marketing

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How the World Sees YOU – book review

One thing I love about social media is stumbling across new books, resources, vacation ideas and inspiration.  A few weeks ago Michelle McCullough posted a photo from the book, How the World Sees YOU [affiliate link] by Sally Hogshead, on instagram.  I was attracted to it immediately because I liked the infographic. (It isn’t in the book, I think she heard the author speak – I hope to one day!)

Different is Better than Better

Since one of my favorite things is learning more about what makes people tick and for that matter, what makes me tick, I was intrigued.  I immediately ordered the book and devoured it when it came in.

This is the first book that I’ve seen that focuses on helping you determine how the world sees you, instead of how you see the world or how you think and react.

Not only does it give you insights (after you take an online quiz) but it also talks about how to use this potentially new knowledge to market yourself, connect with others in a better and more meaningful way and more.

It’s a personal development book and business and marketing book all in one, and it’s an important thing to consider.  When you look at how many artists are trying to get into licensing and how many options manufacturers have when choosing art, what are the differentiating factors?  One would hope the look and style each artist brings to the table would be different but often there are more than one with a similar look and feel and always more than one option that would work as well as the other.

So then what?  It’s the person (YOU) and the relationship that can come into play.

People can outdo your strengths. But nobody can outdo who you are.  Your personality is the only aspect of your work that nobody can copy. – Sally Hogshead

Book Recommendation - How the World Sees YouLet me ask you this – how much of your personality is in your business or how you are doing business?  And are you leading with the things that stand out the most to others or with the things YOU think stand out the most?  For me, it’s the latter and I plan on looking at how to shift that a bit.

I’ve been leading with my business background and savvy – feeling it was a differentiator for me.  It is, and the way I look at and see things IS different than many others.  But after going through this book, taking the quiz and thinking about the feedback I’ve received over the years, I realize it isn’t my BIGGEST strength.  According to the book, my two primary advantages are PASSION (relationships) and INNOVATION (creativity).  (Making my personality archetype “The Catalyst” of the 49 options) After thinking about it I realized that while both artists and clients appreciate my business sense, I get more positive feedback about HOW I RELATE IT – how my personality, passion and honesty come through as a key factor in what draws people to learn from me or license from me.

While it wasn’t a huge surprise, it definitely got me thinking about how I can strengthen what I’m doing in my business.  Perhaps it can help you too!  If you take the quiz, I’d love to know where you fall on the personality types and what you think of it!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  If you like this sort of thing, I also highly recommend Strength Finders 2.o by Tom Rath and Your Emotional Fingerprint by Woody Woodward. (both are affiliate links) With all three you will find your strengths, the things that make you feel important (and therefore why certain things might push your buttons) AND how the world sees you.  You will be unstoppable!

 

Why you need to own your own website and not only rely on social media

As my dad said when I was planning my first wedding, “He who has the gold makes the rules.”  It’s true – in the end, whoever is paying gets the final say.

The same applies to the web.  While people will complain and bemoan the constant changes Facebook and other social media sites make to how they work and how visible you can make yourself and your business, in the end, they own the sandbox.  You can pay – in the form of advertising – to improve your advantage, but you are still subject to their rules.

You MUST own your own website.  Yes – social media is important.  But have it direct people to your website that you control and you know will always be there.  It won’t be suspended for a photo someone else reported as offensive or some other unknown reason… you make the rules.

Here’s a video with more thoughts about it…


Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Start off 2015 as a THRIVING Artist…

  • Are you bubbling over with resolutions that this will be the year you truly live your dream?
  • Do you want to uplevel your current results?
  • Are you looking for information about different ways to leverage your creativity into an income?

Then the Thriving Artist Summit may be just what you are looking for, IT’S FREE and it starts Monday, January 5, 2015!

Thriving Artist Summit 2015

This online conference is featuring a fantastic lineup of 20+ speakers and is a not-to-be-missed free event.

Though I am not a speaker this year, I do have a special deal for you in the Summit Swag Bag. But, you have to join us to get it!

Whether you’re trying to figure out how to get started, or need some inspiration to stay motivated, this is definitely the place to be come January.

>> Click here to get free access here <<

During this special community summit you will discover how to:

  • • Make Your Creative Biz a Real Success
  • • Build Your Brand for Your Ideal Buyers
  • • Price for Real Profit and Growth
  • • Increase Your Sales with Marketing, PR, and Social Media
  • • Diversify into Licensing, Wholesale, and Direct-to-Consumer
  • • Get Into Galleries, Shows, and Raise Project Funds

I’d love for you to experience this yourself and JOIN US FOR THIS FREE summit.

The summit will be held from January 5 – 18, 2015 and the audio replays will be available for 72 hours

Thriving Artist Summit ScheduleThis is an amazing opportunity to expand your horizons about what options are available for artists to make a living and how to do it!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

I hope no agents read this post…

I just got my copy of Darren Hardy’s new book – both print and audio – The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster.  As I sat painting a new collection for my trip to Atlanta next month, I attached the external disk drive (Oh Apple!  WHY did you get rid of disk drives??) and listened while I worked.

I’m sure I will listen to this content and read the book several times over.  I’m only through the first few chapters but there is GOLD in this content!

One thing that stuck out was a discussion about a genie in a lantern.  Darren Hardy suggests that you have found a lazy genie – no three wishes for you but just ONE area that he will help you with in your business.  He then goes through options and why he thinks they would be  good or bad.

His conclusion:  Ask for amazing sales and marketing.

Success in Biz - Darren Hardy

Hardy suggests that the success of a business is based 10% on the merit of the product (art, in our case) and 90% on the sales and marketing.

Wow!  I’ve said it before and will certainly say it again – it isn’t the best art that makes it on products in art licensing, because maybe no one knows about the best art.

The art that is chosen is the best fit based on a few criteria:

  • The known options (this is where sales and marketing is key!)
  • The opinions of the decision makers about which options are most likely to sell the products (there are ALWAYS several choices that will do the job)

Once those two filters have been applied, other factors come into play.

  • The relationship with the agent or artist – are they easy to work with and do they come through on time or early?
  • Does the art or artist have a proven track record of sales?
  • Coin toss. (I don’t have confirmation on this one but I think it’s often a factor…)

In art licensing, royalties are usually split 50/50 if an artist works with an agent.  The artist does the creative work, the agent does the sales, marketing and contract negotiations.  Can you imagine if they read this book and decided they should get 90%? ?  It won’t happen because there simply isn’t enough money in a deal to make the artist create if they only get 10%.

This concept is, however, good food for thought when you think about your business.  Whether you are doing your own sales and marketing or have or are looking for an agent, consider the importance of GOOD and CONSISTENT sales and marketing efforts.  Your success has more to do with how well you market yourself and your art than the art itself.  This will upset many.  It will make others feel a little more hopeful.  It should make those looking for agents ask that many more questions and check referrals that much more closely.

You aren’t actually in business if you aren’t selling – or licensing – something.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  Want some help with the sales and marketing side of things or help finding an agent?  I have some ebooks to help!

How to Find, Interact and Work with Manufacturers Who License Art (to do sales and marketing yourself)

How to Find an Art Licensing Agent (how to find someone to do it for you)

And if trade shows are part of your marketing plan, the newly released Art Licensing Trade Show Success Secrets is what you need!

Thriving Artist Summit with Bonnie Glendinning begins January 5, 2015

Last December, my friend Bonnie Glendinning interviewed me at The Thriving Artist Summit. It was a great experience for me and so many artists around the world. And, The Thriving Artist Summit will be back January 2015.

Thriving-Artist-Summit-Wide-Banner

This online conference is featuring a fantastic lineup of 20+ speakers and is a not-to-be-missed free event.

Though I am not a speaker this year, I do have a special deal for you in the Summit Swag Bag. But, you have to join us to get it!

Whether you’re trying to figure out how to get started, or need some inspiration to stay motivated, this is definitely the place to be come January.

>> Click here to get free access here <<

During this special community summit you will discover how to:

  • • Make Your Creative Biz a Real Success
  • • Build Your Brand for Your Ideal Buyers
  • • Price for Real Profit and Growth
  • • Increase Your Sales with Marketing, PR, and Social Media
  • • Diversify into Licensing, Wholesale, and Direct-to-Consumer
  • • Get Into Galleries, Shows, and Raise Project Funds

I’d love for you to experience this yourself and JOIN US FOR THIS FREE summit.

The summit will be held from January 5 – 18, 2015 and the audio replays will be available for 72 hours

Thriving Artist Summit ScheduleThis is an amazing opportunity to expand your horizons about what options are available for artists to make a living and how to do it!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Pantone Color of the Year 2015: Marsala

Drum roll please… (if you haven’t seen 15 posts about this already of course) – Pantone’s color of the year is Marsala!

Pantone Color of the year - 2015

 

As usual, it is being met with mixed reviews.  Some love it, some hate it.  Some think it’s old fashioned, others think it’s drab.  However, the color of the year always shows up in fashion, gift & home decor…

The question is:  Will you use the color of the year or skip it?  And how will you decide?

Artists are always looking for the hot new trend – whether it’s a theme, style or color.  Will it be the key to profitable licensing deals?  Can I spot trends at the beginning and ride the wave to riches?  Can I be a trend-setter?  Trends, trends trends.

Don’t be a trend junkie.  Not all trends will work for all artists.

Here are three things to consider before jumping on a trend:

1.  Does the trend make sense for your art?

Not all trends should be adopted by all artists.  If everyone created all of their art around a color, things would get a bit boring.  Some colors won’t make sense either and if you try to force a color into your work just because it’s the hot color (or theme or pattern) – it probably won’t work well.  For example, I don’t see artists who traditionally work in soft color palettes doing a lot with Marsala.

2.  How much will you use?

If you decide that yes, you like the color and it makes sense, the next thing to consider is quantity.  Will you bet your entire portfolio on this trend or just one collection.  Will it be a focus or an accent?  There are many ways to incorporate a trend – decide what resonates and makes sense to you.

3.  What process will you go through before adding it to your portfolio?

Every artist has a different way of working.  Some wake up, feel inspired and follow that inspiration.  Others are more methodical, doing research to see what is in the marketplace and then deciding how they can add their unique contributions.  Will you jump wildly or make a plan?  Will you talk to clients about what they think of the color or add it to your portfolio and show that you are “up on trends”.  I don’t know that there is a right or wrong way, but have you ever even thought about what YOUR WAY is?

Personally, I like Marsala and think it makes sense for my art, themes and color schemes I’m known for. You will see it in my portfolio and hopefully on my licensed products.  I still need to decide how much, when and where…

What do you think?  Will you use it or ignore it?  Would love your feedback in the comments!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  CLICK HERE to read Pantone’s big reveal post about Marsala…

Want to sell your art online? The Art Business Launch by Chris Wilson may help…

While I know my focus is primarily art licensing, I also know that many of my blog readers are investigating many ways of earning an income with their art.  The other day, artist Chris Wilson reached out to tell me about his eBook – the Art Launch Blueprint – and to let me know he is doing a contest to give one away.

I was busy but slightly intrigued so I marked the email to make sure I went back to it.  When I did – I became intrigued.  One, by the way he is doing his giveaway – will have to consider that format for personal use! 😉

Second, I was impressed by the sales page for this product.  It looks solid, he answers lots of questions and it looks like he really knows what he is doing.

I decided to enter to win a free copy (deadline to enter – November 22, 2014) and thought I’d share his contest and information with the group.  (My kindergarden teacher would be so proud!)

I haven’t purchased or used this content personally and I won’t benefit if you buy it – just letting you know it’s out there and you can decide.  If you do make a purchase, I’d love to know what you think!

Here is a little more information, taken from his book sales page at ChrisWilsonStudio.com/art-launch-blueprint/

Who’s this course for?
Artists who want to earn a living from their art, obviously, but more specifically, artists who want to sell their art products and attract commissions online. Think visual artists like painters, designers, illustrators, filmmakers, photographers, crafters, and more.

Who made this course?
This course was created by Chris Wilson – I’ve made a living selling my work online and doing commissions with different creative studios and brands around the world.

What if I’m just starting out?
This course is designed for creatives who have a solid portfolio of work, but the processes will work for beginners as well. In fact, starting fresh could work to your advantage, because you haven’t picked up bad habits yet.

Want to enter to win a free copy?  Go here > ChrisWilsonStudio.com/giveaways/art-launch-blueprint

Here’s to your creative success – through whatever avenue that comes!

– Tara Reed

Art Licensing Info Ask Call – Social Media with Michelle McCullough Replay is now available

I feel better and more informed about how to use and manage social media after our call with Michelle McCullough last night – do you?

Time management and social media used to be mutually exclusive topics but more and more, social media is one of the biggest distractions / time sucks entrepreneurs face.  We are bombarded with messages that say we HAVE to be on every social media site if we want to be successful.  But few people are talking about how to decide which sites will best fit a particular business so it feels like a lot of time and energy is wasted as people throw information willy-nelly around the net in the hopes that it works.

All of this connecting, liking, plus one-ing, pinning and more takes time.  That is time that you could be doing other things – creating art, implementing other marketing strategies or, dare I say it, relaxing and living your life.

I’m really excited that Michelle McCullough agreed to talk to us about both of these important topics and that I can offer the replay from the call for free.

I met Michelle a year ago at Tiffany Peterson’s Elevation event and also had the chance to learn from her at a more intimate business workshop. I love how she helps people create systems and figure out percentages of time they should shoot for for different tasks, based on their business.  She isn’t a one size fits all.

Michelle really knows how to manage her time! She has 2 young kids and 3 businesses.  She is the Managing Director of the website startupPrincess.com – a website that helps entrepreneurs (mostly female but men can learn a lot there too!) with every aspect of starting and running a business.  She is a speaker and coach and a wiz when it comes to marketing, social media and time management.  She also runs a promotional products company – and you all thought I did a lot!

I hired Michelle to do a marketing review of my art website and got lots of great tips and tweaks to take it to the next level.  I will warn you – she talks really fast!  I have come to look at that as an asset because we will get a ton of information from her in our hour!

When I first scheduled this call, I thought the focus would be on time management.  Then I added social media as an option… Well, since these calls are created by questions submitted by artists like you, the focus is going to be on better understanding how to productively use your TIME on social media.

free replay about social media and time management with Michelle McCullough and Tara ReedHere is what we covered on the call:

We talked about the 6 main social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram & Google Plus.  Who is on them, what their strengths are and why they may or may not be worth your time and energy. Michelle made some recommendations for artists who are not only interested in art licensing but also sell directly to consumers through their own or other websites like Etsy, Society6, Fine Art America, CafePress and more…
We talked about the four basic types of social media posts and how and when to use each.
We talked through some strategies for Instagram and Facebook and a bit about Google + and LinkedIn too.
We wrapped up talking about how long  you should spend on social media and how to manage it so it works for you and doesn’t control you…

If you don’t receive the email updates about the Ask Calls – which you should have received with a link to this replay if you do, register below to get your free mp3 replay.

Find Michelle online at http://michelleontheair.com/ – she has lots of free audio content.  You can get her Social Media Blueprint product for only $97 thru 9/25/14 at http://michelleontheair.com/socialmedia/- I got it! :)

Next up… I’m excited to announce that our next guest will be an attorney from the Library of Congress – Copyright Office.

Library of Congress Copyright Office talks with Tara Reed about copyright concerns of artistsThe call will be on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 but we aren’t sure of the time yet.  It will basically be whatever time they want it to be!  (The replay will be free as well so no need to worry about the time – although it is great to have all the energy of the artists who choose to listen live!)
Watch the blog and eNewsletter for updates as I have them.

Who wants to join me at the School House Crafts conference in Seattle – Sept 27 & 28?

It’s back-to-school season – don’t leave yourself out!  If you are an artist, crafter or other kind of maker – this is going to be a great event!

September 27-28, 2014 – School House Craft – Live Conference in Seattle, WA

School House Craft fall conference for artists - Seattle WAThis is the 5th year of the School House Craft program and I’m honored and excited to be participating!  There will be two days of focused small business classes and workshops led by some of the community’s most knowledgeable and inspirational speakers along with many opportunities expand your network and connect with your peers.

The 2014 School House Craft Conference will be held at the Sunset Hill Community Club – a beautifully restored two-story Arts & Crafts style clubhouses located in the heart of the friendly Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA.

I will be teaching an intro to art licensing class on Sunday and a Goal Wheel for Artists class on Saturday.  In addition, I will be hosting one (or two?) lunch roundtables and of course hanging out and having fun.

This conference isn’t just about art licensing – I’m one little piece of the puzzle.  It is for:  Artists, Crafters and Makers, both emerging and experienced, who are looking to invest in their businesses and learn a wealth of information that will help them start, run, and grow their small creative businesses more efficiently and with greater success.

Live in the Northwest and want to learn more?  Visit SchoolHouseCraft.com

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S. If you are coming – let me know so I look for you!

3 ways to uplevel your art licensing business in September & October

Wowie is fall looking like fun!  I am going to be doing 3 different events in September and October that give you several ways to uplevel your art licensing business – the question is, are you ready?

September 27-28, 2014 – School House Craft – Live Conference in Seattle, WA

School House Craft fall conference for artists - Seattle WAThis is the 5th year of the School House Craft program and I’m honored and excited to be participating!  There will be two days of focused small business classes and workshops led by some of the community’s most knowledgeable and inspirational speakers along with many opportunities expand your network and connect with your peers.

The 2014 School House Craft Conference will be held at the Sunset Hill Community Club – a beautifully restored two-story Arts & Crafts style clubhouses located in the heart of the friendly Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA.

I will be teaching an intro to art licensing class on Sunday and a Goal Wheel for Artists class on Saturday.  In addition, I will be hosting one (or two?) lunch roundtables and of course hanging out and having fun.

This conference isn’t just about art licensing – I’m one little piece of the puzzle.  It is for:  Artists, Crafters and Makers, both emerging and experienced, who are looking to invest in their businesses and learn a wealth of information that will help them start, run, and grow their small creative businesses more efficiently and with greater success.

Live in the Northwest and want to learn more?  Visit SchoolHouseCraft.com


 

 Art Licensing Academy – next group coaching program starts October 8, 2014

Art Licensing Academy group coaching program with Tara ReedThe next Art Licensing Academy is open for registration!  We meet on Wednesday and Fridays in October (if you can’t listen live, everything is recorded so no worries!)

Succeeding in art licensing – or any business for that matter – requires more than just the core skills or talent.  In art licensing, the “core skills” would obviously be artistic talent.  If you have the talent, you then need to learn how to apply it in a way that works for products.  You need to learn to see trends and decide if they make sense for your style and focus.  I consider the core skills the art related skills.

Beyond the core skills, you need business skills –  sales & marketing, building and nurturing relationships, understanding and negotiating contracts, etc.

But don’t forget about your “personal” core.  Without understanding yourself and what motivates you and what might make you sabotage yourself, you won’t have everything you need to maximize your success.

I have designed the Art Licensing Academy to support you and help you grow in all three of these areas.

There are free bonuses for artists who sign up by September 20th.  Get all the details and save your spot at ArtLicensingAcademy.com


License 2 Grow – Live Event – October 20, 2014 in Kings Beach, CA (Lake Tahoe!) with Tara Reed & agent Kimberly Montgomery

License 2 Grow - art licensing event with Tara Reed and Kimberly MontgomeryTara Reed & Agent Kimberly Montgomery of Montage Licensing have teamed up to create a day long event for artists looking to dig in and get serious about licensing their art. Their combined 30+ years of experience in the industry – Kimberly as an artist and now an agent and Tara as an artist and educator – ensures you will leave with a solid plan for what to do next and a the excitement to make it happen!

This event is for artists who are ready to step up their game. If you have an open mind, are ready to learn and then take action – we’d love to have you join us!

Artists who register for the License 2 Grow event by September 20th can also join the Art Licensing Academy – for half off!  Details are on the website at ArtLicensingInfo.com/license2grow.html


 SO… who’s in?  I’d love to have you at one, two or even all three – the choice is up to you!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

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