Here’s a guest post from Cat Neligan, a web designer in England who invited me to be one of the “expert counselors” in her online “summer camp,” Get Your Art Out, starting August 1st. Watch the video for details about the camp (which starts Aug. 1) here and be sure to use my “ILISE25” promo code for 25% off.
When I quit my steady job as a pixel-pushing web designer I had a very different view on what making a living from my art would require.
I figured it would be as simple as: do the work, stick it up on my website, throw on a price tag and the sales would come flooding in.
Oh and the best part? I could do it all from the safety of my studio (ok, bedroom) and not have to communicate to the outside world, other than maybe reply to the loving thank-you notes I would get from my adoring fans.
Soon enough, I realised there was a lot more work to do if I wanted to get my work actually seen by actual potential customers – not just a handful of friends who saw my Facebook updates.
But I was personality-challenged.
I knew I was an introvert (and still am – there’s nothing you can do to change it) and the idea of trying to tell strangers about my art was utterly repulsive.
Phone calls? Networking events? Even using social media to show what I was up to felt spammy and made me want to take a shower straight after.
Slowly though, it dawned on me. How had I discovered my favorite artists? Designers? Illustrators? Musicians?
Word of mouth in some cases, but more and more it was through social media. I knew that by following an artist I liked on Twitter, I could see who they were interacting with and — wouldn’t ya know — I’d like their stuff too!
But to get this ball rolling in the first place, someone had to get the word out, if it could end up in front of me. I began to start thinking about this ‘marketing’ stuff differently – and stopped using my introversion as an excuse.
If I could reach the people who actually wanted what I made, then it wouldn’t feel… so gross. If I could associate myself with the people they were fans of, I could let them know: “hey, this is the thing I made, I thought you’d like it too because we both like X.”
When I started applying these principles, and focusing on the people who I knew I had a good chance in being picked up by, getting my art out into the world felt far less… sleazy.
I also realised that introversion was not a disability. In fact, it was my superpower.
It gave me the ability to listen to people, whether it was my customers or someone at a networking event. This allowed me to learn about others – what they wanted, what they didn’t want – and that all informed my next action.
The more I spoke to other creatives who were going through the same dilemmas (can’t I just make my art and have people come find me?) the more I wanted to press pause on my own work, and show them they didn’t have to become used car salesmen to get their work seen.
So I did. I paused my doodling of cats and other furry creatures. I started to put together the core concepts and steps I took (without all the hiccups along the way) in order to get my art out and get paying customers.
All of this has resulted in a 4-week online course, I call ‘Get Your Art Out: Summer Camp’ that starts on August 1st 2016.
Each week covers one of the four pillars I believe are at the heart of getting your creative work out to the right people. There are 6 videos in each week, easily consumed in a lunch break.
But you will have homework! Each day there will be a task (and workbook) to take action – it’s one thing to learn something, another to actually do it!
There are also additional swipe-files, video tutorials and fill-in-the-blank templates, which will help with everything from writing the perfect pitch, knowing what to post on social media to sending an email that actually gets read.
Additionally, you get exclusive audio interviews and video workshops from 10 expert guest counsellors – including the marketing mentor herself, Ilise Benun on how to make marketing a habit!
For all her marketing mentees, I have a promo code: ILISE25 which will get you 25% off, as well as access to the Early Bird bonuses:
- 12 month membership to the League of Creative Introverts
- 4 x face-to-face calls with Camp Counsellor Cat throughout the course
- The exact email formula I use to connect with experts and influencers
As well as early access to the course itself.
If you’d like to learn more about the nitty-gritty of GYAO Summer Camp, you can find it all here or email me: email@example.com with any questions.