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September 2013

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Marketing, part 7-- Be open to change...it’s part of life!


Please feel free to comment or rate my videos!  More on this in a bit...


Marketing, part 7

Be open to change...it’s part of life!


Especially these days, when new venues and technology seem to pop up daily. I joined Facebook a couple of months ago in order to keep in touch with the lives of my godchildren and my beloved niece, and find myself busy with a variety of art-, food- and history-related groups!

I even started two groups for artists there, the Plein Air Artists group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=59207016873, (which joins my Flickr group pool, “Painting Plein Aire” http://www.flickr.com/groups/plein_aire which is now up to over 400 members!) and the Nature Artists group on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=47729652724 and its new sister group on Flickr, Sketching in Nature, here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/nature-sketching/ .

We share artwork, discussions, links, videos and more on all four of these groups, as well as in my “Ink and Watercolor Wash” Flickr group pool, http://www.flickr.com/groups/ink-and-watercolor-wash/ –that one now has nearly 350 members.

(You’re invited to join any of these, by the way! And it’s easy to start your own, if you wish...)



I used to think YouTube was not for me–couldn’t imagine why I’d want to do it, though I DID enjoy other peoples’ videos and often went there when I wanted to learn something about, say, bookbinding. I just didn’t see what I had to offer (I know, duh!).

Then one day I thought–what the heck, might as well jump in! Edited a few slideshows and demos, created an account, and have discovered it’s not only great fun but it’s resulted in some wonderful contacts. You can find my video slideshows here: http://www.youtube.com/user/KateJosTube

To my surprise, being on YouTube adds to an artists’ credibility–and of course, visibility. If you can do an elegant presentation of your work, put it on your blog, offer it to your students, show it to prospective clients, it’s a big help!

My friend and fellow North Light author Nita Leland has some wonderful offerings there–two of my favorites are http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD5pBgI_k7M and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYH3BwufVd4&feature=related. Gordon Mackenzie’s The Watercolorist Essential Notebook Landscapes is available on YouTube too...as are a number of good artists’ portfolios. (Look for the related links that appear on each video!)

Can you see how you might put this “new” technology to work for you? Making contacts, getting your website or blog URL out there, showing what you’re capable of doing–communication!–is essential to marketing your work these days. 

(Oh, and how has YouTube benefited my bottom line?  The above sneak preview has helped make my Ink & Wash Workshop CD, available on my website and CafePress store, my bestselling ever.  WOW.  Who knew?  I'm willing to bet it can work for you, too.)

Be aware, on some venues, like Flickr, you can’t overtly sell your work, put up prices, say “for sale,” or link to a selling site like eBay (DO check terms of service!) but you can link to your blog or website in your profile. On most of those (I know about Blogger and LiveJournal, but not experienced with Wordpress, Typepad or others–perhaps you know?) you may say whatever you need to! Even here on LiveJournal, which used to rule out that sort of thing, the guidelines have changed so that it’s possible to use links and videos and offer your services at artist, musician, teacher, writer, etc., as long as you aren’t a major corporation. (And if you were I’m guessing you wouldn’t be reading this!)

Some of the other new options are quickfast little posting services that take less of your time. I no sooner got used to the idea of Twitter–which I’m not on yet–then along comes Plurk and the various relatives! If you want to chime in on the comments to tell us more about these two, please do, I’m a babe in the woods!

Three years ago, I would never have imagined I’d have this much contact with the online community, despite being on email discussion groups since the mid-90s. It’s a whole new world out there, and it’s very graphics and technology oriented!

The picture does change frequently, if you artists out there will pardon the pun, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep up. You’ll need to decide what’s important to you, what you enjoy, what works.

It DOES take time, and you'll want to evaluate as you go along.  If you enjoy it, the give and take, if you feel it's worth it, then set a time to DO it.  Try not to stay on Facebook all day long, of course--it IS addictive. ;-)



The ‘net is here to stay, as we’ve said before. It’s a crowded arena, but you CAN make it work for you, if you don’t expect instant results, are willing to work and learn, and offer a real service or product that meets a real need, even in these tough economic times. Offer something that's uniquely YOU.  Do your best, and set high standards for yourself.  (I know that probably goes without saying, but as one of my marketing sites said recently, don't expect the Internet Fairy to appear instantly to sprinkle your first efforts with magic dust.  Make no mistake, it's work.  Check out www.copyblogger.com/ --they offer some JEWELS!)

For me, what has worked better than anything else is teaching online–of all things! Giving workshops in person used to be quite difficult for me–made me terrifically nervous, and the travel and prep work was exhausting and expensive! Now, I offer classes on the ‘net, and have had students from all over the world–it WORKS for me. I still teach what I know, there’s still one-on-one give and take (perhaps more than in a crowded class), but I can do it from home, in my jammies if I want!



Comments

(Anonymous)

What great info!

I thoroughly enjoyed your post and it got me thinking maybe I should do more to widen my internet presence. What's a rough estimate of how much time per week I'd have to spend on this?? Thanks.

Re: What great info!

I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's difficult to give a useful estimate, because your contacts and 'net circle will vary a lot. Also, in my case, a lot of my 'net activity is also social...I live in a smallish town and it's great to have a larger circle of artist-buddies to share with, learn from, help, etc.. So I can't really draw the line clearly between marketing and playing!

Just as a guess, for me, I probably spend several hours a day (or more) doing marketing or strictly business-type things. For me, that includes eBay, my gallery blog at http://cathyjohnsonart.blogspot.com/ (when I've got something to put up), PayPal work, Amazon (I have a "virtual bookstore" at http://astore.amazon.com/httpcathyjohi-20 that I'm launching in part to be able to recommend books I love!), and packing up orders and shipping them out.

When I'm gearing up for my online classes, I do less of the other things and more focused on the classes.

I'll have to say, I would find it difficult to survive without what they call multiple streams of income!

But mostly that's a very individual answer--what things YOU do and why will determine how much time you spend.

And of course, I keep an eye on what takes more time than it's worth and don't feel bad about saying "ok, never mind!"