Art Marketing Interview With JohnnyBTruant of the SelfPublishingPodcast

 

Alrighty, so here’s the interview with JohnnyBTruant, about writing as a marketing tool for artists.

This is the first one in a series, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a looong long series of interviews.

In this one, you’ll hear:

•    Why Johnny thinks writing – or some sort of content creation – is essential for artists

•    The reason people need to know about you and not just your art

•    Why a little bit of egocentricity is unavoidable for artists, and why that’s not a bad thing at all

•    Why talking about yourself is simply an extension of your art and your belief that it should be out there in the world (you do believe that, don’t you, artist?)

•    Why you can talk about what you do – and what Johnny observed about how interesting that is to people.

•    Why art is in a way like telepathy, and you can’t control the message people receive. BUT you can control the context of the message (You paint a picture with words but they perceive it through their own lens)

•    What traffic can do for traffic and visibility, and what Johnny and the SPP boys learned from their blogging experiment

•    Why writing isn’t the only way to attract attention and traffic

•    Why the artist John Unger does what Austin Kleon teaches: show your work

•    Why you must target people who are interested and why you must be always find ways to be relevant to them

•    Why you can easily talk about yourself, so long as you keep it tied to them.

•    Why you should give people a reason why they should care

•    Why transparency is so important

•    Why you must be explicit about inviting people to take action after they read or watch you

•    Be yourself: stop trying to sound like someone else, that’s when you find your own voice

•    Why for self-publishing books you absolutely must publish more than one book

•    Why in nearly all cases it’s a bad idea to design your own book cover

•    Why you should write faster in order to silence the internal critic, and how this enables Johnny to publish 1,5 million words each year.

•    Resist the temptation to go back and make it better

•    An experiment I’m running with a painter friend who writes about his paintings and what Johnny thinks of it

This is a good one. Don’t miss it.

Some Artists I Just Can't Help

Kitty Harri, for example.

That chick, she don’t need no help.

Yesterday I visited her in her sculpture garden.

I was blown away.

One terrace after another, filled with fantastic and beautiful sculptures.

All kinds of styles, artists, nationalities, meanings – it was breathtaking.

Originally from Sweden, she’s lived in many countries and done many things – from psychotherapy to sculpture, and on the way she became a bestselling novelist.

Current project: two 7-meter totem poles.

Talk about guts and grit.

I’m going to have to call her and ask if she wants to do an interview, because there’s a lot we can all learn from her.

See if I can pry the secret of her success out of her.

My crystal ball though tells me I already know: persistence mixed with adaptability.

Oh, and hard work: she is just unstoppable.

But I’ll let her tell me for herself.

Meanwhile, do pay her a visit if you’re ever in the Costa Tropical area, and see the sculpture garden for yourself.

There’s nothing like contemplating art and life while looking at a sculpture called ‘The Universe’, consisting of a 5 by 4 meter slab of Indian marble and a tiny figurine eyeing it.

You pluck an apple from the tree beside you, and chew on it and your thoughts.

Sure is good to be back in the world.

What an experience.

Meanwhile, here’s another kind of experience: Being turned into a highly proficient email writer, and selling your art that way.

That experience awaits you on the other side of this click –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Cheers,

Martin

7AM, Staggering Home Like a Drunken Hobo

But I hadn’t had a drop to drink.

C’mon – 7AM?

I’d not been on any all-night bender either – I had simply been out on my morning walk.

Problem was, the day before I had taken a walk on the pebble beach at around 4PM.

And I don’t know if ever you’ve been to Andalusia, but things get HOT here.

Especially the pebbles on the beach.

Sure it felt refreshing once I’d crossed the beach and reached the surf, and yes I’d practically done ballet getting over there.

But I had no idea I had worked up blisters the size of my thumb on the soles of my feet.

I only discovered that later on.

So obviously my feet were quite painful the next morning.

But a walk in the morning is what I do, and there has to be some pretty damn compelling reason for me to skip it.

Wanna know why?

Because it’s good for me.

Because if, like last Sunday, I don’t go, my entire day is off.

It’s something that has become part of my day, and it must. be. done.

Blisters or no.

Or, in the words of the great philosopher John Rambo:

“A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do”.

The reason I’m telling you this:

Sometimes, you don’t feel like it.

Some days, you just want to slack off.

Give it a miss, do something else, get to it tomorrow.

Like writing a daily email: you may have noticed that last Monday, there was no missive.

And it’s bothered me all week, like a pebble in your shoe.

Today, I also had ‘stuff’ going on.

Which is why I’m writing this so late in the day.

But it’s something I do, and must do, and here we are.

Hello.

What about you?

What are the things that you skimp on, especially the things that you know are good for you?

What do you do to make sure you do do them?

Cheers, happy weekend.

Martin

Eyes Wide Shutter

I’ve never noticed exactly how much vegetation actually bursts out in blossoms here on the coast, in May.

It’s amazing: the colours, the shapes, the sheer tenacity of things clinging to the side of a rock, broiling in blistering heat – yet flowering.

One reason I started to notice could be that it was only last year that I developed a habit of going for walks.

But that wouldn’t really make sense – I did go out often enough, just never noticed.

Maybe this year I noticed because I walk different routes, instead of to the supermarket and back.

Or, it could be because I started experimenting, taking photos.

It’s really odd though:

It’s not just the flowers.

It’s the very way I look at the world – it’s changing.

The more I look for views and details that inspire me to whip out my phone and snap a shot, the more I see things.

Shapes. Colours. Lines. Spaces. Harmony.

It’s very different these days, to walk along the beach or through the narrow streets.

Quite a beautiful experience.

So yeah, I um, I’ve decided I want to be an artist.

And no: while there’s no sane person in the world who would say Martin is devoid of arrogance, I’m not about to call myself a photographer. I know my place.

Nor do I have the inclination to become one, or learn what it takes.

All I want to do is develop a habit of looking, of seeing in a different way, and to record things that inspire me.

In other words, I’m giving myself permission to not be a pro, and to not sell.

I’m doing this for its own sake, for my own enjoyment, and for the one or two people who might come across a pic on Twitter and say ‘Hey, nice one’.

Maybe one day I’ll give myself permission to become Really Very Good.

Permission to sell.

But not today.

Today I just want to enjoy the process, notice the scenery.

Smell the flowers.

I have permission for just that without anything more.

Just like you have permission to not sell, and to simply enjoy making art.

You don’t HAVE to sell.

But if you want to, and if you want to be successful, you have permission for that too.

Question is, are you willing to learn to love selling and marketing and being in business as an artist?

What’s that?

You are?

Hey now, then why not LEAP? –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

Cheers,

Martin

Act With Confidence: Let Me Show You How It's Done

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Scaffolding of the next LEAP, ready to fill in…

Last night, Jimmy and I did a little test drive for this week’s upcoming call, during which I’ll answer questions from last week’s survey.

I found it… difficult.

Unnerving, actually.

I mean, usually I’m not easily lost for words.

But with a camera staring at me, it wasn’t quite the same.

I felt self-conscious: aware of my um’s and ah’s, my stammering, my looking off-screen while thinking…

Not at all the kind of ‘professional webinar’ type stuff that other people make.

And if it were completely up to me, I’d probably skip it and write something instead.

But, that takes a lot of time (just the 16 pages of LEAP take anywhere from 5 to 8 days each month).

And I just don’t want you to wait until I have enough time for that.

Besides, my intention isn’t to produce a highly polished, professional looking, semi-informational-but-50%-sales-pitch event for you.

I want to answer your questions, as many as I can, as fast as I can.

So with the help of Jimmy I’m just going to go ahead and do it, whether I’m confident or not.

Whether I feel like it, or not.

And to be completely honest, I don’t 100% feel like it.

But guess what?

That matters nought.

So to make sure I actually do it, I’m telling you about it in advance.

What can I say? I know myself…

Anyway, that will be next Friday.

Will I answer all questions?

Probably not, since we have one hour but I have 15+ pages of questions.

Besides, I simply don’t know all the answers. Nobody does.

But anything that I can answer, I will.

And whether I feel confident that it’ll turn out right, I’ll do what Seth Godin preaches:

Ship it. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, go here to get on board LEAP in time –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/
Only a few days left to get the email marketing instructional…

Cheers,

Martin

What's Love Got to Do With It? (Oh, the Things I Don't Know)

If you ask a biologist, love is a biochemical reaction that maintains species.

A neurochemical process to do with hormones and instinct.

If you ask a religious believer, he or she will tell you it’s God.

Ask a philosopher and he’ll ponderously expound on themes such as existence, humanity, and truth.

If you ask a psychologist, they’ll likely tell you it’s emotions.

Ask a linguist and he’ll tell you it’s a socio-semantic construct.

And if you ask me…

You get no answer.

I’d just smile at you, most probably.

Because for all my years of introspection and meditation…

Despite having ‘fallen in love’ many times – with women, with life, with meditation, with music, and most recently with art…

I just have no clue what it is, what it means, what it’s for, or when it’s real.

No idea.

But I do know one thing: if you do love, or if you are in love – act on it.

This life is too short to shield ourselves, or to hide our emotions, or to play safe.

Be brazen, be audacious – be in love.

Like Brendon Burchard likes to say: “Live openly, love fully, and make a difference”.

Today, I wish for someone special to show up and express their love for you.

Peace.

Martin

One thing useful to fall in love with? Daily email-writing.

Help here –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Alright, FINE. I'll start drawing

Many are the times that I’ve been told that I should start drawing.

A few times in my life, I’ve tried.

Most all of the time, what I created was pretty bad.

Each time I’d draw a person, it would invariably look like it was made out of wood.

And so, I’d stow away my charcoal, or Indian Ink, or pencils, and move on to Things I’m Good At.

Like writing, or making suits, or building stuff in the monastery.

But you artist lot, you just won’t leave me alone.

Every so often, an artist will come at me and say that I should, that I’d enjoy it, that I might actually even become good at it.

Obviously I rejected those ideas, but you know what?

Sometimes good advice should be followed.

Especially if it’s from someone you trust.

Last week on the weekly consulting call I have with Irish artist Jimmy Kelly, he too started laying the hurt on me.

And by golly, after a year of working with him, he’s sure become persuasive.

So I relented.

I’ve started sketching.

And you know what?

I actually enjoy it.

Happy now, Jimmy?

No, I’m not showing it.

I’m just practising for now, this is for me and not for showing.

Next year, who knows. But right now, not yet.

Anyway, I’m glad he pushed me to it.

‘sFun.

And as far as advice goes, and picking up a new habit, may I just proffer you some solid advice of my own?

As in: write a daily email and send it to your people.

If you practice a bit, it gets fun. And easy.

And it gets you sales, if you do it right.

And I’ll help you if you want –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Cheers,

Martin

Do You Have Any Idea How Important You Are?

To me? You’re the world.

Without you, I wouldn’t have any reason to do this work.

Without people who create art, in whatever way, I’d still be stuck writing sales copy for people selling e-books about dog training and whatnot.

“Hey Martin, we’re developing the ultimate Facebook killer! Can you write copy for us?”

Sigh. Very glad those days are over.

If it weren’t for you, the person whose mission it is to make a dent in the universe with the creations that you feel matter, I’d have nothing.

No audience, no readership, no business.

It’s by virtue of you giving me permission to send you daily updates that I have a reason to vigorously rub my hands together each morning, while firing up my brain with the question:

“What can I possibly say that just may shine a light in their day?”

You are important, you matter a lot.

You are my sine qua non.

And I thank for for reading me.

Cheers,

Martin

P.s. If you want to learn how to write emails like a pro in less than 30 minutes daily, consider my writing mentorship program.

Your mind will change, as will your business; your readers will thank you, and yes, they’ll buy from you.

Details here –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

"Are You Doing Anything Fun This Christmas Eve?" (The Answer is Not What You Think)

“Not really, just…“

I paused and thought for a moment: “Yes. I’ll be on Twitter”.

No my friend, I’m not a social outcast: I just like being alone.

Besides, I don’t have any special feelings about the event.

I remember as a kid, it used to be a duty, getting dragged along each year.

And I can still see myself in the doorway of the living room in my grandparent’s house.

Aunts and uncles in the overcrowded room, one next to the other, on chairs brought in from upstairs and the garden.

And I’d have to go greet each one of them, one by one.

Uncles would smell of cigars.

Aunts would have a prickly chin or a scary mole when I leaned over to kiss them a greeting.

Fun times. *shudders*

Anyway, I could say I was traumatised, but my therapist assures me I really am over it now, and pats me comfortingly on the back while handing me the invoice.

Point is, I just enjoy being alone, and for me Christmas is pretty much a day like any other.

For others though, it’s not the same.

Some people would absolutely love to spend time with family and friends, but aren’t, for one reason or another.

And I find it painful to think how badly that must hurt, on a day like this.

So the other day on Twitter, I asked myself: “What about those people? How must they be feeling? What will they be doing tonight and tomorrow?”

Then: “What can I possibly do, in my own small little way, to make a difference?”

Because making a difference is what I’m here for.

So I invented the hashtag #XmasSolo, with the purpose of hopefully finding and connecting with a few people who do wish for some company, but don’t have any.

People who would like to see something other than the constant retweets and ‘buy my stuff’.

Can I actually make a difference?

Who knows.

If I can make one person smile, I consider it mission accomplished.

But if you’ll help me, it might be two. Or three.

So if you’re in the mood for some giggles, and you want to make a nice friendly gesture, hit me up on Twitter: https://twitter.com/martinstellar

Use the hashtag #XmasSolo, and retweet with that hashtag whenever you see me or someone else tweet something warm and caring.

Together, we just might shine a tiny ray of light into the day of a few people.

See you on Twitter?

Merry Christmas,

Martin

Lucky I Didn't Get Married, and Why Some Sales Just Aren't Right

Before this day is out, my oldest and best friend will be married.

But I won’t be his best man.

I won’t even be present.

It’s not because he’s getting married to my ex-girlfriend.

She and I split up years ago, and the flame has gone very out, long ago.

It’s not because I wasn’t invited – to my great surprise, he did invite me.

Nor is it because I’m afraid that her family will await me with pitchforks and shotguns.

Though I do admit that I’d feel slightly concerned about having to face her mother.

Then again, my ex and I messed things up together, both of us. There’s nothing that I’m particularly guilty of.

Problem is, the invitation only came last week and tickets are hideously expensive just before Xmas.

Besides, I’m busy, I’ve got work to do and LEAP to write – I can’t just take a week of, spur of the moment.

Not that I mind: I’m not a big fan of weddings.

But I would have liked to see this one – it’s the first time my friend gets married.

First time she gets married too (yeah I narrowly escaped that dance).

Well, better him than me: I’m thoroughly enjoying my current state as a bachelor.

Anyway.

What does this have to do with your business?

Not much, other than that there’s a lot to be said for choosing carefully.

She and I – we just weren’t a good match.

And some prospects, well they’d be a bad match for you as well.

It’s easy to grab any sale you can, but sometimes you should decline.

Like yesterday: The owner of a fashion website in Australia gets in touch with me.

They lack conversion, and can I give them consulting?

Well sure I can.

But before booking them, I go to their site and have a look.

Nothing glaringly wrong, nothing that tells me why their visitors aren’t converting.

So I could easily close the sale and get a few hours of my time sold – but should I?

No, of course not. Not unless I know for a fact that I can solve their problem.

Not before I know more, not until I actually know what the problem is, and how to fix it.

Because if I can’t solve a problem for someone, I’ve nothing to sell.

And that’s what I consider ethical marketing.

Getting that sale would be easy, but I need more data first.

We’re in business to solve problems, so that people pay us for the solution.

Not the other way round.

Anyway, I’m off, I’ve got a Saturday to enjoy.

If you’re not getting enough conversions either, and you know that there’s conversion strategy missing on your site, go here to get a custom conversion customisation report –>
http://martinstellar.com/convert-your-site-into-a-conversion-machine/

Cheers,

Martin

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