Artist SEO blog

Let’s get regular art sales: 4

If you’re an artist and you need to sell more art with less effort, this is for you.

We can build a process that sells your art and makes it easy.

I speak with a lot of artists who are full time but not financially stable or free. I’m not talking about millions and I’m not saying money is the object at all. I’m ESPECIALLY not suggesting you should give your bank account more attention. What I’m actually aiming for is less attention to your finances. You know there’s money in the bank so you can give your full self to your art.

And I don’t have a system for you. I’m not saying do this, do that. I’m saying you can move up to a more comfortable life using these building bricks to create a sales process that completely fits your beliefs and values so it feels comfortable and easy and right for you.

We’re going to strip away all the stuff that doesn’t work, so you save time and your marketing stuff doesn’t feel so much of a bind.

And in the end, not only will you be more relaxed financially, your art will be better because you feel stronger and more confident and wanted.

I’m not guaranteeing you’ll sell more art, but I am here with techniques and principles that work and I want to help you raise your game. 

Imagine how you would feel if your bank balance gave you freedom rather than held you back. If you could rely on your income, what would that mean for you? What would you change? Would it change your art? Would you live somewhere else?

I’ve mixed art, marketing and digital ever since I went to university the first time in 1980 but mostly I’m a marketer, and I believe that marketing is perhaps the greatest force for good in the world. Marketers seek out problems and organise ourselves to solve them, sustainably.

But marketing can be really hard to get right, and really frustrating if something you read somewhere made you feel that you should be doing videos and your mate said you have to have a mailing list and someone on Facebook’s on about writing blogs and whatever, it’s all time that you’d rather be spending on your art. I’m not here to guilt trip you into joining TicTok.

I’m here to introduce marketing principles that are, frankly, forever true, and to help you figure out how to make them work for you so you can do more art, but also have a home or a studio to do art in.

And it’s frankly a little ridiculous how much impact a small change can have. I talk about values a lot as you’ll have probably noticed. Do you stand for fun or discovery or strength? I recently read an email from an artist (hi, you know who you are) who said they’d posted on Facebook and having done my values exercise they talked about their values and ended up with two serious enquiries about buying a painting. That was different enough from normal that they emailed me about it.

Without some guidance, though, you can keep trying things that don’t work and get burned out with it. And it’s a moving sea so it’s much better to build on best practice with time-proven and forever-true marketing principles that, once you have them in your heart, will stand you in good stead forever..

My course is eight modules, and they become available over an eight week period. It’s entirely up to you whether you take it at your leisure, or you follow along with others and share the experience, maybe make new friends. But that’s the reason I don’t just keep the doors open for people to join at any time. It’s a big deal for me to support people through my courses, and so I open the doors for registration once a year and then I can husband people through the process.

I advocate the rock star lifecycle for you and for me. Our best work comes when we are well rested, and our best ideas often come in moments of peace, so .. I open the doors just once a year.

So let’s get into it.

The Artist’s SEO training course is for artists who are full time, professional, but who haven’t reached the Damien Hirst levels of success yet .. alright actually what I mean is .. if your car completely failed tomorrow, could you walk into a showroom and buy a new one without credit. That’s my arbitrary goal position that denotes a feeling of security, a solid sense that whatever happens you can probably handle it and it’s OK.

If you’re a professional artist with financial niggles in the back of your mind, I want them gone so you can concentrate on what you’re doing.

It’s an online, 8-week course and here’s what you get:

  • I’ll help you see what you are doing from a buyer’s perspective, 
  • we look at building your fanbase (this is really all you need, a bunch of adoring fans), 
  • we look at search phrases and how to get more buyers than time-wasters, 
  • we’ll work out how to do social media without it taking over your life, 
  • we hit link-building without just dying of awfulness, 
  • we’ll identify website issues that might be holding you back (like driving with the handbrake on), 
  • there are some ecommerce gotchas to check for 
  • and we’ll finish with an easy one .. local search. 

In each week there are a number of video lessons (in most weeks getting on for ten).

And like I said, it’s not a system. I’m not going to have you doing calisthenics at 8am and if you don’t you’re a bad person. It’s not a bunch of tips and tricks. I’m really not that person.

We’ll look at the principles behind what you could change to improve your practice, and show practical ways to do it. It’s for you to take what resonates for you and implement it in a way that feels comfortable for you.

Remember that these changes multiply each other. If you’ve ever looked at compound interest, it’s the same thing. 

If you’re comfortable with spreadsheets open up a new one and in cell A1 enter your sales from last year. Then in A2 add 1% ( = a1 * 1.01 ). Drag that down to row 365.

You might think adding 1% to your turnover every day would result in 3.65 x your turnover. So if you turned over £10,000 last year, you’d turn over £36,500 this year which would be brilliant. But check out the effect of compounding, because it all multiplies. If you could add 1% to your sales and marketing process every day for a year, and you start out with a £10,000 turnover, that 1% every day turns your turnover into £374,093.

Now there’s a) no way that’s going to happen, and b) no way I’m guaranteeing anything more than successful delivery of the course and your happiness with it, but it’s just to illustrate the power of .. even if you don’t watch the whole course, if you take a few things that sound good to you and you implement them, it could have a profound effect on your practice.

It’s not about the money. I mean, it’s nice and all, but it’s about impact. You’re doing art to communicate something, and that involves another person. You’re speaking to someone through art. What are you saying? Let’s have that message arrive with more people so they change for the better. So you help people and make a difference.

I know the feeling when you are working hard on something and nobody gets it. It feels like the world is against you. Or you’re some alien life form, outside of whatever the hell normal people are doing.

I also know the feeling when you connect with people and make a difference. I can tell you, it puts a spring in your step.

Another issue artists wrestle with is getting boxed in. You find a style that people like and that’s you, forever. The galleries want it. Buyers want it. But you’re dying, feeling like you’re on a treadmill.

OK, I can’t change human nature but I do think my values based marketing system and the leadership training that’s in this course can make a big difference here. If you stand for joy, and you join with others who also stand for joy, they’ll love your paintings AND they’ll love your songs or your adventure stories or whatever because it’s actually all got the same heart.

I know artists tend to be good at the admin but it’s not ideal to have to keep so many plates spinning. That rockstar lifecycle I talk about, that solves the problem of flitting between tasks, never getting into flow.

I’ve always been into deep systems. The SEO tips and tricks people are going to be completely bozzeyed about the way I do this. But that’s what makes it work. You’re an artist, you’re a deep thinker too. You need it to be right at core. I can’t move unless everything’s right, so I get it .. my school history teacher spotted that in me.

Anyway, so how it works is you sign up, pay for it one way or another, and then the course actually starts on 15 March. I’ll email you about the modules as they appear and I’ll be around to answer any questions you’ve got.

It’s all me, no handing over to anyone else halfway through.

What’s great about it from my point of view is the reaction from those who go through it. 

Permission to brag?

“I really like that, a bigger happiness when you are appreciated, and the greater happiness when your work sells!”

“Wonderful insight.”

“Had a lots to think about today with this one. Great stuff to be considering how and where other people are coming to you from. Look forward to tomorrow’s insights!”

“Gosh John, spent the morning now in a pretend interview, trying to explain to a stranger why I do what I do . There’s a lot to unpack here at this end!”

“Ok, figured out how to do some stuff that I’d previously ignored (or, more accurately, had no idea about), feeling rather chuffed with myself. Thanks John, I would just have carried on in ignorance otherwise. Day one feels like good progress already!”

“I’m super excited, can’t wait to get things moving in a positive direction, thank-you John it’s much appreciated”

“I value how your thoughts are a catalyst to make us/me think. Keep it up, John”

“Love these little golden nuggets, John”

To be absolutely honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in business than now, with this course, and the difference it makes to the artists I work with. These are entirely spontaneous comments, I didn’t offer anyone a carrot to say something nice 🙂

But the big deal is this, for me. I used to have the idea for an art project where I asked local people to let me know what they were worried about. This was about twenty years ago. I wanted it to be inclusive, and so I was happy to receive answers by all means, if they wanted to write to me, text, draw it, interpretive dance, write a song, whatever. I was going to collect it all together into an exhibition of shared concerns.

That’s how simple the world was just that short time ago.

Nowadays we are absolutely fatigued with worry. I couldn’t run that project now, we are concerned about everything. No-one would know what to say. Just .. I’m worried about everything!

And that often turns into hate.

But the poet Kae Tempest wrote that we should build up our empathy, see the world through others’ eyes, and a great way to do that is to engage with art. My words now .. because that’s what art is .. seeing things through others’ eyes. And in many respects that’s what marketing is too.

Much of what we are used to relying on is failing, but we are still here, and we still have each other and art can document and inspire and connect in ways nothing else can. 

So, and this may sound ridiculous but it is what it is, I’m out to save the world through art. Problem is I’m not an artist. But what I can do is show you new ways to be impactful so the world has more art, more of your art, in it.

I’m not asking you to save the world, by the way, you just do your thing and I’ll do mine and we’ll get there.

But hey, I’m breaking my own rules. You don’t have to care about what I want, only what you want, and to my mind if you are selling regularly and you are solid with regards to money, then you can do your art and one way or another you, and all the others on this course, will contribute to building a better future for everyone.

So let’s get back to earth and make sure you know exactly what this course gives you: as things stand as I write this on Tuesday 2 March 2021, there are 65 lessons and videos in this course. I hope to add more because I’m going through two art websites using my own lessons and recording what happens so you can see how it works .. those need adding in, no promises for how many I’ll get to before the start date.

It’s packaged into 8 logical modules which open up a week apart, starting 15 March.

All you have to do is sign up and watch your emails (and watch the videos, obviously).

It’s not all video .. to be absolutely frank I recorded the content over a fairly long period and when I tested it last year I had an American request that I stopped umming and ahhing and could I edit out the long pauses please. They actually said “I can’t stand it”. There is that difference in speeds between Brits and Americans, see Deborah Tannen. At almost the same time I got a lovely email from a Brit artist who said they loved watching me think it out. Anyway, I decided to script it and bought a teleprompter and so on so you’ll see how my presentation develops as the course goes on. Which is all to say that later on, the video script is provided, and it’s one of my jobs before it all goes live to go back and edit the ummm ahhhh earlier videos. I’ve done a lot of video editing since then, thank-you American artist. I can recognise the shape of an umm in the sound file now.

OK, so let’s just confirm some dates. I’m opening the doors for registration now, and I’m closing registration on Monday night at midnight. After I’ve run the course I’ll take on board all that I’ve learned and probably recreate the whole thing from scratch for the next time I open the doors .. it should be every year in November but we’ll see how things go.

So, next year’s will be even better and .. it’ll be a higher price. But if you go through this course now, you’ll get very, very serious discounts on upgrades for future courses. I mean, those who took last year’s course will get on this time for free so they’ll get to see those implementation videos I didn’t have last time.

So, then there’s a week for me to get my act together, and the course begins on Monday 15th.

One more thing, a bonus. 

I’m working on a small training to introduce how to use Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. I’ve been selling that for I think £95, and I’m going to add that in as a free bonus this time around.

So the price for the 8-module Artist SEO course? £395. And if you need a payment plan there is one.

So there you go, it’s all systems go, you can book in, here’s where to do that, it’s literally just like buying something off the Internet?

One more thing. For the first ten people who sign up, I’ll do a personal half hour 1-1 Zoom call at whatever point in the course you feel like you need some extra help. So, y’know, if you’re going to do it, just do it. Like .. now. Click here.

Just in case you are feeling at all trepidatious (it’s my new favourite word) .. I guarantee you will be happy with the course. If you get up to 60 days through it (that’s pretty much all the way through) and you are unhappy with it in any way, just message me and I’ll refund you. So there you go, your satisfaction with the course is guaranteed.

One more bonus. In one of the videos, I can’t actually remember which one, I talked about the Twitter Growbot. It’s a frankly awesome tool that I built. We can give it your Twitter account if you have one, the Twitter account of a similar-style artist you admire, or the gallery that supports you best. It works out who follows that account and reports on who else they follow. So you get an incredible insight into the mind of those who like what you do. What’s their favourite music? What other artists do they like? Which publications do they read? Anyway, if you would like me to, I’ll run one of those reports for you for free.

So .. it’s call to action time .. go and sign up! Remember, you get the full 8 module course plus the Analytics and Webmaster Tools training, you get a half-hour Zoom with me if you are quick, and a free Twitter Growbot audience report.

Go do it: 

One last comment from someone who’s been through it before:

“Can honestly say that this has all really woken me up so much to what I’ve had my head in the sand about!”

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