What Are Your Marketing Plans?

Do you have a formal marketing plan? Or, do you skip around trying a little of this and a little of that? Whatever the case, this information will help you get better. In this post, you’ll discover effective approaches to help you get on track.

Mind Maps Help Plan New Marketing Opportunities

No matter what you are currently doing, you can improve your plans and how you get your work to market. My mission is to always publish tips and techniques that give you profitable ways to sell your art. If you want to make your art business meet your expectations, you must get your mind right with your marketing. My mission is to provide you with knowledge and encourage actions that produce your most satisfying results.

Get Your Fine Art Career Mind Map Download. Click the map below.

Your mind map download is a printable PDF. You write, brainstorm and doodle on it. Whatever gets your brain rocking.

Fine Art Career Mind Map
Get your free Fine Art Career Mind Map at bdavey.co/getmap

It’s Always Easier to Say Than to Do!
However, Keep in Mind, the Dread Is Worse Than the Do!

I agree. It’s so much easier to tell you about getting your mind right with your marketing than it is for you to do it. The reality is despite knowing that effective marketing is the key to success, it’s hard for many artists to generate sincere interest in it. That, in turn, makes attacking art marketing with zest and consistency a serious challenge for them, and maybe you.

It’s easy to understand why artists shy away from marketing. You can blame it on being creative, or having what Buddhists call “Monkey Mind,” or rack it up to the left brain, right brain theory. Let’s be honest.  Making art is fun while marketing art is not so much by comparison. Plus, when you have little to no inclination, and you’re just wired that way, it’s tough to stay on task.

I want success for you. As such, I’m here to encourage you to fight to do the hard work so you can get the results you want. Isn’t that life? Anything worth achieving has tradeoffs.

Since you can’t get around marketing your work, why not get with it? It’s time to embrace the dread!

This is where mind mapping helps. Use it to lay out all your options no matter how wild and crazy. Then organize and prioritize down to the top items that must be done now. Don’t worry about the rest. Either you aren’t doing it, or you aren’t doing it well, so what’s the difference?

Mind Mapping Programs I’ve Used with Success

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

Most of the above have free versions and paid versions. I’m sure I’ve used other mind mapping programs that I can’t recall. I use the latter two most frequently these days. I made the Fine Art Career Mind Map using Mindmup. Further down, I’ll show you the Pro Artist Path mind map that I made with Xmind. It shows how deep you can go with mind mapping.

Some of the broad topics covered include:

  • Creativity
  • Goals
  • Networking
  • Direct Patronage (Selling to Collectors Directly
  • Traditional Marketing
  • Gallery Representation
  • Online Marketing
  • Branding
  • Reproductions
  • Art Business Matters
  • Non-Art income

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

No one has time to do it all. Just look at the Fine Art Career Mind Map here. 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.

Suggestions for Using Your Mind Map

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 Mind Map and print it. It’s a PDF, so it should work fine on standard printing paper.

Pick 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 likely 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.

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 fees 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 an Advantageous 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.


art marketing, email marketing, marketing plans, mind mapping

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