My Marketing Manifesto

Studio.jpg

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, eNewsletters... Have you ever asked yourself how much of the information you see on a daily basis is useful to you? Do you just scroll past the postings? Automatically hit “delete”? Save it to read later? This is the one I’m guilty of. In my world, later never comes.

Sending an eNewsletter each week, month, or quarter when you don’t have compelling content because someone told you to in order to keep your list “warm”? I’m saying “no”.

Then there’s the expectation we should be promoting our fabulous lives and businesses on every social media platform every day, gathering comments and likes to validate our accomplishments, or in some cases what we had for lunch, to thousands of “friends” and “followers”, most of whom we don’t even know. And probably wouldn’t care to know in real life. We’re always going to be at the mercy of random algorithm changes that can have a significant impact on our businesses, so what percentage of our time and efforts should we be spending on social media? This is a tricky one.

I’ve decided less is more when it comes to my online life this year. I’ve deleted my Pinterest, Twitter, and SnapChat accounts. I’ve unfriended almost 2,000 people, unfollowed almost 1,000 pages, dropped out of most of the Groups I was in, and tightened up my filters on Facebook. “On This Day” has become an extremely useful tool as I clean up previous years’ postings. All of this has made a huge difference in my online experience. Now I can see all of the beautiful artwork I’ve been missing because it was getting lost in the marketing pitches, the negativity, and the ranting and raving about politics and the state of the world.

Unless you’re producing a really amazing eNewsletter, I’m unsubscribing. Don’t just send me an announcement of a sale you’re having, a list of workshops you’re teaching, or a list of shows you’re in. Tell me about your creative process and the inspiration for your work. I don’t want to be marketed to. I want to know more about you as an artist. That’s what impels me to support you as an artist and buy your art.

We’re going to continue to see huge shifts in the social media platforms this year. So, I’m focusing my time on the platforms I have complete control over, my website and blog, with Instagram being my primary social media outlet.

After all the years of mastermind groups and coaching, I guess I’m rebelling in some ways. I don’t want to follow formulas and do what everyone else is doing. I want my marketing to be authentic to who I am. And who I am is someone who has never fit in and followed the crowd.

Big Dreams and Action Plans

Surfaces I, 2018, 12"x12", Acrylic on Panel

Surfaces I, 2018, 12"x12", Acrylic on Panel

I’ve abandoned the word “goals” this year and replaced it with “big dreams” and “action plans”. After years of setting goals, the word feels meaningless and passive now. But big dreams and action plans, now that’s something I can sink my teeth into.

I spent quite a bit of time in November and December thinking about what I want to accomplish in this next chapter of my life. As I was making my list of lifetime accomplishments, many of which I’d been told I would never accomplish, I realized somewhere along the way I lost the ability to believe in myself. I’m not sure when it happened or why it happened. But happen it did.

It’s time to reclaim that power, so my word-of-the year for 2018 is “Believe”.

I started my planning for 2018 by creating my list of big dreams. Simple, right? Um, not so much. My natural inclination when creating the list was to immediately drop into planning mode. Why put it on the list if I couldn’t see how to get there? I had to force myself to step away from that mindset of having to know how something is going to happen. And that’s where believing in myself and my ability to accomplish my big dreams comes in. I have to believe it’s enough to put what I want out into the Universe and trust that it will happen in its own time. That doesn’t mean I spend all day binge-watching Netflix and drinking tea. I still have to show up, do the work, and be open to the opportunities that come my way. But I don’t have to “just do it” and obsessively push to “make things happen”.

I’ve learned there’s power in holding your dreams close, nurturing them, and giving them time to take root. So, I won’t be sharing my big dreams and action plans publicly this year. It’s enough to share them with my coaches, my mastermind groups, and Emily, my accountability partner.

2018 is a 2 year in numerology. A year symbolizing a slow journey of connection, patience, attention to detail, building and nurturing relationships, cooperation, correct timing, and gradual progress. A year of slowing down, accepting that my dreams are dependent on other factors that have to happen before I can proceed, and not pushing for results.

So, welcome 2018. I know we’re going to do great things together.

Man Plans and the Gods Laugh

high_res.jpg

Life is unpredictable. We weigh our options and make the best decisions based on where we are and the information we have at the time. Yet sometimes we still end up in the wrong place. Or with the wrong people. Or following the wrong path.

If you know anything about numerology, you know 2017 was a 1 year. A year symbolizing the journey of change, new beginnings, independence, and becoming who you really are.

It started with little things… subscriptions to New Mexico Magazine and Santa Fean, returning as a donor to the International Folk Art Market. I finally had to admit to myself I was absolutely miserable living in Asheville and I was homesick for Santa Fe. So, I decided to move back to Santa Fe in mid- to late 2018. In July, “mid- to late 2018” turned into “I’ve rented an apartment, the movers have been scheduled, boxes and packing materials are being delivered on Monday”. And just like that, the decision was made. I was going home.

Thomas Wolfe was wrong, you can go home again. I’ve been back in Santa Fe now for 3 ½ months and it feels like I never left. My almost 2 years in Asheville feel like a dream sequence I finally woke up from.

Coming home to Santa Fe turned out not to be the only big change in my life this year.

At the beginning of 2017, I was working on a new series of weavings, Magic in the Desert: Santa Fe Reflections. I had a marketing strategy. I had goals. I was in several mastermind groups for artists. I thought I was all set to move forward in a meaningful way. But, what I really had was a list of “shoulds” I was trying to execute against. It didn’t work. It wasn’t me. I felt like a fraud. And along the way, I discovered the weavings in the Magic in the Desert series were very personal to me. I really didn’t want to sell them.

Creating art was put on hold as I packed, moved, unpacked, and settled in. Once I had my new studio set up, I found myself unable to get in there and start weaving again. I needed a challenge. I needed a change. I needed to play. So, I returned to painting. And a whole new world opened up for me.

Weaving will always be a part of my meditative process and a way to relieve stress. And I’ll continue to offer my Soul Artifacts to a select audience on a commission basis. But as I move into 2018, my studio practice will be focused on my paintings.

I’m also changing how I show up in my marketing. No more marketing “shoulds" for me in 2018. You’ll see blog posts when I have something to say and Instagram posts when I have something worth sharing.

So, as 2017 comes to a close, I’m grateful for my journey this year. It wasn’t always fun. It wasn’t always easy. But with every decision and action, I built a new foundation for my life and my art.

And, I found my way home.