One of my Facebook page fans wrote to me that they’ve been online for awhile and that they’re feeling burned out with marketing online. She voiced a sentiment that a lot of artists have when it comes to marketing their work. It’s hard enough just to make your artwork and run your business. Marketing, either online or offline is one of those continual tasks that don’t always seem to get the results that you want or at least don’t get them fast enough.
Recently, I was listening to a podcast about effective creativity from The Accidental Creative called “Seeds“. In the episode, creativity and an artist’s nurturing of creativity was likened to farming. In order for creativity to grow and thrive, a farmer can’t just plant a couple of seeds and then want to harvest a crop just a few weeks later. Rather, there’s a natural process to nurturing a crop that requires a farmer to plant seeds, nurture the crop, let the crop grow, and then harvest when the crop is ready. Any attempt to harvest before then will end up killing off the field.
While the podcast was talking about creativity, marketing follows the same principal. Marketing your website is a lot like the “sowing the seeds” example in the podcast. Every blog post you write, every tweet you send out, every new subscriber to your email list, every ad you put on a popular blog is like sowing a marketing seed for your artwork. You’ll see results from some of these seeds right away…some you might not see weeks, months, or even a year or two later. On the other hand, while things like blogging, writing, and building your reputation online are things that take time to yield results, they are also things that continue to bring results months and years later.
And just like a farmer doesn’t just plant one seed and expect it to grow into an entire crop, if you’re trying to marketing yourself, you shouldn’t just try one thing and expect to get huge results from it. The more things you try, the more you get yourself out there, not just online but also offline the more you’re likely to get results. And the more you’re likely to have at least one technique succeed in case another technique fails.
So what if you’ve been trying and trying to market online and you’re really burnt out because a) you have too much to do or b) you don’t seem to be getting results?
1. Try something different. If one technique doesn’t seem to be yielding results, try something different…or make a tweak to what you’re doing already. Sometimes just stepping back and making minor adjustments can make a world of difference.
2. Do one small thing every day. Large projects like building a website or setting up a blog or redesigning a website can get you a boost, but most of your results comes from small things that you can do every day…like emailing a customer that you haven’t heard from in a while…or better yet calling them up or visiting them. Or writing a quick blog post, or shooting a quick video, or making some comments on your favorite blog.
Earlier this week Alyson Stanfield wrote a blog post about committing 15 minutes a day to do something important…like marketing yourself or creating art. Commit 15 minutes a day to do some marketing task every day this year. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll end up getting done.
3. Get help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. This is something that my husband is always telling me and I know that it’s something that plagues a lot of other artists as well. Get help addressing and stamping those postcards you’re going to mail out. Ask for more help with the housework or cooking if that’s one of your responsibilities. Get a professional to design that blog header or ad instead of struggling to do it yourself.
4. Take a mini vacation. If you’re absolutely burned out, give yourself permission to take a mini vacation to recharge your batteries. Take some classes, join a Meetup group and network with other artists, visit some museums and galleries, read about something completely different that what you’ve been reading. Listen to some new podcasts (starting with the one by the Accidental Creative about sowing seeds) or instructional CDs. But just like a real vacation, make sure that you specify a date to return so that your vacation don’t stretch out into weeks or months.
So, are you burnt out with your marketing? Leave a comment and let me know how you’re coping!