"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." ~Anne Bradstreet
Hopefully, after last week's post you're at least thinking about starting a list.
I had an "ah ha" moment a few years ago. When I saw the bottom fall out of the music industry, I realized that I needed some skills that I did not possess, business skills. My search led me to Carrie Wilkerson: the Barefoot Executive. When I started working with Carrie she made a statement, "Money is easy to make, you just have to know the steps."
Recently she asked, what would you rather have: ten thousand dollars, or a list of ten thousand names? Ten thousand dollars? Wrong answer! Carrie says she could easily make many times over the ten thousand dollars, and she could make it again and again with a list.
Multitudes of artists have been taught every skill imaginable to make their art, but few have been taught how to make money with their art.
Building a list is step number one! This concept of 'a list' is valuable information and a necessity for every artist, no matter what your art is, but I find it's value is not understood with artists. Many have lists, but are not utilizing them to their advantage. And . . .we've been concentrating on creating instead of selling. The statistic I've heard over and over is that, in business, 20% of your time should be spent on creating and 80% should be spent on marketing your creation. Yikes!! That leaves most artists in the dust.
What do we do about it? We take small steps. If you have an audience, you need to be collecting email addresses. Then you need to communicate regularly with those fans. How? Any way you can! Plan to give away something people want in return for their email address; something digital that you sets up once and don't have to touch again.
Once you have this list, plan to communicate regularly. However, don't make the communication all about you. Give encouragement! Build a theme around your art and make that the conversation. Then make special offers, share your calendar, your latest project, glimpses into what you are working on now. In other words, build a relationship with your fans and encourage them to follow their dreams.
When your career is flourishing and you are booked regularly, make sure you are collecting email addresses. You never know when that slump may come. If you have a list you'll be ready and not skip a beat. If you don't have a list . . . you'll be starting from scratch.
This is truly the number one place to start if you want to make a living with your art. Is that your goal? Then share your art and your dream and tell me how you collect email addresses or how you plan to start collecting them.
I'm cheering you on!!