Fine Art Career Roadmap for Artists

An Art Career Roadmap Guide for You

A Turn in the Road!

The Fine Art Career Roadmap started as a traditional mind map. The intent of the design is to help you stretch your thinking about your art career. After receiving feedback from artists who downloaded the ebook, it became apparent it was not as useful as intended. The problem is due to a large number of topics on the mind map. When viewed on a computer screen, or printed on standard letter-size paper, it is tough to read the titles in the topics and subtopics on the map. Thus, a turn in the road was necessary.

The Journey That Is Your Art Career

Because I believe in the project and want you to find it helpful. So, I turned the single-page mind map into a 21-page Fine Art Career Roadmap ebook. I believe the title roadmap is appropriate. That’s because this roadmap is designed to help you take a tour of your career. The goal is to stimulate your thinking about the many and varied aspects that go into a successful art career.

By turning the mind map design into an ebook,  I can now publish each major section such as traditional marketing, online marketing, goals, branding, and so forth on an individual page. Artist users now have enough room on each page to add comments, doodles, thoughts, and suggestions as they see fit.

Fine Art Career Roadmap - Get Your Free Ebook Download.

Fine Art Career Roadmap – Get Your Free Ebook Download. bdavey.co/getmap

BONUS

When You Get the Download You Will Receive a Free Email Series of Art Marketing Lessons Based on the Fine Art Career Roadmap Subjects.

Go to bdavey.co/getmap to receive your PDF download of the Fine Art Career Roadmap. You will receive short emails about topics of interest you see on the download. It is an ongoing series and a work-in-progress. As such, I can’t say how many lessons in the series. We’ll keep going as long as there are interest and something to talk about with you.

How Does Your Work Get to Market?

Do you have a formal marketing plan? Alternatively, do you skip around trying a little of this and a little of that? In the email series, we’re going to cover practical ways to help you get on track with your career planning.

No matter what you are currently doing, you can improve how you plan to get your work to market. It’s always about seeking the best, most profitable ways to sell your art. Otherwise, why do it? Right? Unless it’s your hobby, or you’re running a charity, you must get your mind right with your marketing.

Oh, it’s so easy to write those words. However, the irony is despite marketing holding the keys to success, it is a big challenge to get real interest from artists about marketing, much less work on it with consistency. It’s easy to understand why. Blame it on what Buddhists call “Monkey Brain” or the left brain, right brain theory. How about making art is fun while marketing art not so much when you have little to no inclination.

Mind Mapping Platform Recommendations

By introducing you to mind maps, I’m hoping you will take an interest in using them in your business. Here are three reasons to use them.

  1. A mind map helps you capture and organize all your thoughts about everything that is important.
  2. A mind map reduces the stress of trying to retain information in your brain. Use and trust your mind map. It frees up space in your brain for more creativity when you let go of worrying about having to remember so many details.
  3. Mind maps work. Regular use of a mind map expands your thinking and helps uncover new opportunities. It will help you avoid pitfalls and trouble spots as well.

Over the years, I’ve used a bunch of different online mind mapping services. They include

I’m sure there are more I can’t recall. I use the latter two most frequently these days. I made the Fine Art Career Roadmap using the premium ($2.99 per month) version of Mindmup.

Too Much to Do. Not Enough Time to Do It All

No one has time to do it all. Just review all the options on the Fine Art Career Roadmap. I’ve never seen anyone come close to working all the angles and suggestions shown on it. The key to success is to pick the things that offer the most significant benefit to you. That may be different from the tools and marketing efforts you are currently using.

What Is Going to Get You to Your Goals?

Everyone has unique goals. Yours may be like other artists, but they are, nevertheless, exclusive to your life and career. While the above is a hard question, knowing what you want is harder in many cases. You might have goals and desires that conflict with each other. It can happen. Even when you have a clear vision of how you want to live your life as an artist, figuring out how to make it happen is always challenging.

Since this is not a post about goal setting, we will assume you have taken the time to get clarity on yours. This post is about using a mind map to expand your brain and your opportunities at the same time. Once you have cataloged what is possible, you can rank your actions and plan accordingly.

Guide for Artists Fine Art Career Roadmap

Fine Art Career Roadmap – Get Your Free Ebook Download. bdavey.co/getmap

Suggestions for Using Your Ebook

Pick a mind map program that will work for you. Using a pencil and paper is also an option. Play around with what you are using. Watch some tutorials, if available. Download the free Fine Art Career Roadmap Ebook and print it. It’s a PDF, so it should work fine on standard printing paper.

Hone in on a few categories, or specific items from a category, and start adding them to your mind map. At this point, you are not concerned about what is your top priority. You want to get out as many feasible possibilities as you can. You can work on ranking them or deleting those you know you won’t use later. Get your spouse, partner, friends, and fellow artists, to review what you’ve done and add more options.

Get Going and Pump Up the Excitement

If you have taken to heart, this exercise will help you, then go with that feeling of hope and optimism that comes from knowing you are steering onto the right path. Remember how that feels. You’ll want to find ways to renew and re-energize how you felt at that moment. I think working on capturing and applying your best intentions with enthusiasm is as important as having a plan.

Tap into your thoughts about making things happen as never before. Overlay your thoughts with the belief that you can achieve what you set out to do. Don’t let doubt set in. Look around at who is making success and take in the realization there is nothing about what they are doing that you can’t do better.

Pick Your Top Two or Three Best Options and Get Moving to Start Making Money

Most of us, myself included, are nearly always trying to do too much. It’s tough to ignore things that feel important, or that with just a little effort we could be doing. That’s our fantasy life trying to kick down the door of your practical side. We must fight this inner monster. It’s a career killer. You can’t do it all. No one can. So, you’ve got to choose.

The point of doing this exercise is to start applying the marketing tools, techniques, and options that offer you the best return now. It is different for everyone. You want to get something going that will give you a cash flow infusion now, and that can be duplicated to keep the spigot flowing.

Nothing beats the feeling of success you get from growing confidence that your marketing operations are set to deliver a steady income to you. At this point, you’re looking for repeatable small wins to start. Bringing in sales and boosting your outlook for your career. These become the stepping stones to bigger things.

Third-Party Distributors Are Longtail Prospects

Everyone wants to get into a gallery. I understand why. There are prestige and relief from the pressure of marketing and selling art yourself. The downside is it can take many months and longer for a gallery to start sending you royalties. The same is true for publishers and licensors, with ever smaller royalties and lower prices.

It’s your choice. You can spend all your time chasing galleries. If you hustle, you might make it work, but you’d be the rare exception if you do. Plus, you would need to produce twice as much art when you work with galleries as when you sell to patrons directly.

Proximity Is a Lever to Pull

Local and warm marketing options offer excellent odds of making full price sales. Why? Because you have already hurdled the KNOW, LIKE and TRUST obstacles that confront you when you sell to strangers. This type of marketing will look slightly different to every artist. However, the fundamentals are there.

Even when your warm market is not a prospect for purchasing your art, they remain an outstanding choice to become a potential referrer for you. You will amaze yourself at what happens when you screw up your courage and ask for sales and referrals from people you know and to the second degree, people they know. Practice what you will say in your words. It needs to be more authentic than polished. Most people are kind and helpful. You will find many are eager to do something for you and are thrilled to know they are helping an artist-entrepreneur.

Don’t Wait to Begin List Building and Email Marketing

Email marketing is the best marketing tool you have. You own your list. No one can take it from you or come between you and your contacts. You don’t own anything on social media. The space you have there is crowded with distracting messages, many times from competitors. You have no rights there either. Shows, galleries, publishers and other third-party distributors can drop you with no recourse. Many do not share buyer contact info.

Learning how to build an email list and sell to it is your ticket for long-term profitability. You can leverage your list and relationships to sell appropriate non-art products and services. If you have trust and your offers relate to your shared interests with your readers, you can sell all kinds of things to them. Some examples are books, videos, courses, lessons, lectures, and decorative art. In some case, t-shirts, mugs, posters, and calendars go over well.

A Reminder to Get the Download – You Will Also Get a Free Email Series of Lessons about the Entries on the Fine Art Career Roadmap

Go to bdavey.co/getmap to receive your PDF download of the Fine Art Career Roadmap. You will receive short emails about topics of interest you see on the download. It is an ongoing series and a work-in-progress. As such, I can’t say how many lessons in the series. We’ll keep going as long as there are interest and something to talk about with you.

PS. If you want my help strategizing, designing and creating an ebook for your art business let me know. It is a paid service. Having a desirable opt-in offer, aka lead magnet, is your key to growing your email list with qualified potential buyers.

Guide for Artists Fine Art Career Roadmap

Fine Art Career Roadmap – Get Your Free Ebook Download. bdavey.co/getmap

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