It’s going to get harder before it gets easier!

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It’s going to get harder before it gets easier!

Do you ever ask yourself why “this” had to happen to you? Your drive to create, the desire to make a living with your creative skills… I mean, let’s face it, wouldn’t your life be simpler if you had a passion for numbers and became an accountant? Or if you loved structures and formulas and became a civil engineer?

I’m not saying life would be easier, but it would definitely be simpler… right?

But that just wasn’t meant to be. You were born to be an artist. Whether you make money and live off of your art is mostly irrelevant. Because every time you thought you’d had enough, that you couldn’t do this anymore because it was too hard, ultimately you always came back to your pencils, brushes, camera, notes…

There isn’t any way around it, you are a creative, and like it or not, you have to create.

The reason I’m writing to you today is to say:

A)    You’ve got this. Hard doesn’t mean impossible. If you know that you are meant to do great things, connect with amazing people, and share your message with the world, don’t give up. We all need to hear what you have to say and see what you have to create!

And;

B) You don’t have to take all the hits by yourself. You are not alone, and as I wrote in a blog post few months back… you don’t get a medal because you tried to do #allthethings in your business by yourself.

The path to entrepreneurship is paved with obstacles, but these obstacles are all signs, check-ins, and tests to make sure you are serious about your commitment.

Every success story also has its share of stumbling blocks…

Like J.K. Rowling, who authored the Harry Potter books and is currently the second-richest female entertainer on the planet (right behind Oprah), who was turned down by twelve different publishers before signing her first book deal…

Or Cézanne, whose submissions to the Salon were rejected every year from 1864 to 1869…

Or Elvis, whose first performance at the Grand Ole Opry flopped, and was told by the concert hall manager that he’d be better off going back to driving trucks in Memphis than trying to keep playing music…

… and need I remind you of Steve Jobs, who was fired by his own company?

I believe success is inevitable with the right strategy, execution, and mindset.

And not only do I believe this, but I've also witnessed it first-hand with clients who diligently work on EACH of these 3 pillars to grow a creative business that fulfills them financially and personally.

Yet, so many of you aren’t doing this! And to be completely honest, it makes me really sad. You have so much potential, and you are leaving opportunities on the table.

If you don’t know what you need to do to get to where you want to go, then ask for help.

If you do know what you need to do to get to where you want to go, then do what you need to do (even if it’s scary).

Ready to take action? Share with me the scary thing that you’ll be doing to turn the impossible into possible!

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. Or, connect with over 17,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and get the help you need!

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Want to take your art business to the next level? Ask yourself these 3 simple questions

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Want to take your art business to the next level? Ask yourself these 3 simple questions

Hey there artrepreneur!

Whether it’s doing media interviews or when I’m just jamming with artists over on The Artist Entrepreneur Network, I am frequently asked (not always in these exact words) what core principles can make or break an art business.

Although it’d be easy to rattle off an answer like: you need a website, a good portfolio, and a healthy email list, my approach to answering this question is nothing like that.

I feel that there is more than one path to success, and simply talking about “marketing tactics” to ensure you reach your goals would be a very simplistic answer.

Honestly answering the following three questions (even if it hurts) is, in my very humble opinion, much more telling and will give you a better sense of what you need to do to take your art business to the next level, whatever that next level means for you.

Question #1: Are you ready to focus?

This means you’re going to have to say no, often. No to opportunities, no to people (yes, even family), no to new exciting ideas, no to parties, or no to (insert that thing that always distracts you from your goal). Being a savvy entrepreneur is as much about seizing opportunities as it is about letting go of what doesn’t serve you. By letting go, you can focus on what will move the needle in your business and get you closer to your ultimate goal.

Question #2: Are you ready to take action consistently?

Of course you are! I’m sure you are already taking action and that you are maybe even triggered by the fact that I’m asking this question. But are you taking the right actions, AND more importantly, are you taking action outside of your comfort zone? Because if you are simply doing the same thing you’ve always done and aren’t getting the results you want, then maybe it’s time to change your strategy.

Success takes time and comes in many shapes and forms. Whatever strategy you are using to grow your business, you’ll start seeing results only if you consistently show up in your business, day-in, day-out, whether you feel like it or not. I know there are a lot of “online gurus” out there who will tell you to do what “feels good.” But do the things you try for the first time ever “feel good?” Usually not, right? First, you have to get used to them, build strong habits around them, and see results before they’ll start “feeling good.” And it’s those who are willing to go through that uneasy phase and keep their eye on the ball who ultimately make it. Read any artist biography out there – they all state this very simple concept, but in different words.

Question #3: Are you ready to invest in your business?

Whether it’s money, time, or energy, your business needs you and your investment. I’m all about “lean start-up” models, but there’s a limit to what you can achieve and how much you can grow if you aren’t willing to invest. I know investing is scary, but it’s part of the mindset work required if you actually want to grow anything.

So, where do you stand? If you’ve answered YES to these 3 questions, then I’d love to have a conversation with you!

I’m presently opening 3 spots in my 1-on-1 programs for driven creatives and artists who want to find balance in their personal and professional lives, honor their deep commitment to creating art, and grow their revenue and profitability like never before.

I’ve haven’t opened private consulting spots to my community for over a year now. That’s because I’ve been booked solid thanks to the amazing artists who have reached out and trusted me to help them become smart CEOs of their art businesses. It’s been incredible watching their successes.

When you start working with me 1-on-1, I become your business partner – helping you find the balance between discerning business owner and passionate creative. I learn each facet of your business, inside and out. And as your business partner, I am fully committed to your personal and financial success.

What if you…

… felt free to dream about growing your business as big as you possibly could – knowing you could make it a reality?

… could spend as much time in the studio as you wanted to, producing work from your heart and soul?

… were confident about creating and leveraging your marketing strategy?

… had scalable, integrated systems to increase your sales and income?

… achieved enough success to leave that day job that you hate?

… stopped running at everyone else’s beck and call, and finally stepped into the CEO role your business has been waiting for?

Is this what YOU want? Then I’m exactly the person YOU need!

If YOU are a talented creative yearning to grow a profitable business…

If YOU are committed to taking consistent action and open to receiving honest, no-nonsense feedback to support your business growth…

If YOU are willing to challenge your fears, get out of your comfort zone, and try new things to get results…

If YOU are DONE trying to reinvent the wheel, and want proven strategies to move you forward into your zone of genius…

… then I want to have a conversation with YOU.

There are several ways that we can work together 1-on-1, I’ve got packages that can fit any budget!

So, whether you are overwhelmed with #allthethings you “should” be doing to grow your business or ready to step up your game and take on the leadership role in your business, then please fill out an application to work with me and lets have a conversation. 

Wait, what? I have to fill out what?!

How do I know if I’m the right fit for you?

If you are interested but unsure, the best way to figure it out is to fill out an application  so we can have an open and honest conversation about you, your business, and your goals.

Spots for these programs are limited because my 1-on-1 clients have my full attention. I only accept clients for whom I know I can make a difference. If I don’t feel completely confident about being able to support you and help you get results, I won’t waste your time or money. Working with me 1-on-1 must be a win-win partnership for both of us! 

You can ask anyone who’s ever gotten on the phone with me, these calls are not meant to pressure you into working with me. We assess your current situation and see if working together will be a good fit for you. And if they aren’t, I’m going to tell you and refer you to something or someone I think could be a better fit for you.

Dear artrepreneur, can we please stop waiting around for the “perfect timing” and make that leap already?!?!

Go ahead, fill out an application and lets make magic happen togetherYou know you want to. ;-)

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. Or, connect with over 17,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and get the help you need!

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Feel like no one cares? Three tips to ask for the help you need.

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Feel like no one cares? Three tips to ask for the help you need.

Do you have people in your network that you think could help you grow your art business + career but you just don’t feel comfortable approaching them for yet another sale?

I totally get that! So what if you did not have to ask them for a sale? What if you asked them to help you in a way that wouldn’t cost them anything, but would still help you develop your business?

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How do you find buyers for your art?

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How do you find buyers for your art?

If you had the chance to ask me just one question about your art business + career, what would that question be?

I bet I can guess.

Over the last two years that I’ve led the Artist Entrepreneur Network AND answered questions on my #AskCatherine live Q&A sessions, the most common question I’ve gotten from members is “Where do I find buyers for my art?”

I’ve also seen countless posts like…

“My friends love my art, but none of them want to buy it!”

Or…

“Are there still people out there who buy art?”

Although the art market is considered to be one of the least transparent industries out there, I can tell you that it’s still a growing one… especially online!

That’s right! According to the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2017 “...the online art market has continued to grow strongly (up 15% to $3.75 billion) against the backdrop of a slowly-increasing global art market.”

So what does this mean for artists (like you) who want to build their brand and sell their art online?

Well, again, like this report says, the opportunities are endless because the trend of selling online is still in its infancy.

“Okay,” I hear you saying. “It’s great that the online art industry is growing and all, but that doesn’t help me get buyers!”

Actually, it does.

Knowing that the online art market is in good shape means that the opportunities are out there – but it’s up to you to grab them!

So if there are buyers out there (and there are), where do you find them?

Or better yet, how do you help them find you?

Here are a few pointers:

First, get rid of the belief that there are no buyers out there.

I know it’s hard, I know you feel like you’ve tried it all. But believe me, that defeated attitude will get you nowhere. As long as you keep believing that you can’t and won’t find buyers, it won’t happen. Period.

Instead of looking for proof that no one is buying, look for proof that artists are selling their work. Once you shift your mindset, you’ll find positive reinforcement everywhere. Write down the success stories you find and be inspired by them to set your own goals.

Second, identify who your ideal collector is and start connecting.

I see artists promoting their art to other artists far too often, especially on social media. Sharing, learning, and getting support from other artists is very important, but the truth remains – other artists aren’t your buyers.

What separates successful from unsuccessful artists is the ability to get laser focused on who your ideal client is and developing a strategy to reach that client. If you want to focus your energy on online sales, this applies more than ever!

The internet is oversaturated with images and information. If you want to reach new buyers, you need to be very clear on who your art is and isn’t for. With that in mind, you will stand out and make meaningful connections.

Third, follow up and follow through.

You can’t leave sales up to chance. Everyone is busy, and “buying art” is rarely on top of a person’s to-do list.

That’s why you need to consistently be visible, engage, and follow up with potential leads who have demonstrated interest in your work. Selling starts by building meaningful relationships – even online!

Whether you are playing with the high rollers or just have your own small online store, it doesn’t matter. The quality of your relationships and your capacity to demonstrate that you have valuable work to offer on a consistent basis will differentiate you from the pack.

Finally, its still about the art.

I know I keep encouraging you to approach your art business with a strong entrepreneurial mindset – that is my job! But one mistake I see too many artists make is spending too much time on the business side of things, and they stop creating art altogether!

Remember, you are not in the business of blogging, or vlogging, or tweaking websites. You are an ARTIST! Your art and your voice are really what is going to attract buyers – not only to know you, but to like and trust you.

Don’t forget why you started doing this in the first place!

 I’d love to hear from you: what actions will you take to connect with buyers this week? Tell me about it in the comments below!

I can’t stress enough that there are buyers out there and that it’s your willingness to let go of your limiting beliefs and show up every day in your art business that makes the difference.

Believe me, I’ve seen it happen firsthand with my clients. I look forward to reading your comments!

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. Or, connect with over 17,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and get the help you need!

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Make a coffee date… with your sales goals!

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Make a coffee date… with your sales goals!

How’s summer treating you so far? Are you feeling good about your business, or is the stress of trying to make it all work getting to you – even through the fun and the sun?

I don’t want to make things worse…  but have you noticed that we are halfway through 2017?! It’s already the middle of July! Yes, already!

So let me ask you this: How confident are you that your business will be successful in the second half of the year? Do you have a plan for how, when, and where your sales goals will unfold over the next 6 months?

… I can see you making faces at your screen right now, or simply shaking your head.

… I can hear you telling me apologetically, “I have no idea, Catherine!”

… I can feel your discouragement.

Can you trust me when I say it doesnt have to be that way?

Meeting your sales goals doesn’t have to be depressing or stressful. It can be exciting and uplifting to plan where, when, and with whom your next sale will happen.

And not only can making a sales plan be a positive experience, the outcome of fulfilling someone’s need with one of your own special pieces can feel incredibly rewarding!

Wouldnt that feel good?

As we head into the second half of 2017, I’d like for you to do some serious planning so that you end this year excited about your accomplishments and don’t end up just wishing and hoping like you did at the end of last year.

By planning, I mean that I want you to ask yourself some tough questions to help get you from where you are now to where you want to be on December 31st.

Wanna try? Then let’s do this!

Question #1: What do you have to sell?

Have you properly identified and catalogued what you have for sale right now? If your intention is to make a good (not just okay) living with your art, you not only need to start tracking inventory, but you also need to develop products and services that fit with your revenue goals and clients’ interests.

Question #2: How much do you want to make?

What are the good, better, and best case scenarios when it comes to selling your art this year? Look at your sales numbers and compare them with your inventory and production capacity, the prices you are asking, and the number of sales you need to achieve your goals.

Does your system make sense? If so, then set yourself some sales goals. If not, do your research! Look at what other artists are selling, what price point they are selling at, and how they are marketing themselves.

Question #3: Whos going to buy your work?

Now that you know what you have to sell and how much you want to sell it for, it’s time to find your buyers! Look at your network and sales channels. What’s working? What isn’t? How can you strengthen the relationships you already have? How can you expand your network and find those ideal collectors that will become raving fans of your work? Make sure that who you are, what you do, and who you are selling to all fit together in a cohesive message.

Question #4: Where can you show and sell your work?

Whether you’re displaying your work online or offline, the more it is seen the better the chances are that you will make sales. Brainstorm and get creative about how to put yourself out there. Some ideas will work, others won’t. That’s ok, you’re building and learning as you go.

Building a business is not about guessing and hoping—it’s about developing strategies, consistently putting yourself out there to implement those strategies, and then tweaking and pivoting until you get it just right. And then rinse and repeat!

Also remember that you have to open yourself up to others if you want your business to work… You can’t just keep hiding in your studio. Always keep in mind that buyers and collectors are people too, and they love getting to know you! :-)

So, what are your goals for the next 6 months? Leave a comment below, we’d all love to hear from you!]

In the meantime, I’ll be working on my upcoming fall projects (there’s exciting stuff in the works!!!) and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! I’ll be giving you a sneak peek soon, so be sure to stay tuned!

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. Or, connect with over 17,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and get the help you need!

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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 on July 12, 2017 - Special Summer School price: $47 USD (Regular price: $97 USD)

PACKAGE 2: Branding and Pricing Your Art for the High-End Market on July 26, 2017 - 
Special Summer School price: $47 USD (Regular price: $97 USD)

PACKAGE 3: Getting More Clients to Say YES! and Selling without Feeling Like A Sell Out August 16, 2017 - 
Special Summer School price: $47 USD (Regular price: $97 USD)

PACKAGE 4: Facebook + Instagram + Email = Growing Your Art Business on August 30, 2017 - Special Summer School price: $47 USD (Regular price: $97 USD)

PACKAGE 5: SUMMER SCHOOL BUNDLE Get all workshops, Q&A calls, worksheets, and checklists for only $147 USD (Regular price: $297 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!

Summer School is your only chance to work with me this summer

Have you noticed that I haven’t invited you to join any of my programs for a while? That’s because (and thank you to my amazing clients for this) I’ve been fully booked for months, and will be for the entire summer! This means Summer School is your only chance to get my eyeballs on your business, especially during the Q&A calls where you’ll get to ask me anything you want about the topic we are covering!!

One more thing... We’ll be co-creating Summer School content together to make sure it fits your needs.

What the heck does that mean??? This is probably the best thing about Summer School: The content will be tailored to you!!! (Well, that is if you join us. ;-) )

How is that even possible?

As soon as you join Summer School, you will receive an email from me asking what you are hoping to get out of your package. All your comments, questions, and requests will be added to the content of the workshops because I want to make sure each one is as valuable as possible for YOU.

Still unsure about Summer School? 

The see what others have said about working with me… Because let’s be honest, how do you know you can trust me? There are so many “coaches” out there in the online world… so how am I any different??? Well, don’t take my word for it, see what others say about me:

"In order to learn more about the marketing side of art, I decided to sign up for one of Catherine’s program. Best decision I ever made! I followed the outline and in just a few months I noticed amazing results! The followers on my art page quadrupled, people signed up on my website, I networked with other artists at shows (which led to me participating in shows I did not even know about) and most importantly sold more art than ever on and offline (even got my first commission). Thank you so much, Catherine! You inspired me to explore the unknown and push my boundaries! " —Sylvia Larkin, Artist

Catherine's message on how to focus my plan and be consistent with my habits is such great advice for any entrepreneur. I now have specifics and details on how to move forward with my art business. I learned so much from her in just one session. I’m feeling very motivated and inspired. Thank you very much Catherine, I’m lucky to have connected with you!” —Tracy Armstrong, Artist

Catherine, this has been the most positive experience I have had in a way of learning in my whole life!! I am nearly speechless! I have moved out of my comfort zone with your support, guidance and compassion. My fear is so much less now. I know I can do anything, because of what I have learned from you and fellow students! Thank you so much. You are compassionate, smart and funny person. I admire you!” —Linda Lenich, Artist

Ready to make the leap? Then sign up today!!! Hurry! Registrations close July 7, 2017!!

PACKAGE 1: Finding Your Niche and Connecting with the Right Audience on July 12, 2017 - Special Summer School price: $47 USD (Regular price: $97 USD)

PACKAGE 2: Branding and Pricing Your Art for the High-End Market on July 26, 2017 - 
Special Summer School price: $47 USD (Regular price: $97 USD)

PACKAGE 3: Getting More Clients to Say YES! and Selling without Feeling Like A Sell Out August 16, 2017 - 
Special Summer School price: $47 USD (Regular price: $97 USD)

PACKAGE 4: Facebook + Instagram + Email = Growing Your Art Business on August 30, 2017 - Special Summer School price: $47 USD (Regular price: $97 USD)

PACKAGE 5: SUMMER SCHOOL BUNDLE Get all workshops, Q&A calls, worksheets, and checklists for only $147 USD (Regular price: $297 USD)!

 


Got questions about The Artist Entrepreneur Summer School? Just leave a comment in the comment section below or email us at info@orercommunications.com for a quick reply! 

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

If you want more support in moving your art business forward - while connecting with over 17,000 other artist entrepreneurs - join us at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and get the help you need! Also, if you haven't already, get my free "7 Ways to Increase Your Sales" cheat sheet and learn how to significantly increase your sales over the next 90 days!

 

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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!

If you want more support in moving your art business forward - while connecting with over 17,000 other artist entrepreneurs - join us at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and get the help you need! Also, if you haven't already, get my free "7 Ways to Increase Your Sales" cheat sheet and learn how to significantly increase your sales over the next 90 days!

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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!

If you want more support in moving your art business forward - while connecting with over 17,000 other artist entrepreneurs - join us at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and get the help you need! Also, if you haven't already, get my free "7 Ways to Increase Your Sales" cheat sheet and learn how to significantly increase your sales over the next 90 days!

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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!

If you want more support in moving your art business forward - while connecting with over 17,000 other artist entrepreneurs - join us at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and get the help you need! Also, if you haven't already, get my free "7 Ways to Increase Your Sales" cheat sheet and learn how to significantly increase your sales over the next 90 days!

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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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