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Part 3: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales...

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Part 3: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales...

PART 3: Share the “why” behind your artwork

This is the third post in our three-part series on how to talk your artwork. Today we’re talking about letting your unique voice come through to your audience! If you missed them, here’s our first post on creating good content, and here’s the second post on establishing presence.


Hey there artrepreneur! Before we launch into today’s topic, I want you to take just a few minutes and answer a question for me: Why do you create the artwork you make?

… have you got your answer? Good!

Now, I may not know the details of your life story or why you started creating art, but I DO know a secret about you. Want to know what it is?

I know that your creative energy comes from a place deep inside you – regardless of your subject matter, your artistic medium, or how long you’ve been making art – and that no one else (no matter who they are) is making art for quite the same reasons you are.

What I also know is that many artists are scared about sharing the personal story behind their artwork. Either they’re worried about coming off as too esoteric or self-absorbed, or conversely, they think they have nothing important or interesting to say! So instead, they have light, inconsequential conversations and never show their deeper creative side.

In this series of posts, I’ve been talking about sharing your artistic vision through a “what, how, why” formula so that you can cultivate more meaningful relationships and conversations with your audience, ultimately making more sales and enjoying more success as an artist!

We’ve talked about some principles of sharing good content (the what), and establishing a compelling presence (the how), but now it’s time to get down to the really gritty stuff… your voice, or put a different way, the “why” behind your work.

Is it worth it to go to all the trouble of sharing the inspiration, process, and emotion behind your work?

Let me assure you that it is. Simon Sinek, a well-known author, motivational speaker, and thought leader, said it best, “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

As you build relationships with your audience and learn how to talk about your artwork, it’s important to let your voice (and your why!) come through so they learn about the real you, the one behind the art you make.

Ready for some guidance on how to do that?

1)    Let your message and mission take center stage

No matter what you’re creating or why you’re doing it, you have something you’re trying to accomplish with your art practice – in other words, you have a mission!

You shouldn’t be afraid to talk about “the real stuff.” In fact, that’s what will make you stand out and be unique among all the other artists out there. Once you’ve gotten clear on your message, talk about it! And then talk about it some more.

Don’t be afraid to repeat what you have to say over and over again. By affirming and reaffirming your position, people will begin remembering you and what you have to say… and once they’ve heard it enough, they’ll believe that you’re serious about it… And repeat it to others!

The takeaway: Trust your vision and your mission… and don’t be afraid to share it! It is part of what makes you uniquely you.

2)    Preserve your authentic voice

Are you quirky, serious, or somewhere in between? What do you think about when creating your artwork? What inspiration are you drawing from when you create something new?

Most importantly… how well do you stick to your personal “whys” when you’re talking to someone about your artwork?

It’s tempting to look around at other successful artists or brands and think that you should write like them, talk like them, follow the same marketing tactics as they do, and so on. After all, their system worked for them, right?

The problem with squeezing yourself into a mold is that it becomes harder and harder to talk about the deeper inspiration behind your work and step outside of the boundaries you’ve created for yourself.

The takeaway: Let your unique characteristics come through in your writing and conversations. Not only will this make you far more interesting to your audience, but – because your personality traits are likely reflected in the work you create – it will help your audience understand your work better too. Stay true to yourself and it will pay off in the long run!

3)    Pay attention to your audience’s “know, like, trust” journey

To successfully engage your audience, first they have learn who you are and what you’re about. Your ideal collector (the one you’re speaking to with your work) will hang around because they start to like you and what you have to say. Keep it up long enough, and eventually they’ll begin to trust in your integrity and authenticity.

Why is this important? Because it’s at the end of the “know, like, trust” (PLEASE LINK TO THE BLOG “YOU ONLY NEED THESE 3 THINGS TO SELL YOUR ART) journey that your audience will buy from you. But your followers aren’t just buying a piece of merchandise from you when they purchase a piece… they’re investing in you as an artist and in your future. They need to be confident that the investment is worth it!

Creating great content that conveys the authentic “you” naturally brings your followers along on this journey. That doesn’t mean that you won’t ever say “This piece is for sale!” or ask for them to sign up for your email list, but it does mean that you should balance these asks with real, engaging conversation.

The takeaway: The more authentic and real you are about your creative journey, the more people will learn to know you, like you, trust you, and purchase from you.

How are you planning to apply these tips to share the story, inspiration, and “why” behind your work? Let me know in the comments!

Did you miss the first two posts in this series? Click here for Part 1 (creating good content), and here for Part 2 (establishing presence)!

I know how hard it can be to talk about your work with confidence when you don't know what to say, or how to say it.

That’s why I’ve gathered all the information I shared with you in this 3-part series in one place and as a worksheet, so that you can work through everything at your own convenience and with a clear structure.

Click here,or on the image below, to access your free worksheet.

 
 

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Part 2: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales...

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Part 2: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales...

PART 2: Your presence is your secret weapon

This is the second post in our three-part series on how to talk about your artwork. Today we’re talking about presence and how to make an impact! If you missed the first post (on creating good content) click here to read it. And look for our last post in the series (on maintaining an authentic voice) next week!


After spending hours pouring your creative energy into a piece of art, crafting a conversation around that piece at an event or for social media is likely the last thing you want to think about.

In fact, I see many artists who just post an image of their piece, the size, and a price… and then they’re surprised when they don’t get any sales! 

People don’t buy artwork because it’s the right size or the right color (well, sometimes they do). Most of the time, they make purchases because there’s an emotional connection, with you or with the art.

You create emotional connection by cultivating interesting, authentic, solid conversations, and building good relationships with your audience and collector base.

In this series of posts, I’ve broken down the engagement process into three parts – what, how, and why. Last week we talked about content (the “what”). Today we’re going to talk about presence (the “how”).

(Don’t miss next week’s post on using your authentic voice, the last piece in this formula!)

You’re probably wondering what exactly I mean when I say “presence,” am I right?

Think about it this way: presence isn’t about what you say (remember, that’s content!), but rather about how you say it.

For example, what kind of speaker or performer would have the most impact on you? A performer who is enthusiastic about their material and interacts with the crowd? Or one who is clearly bored and can’t wait to be on their way?

Obviously you’d enjoy the first performer’s presence more, right?

Your followers and collectors will feel and respond the same way to the quality of your presence.

If you’re having trouble with this aspect of your conversations, whether you’re having them in person or through social media, try these tips to make it easier:

1)    Keep your message short for greater impact

We live in a fast-paced world, and it’s hard to hold on to someone’s attention for long. A visitor at an art fair, for example, has likely visited several booths before yours, and will probably visit several more after you. So how do you hold on to their attention for the few minutes you have and make sure your words will stay with them?

First of all, keep it brief! I know it’s tempting to ramble – especially if you have a lot to say – but hold yourself back and take your listener or audience’s lead. Pay attention to what type and length of conversation they respond to most. Then do more of that!

The takeaway: Your message needs to be concise and impactful. It’s hard to do this on the fly, so the best way to prepare is to practice! Find a friend who will role-play the part of an interested customer and exercise your conversation skills.

2)    Keep your energy up

We all have good days, sad days, and exasperating days when we’d rather throw our hands up and take a vacation, but it’s important to pay attention to what kind of energy and tone you’re using when talking to your followers and collectors.

That’s not to say that you should always be cheerful no matter what – it’s okay to be vulnerable about how you’re feeling – but keep your energy levels high. You want to be authentic, but not stray into “woe is me” territory.

Keeping your energy up also applies to in-person, nonverbal behavior… eating, sleeping, staring at your phone, or acting annoyed and tired with visitors when you’re supposed to be welcoming is a huge turn off for anyone. Of course you can’t completely ignore bodily needs, so consider how you can prepare ahead of time. Do you need an assistant so you can take a break? Extra sleep to feel alert? Something else?

The takeaway: Allowing your emotions to come through will help show that you’re a genuine person, but the key thing to remember here is to still convey your message professionally! How can you protect your energy (through sleep, preparation, asking for help, etc) so that you can be at your best when you show-up in your art business?

3)    Focus on the beginning and the end of your message

Remember that performer example I gave just a little bit ago? I want you to think back to some speeches or classes you’ve attended… which speakers made an impression on you, and what key moments do you remember?

Chances are high that you don’t remember many specifics, but you probably remember the beginning, the end, and anything done with a “bang!” in the middle.

Ultimately, that means the beginning and the end of your message are the most likely to stick with your reader or the person you’re talking to. It’s important not to get bogged down with irrelevant detail. Consider which parts of the message are the most important and how you can make those bits impactful!

The takeaway: Keep your message simple, pay attention to the important information you want to convey, and sign off with style! If you’re posting online, perhaps your sign off is a call to action, or if you’re in-person, perhaps this is asking for a sale, their information for your email list, or some other commitment that helps grow your relationship.

What do you think? Do you have anything to add to these tips? Let me know in the comments!

And don’t forget! If you missed Part 1 (creating good content) click here to read it, and look for Part 3 of this series (on using your voice) next week!

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Part 1: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales

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Part 1: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales

PART 1: Share the right content

This is the first post in our three-part series on how to talk about the vision behind your artwork. Today we’re talking about what makes good content “good.” Look for the next two posts in the next couple of weeks!


A picture may be worth a thousand words (as the saying goes) but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to talking or writing about the work you do.

In fact, your success as an artist entrepreneur can depend on how skillfully you engage your audience – it could make the difference between someone signing up for your email list or not, making or losing a sale, or finally getting gallery representation versus being told to try again later.

Put simply, building connections and creating relationships with people who are interested in the art you create will help you make more sales and become more successful as an entrepreneur.

But many artists have a hard time with this aspect of their business. I’ve coached hundreds of visual artists over the past several years, and usually it’s not that they’re unwilling to talk, it’s that they feel awkward and aren’t sure what to say or how to say it!

To make it easier and less overwhelming, I’ve broken down the process into three parts – content (the “what”), presence (the “how”), and voice (the “why”).

All three elements have to be present for the best kind of engagement, but it all starts with creating good content or having good conversations with your followers. (We’ll talk about presence and voice in follow up posts.)

So the big question is – how do you go about doing that?

Here are three key things to keep in mind when you’re writing or talking about your artwork:

1) Know your audience

Multiple audiences may be interested in your work, but the key is to figure out how to talk to each one of them and address their interests and concerns. For example, you’d have a much different conversation with a gallery owner or an avid art collector than you would with someone casually browsing through your booth at an art fair, right?

It’s important to learn what your ideal collector’s interests are. What do they care about? What do they find interesting? What motivates them to buy art? How does your artwork and your “why” fit into those interests?

The takeaway: Make sure you frame the conversation about your art in a way that engages the people you’re trying to talk to.

2) Make an emotional connection

It’s rare that anyone wants to read a summary of your artistic education or accomplishments, but this is a mistake that I see artists make a lot. Instead of talking about what you’ve done, try talking about why you’ve done it.

Think about what details you can offer up that will catch your collector’s interest. What is the story behind your work, or what emotions are you trying to convey? What creative challenges did you have to overcome? How are you hoping to make people feel when they look at your pieces?

The takeaway: Explaining the emotional catalyst behind a piece will engage your audience’s emotions and help them make a deeper connection to your work.

3) What information do they need to say yes?

Whether it’s a small ask (signing up for your mailing list) or a big one (trying to close a sale), you need to answer any questions and objections that your potential collector might have – preferably before they even realize they have a question!

But that doesn’t mean you should overwhelm your audience with information! Again, it’s important to know your audience and listen to what their concerns are. Once you’ve done that, then tailor your message to the person you’re talking to.

Are they going to be worried about getting too many emails or that they won’t be interested in the content? Is your collector concerned about wall space and whether they have enough space to hang your art piece? What other concerns can you anticipate and answer?

The takeaway: Give all the details up front, so there’s no confusion and no reason for someone to answer your ask with a “no.”

How are you applying these principles to your communication? Or, how might you improve using these tips? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget! Look for parts two and three of this series (on successfully establishing your presence and your voice) next week!

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Forgot about making a New Year’s Resolution? Try this instead!

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Forgot about making a New Year’s Resolution? Try this instead!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are excited to jump back into creating new artwork and developing meaningful new relationships for your art career and business.

You may have noticed I’ve been quiet over the past couple weeks. That’s because, every year around this time, I make it a priority to be present for my loved ones and I try (as much as humanly possible) to stay away from social media. Taking this time away always leaves me feeling refreshed and with new ideas to put into practice!

So here we are, in 2019!

How are you feeling? Excited? Hopeful? Already overwhelmed?

When the new year comes, I think we (myself included) tend to make too many promises (to ourselves and others), take on a few too many “shoulds,” and pile on a bunch of resolutions—trying to convince ourselves that this year “will be different.”

We work hard to stick to these resolutions for the first few days of the year. Those of us who are more resilient might even make it through an entire month or two. But, ultimately, almost all of us end up falling back into our old habits and are disappointed with ourselves for not following through.

But let’s face it, change is hard!

Without the right mindset, strategy, habits, and accountability, it’s almost impossible to create sustainable change in our lives.

And that’s why, for a few years now, I’ve stopped making the same old resolutions and, instead, started getting clear on one area of focus where I concentrate all my energy for the next 12 months.

So, what do I mean by an area of focus?

First, let me tell you what an area of focus isn’t:

  • It isn’t a “motivational list” taken from one of your favorite pinterest boards

  • It isn’t a list of “to-dos” or “shoulds”

  • It isn’t the ongoing list you keep adding to, year after year, without actually doing anything on it

Instead, an area of focus is:

Outcome oriented: Instead of listing what you will or will not do this year, identify your desired outcome. An outcome you really want is much more inspiring than a list of to-dos!

Associated with a “why?”: If you don’t know why you are going to take action, if your desired outcome doesn’t resonate with your values and your vision, then what’s going to motivate you to follow-through?

Aligned: Life’s too short to do things that suck the energy out of us. Yes, you do need to get out of your comfort zone to grow personally and professionally, but it should make you feel good and energized. Or at least, if the action doesn’t, the outcome should. :-)

Focused (obviously): And this is the important one!!! Enough with the never-ending lists, please! We can’t (and shouldn’t feel that we have to) do it all. I’m challenging you to choose just one area of focus—not two or three or ten! Just one! And stick to it!

It can be finances, family, health… you decide!

But I can hear you already… “Are you crazy, Catherine! I can’t choose just one, I need to take care of my health and build my business this year. I can’t afford to choose.”

I know, I get it. I’ve been there.

You know what my biggest takeaway in 2018 was?

I realized that if you focus on one area that needs development in your life—I mean really focus and do the internal and external work—then the results will impact ALL other areas of your life.

Don’t believe me? Try it and let me know in three months how it turns out.

Unless… do you prefer doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result? I think not! (Everyone knows that's the definition of insanity!)

So, what are you choosing as your area of focus this year?Tell me what 2019 will look like for you in the comments below!

The next few weeks are going to be exciting at The Artist Entrepreneur HQ because I have great new content in the works for you! Stay tuned for more details.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and fulfilling year!

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Want to Double Your Art Show or Launch Sales? Try This! [Part 3]

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Want to Double Your Art Show or Launch Sales? Try This! [Part 3]

We’re doing a three-part series on how to make your art show or new launch a success! In the first post, we talked about what you need to do before opening night. In the second post, we talked about the one thing you must do during the art show or launch for a successful outcome. After you finish this article, make sure you go back and read the other two posts so you’re completely prepared for your upcoming event!

Your art pieces have come down and either been delivered or packed safely away again, and it’s time to start thinking about your next project, isn’t it? Not so fast, maestro…

There is one, critically important thing you must do before closing the books and putting this all behind you.

In fact, it’s so important, that one of my clients who did this doubled her sales after closing her show. Yes, I wrote doubled!

Want to know what that one thing is?

Once your show or launch closes, you need to follow up with your fans, visitors, clients, and potential clients.

It sounds simple enough, but most artists never do this, and they lose out on sales and making connections with potential collectors.

So, what should you do for a successful event wrap-up? Here are my three tips:

1) Post show or launch promotion lasts longer than you think.

Do you want the pieces you created hanging out in your studio for the next several months? Of course not! You want them to be displayed and appreciated, don’t you?

Here’s the thing… post event promotion lasts until you start promoting a new event. It’s as simple as that. Sure, you can share sneak peeks of your new work and inspirational shots, but you should still be working on promoting the last collection you created until your next show or launch takes the spotlight.

2) Follow up, follow up, follow up!!!

I don’t think I can say this often enough. It’s very rare for someone to be so interested in a piece that they take the initiative and call you. It’s up to you to take the lead and follow up with anyone who was interested in a piece or who expressed general interest in your work. Corporate contracts aren’t won in a single night, and referrals won’t happen when you and your artwork aren’t top of mind!

Send out a general “thank you” to everyone who showed up and supported you, send post event thank you notes and emails to individuals, and make sure you continue to nurture these relationships.

3) Reflect on what went right and what could have gone better.

Last but certainly not least, don’t wait too long to sit down and spend some time thinking about how everything went. It’s surprising how quickly we forget small details that we initially thought were important.

Think about how your show or launch experience unfolded—the lead up, opening night, and closing. Did everything go smoothly? What would you change the next time? What do you want to do again? Make notes for yourself so you can refer back to this experience in the future.

This debrief process helps you put everything in perspective, learning and growing from your experiences.

It takes self discipline to keep your momentum going, especially if you see everyone else kicking back and enjoying themselves. But not only will you see better results if you follow these tips, you’ll also be better prepared to promote your next show or launch!

 
 

Want to ditch the overwhelm and get a “Done for You” Checklist with everything you need to do before, during, and after your show or launch? Click here for The Ultimate Art Show Prep Checklist!

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Want To Sell Your Art During Your Art Show? Try This. [Part 2]

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Want To Sell Your Art During Your Art Show? Try This. [Part 2]

We’re doing a three-part series on how to make your art show or new launch a success! In the first post, we talked about what you need to do before opening night. Check it out here, and look for the last article on wrapping up your event to be published next week!

We have also created a complementary Ultimate 39 Step Art Show Prep checklist thata yuou can get here.

Once your art pieces have been installed, the invites have gone out, and opening night is just a few short hours away, it seems like all the “hard” work should be over, right?

Nope! Don’t rest on your laurels now. There’s more to do if you want your show or launch to be a success.

Let me make a quick comparison for you—let’s pretend you’re preparing to host a house party for your friends. Before your party you send out the invitations, clean the house, and go grocery shopping for snacks. (In other words, you do your marketing, create the art, and get set up for the show.)

Now that everyone is due to arrive for your party, would you duck out and leave your friends to amuse themselves? No! You’d be right there, making introductions, urging someone to try the artichoke dip, chatting up a storm, and making sure the event goes smoothly.

Your art show or collection launch is really no different. Once your event has kicked off, engagement with your guests and potential guests should be your number one priority.

Not quite sure what I mean? Let’s break it down a little more:

1) Make your artist’s bio, statement, and any other materials that support your credibility as an artist available during the event.

People don’t buy artwork, they buy the emotions that artwork inspires in them. There’s a wide range of emotions that can apply here—maybe the piece you’ve created reminds them of a cherished memory, perhaps your story intrigues them and they want a piece of your story in their lives, or perhaps they feel like owning your artwork gives them status among their friends.

Regardless of the reason, having your materials available will help reinforce the story they are telling themselves in their heads.

2) Greet and engage every visitor who walks through the door.

I know, I know, you don’t want to be too “salesy” now that your show has opened. Many artists I’ve coached are afraid of being seen as pushy and as a result don’t talk to people enough, or avoid them altogether.

Don’t think of your conversation as a “sales” push, think of it as getting to know the person in front of you, learning what they like and dislike, and serving them by figuring out which of your pieces would appeal to them most. And don’t forget to have an email list sign up handy so that you can follow up with them after the show!

3) Keep the event momentum going after opening night.

Once the energy of opening night has faded away, it’s tempting to believe you have nothing left to do. But your pieces don’t mysteriously disappear! Just because someone couldn’t make it at a particular date and time doesn’t mean they won’t make the effort to see your work on another day.

Remind your fans and collectors through social media posts and emails that your show is still up or your launch is ongoing, and look for fun, innovative ways to keep interest high—like hosting events or releasing special “behind the scenes” information.

I know it can be daunting to push yourself out of your comfort zone and keep the conversation going. But by implementing these suggestions, your chance of feeling like your show or launch is successful and profitable is much higher.

 
 

Want to ditch the overwhelm and get a “Done for You” Checklist with everything you need to do before, during, and after your show or launch? We’ve got you covered! Click here for our FREE Ultimate Art Show Prep Checklist we created for artists just like you!

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The Secret To Planning A Successful Art Show [PART 1]

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The Secret To Planning A Successful Art Show [PART 1]

We’re doing a three-part series on how to make your art show or launch a success! For part 1 we’re talking about what needs to happen before opening night… look for posts next week about what to plan for during and after the event.

You can download our Ultimate 39 Step Art Show Prep checklist here.

Planning an art show or the launch of a new collection in the near future? For many artists, it’s an important career milestone. After all, there’s a big difference between someone scrolling past a couple pieces of artwork you’ve posted to social media, and someone walking into a room filled with your work, or seeing an entire collection of your pieces in a sales environment.

Unfortunately, in my role as a coach for artists and creative entrepreneurs, I see far too many artists become discouraged when no one shows up to their opening night, or when sales fall far short of what they expected. Have you experienced this?

This doesn’t mean that no one likes your work! It just means that you need to do a little more preparation ahead of time to make sure that your art gets the attention and sales it deserves.

Can I let you in on a secret? The key to your success is building momentum—long before opening night or the day of your launch.

But how exactly do you do that? Here’s three essential things you should do before your show opens:

1) Set your goals, intentions, and make an action plan:

Maybe you’ve been planning to do an art show for a long time, or maybe the opportunity simply dropped into your lap. However it happened, before you get carried away choosing pieces and printing invites, stop and consider what you want to get out of the event.

Do you want to communicate a particular message? Are you hoping to reach a certain number of sales?

It’s not enough to simply say, “I’m going to have a show!” and throw pieces up on the walls. Take the time to create a plan for what needs to happen between now and opening night, consider your budget for materials and promotion, and decide what benchmarks need to be met for you to consider the event a success.

2) Plan how to sell your work:

Every artist’s dream is for their work to sell itself—without any input from you. But almost no one will come up to you and simply offer to hand over their money.

Consider how you can present your work in a professional way with information, framing, and high quality photos, create a sales procedure that includes how you accept payment and deliver the product, and learn how to talk about your work in a friendly, engaging way.

3) Promote yourself early and often:

Many artists wait until the last few days before a launch or opening night before even hinting to their followers that something big is coming up. This is a huge mistake! If you’ve waited that long, it’s too late.

You should start promoting your new art show or launch as soon as possible. Ideally, this is as soon as you start creating the pieces for the exhibition—or, if you’ll be showing work that’s already created—as soon as the ink on your contract is dry!

Plan how many posts per week and what topics you’ll cover, build a list of the people you want to invite, and then stick as closely to your plan as possible. The results you’ll see are directly proportionate to the amount of promotion you do beforehand.

Doing all of these things may sound overwhelming. But I want you to succeed—and the easiest way to reach your goals is to prepare for these things ahead of time.


 
 

Want to ditch the overwhelm and get a “Done for You” Checklist with everything you need to do before, during, and after your show or launch? We’ve got you covered! Click here for our FREE Ultimate Art Show Prep Checklist we created for artists just like you!

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3 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Working, And How to Fix It

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3 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Working, And How to Fix It

If you’ve been doing this creative entrepreneur thing for a while (and honestly, even if you haven’t), you’ve probably heard that you need to have your own website. I’m here to tell you that, yes, it’s true.

On your own site, you get complete control over your brand and how your work is presented. You can post original content and freely ask people to subscribe to your newsletter. And, if you decide to sell your work through your own website, you have complete control over how you’re paid, without giving a sales cut to a third-party vendor.

Unfortunately, many artists — discouraged by poor sales — wonder what’s wrong with their website.

They spend hours adding pages, tweaking their writing, or sometimes completely redesigning their sites… but never identify the underlying problem!

Are you having “issues” with your website? Let’s fix them!

Which one of these situations sounds like yours?

1)   “I keep working on my website to make it more attractive and enticing, but people just don’t seem to visit very much… what’s the point?”

2)   “People sometimes visit my website… but I’m not getting any sales!”

3)   “I get a lot of traffic, but people don’t hang out very long and I’m not selling anything. This website just isn’t working out for me people don’t seem to like it much.”

Before we tackle each of these situations… have you looked at your site data? (If you don’t have Google Analytics set up to track how many visitors you get, where they’re coming from, which pages they visit, and how long they hang out — go do that right after finishing this article!)

To successfully market yourself as a creative artrepreneur (and you ARE in the business of making and selling creative works, right?) you need to understand and utilize your data. You can’t fix your strategy if you don’t know what is and isn’t working!

Did you know that only a tiny percentage of your visitors (just 0.5–2%!) become paying clients? That’s just not very many, so it’s important to make the most of every visitor you have.

Now, let’s talk about each of the problems above and how to solve it.

1)   You’re not getting any visitors to your site

In this situation, not enough people are aware of you and the amazing stuff you create. Instead of relying on Google to display your site in someone’s search results, you need to work on growing your audience.

Not sure how to do that? Check out last month’s blog series about the different methods you can employ to grow your network of fans and potential clients — both on and offline! (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

2)   You get traffic, but no sales

Did you know that most people need exposure to a product or idea at least six times before they’ll make a purchase?

If good traffic but no sales is the issue, either your visitors haven’t been exposed enough to your work, or it’s just too difficult for them to make a purchase.

Give your fans a reason to regularly check in! Think about creating a blog or vlog and posting quality content on a regular basis. Make sure you’re using clear calls to action in your newsletter and social media posts. Let your followers know there’s exciting stuff on your site and that you want them to visit!

Also make it obvious that your work can be purchased and give details about how to start the buying process, whether that’s contacting you, visiting an online shop, contacting a gallery, etc. If an interested client can’t find answers quickly, they won’t keep searching — don’t make them jump through hoops! 

On this note, you might enjoy reading my related article "You only need 3 things to make a living selling your art"

3)   You get plenty of traffic and some sales, but not as many as you’d like

So you’re getting visitors to your site… but they’re still not taking that next step. Remember my spiel about Google Analytics? This is where having that information is very helpful… it can tell you where your visitors are coming from, what pages they’re reading, how long they’re staying, and when they’re leaving.

Analyzing this data can tell you a lot about how user-friendly and optimized your site really is. Are you using sharp, well-lit images that compliment your artwork? How quickly does your site load? Are your menus and site structure easy to understand? Are there appropriate CTAs in place, and have you designed each page with a clear idea of what you want your visitor to do next?

Also make sure you’re communicating your personality and brand values effectively. High traffic but no sales often means your visitors aren’t making an emotional connection to you and your work.

While you’re in evaluation mode, try asking a few people who are new to your website if you can watch while they interact with your pages and content. This is a great way to get candid feedback about your site and discover what’s working and what’s not.
 

Did you notice what I didn’t say was a problem? Your website platform! Many artists think their issues will magically go away if they move from one type of website (like Wordpress) to another (like Squarespace).

If you’re thinking about making a switch, you probably don’t need to. Growing your audience, posting interesting content that is aligned with your brand, and making your website user-friendly rarely depends on the platform you’re using. So don’t waste time designing a brand new website – focus on your marketing strategy instead.

Which of these website issues are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments!

Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and  find the support + community you need!

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PART 3: Get more eyes on your artwork! The power of partnership

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PART 3: Get more eyes on your artwork! The power of partnership

(Note: this is part three of a three part series on growing your audience. Click here to read the first installment and here to read the second!)

Hello artrepreneur!

If you’ve been following along with the last two articles, you’ll know that I’ve been publishing a series on different strategies for growing your audience and increasing engagement.

I can’t stress enough how important it is for every creative entrepreneur to pay attention to this part of their business.

Yes — it’s possible for a previously unknown artist to suddenly find themselves the center of attention after a post on Facebook or Reddit or some other platform suddenly goes viral. But, truthfully, it’s very unlikely.

Don’t wait around to be “discovered”… get yourself out there by creating a marketing strategy and then pat yourself on the back when all your hard work pays off!

Use partnership opportunities to reach new people

This method can be used concurrently with the other methods, or on its own. It’s actually my favorite way to grow your audience because it doesn’t cost much and it’s a wonderful way to learn about your ideal collector and how others are growing their brands!

Partnership opportunities are everywhere. You might work with influencers, create an artists group with other creatives and cross-promote everyone’s content, participate in a group giveaway, collaborate with others to create new products… the possibilities for this are nearly endless!

Working with influencers or well-known brands can be done any number of ways.

One of my clients ended up working with an independent filmmaker, who featured some of her artwork in their movie. Another client, who creates Zen artwork, collaborates with other entrepreneurs who focus on clean, minimalist, mindful living – attracting yogis into her audience.

You might consider doing a “take over” on Instagram, where you post your content to the influencer’s stories for a day. You could even go so far as to have them take over your stories as well! Or host a Q&A for the influencer’s audience about why you do what you do and how you work.

Before proposing a partnership, take some time to consider what you bring to the table.

How does your artwork (or creative product) benefit your potential partner’s audience, and why is the partnership a good fit? What ideas do you have for what your collaboration might look like? And what are the benefits and end goal, both for you and your partner?

If you find yourself struggling with self-worth and worry about the value you have to add, then I recommend that you read my post on "How do you find buyers for your art". 

While youre looking for opportunities to promote your work, dont forget about plain old PR…

Have a good press release in your backpocket and reach out to local news organizations, magazines, and other media organizations to see if what you have to offer and what they need might be a good fit. On your end, that might be an unique and interesting story for their publication, willingness to share your expertise in an interview or a self-written article, or an agreement to do some sort of creative work for them.

Remember that many of these collaborations only manifest after you’ve invested some time in the relationship. As long as you’re willing to make it a win-win for everyone, partnerships have lots of potential and can help you grow your audience very quickly!

I hope this series has been useful for you. If you missed part one, about growing your audience organically, or part two, about when you should start paying to attract new fans, make sure you go back and read those for some other great tips.

If you could pick any influencer or brand, what would your dream partnership look like, and what would the outcome be? Let me know in the comments!

Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and  find the support + community you need!

 

 

 

 

 

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PART 2: Get more eyes on your artwork! When should you pay to reach new fans?

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PART 2: Get more eyes on your artwork! When should you pay to reach new fans?

(Note: this is part two of a three part series on growing your audience. Click here to read the first instalment and here for part three.)

If you want to have a successful art business, you need to have a fan base that follows you and your work, and most importantly, buys your work from you.

Without paying clients, you don’t have a business, you have an expensive hobby. It’s as simple as that.

But how to go about growing an audience and getting people to pay attention to your work? I know that this can feel like a daunting project. That's why in this series of posts, I’m talking about three different strategies you can use to get more eyes on your artwork to increase your sales!

Pay to play with a bigger audience

In the last post, I talked about how you can grow your audience organically. That method requires time and effort though, and eventually you’ll either run out of “free” time, or you’ll want to start targeting new audiences. Either to continue growing your numbers, or for a specific purpose (like a sale or an upcoming gallery show).

At that point, it makes sense to approach your audience strategy differently. You might decide to pay for ads (sometimes called sponsored content), creating and managing them yourself. Or, you might decide to hire someone else to create content, post, and possibly run ads for you.

Ads are a huge advantage if youre trying to cut through the “noise.” Depending on how they’re set up and what audience characteristics the ads target, your content will usually show up in front of people who have interacted with you before, or new people who like similar things (and therefore might like your work!).

Hiring a social media manager can be expensive, but doing that also frees you up to do other things (like make art!).

Just make sure you spend time checking out their credentials, seeing what other kind of work they’ve done, and what kind of results they’ve gotten for their clients.

Sometimes a social media manager will just clean up your feed and then help update it regularly. If they have marketing or ads expertise, they might create a social media strategy, or run ad campaigns for you.

Paying for this kind of exposure usually makes your audience grow pretty quickly, but a word of caution: it’s very important to create a strategy before you whip out your checkbook – otherwise you’ll find yourself spending a whole lot of money for very little return on your investment. (See "3 Tips to Help You Set Yourself Up For Success" for some help with this)

And not only do you want to plan how you’re going to attract new followers, you also want to figure out how youre going to keep them engaged and interested in your content.

There’s no point in getting lots of new followers only to have them ignore you! It boosts your numbers and looks good, but if they’re not visiting, commenting, sharing, and buying from you, then you are no better off than you were before.

I know that there is so much more to say on this topic, but I will stop here for today (let me know if you have any more specific questions on the topic). In my next post, I will share a completely different strategy to find new fans – one that most artists don’t think of! In the meantime, if you missed the last post on growing your audience, click here to read it!

Have you considered running ads or hiring someone to manage your media feeds? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!

Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and  find the support + community you need!

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