Side Arts | Blog

Total Marketing

Total Marketing

What if you could do all your marketing in one place? Forget all the log ins, passwords, am I forgetting to do things? As an artist, wouldn’t it be ideal to have a total marketing art service that does it all? Let’s be honest, perfect solutions rarely exist and one size does not fit all or else we would all be using them. Fortunately, there are a few services out there that bundle together several features that you can use together in convenient and efficient ways.

What is marketing?

First and in order to understand what you may need, what is marketing? There is no single definition which applies to all.

One way to think about marketing is how you attract and retain those that might be interested in what you have to offer. This is different from sales where they are already interested and you negotiate a transaction involving a trade of money, products, or services. In both cases, the process is educational and transactional. Although in marketing, the action is suggested, while in sales, the action is explicit.

In marketing, the outcome is engagement or how often someone interacts with you. In sales, the outcome is financial whether direct (a trade of money for products or services) or indirect (a trade of products or services for a relative equally valued products or services).

One goal of marketing is to increase engagement (interactivity) in order to increase sales. Total marketing is valuated based on the ratio of dollars spent marketing to net profit.

Marketing activities common to artists

You might want to think about marketing as asking for the least to the most amount of effort. Another way of looking at it is the least to the most amount of privacy given.

Most start with social media. Choose a platform or two with which you feel comfortable. Measure engagement by the relative number of clicks, likes, and shares to your current number of followers.

Depending on your goals, having a website can help build a following. It can be a landing page, a profile page on an eCommerce site, or your own dedicated art website. There are any number of  ways to measure engagement, but a good place to start is the number of pageviews per month and, if there is an eCommerce section, the total sales generated from the website per month.

Social media and web searchability is good, but you are still at the mercy of the platform’s algorithms. Collect your followers’ email addresses to take control of your how and when your content is seen. A great place to start is by sending a monthly newsletter. Measure email engagement by taking the average percent of your followers who open and click through your emails.

Total Marketing - Banner

Mailchimp Total Marketing

One total marketing platform that combines social media, websites, and email is Mailchimp. It’s a favorite among artists and crafters because it is relatively easy to set up, has clear tutorials, and you can pick and choose which options work best. It integrates with many other utilities, sales platforms, survey tools, social media ad management. There are so many great features  to integrate, often in a few clicks or less.

Mailchimp has reports for measuring engagement and customizable email templates. They have flexible plans for growing your creative practice. Give it a try!


Email Addresses – Collect ‘Em All

Email Addresses – Collect ‘Em All

It’s great to grow your social following as part of your strategy for marketing art. Even better if followers click through to your website. Often, followers won’t buy on the first visit. That’s why collecting email addresses is important. The more times visitors see your social content, visit your website, and read your emails, the more likely they are to buy your artwork or see your exhibit.

The great thing about email is that you are your own social algorithm. No need to worry if a social network is limiting who sees your views or what you need to do to increase the chances that you’re found in a search query.

Email Address Collection Strategy

First things first, collect your follower’s email addresses in an organized manner. It’s a much easier ask for an email address than for sales or donations. It’s a good place to start when thinking about growing your creative practice.

The first step is manual: collecting email addresses in a single location such as a notebook, journal, or spreadsheet doc.  Most email lists start with the obvious… friends and family. Think about asking colleagues, sign up lists you’ve used previously, patrons, and others who have collected your art. Try posting an email sign up list at events you’re vending, outside your studio, and alongside public exhibitions of your work.

Make It Automatic

The next step is automatic: What if you could collect and save email addresses without having to be present? Try adding an email collection modal window to your website. Modal windows can be added to the header, footer, or a central pop-up that can be closed at any time. For example, check out Pop-up Domination. Customize every aspect of email collection: where it displays on the screen, when it appears, how frequently it appears, color, text, and size. Pop-up Domination not only connects to your website, but also to whatever email marketing service you use (such as MadMimi, Mailchimp, Constant Contact).

Try Pop-up Domination free for up to 14 days. Remember to post new content and share it on social media during the free trial so you get a sense of the difference when traffic is being driven to your site.

Email Addresses

Basic Guidelines

Remember that you should have a thoughtful strategy for growing your email addresses and creative practice. The process is different for everyone, but there are some basic guidelines to follow if you are not getting the results you want. Most important is to always be creating more art. Share snippets of the details on social media that link to your website or sales platform. Provide additional detail on your website or sales platform. Collect visitor’s email addresses. Share email updates which educate your followers about why your art is special. Continually drive followers back to your website. Provide a means for followers to make a purchase or support your art in some way.


Freelancers: A Little Help From A Friend

Freelancers: A Little Help From A Friend

Sometimes the task ahead seems a bit daunting. There is unfamiliar technology or risk in making changes that might have unintended consequences. That is when hiring professional freelancers with real world experience comes in.

The default is to go find a friend, but even that has risks. What happens if something goes wrong? Often, friendships can be seriously harmed. It’s even worse if the helper is a family member. Just to be on the safe side, steer clear of friends and family as contracted helpers. Rather, keep them as your personal support network.

Freelancer Strategy

Hiring freelancers can be a challenging, new undertaking. With careful planning, risk can be averted. There are many qualified online networks that make the process more approachable. The first step is developing a road map for the work you want to do. Define the goal you want to achieve with the work undertaken. Then, define the individual tactics needed to reach that goal. These things can include:

  • Setting up a basic website
  • Adding eCommerce to a website
  • Integrating Google Analytics
  • Setting up business email
  • Designing web and print graphics
  • Updating a resume or CV
  • Photographing your work
  • Creating and editing a video

Working with someone new can be stressful. You are giving them access to your personal work and online credentials. The benefit of using an online platform to hire freelancers is that there are contracts and procedures built in to protect you in the event of anything going wrong. They also provide rating systems so that you can find out how they have worked out with other clients.

When starting out with new freelancers, mitigate risk by only giving them a small job to do first. For example, instead of hiring someone to rebuild an entire website, have them redesign one or two pages. Instead of an entire re-branding update, start with a postcard or business card. If you like their work and they communicate well, then continue with a larger project.



Get work done faster with Fiverr or Upwork, and with confidence. Hire graphic and web designers, digital marketing experts, and music and audio professionals. Find any service within minutes. Find a freelancer with the exact specifications you require or post a request for work and have them bid on the job. There are flat and hourly rate options all handled by the platform.



Learn How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

Learn How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

Email is an important part of your strategy for marketing art. It is often overlooked or neglected in lieu of the quick responses from social media networks. To keep it simple, think of email as part of your overall strategy:

Social media network > Website > Email

Collecting email addresses is one of the most important things you can do to grow your professional practice. Collect them at every opportunity – prospective buyers at an art fair, visitors to your website, corporate and non-profit contacts with whom you have engaged. It starts out slowly and grows exponentially over time.

Email Growth Strategy

First, just get started. That’s usually the hardest part. It can be a dedicated notebook where email addresses are collected or a digital spreadsheet like Google Sheets. It’s okay if there are duplicates or something is spelled incorrectly, that will be addressed later.

Next, pick an email marketing provider. Most offer entry level pricing based on the number of emails saved. Plans scale based on how many more addresses are added.

Email Marketing Providers

If you are brand new to email marketing, Mad Mimi is a great place to start. It is brilliant in its simplicity. There are standard templates and limited options. Just right for testing the waters.

Is your email list growing quickly, then it’s time to upgrate to Mailchimp. Rich with features, customize all aspects of campaigns and keep the simplicity of functionality.

Constant Contact is a great way to start your email marketing if your technical skills are more advanced and you’re the type of person that loves tinkering with design, features, and apps. It has robust integration features for all kinds of other services.  Plus, the reporting and analytics will give you a heads up about what is and is not working.

Frequency and Content

There are two more aspects for your email strategy: frequency and content. There are no set rules for either and the following are simply suggestions to get you started.


Just starting out? If you have under 1000 addresses, once a month is a good start. Up to 5000, twice a month. Hit the 10000 mark, do what you want – weekly, twice a week, or whenever new content is available. The important part is being consistent. Start out by sending on the same day at the same time each month. Over time, you will figure out how to optimize your sending strategy.


Show more than tell and give a clear call to action. Show images of new work for sale and provide a link or method to purchase. Tell a story by showing a series of pictures of a work in progress and describe each step along the way. Inform followers of where your work is shown or sold including upcoming art fairs, gallery exhibitions, or other retail/wholesale events. Share something about you that informs your artwork – why and how – such as a recent trip or social activism.

How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

The more emails that are collected, more content can be sent. The more reasons there are for followers to click through to your content, and increase the likelihood that they purchase or share your content with others (who may, in turn, become followers).

There is fine tuning in terms of segmenting the list, A/B testing, geo-location, and so on. Advanced users can explore to their heart’s content. It’s a learning curve, most users have an intuitive sense as to when to take it to the next level. First things first… just get started!

Help grow your audience with Constant Contact email marketing


How to Use Networking to Market Yourself

How to Use Networking to Market Yourself

I know that you’ve heard it before: networking is so important! Whether you are a business owner looking for clients, developing a strategy for marketing art, or an employee looking for your next big promotion, putting yourself out there and meeting new people is key in helping you find new opportunities that excite you. It is crucial to network and to learn how to network effectively.


That is why I brought the queen of networking herself, Jennifer Robinson of Purposeful Networking, on this week’s episode of the Stress-Less Career Show to share valuable ways you can improve your networking skills and make the most of your networking efforts.

Networking Tip 1

Networking is tough for a lot of us. It can be overwhelming to walk into an event with new people and know exactly how to strike up a conversation with person after person. Knowing this, the first networking tip that Jennifer has is simple: don’t set yourself up for failure. Look at the networking event details. Choose the events to go to based on what kind of networking environment you will be the most comfortable.

“If you’re somebody that likes small groups, don’t start out with going to 100 or 200 person event where you’re going to be extremely uncomfortable. If you’re not a morning person. Don’t schedule your networking event for breakfast.”

The goal at a networking event is to be the best version of yourself. Put yourself in an environment that will allow you to show that version of you off.

Networking Tip 2

In addition to setting yourself up for success, Jennifer’s next tip is one that I stress to my clients. It is one that has helped her in her own business as well. Before you walk into an event, you need to know what your networking goals are. Jennifer started her business after a career and background in litigation. As she grew her business, networking was crucial in her success. It took time for her to learn how to network effectively. Initially, she would go to any event just to try and get the word out about her new business. However, she realized that this was not serving her or her business.

“Everybody will say your best commodity is time… You really have to think about: Why am I going to this event? Why does this organization make sense? What are my goals? Who am I trying to meet? Who’s going to be in the room? Those are options that you really need to think about before you commit the time and the money to go to an event.”

This tip can save you from not only wasting your resources on events or networking organizations that do not lead to meeting the people you need to meet but also can keep you from constantly draining your energy.

“When I started, I would say for the first year or two I just found myself exhausted all the time. And it’s funny because now people always say, ‘Is there two of you? You’re everywhere and you’re at five things a day,’ but I’m actually at a lot less [networking events] than I used to be and I’m a lot more targeted about it than I used to be.”

Networking Tip 3

Jennifer’s final tip is especially important for female networkers. Try to make sure you go to co-ed and industry-specific events to network as well as gender-specific events.

“As women, we tend to network with our own… it’s awesome to network with your own sex. You have common bonds and support each other. Depending on your business, it’s also really important to network not only in a co-ed atmosphere but also in industry-specific atmospheres.”

Diversify strategically the types of events you go to. Ensure that you meet even more new people at each event. Networking is more than just something you need to check off your to-do list. It is a key tool in helping you connect with people and cultivate a career that you love. You should approach networking in a strategic and positive mindset.

“If you can’t show up as your best self, just stay home… If you’re not in a good space, it’s the worst time you could try to make a first impression on somebody whether it’s for a personal or business contact.”

Carlee Myers Headshot - Getting To The Root Of ProcrastinationCarlee Myers is the Founder of the Stress Less Company. She is an expert at helping people use art and creativity in order to find their passion again. As a firm believer in creativity, Carlee helps people find their purpose in life through a combination of coaching, creative expression, and experiential activities.




Are You Ready For A Website?

Are You Ready For A Website?

There are several components to a successful strategy for marketing art. Consider how a website can help. Before getting started on a website, it is usually best to begin with understanding your goals, strategies, and tactics. Here are a few basics.

Goal Setting

Start with defining your goal. Why do you need a website? What is its purpose? It could be a representation of your creative legacy that you control, a sales portal, or something else.

Once you have a goal in mind, you can start thinking about the strategy. What do you want to convey? Consider showing images of your artwork in a gallery, an artist statement, biography, and contact information.

When you know what you want to show, the next step is figuring out the tactics – how to get it done. There are a variety of website services. Some are do-it-yourself, others may require outside help. If you need help, there are freelancer networks at your disposal.

Check out some of the artist website designs offered by Wix. Their focus is on making website building user-friendly.

Website wireframe (how it is organized)

Page 1) Homepage

Includes hero (main) image, name, navigation links (at top or side of each page)

Page 2) Gallery

Includes 10-20 images with brief descriptions for each (title, size, medium, etc)

Page 3) Workshops

  • Workshop title with 2-3 sentence description each
  • Teaching service with 2-3 sentence description
  • Call to action – contact information (email, phone)

Page 4) Events

  • List of upcoming events
  • List of past events (keep this limited to the past 2-3 years)
  • Partner organizations (linked to their websites, if applicable)

Page 5) Contact

  • Contact information (Email, phone)
  • Bio
  • Artist statement

That’s it! Five pages to get you started. Before signing up for a website, edit the copy and images you want to appear.  You may need one image for the hero image on the homepage to be larger.

How to find help

I’m biased since I’ve been working on websites for a while, so I often think they are “easy and intuitive.” This is not always so. Even then, first hand experience is always helpful, especially when trying to explain something to someone else. Once your content is ready, give it a try. If you find it too confusing, by all means, stop and ask for help. I’ve organized the wireframe above to be the most helpful for a web designer. If you need one, try Fiverr – this freelance service offers web design help.


Setting Intentions Is Key To Your Success

Setting Intentions Is Key To Your Success

I talk to countless people about their professional lives and I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone tell me, “Oh, I just kind of fell into this job.” Those same people who tell me this, often, follow it up later by mentioning just how stressed out they are all the time. Does this sound familiar as it relates to your job, hobby, or marketing art?

Starting Out

We all know the story. We fall into one job right after college, get some experience in that role, and realize we don’t really like that job. So, we use that experience to find another job in that field at another organization in hopes that it will be different this time, but we end up unhappy there too. This cycle continues until suddenly five, ten, or twenty years have gone by and we are well into a career we didn’t even want to begin with!

We spend one third of our lives at work! If you are spending one-third of your life doing something you just fell into and don’t even want to do, it is no wonder you are stressed out all the time. Worse, chances are that you are bringing that stress home with you to your family and friends. All of this stress because we fell into this job. That is why setting intentions in your life and career is important.

Setting Intentions

When I ask people what their intentions are in their careers, many people have one: I need to earn more money. While more money can be an intention, the bottom line is that money cannot buy peace of mind. A study was done recently that says that after you reach about $75000 a year in salary, an increase in your annual salary doesn’t make a significant difference in your happiness (look it up!).

Yes, money can buy you a massage and food on the table. That is great. However, that partner of your dreams, that sense of joy and happiness for life? Money is never going to buy you the things that fuel your soul. You have to go beyond just the money intention.

Create A Plan

Setting intentions is incredibly important, especially at the beginning of the year. Take it one step at a time. Start out by waking up in the morning and setting your daily or weekly intention. Monthly, quarterly, annual – take a look at what you want to get from this life and set your life’s intention.

I invite you to try a different approach and focus on your career intentions. Money may be a part of your intentions. Go beyond that. Consider how you want your career to make you feel. What do you want to have? Who do you want to work with? What is the real intention that will drive your decisions?

When you create that intention, it creates a guiding beacon of light on your path. Use that intention. Ask yourself if that new job offer or relationship is going to lead you to the intention you have set in your life or career. If the answer is yes, go for it and give it everything you’ve got! If the answer is no, abandon ship! Not doing so is how we “fell into” jobs before.

Carlee Myers Headshot - Getting To The Root Of ProcrastinationCarlee Myers is the Founder of the Stress Less Company. She is an expert at helping people use art and creativity in order to find their passion again. As a firm believer in creativity, Carlee helps people find their purpose in life through a combination of coaching, creative expression, and experiential activities.




New Year’s Resolutions (Revisited)

New Year’s Resolutions (Revisited)

Can you believe that another year has passed by? Now that we have all had a happy holiday season, are getting into the new year’s groove, and planning strategies for marketing art, I want to give you a gift and tell you the number one reason so many of us just can’t seem to stick to New Year’s resolutions.


Resolution vs Motivation

You know the story. You tell yourself that you’re going to lose 30 pounds this year. Then the year passes you by and those gym shoes you bought in January haven’t left your closet since February. Whatever the resolution was for you, we have all been there. You probably spend every December wondering why you weren’t able to follow through on the goals you set for yourself.

It turns out that the problem isn’t with the New Year’s resolution itself. The number one reason we do not follow through with our New Year’s resolution has more to do with the reason we are trying to pursue the resolution to begin with.

We may tell ourselves that we want to lose 30 pounds this year because we want to be healthy. That is not what we care about at the end of the day. What we want is to be able to keep up with our friends on their Saturday morning hikes. We want to feel confident when we go to the beach in a swimsuit.

New Year, New Business?

Many aspiring entrepreneurs go into the New Year wanting to start a company. They say they want to create this business for money or to help people. Those reasons might be a part of your motivation for starting this business. There is more to it most of the time. Everyone needs money or wants to help people. There is a bigger motivation that is driving your decision to become an business owner. It may be that you want to buy your first house or you want the freedom to travel.

While you may feel that motivations like wanting to buy a house appear selfish, the only way to stick to resolutions is get in touch with why we want the end result. When we know what that motivation is, we can find the drive to stick to our goals this year and all the years to come.

Finding your motivation is a powerful way to follow through with your New Year’s resolutions. I know that achieving the things you want in the new year is far from easy. It is hard! It is doable.

Carlee Myers Headshot - Getting To The Root Of ProcrastinationCarlee Myers is the Founder of the Stress Less Company. She is an expert at helping people use art and creativity in order to find their passion again. As a firm believer in creativity, Carlee helps people find their purpose in life through a combination of coaching, creative expression, and experiential activities.




Why You Need To Take Time For Yourself

Why You Need To Take Time For Yourself

Lately, I have had a lot of conversations with people that are in transition. These are people who are either looking to transition from their current full time role into a new job, creating a new business, or marketing art. They are people who have been laid off by huge companies and trying to reinvent themselves in their career. Maybe you can relate.


Employer Expectations

What’s interesting about the people I have met is that many of them are working in their current position beyond the traditional 9 to 5 schedule. Nowadays, it is the expectation among employers that we will be there on our nights and weekends, ready and on call for any little problem that arises. The people I have met who have recently been laid off are working around the clock trying to find a new way to make ends meet.

Every day, we fall into the cycle of overworking ourselves in positions or situations that we never wanted to begin with. How do we find the time to get out of the job we accepted just because we needed to escape the financial hole we were in? How do we break the pattern of working all the time so that we can build the career we want for ourselves?

Why You Need To Take Time For Yourself

The obvious answer I hear a lot is time management; however, I think there is more to the story. I think a lot of people know how to manage their time. If all you needed to do was create more time in your day, you could. What stops so many of us from creating the time we need to create the career we want is the underlying fear that we are being selfish. We can be so afraid that spending that time on ourselves is selfish when we have families and day jobs that need our attention. How do you make that time commitment to transitioning to a more fulfilling career without feeling frivolous or selfish?

One of the main things that I recommend is to think about the value you bring to the table. Think about the importance of this career transition in your life. If you do not make this career change, what will happen and how will you feel? If you make this change, how will you feel then? What does this career change mean to you?

I met a woman recently who was so in love with the work she does that she wants to work in her position at her organization for the rest of her life. Her career is focused on a spiritually driven purpose that she discovered within herself. Imagine how devastated she would feel had she not taken the time for herself to find it. It is important not only to think about the value you can give to society when your work truly aligns with your purpose, but also to think about the consequences of not moving forward. When you are in touch with your value and the potential you have, you reinvigorate a sense of motivation.

You Have Value

Remembering your value helps you realize why you are worthy of taking ten minutes a day for your goals. Create some time for your job search or your business each day. The value you will see in yourself will grow. The more value you place on yourself, the more you will feel worthy of using that extra time for your future. That way, if anyone tries to call you out on taking a little time for yourself, you can confidently look the in the eye and say, “It’s only a few minutes. I am doing the world a favor by pursuing my calling and helping others with my heart-centered action.” The talents you have to share with the world are valuable to everyone, use them wisely.

Carlee Myers Headshot - Getting To The Root Of ProcrastinationCarlee Myers is the Founder of the Stress Less Company. She is an expert at helping people use art and creativity in order to find their passion again. As a firm believer in creativity, Carlee helps people find their purpose in life through a combination of coaching, creative expression, and experiential activities.




Searching For Your One True Calling

Searching For Your One True Calling

I often see people put an overwhelming amount of pressure on themselves, struggling to answer one question: What is my one true calling? I talk with people who feel lost in the confusion around finding that perfect job, business idea, or strategy for marketing art that is going to finally make them happy and excited each day.

It’s All Relative

We all have had that internal conversation with ourselves growing up about whether we should be an accountant or a fireman or any other job. Yet, as I was talking to my partner about a client, we got on the subject of soulmates. That’s when it hit me. So many of us have this “finding your calling” thing all wrong. Finding your one true calling, just like finding your one true soulmate, is not how real life works.

We seem to have these beliefs that there’s this one true position or job out there for us to find in order to feel satisfied. There’s one true person for us to fall in love with. We all have that urge inside of us to seek out the fairy tale ending where you find “the one.”  The story ends happily ever after. However, I am a firm believer that we don’t just have one soulmate forever or one perfect job forever. I believe that you will find that you have a different soulmate or soul-career for different parts of your life.

In the span of your love life, you may have had your high school sweetheart and whirlwind college romance. In your professional life, you might have had your high school babysitting job, first college internship, and the entry-level position right after graduating. All of the different jobs you had helped you learn more about yourself, why you are on this planet, and about your past relationships. I am not a relationship expert, so I won’t give out any advice on your love life. However, when it comes to your professional life, your task is not to find your one true calling. Your only task is to find your calling for who you are at this moment. To do that, look for your purpose.

Find Your Purpose, Not Your Calling

Your purpose and your calling often get used interchangeably, but I believe there is an important distinction. A calling is a job, a purpose is the reason you are on this earth. Your calling will change because it is a specific position, but your purpose is vague and will likely remain the same.

For instance, my purpose is helping others. It led me to my current calling, starting the Stress Less Company and helping hundreds of people find work that makes them happy. Your purpose may be using math to solve the world’s problems. This could lead to a calling of being a NASA scientist or a financial analyst. The possibilities that exist within your purpose are endless.

Your Challenge

I challenge you to take the pressure of finding one true calling off of your shoulders. Instead, think about your purpose. Think about what traits and skills you uniquely have that can contribute something to the world. Think about why you are on this earth. Approach your career with your purpose in mind. All of the opportunities you have will lay themselves out in front of you for you to choose.

Your choice is not predestined for you. You have free will to choose one calling today and another calling two years from now. We each have a path ahead of us that is made up of different callings and that is okay. It is okay if we shift to calling after calling, it’s okay if we stay in one calling for years. What isn’t okay is settling for a calling that goes against your purpose. That’s why you’re here on this earth, after all.

Carlee Myers Headshot - Getting To The Root Of ProcrastinationCarlee Myers is the Founder of the Stress Less Company. She is an expert at helping people use art and creativity in order to find their passion again. As a firm believer in creativity, Carlee helps people find their purpose in life through a combination of coaching, creative expression, and experiential activities.




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