Recently, I underwent an experiment to see how far I could push my pain threshold. I did this for several days and eventually buckled under the pressure. The stress of running from one subject to the next hour after hour started to wear me out. Feeling the hate-swell of my audience was enough to make even a cactus wilt. Supply teaching, right now, is NOT for me. High schoolers can be a tough crowd.
This experience has certainly been the catalyst to tie a rocket around my dawdling little business and hopefully aim it to some much needed growth.
I haven’t been that gung-ho about it since my daughter arrived on the scene 4 years ago. I’ve been working but also enjoying being with her and going on our weekly adventures. Next year she starts school and that will certainly curb our fun outings. I’ve been content enough to make my monthly sales, draw in commissions here and there and also experiment a little with different art materials.
Now, I am ready to take some steps to grow this baby. So, how to step forward? The universe must’ve heard as I’ve been inundated with advice.
I put a call out on Facebuik (sorry Mary, I’ve used your word) asking for suggestions of local people working towards helping artists and small businesses. The Cultural Enterprise Office was excellent and responded to my request super quick. I’ve now lined up an hour-long Skype chat with an advisor. I highly suggest contacting them if you have some great ideas you want to realise or want advice on how to approach galleries. They offer much more than what I’ve mentioned so be sure to check them out here CEO.
There is also Business Gateway. They offer different workshops from Business Marketing to how to work your accounts. I’ve signed up to a one-off evening session covering marketing and look forward to meeting people in the same boat and also learning a few strategies.
Going back to Facebuik, loads of sponsored content has started popping up onto my wall. These are from entities offering rather conflicting advice on how to be awesome. I won’t be committing to any of the programmes on offer, but have picked up some tips on the links they use to lure you in.
My quick list of advice (free and without links to help you part from your hard earned cash):-
1) Know your audience. Who is buying your work or who would you like to buy your work? Write your website content aimed at that person.
2) Be interesting. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, just present a person to the world. What’s your story? Why do you make the art that you make? Don’t become bland and blend in. People like to know who they are taking to. They like to hear a good story and you, my friend, have a good story.
3) Connect. I’ve spent far too long working in isolation. The idea of going to a (gulp) networking event used to make me cringe. They seemed so fake. People seemed inauthentic or pushy. I may have been going to the wrong events, eh? I’ve decided to take a brave step and have signed up to attend one of these. After reading the reviews and informing myself of the schedule, it actually looks worthwhile, interesting and I dare say, I’m a bit excited to go.
Anyway. That’s all I got for now. And thankfully, I’ve also lined up a few days of art teaching Littles. Another string to my bow and I’m looking forward to this creative outlet as well.