven Steps You Need to Build a Profitable Art Business + Career" where I help artists develop a strategy to take their career to the next level.

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