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Plein Air Convention, second installment

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Plein Air Convention, second installment

"The Key to Marketing is to start Designing Your Life” is my interpretation as the theme for day 1 of the Marketing Bootcamp. Thursday morning, bright and early over 400 filled the Summerlin Ballroom. Eric Rhoades started by talking about getting very clear about goals.
We must get crystal clear about what we want and what our goals are. He suggested we take a day or at least several hours away from all distractions and ponder the following:

Write down why I came to the Marketing Bootcamp. Or in other words, what specifically do YOU want to learn about marketing. (brainstorm...write down any reason that pops into your head)
Prioritize those reasons.

What is my "Head Trash" about marketing? This is all the negative thoughts that pop up...why I am bad at it, why it is hard for me, what conspires against me doing it well. Write it down. Also write down a positive thought that can counter-act these. As an example, here is one of mine:
"I don't think my paintings are as good as they should be to get into top galleries"......"I can work my way up into better galleries and take workshops along the way".

Write down how I define success. Success with art, success in general. Again, brainstorm, and then prioritize. Choose one thing that is most important and keep this at the forefront of your plans.

Make a list of what I am unwilling to do. This should be a broad list encompassing your whole life. For instance, I am unwilling to live somewhere other than Moab, at least as a home base. I suppose if there were some mandate that you couldn't be an artist in Moab, that would be it for me. Luckily it isn't. Selling art for decent prices in that is another matter. But I am determined to be an agent for change in that.

If told you only had a year to live, what would you do? Brainstorm and prioritize. Don't discount your first thoughts, they may seem crazy, but there is something elemental here.

What will you celebrate as the major accomplishment of your life? What would your obituary say if it were written right now? What would you wish it would say?

Marketing is all about preparation. Just as a successful garden depends on preparation, so does a good marketing plan. We must do our homework, put a good bio, artist statement and resume together, organize our inventory of paintings so easier to track and manage, put a cohesive professional portfolio together, improve our network with others, plan advertising, seek the right venues (whether online, galleries, or exhibit space), block out sufficient time to market the product. 20% of our time should be dedicated to marketing.

The steps to success are:
Belief, Passion, Vision, Clear Direction and Action. Every one of these is essential, you can't succeed if one or more are missing. Create a road map for yourself and take it one bite at a time. All the while, take time to visualize what the end goal really looks like, how you want it to look and feel. Budget time doing marketing like money owed and don't let yourself off the hook.

Set goals. Start long range, break those down into smaller and smaller sections, and set realistic timelines for them. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. They should also encompass broader aspects of your life such as social and family. Incorporating all aspects will prevent being tripped up.

"Marketing is like raising your hand in class" If you don't try you will never get noticed, and there is nothing wrong or manipulative about marketing. I think most artists have a really hard time with rejection and self-esteem. We work in isolation for the most part, but we need to get our work out to be seen, network with other artists, and get friendly critiques. We need to keep a positive thought stream going. What we think, we create. Above all, have fun at it. Look for the fun aspects, savor them, visualize the positive, and minimize the not so fun, or at least don't dwell on it.

I hope you've found a nugget of gold in here. Going through my notes to write this is invaluable to me. I vow to find a beautiful place to sit and work on my lists this week. Moab is full of them but it’s becoming a little more challenging to find the little pockets of heaven that aren't overrun with tourists. I know of a few.