How can you make the most out of a shrinking economy as an artist?
#10 Get on-line and display your work. The internet reaches the entire world and if you are not on it you are significantly diminishing your potential market. For the little it will cost you to build a site, it will pay in spades for the positive image and credibility it will bring to your work, which in turn helps you get your next job.
#9 Create a blog. WordPress is free. Blogging is a great way to keep your current clients interested in what your doing. It’s also a great way to build your market, one reader at a time, simply by expressing yourself and sharing what you do. Sure it takes commitment to blog. But I can also tell you it’s fun and rewarding to see your online community supporting you too.
#8 Promote your blog online for free. Find other blogging communities of like minded individuals, regardless of the focus of their blog, and share your work and ideas about the topics they write about. Connecting with like minded individuals with different interests from yours, but who’s values are in line with yours, will bring new audience members to you.
#7 Create products and services that are current in themes and reflect the economic times. Build in commentary by attaching a written statement to it, or sharing it with your audience live, or providing 700 billion dollar snicker bars for $1.00 or Deregulation sucks! drinks at intermission to give your work a “today” edge. Guerrilla marketing works! Then find a niche community of online shops to help you promote and market what you are doing or creating. Seek retails that focus on a customer experience where your work can really be featured or stand out because of the environment.
#6 Partner with another artist and cross fertilize your customer base by combining forces on upcoming shows, gigs and through communications jointly with your clients. Offer to get involved for the exposure and ask the same from the artist you select as a partner.
#5 Network, network, network. Attend free events that are of interest to the business and government community. Bring a stack of your business cards and engage in casual conversation. Be friendly, curious and share who you are. By getting to know new individuals, some of them are most likely to be interested in the work you do, and then your odds of finding a new opportunity increase ten fold. People buy from people. In tough times and in good times, but especially in tough time, connecting with others matters more than ever.
#4 Create an inexpensive short weekend workshop, or find a free project to offer the community that can get others involved in your work in a new way. In more difficult economic times affordable, with a focus on fun, family or group events sell. Happiness matters now more than ever in times like these. Workshops bring people together in new ways that can spark interests and become sustainable because of the bonds and “webs” people want to create. A short community event that raises awareness about you and your work can springboard into workshops, classes, or your next gig.
#3 Can your artwork lift someone during their work day? Create a Bailout for the Human Spirit lunch hour program for employees at corporations in your community. With job lay offs at record high’s and 401K’s plummeting, Main Street corporate America is going to need to give their workers some affordable hope. Teach an onsite painting class, play music and bring shaker toys for employees, write an original skit and give your audience a reason to laugh.
#2 Remember who you are and what you are made of. Remember why you are an artist and become more innovative. And think like a survivor. Who really can afford and needs the services, products and creativity that your artistry offers?
#1 Invest in yourself and invest in your clients. In hard times, while most cut their promotional budgets, many in business say it can be the best time to really get a leg up and grow your business. Investing in yourself and potential clients, as you can see from this list, does not necessarily require cash. Instead, it requires 150% of your personal involvement, enthusiasm, determination and will to succeed. A vibrant artists is a powerful magnet for others, yes indeed!