Since we are in the midst of the holiday season and there never seems to be enough time in the day, I was inspired to write about a popular question… How much of your time should you spend in the studio and how much should you spend marketing? I’ve heard everything from spend most of your time creating to spend 80% of your time marketing. I can’t say that any one answer is the correct one, however I personally lean towards the marketing end these days. Unless you are a true beginner with a handful of work to your name, you should be marketing your work. Sure, if you don’t have work to show, you can’t have an exhibit. However, you won’t get any exhibits if you’re not marketing your work. And it’s not just shows you will earn, but publicity on the internet, magazines, tv, radio, etc. So back to the big question- just how much and how do you balance it all?
-It’s best to do a little each day (as far as marketing goes) but if you are the type that won’t be consistent, it would be better to do your marketing all in one day (or 2…) than not at all.
–Gauge your deadlines. If you have a show scheduled, clearly you will need to devote a lot of studio time. Figure out roughly how long it will take you to do the desired amount of work and plan your schedule accordingly. Any remaining time should be spent marketing, especially when you have a show to promote to collectors, the media, etc.
–Set limits. It’s easy to lose track of time if you’re buried in paperwork, doing research, or networking via social media. Set a reasonable time limit for each task and stick to it.
-Prioritize your marketing goals. There are a ton of things you can be doing to promote your work, so much so it’s overwhelming. But you won’t be doing all of these things everyday, nor do you really need to. Decide what is most important and allot a day or days to accomplish those goals. For instance, how many times a week do you want to post on your blog? Pick the days of the week you wish to do so and keep the remaining time free for other marketing efforts throughout the week.
-Marketing is especially important when you have something to crow about. If you go pretty light on marketing, then you should at least devote more time to it when you have a big announcement. If you have a show coming up, won an award or grant, did a big interview, were on tv, spent time in Paris painting for the summer, etc., etc. then you need to up your marketing efforts to announce these accomplishments to your local media as well as your mailing list, email list, etc. These are the things that people want to read about.
-It takes a village (well, sort of…). We rely on galleries, collectors, reporters, etc. to talk about us and get our work “out there.” It’s great having this team of supporters, however, some artists think that this is all they need to market their work. Not so. You have to be a team player. Your mailing list is different from everyone else’s on your team, not to mention, you frequent different places- stores, doctors, salons, gyms, etc. And even if someone is already familiar with your work, reminding them that you’re out there only helps to reinforce your brand.
–Write it down. This is actually the most important tip I can give so I don’t know why I didn’t think of it first. As mentioned before, it can be overwhelming trying to accomplish everything. Make a list of all your goals- sketching, painting, blogging, gallery proposals, etc., etc., etc. Break it down into a smaller list so that you know what you need to do from week to week, or day to day even, depending on your list. Then just cross them off as you get them done. Personally I like to do all the little things first just because it makes me less stressed when my list is suddenly a lot shorter.
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