Today I am hosting Alyson B. Stanfield, author of “I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.” Alyson is here as part of the blog tour to help promote the book and is also giving away a free copy. Be sure to visit the link for the tour and see all the other artists who are hosting Alyson.
She’s invited me to ask a few questions related to the book, which I feel very honored to do since I am not an artist. Although the book is written with the artist in mind, this book could be used by anyone in business who needs to market (and that would be everyone). Dan Kennedy, the marketing guru, says that if all you ever do is study and follow the people in your own industry you will never do anything new and inventive and you will create the same ruts that everyone in your industry falls into. Dan recommends finding out what people in other industries are doing and adapt what they are doing to your business. That way you will have creative new ideas that not everyone in your business is using. I agree and that is why I love Alyson’s book. It gives me new and innovative things I can do in my own business that not everyone else is doing. Well until now when you go out and buy Alyson’s book!
So here are my questions. I of course asked non-artiest related questions.
R – When I read I’d Rather Be in the Studio! I find so many things that translate to anyone that wants to grow their business. Does a person have to be an artist to benefit from the book? I mean we could actually call this I’d Rather Be in My Office for all of us that are working from our homes and don’t want to go out and market?
A – Rachelle, you’re right! This is good, basic business sense. And most people trying to build a business for themselves would benefit from a lot of the information. However, it is written with the artist in mind and uses the language of the visual artist. Most people can look beyond that language, but it should be noted that it’s there.
I love the way you said “go out and market.” That implies that you have to leave home to promote yourself. Not anymore! So much is being done online that you no longer have to leave home to do much of the work. Artists have to leave the studio to visit galleries, attend opening receptions, and meet people. But they can stay in their home offices to do their email blasts, blogging, and Web site updates. It’s great for the artist who doesn’t want to get out.
At the same time, I have to say that almost everyone who is running his or her own business feels better when they get out and connect with others. It goes against the grain, but these personal connections provide inspiration, motivation, and fodder for creativity.
R – The book is divided into 16 Actions instead of chapters. What is your favorite action?
A – Rachelle, it seems appropriate that you ask this question. After all, you are THE action coach. Who else would write a newsletter 365 days a year?!
I really don’t have a favorite action, but I do say at one point not to skip Actions 1, 3, 4, 13, and 15. That’s because these actions are the building blocks for successful self-promotions. You have to know where you’re going or you won’t know how to get there (Action 1). You must be reliable and stay sane when things are overwhelming, which is where the routines in Action 3 come in. And you have to be able to articulate your work, regardless of the work you do, before you can promote it (Action 4). For the artist, that means writing an artist statement, which is used in so many different marketing pieces. But a non-artist needs to be able to talk about what it is they are selling–be it a service or a product.
Action 13 is all about networking, which I call sharing. Connections are invaluable to anyone’s career. Everyone who is trying to build a business should be so excited about their work that they can’t wait to share it with people. That enthusiasm is infectious and breeds enthusiasm in others.
Finally, Action 15 is the plan. Putting everything on paper makes it real and is a step beyond just having a good idea.
R – Truly when I look at the actions that Alyson describes they can fit for any business. My favorite action is Number 7, Amplify Your Online Presence. This action includes a detailed review of Blogging. Alyson is the Queen of Blogs and I learned everything I know from her. I refer to this action often as I am continuing to learn the art of Blogging. If it wasn’t for Alyson I would still think that Blogging was some sort of strange dance.
If you want to be eligible for a free copy of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion, click here to find out how. If you are in any way doing something – art, writing, a business – where you have to put the word out there, you need this book. It will make the work of marketing so much easier and a heck of a lot more fun.
I want to thank Alyson for writing this amazing and wonderful resource. What a gift to give to the World. Alyson, you are the best!
Here’s to taking action,