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Susan Ann Darley
Susan Ann Darley : Marketing Your Talents

Marketing Your Talents

By Susan Ann Darley

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." — Anais Nin

Coming Out!

No matter what your profession — painter, sculptor, actor, poet, dancer, writer, etc. — you must expose yourself to the world — over and over. This is torture to many artists who would rather just do their "art." Well, just doing "art" and not paying attention to the business side is where the phrase, "starving artist" was born.

To take the sting out of "marketing" look at the number of CEO's who are successfully leading multi-million dollar businesses because of their creativity and innovation. Bill Gates, Stephen Speilberg, Ted Turner. Basically, three shy men who value their private lives. But they understand marketing. Can you imagine not hearing about a new Microsoft product? When do you see Speilberg the most? When he has a new movie coming out. He knows he has to promote it. Would he rather be behind a camera or with his family? Of course!

What Are You Selling?

A painting, an idea, a book, crafts, music, yourself? Clarity is crucial regarding defining who you are and what you, your service or product does.

Who is Your Market?

Who needs, desires, or appreciates what you have to offer? Create a profile of your target market and define their emotional needs. Can they afford you? Make a detailed description of your core customer. How old are they? Where do they live and work? How much do they make? What's important to them? What are their problems and concerns?

How will You Reach them?

Where are they located? Ask yourself, "If you were a customer, where would you look for your services or products?" Once you've found them, what is your approach? Phone calls, appointments, U.S. mail, public speaking, your website or e-mail? What promotional material will you give them; brochure, fact sheets, resume, artist's statement, business card, proposal, marketing plan or sample products?

What will You do once You have Reached them?

Are you prepared? Have you done your homework and researched your market well? How will you fill their needs? What are they looking for? Find out beforehand. Prepare yourself to ask the right questions and give them critical information about yourself and your business. Make it easy for them to say yes. And always send thank you notes or make follow-up phone calls. Remember, the other person wants to be acknowledged as much as you do.

Would you like more and better information about your area of interest? Ask for informational interviews with people in your field. How did they do it? Do they have contacts? People are quite generous when it comes to sharing about their professional endeavors. Most of all — don't give up. Breakthroughs come when you least expect them. •

Excerpt from: The Art of Becoming Visible by Susan Ann Darley © 2002. The Art of Becoming Visible is a practical primer on marketing for artists from all disciplines. From goal setting to negotiation you will learn how to navigate through the marketing maze. It offers valuable tools to help you showcase your creativity in the marketplace.

© 2002 Susan Ann Darley. All rights reserved.

Susan Ann DarleySusan Ann Darley is a coach, author and workshop leader who works with people from all professions to increase their personal awareness and enhance their creativity. More »

7/25/08