Sharing what we make with the world is perhaps the most significant step we can take as artists. It requires courage and determination at first, and too as we progress in our careers, but can also afford us enormous personal and creative growth no matter how we are received. This chapter is dedicated to exploring the process of exchanging our work with others, the benefit in doing so for us and for the recipient, and how we may use technology to gain exposure and maximise the return on our intensive efforts in making stuff that matters.
The Artist’s Manifesto
- Short Form Version
- Chapter 1: What Is An Artist?
- Chapter 2: The Creative Work
- Chapter 3: Purposeful Accident
- Chapter 4: Embracing Solitude
- Chapter 5: Creative Integrity
- Chapter 6: Time
- Chapter 7: The Creative Self
- Chapter 8: Mastery
- Chapter 9: Happiness
- Chapter 10: The Exchange
- Reader Bonuses
When I first started to write and share my ideas, I was concerned, afraid you might say, that those who knew me would think I was crazy. So I wrote under a pseudonym. There was an old me that I was outgrowing fast, and there was a new me with an urge to uncover an alternate version of reality. I had been experimenting for a while with WordPress, and I knew my way around enough to build a simple site and begin.
Whatever your goals are for your work, you need to understand, if you don’t already, that you can’t achieve that success if you have no audience.
Every creative person needs an audience. To build an audience, a fan base, customers etc. around our work is required not only to make a living but to complete the creative process.
In the digital age of the internet, the opportunities to share our work are almost endless. And so there is no reason for a creative to go without recognition or reward for their work. In other words, if you’re not using the internet to get your stuff out there then you’re missing the boat.
10 Steps To Building An Audience For Your Art
There are a number of fundamentals we need to put in place in order to successfully build an audience for your art. For me, this is how they break down.
Step 1 Build Your Own Platform
You need to build a website on your own domain. Wix, Blogger and other simple website builders are fine for beginners, but if you are serious then you need to build your site on your own domain with WordPress. Consider starting on WordPress.com then progress to WordPress.org (self-hosted). If you go cheap don’t expect great things.
Host your domain on Bluehost (for beginners)
Step 2 Choose A Medium
Decide what medium you will use to share your content. Choose audio, video, writing or some combination of the three. If you are going with audio or video I would recommend adding text and publishing the content as an article on your own website in addition to the audio or video platform.
People consume content in many different ways. Some like to listen to podcasts on their commute, others like to sit and read. Others like to watch video. There is merit in publishing in all three formats but it’s got to be easy for you. If you are not gifted technically then this will be a serious challenge.
The key here is to start off with a medium you’re comfortable with then steadily grow from there.
Step 3 Create Regular Content
You’ve got to show up every day. If you creating every day that’s your work, but you also need to share your stuff regularly. Pick a day each week where you publish your stuff. Create weekly, not monthly. Monthly is too infrequent in my opinion.
Share something every day that directs back to your content. It can be a picture on Instagram, a segment on Anchor, a live video on Facebook. Whatever social platforms you use, share your stuff there to a
Step 4 Share Your Unique Voice
Beware consuming too much of other people’s information. Censoring your stuff will spoil the uniqueness of your voice so just be yourself and let it out. People will eventually be drawn to what you do and your audience will grow. Be patient with it and be content making imperfect work.
Step 5 Be Consistent
Consistency is vital. Showing up every day, or whatever frequency you’ve chosen, even if you don’t feel like it is important so that we build momentum. Good advice and I need to take some of it myself!
Step 6 Choose 1 or 2 Social Channels (No more)
We can get caught up in the need to be on every social platform out there and really, all this does is distract us from the work. Pick one or possibly two social platforms where your audience hangs out and share your stuff there.
Step 7 Take Your Time
We’ve got to be patient and comfortable with not being where we want to be just yet. Creative people are generally good at getting focused on the work and that’s the headspace we need to be in. Becoming unsettled, agitated and anxious about lack of success spoils the journey and keeps us from the success we crave.
Step 8 Collect Email Addresses
This is big. If you are not collecting email addresses of visitors to your website then you are letting potential revenue slip through your fingers. Use tools like Sumo and ThriveThemes to build optin incentives for website visitors and offer those in exchange for an email address.
Step 9 Write To Subscribers Regularly
Once people sign up to your site it’s time to keep the conversation going. Use a weekly newsletter to keep in touch and give them more of what they signed up for. Let them inside your creative process. Give them a piece of you and share your experiences. This allows you to build a relationship with your audience.
Step 10 Sell Something
Simple one here. If we don’t sell our stuff we don’t eat. Selling our work has become really easy online and every artist should be taking advantage of this. You can use Shopify, WordPress, Big Commerce and many other platforms to sell your work. you can even use simpler tools like Sumo or even a PayPal button.
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