Oh No, Not Again… I've Fallen in Love

This time however, not with a woman.

This time round, I’ve fallen in love, head over heels, madly and passionately – with art.

You don’t know this about me, but I’ve never been especially able to appreciate art very much. I just didn’t get it.

I didn’t understand art.

Also: because as a child, my every vacation included long, dreary, sweaty and boring days of trudging through musea, my enchanted mother dragging me along, kicking and screaming.

“Can we go to the beach now? Can I have icecream? It’s so warm in here. Why are all these people just staring at those paintings?”

Yes, I clearly had a troubled childhood.

Well that’s an exaggeration, but it’s true that I loathed and resented the experience.

Not another museum… please.

Until yesterday, when I grabbed Jimmy by the nape of the neck and shoved him into a gallery.

“Here, go talk about your art with these people. See what you pick up when you listen”.

And while he stood there, listening intently (yeah he’s a good little soldier – listening is magic), I stood amidst some of the most magnificent pieces you can imagine.

All around me, everywhere I looked, beauty and brilliance shone at me.

And then another gallery. And another one.

And by the time I saw Louis le Brocquy’s utterly minimalistic head&hand portrait of Samuel Beckett, I finally succumbed, and let art into my life.

Rapture

A dead man’s eyes piercing right into my being.

A palpable, real, tangible… something. Whatever it was, it was insanely intense.

It was falling in love.

I needed 41 years to get to this point.

I had to ignore art, and artists, and all the starving-artist hokum so romantically (and erroneously) touted, to arrive at this place.

Jimmy painting my portrait helped.

So did talking to him all week long.

And meeting all the people he introduced me to.

I needed to be steeped in this whole art thing to finally realise that I need this stuff in my life.

Did you hear that?

I NEED art

In a flash, after decades of preparation (or fighting, depending on your politics) art suddenly showed up in my life and said:

“Here I am. I’m beautiful and I want you. Take me”.

So I did.

And I’ll never be the same.

What can we learn from this?

For one thing, that everything happens in its own time.

You can’t force or rush things.

You can only prepare, and wait until the time is right.

I’ve finally arrived at this stage. I’ve opened up and let this light in.

Obviously, I’m blissfully grateful.

Looking at the above, I’m also a bit lyrical today.

But then, that’s what happens when someone falls in love

For you, I just hope it’s not going to take 41 years before you’re ready to finally make it part of your art, to take a somewhat more professional approach about it all

And get that stuff sold.

Also: Don’t wait 41 years to get the LEAP Newsletter, because like I said yesterday, the August issue will be special.

It’s called ‘Forget about galleries, and it’ll show you in very certain terms that the gallery/museum model is in many ways like a dinosaur, and old feudal system –

And, how that gives you, the ‘artist-entrepreneur’, a richly filled toolbox and a huge edge over your competition.

Want it? Then here’s access –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

To art, to your health, to sales.

I say cheers.

Martin

In Case You Don't Want to Take it From Me: Solve Problems

Yesterday’s email, my saying that art is definitely not a luxury?

Yeah funny, that.

One of my loyal readers writes in and makes that point better than I ever could.

She’s a copywriter – a young woman, a single mother, and one fine example of how persistence and a warrior-like attitude in life gets your problems solved, bit by bit.

And problems, she’s had a-plenty. The dad making a dick move and running off being only one in many.

Here’s what she writes:

###
As for art — for me it isn’t so much a problem to be solved as a need to be met — I guess that’s two ways of saying the same thing. When I have been at my lowest, I’ve consistently scraped together my pennies to buy an original piece from my favourite artist. (I’ve now got 3.) As it is, I’m saving up for a You Are Awesome print for myself, because I could use the reminder. I’ve already got the mini-print set hanging in my son’s room. Seemed like a good idea to raise him from day one with that message in bold color on the walls, given his father’s choice not to stick around.”
###

I mean, how awesome is that?

Here’s a chick for whom business isn’t yet a joy, for whom life is a puzzle still in many separate pieces, and you’d think the very last thing she’d buy would be art.

But what does she do? She buys art. Because she needs it.

If ever there was justification for marketing, even for something as – supposedly – frivolous as art, it’s this.

She buys art with money she barely has, because she needs, badly, to have it in her house.

She doesn’t want to live without the art, because she needs it. Has to have it.

So if you’re an artist, and you’re still hesitant, this is your day of glory, this is where you get to take the plunge.

People need you.

And if you don’t put yourself out there, you’re doing others a disservice.

If you’re still on the fence about getting your marketing on and selling your art, then today I implore you to get over yourself and start getting good at marketing. You have my permission, my encouragement, my support and my blessing, all for what it’s worth.

There are people waiting for you and today it’s not just me saying so.

Do it. Get out there.

Sell art.

It’s your duty.

Help?

Here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

Cheers,

Martin

Or, as Jimmy says: “Art changes you, whether you want it or not”.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

P.s.
The next LEAP is going to be a full dissection of the conversation Jimmy and I had with Mr. X, the art expert we met the other day.

And inasmuch as Jimmy thought it was all very depressing to hear how without galleries you’ll basically never make a decent living, I’m going to show you different.

After the meeting I directly sat down to list the whole conversation.

And from those notes I’m going to tell you how, exactly because others think there’s no way without outside help, you as a savvily marketing artist, you have a massive, huge edge over all the people whose only recourse is to let 50%-commission-takers run the show.

You don’t want to miss this baby. Trust me.

Get it before she flies –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

This is NOT a Luxury

I told you I was going to throw my client Jimmy to the lions, and well, I’m working on it.

Like today: I called up a rather influential gentleman in the local art scene, and invited him to come visit Jimmy’s studio.

What with me being of *ahem* the persuasive kind and all that, he very kindly agreed and showed up.

While sweat trickled down Jimmy’s brow, the gent proceeded to get masterfully instructive and explicatory on how this industry actually worked.

It wasn’t pretty.

Apparently, amongst the more traditional-minded, galleries still hold sway. Not that Mr. X agrees with that, but the stark reality is that most of the art world still works that way.

You, I, and Jimmy though: we know better.

We know that if we take action, and put ourselves out there, and persistently keep that stuff up, we will in the end build our own audience, fanbase and sales.

So far, so good.

But then he said something that illustrated exactly how dysfunctional the old mindset really is.

“In the end, what you’re selling is a luxury.”

No, not quite.

In that line of thought, obviously a gallery has its place and its function and you need to be in one.

But as I always say: You don’t sell a luxury – you sell a solution.

Your art solves – can you guess? – a problem.

The irony of the whole thing was that Mr. X himself said as much later in the conversation: “Rich people sit in their fancy hotels, bored out of their brains, with another 20 to 40 years of wealth – and boredom – to last them.”

Hey hey, now what does that tell us?

It tells us that artists solve that problem: they give a buyer something beautiful to look at.

Artists provide people with a way to enrich their lives. You folk add value. Tangible and demonstrable value.

“Yeah, it’s an amazing piece, isn’t it? I got it off this ‘totally wacky/highly spiritual/transgender/ex convict/insanely intelligent/utterly boorish/fill in your bio’ artist way out in the boondocks. The guy/gal really knows his art.”

“Really… how lovely”, says the visitor – secretly envious that all he got was a canvas from a – essentially – a shop.

You don’t easily get that experience when buying a work in a gallery – you can only get it when you buy from the artist directly.

And believe me: you and your story, your presence and your attitude – it’s all part of the experience of the work of art.

Art isn’t a luxury. For some people, it’s a necessity. For others, it’s enrichment. But never should you think that your art is just a luxury.

Because unless you’re a truly masterful marketer, that luxury attitude is guaranteed to keep you locked in the starving-artist fallacy.

So, go on: sell solutions. Sell art. Make rooms more beautiful, make lives happier, and yes: make people less bored. Give them something that makes their life better and fuller and richer.

How?

You LEAP –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

Cheers,

Martin

Give Mummy the Egg, AKA 'Everything's a Sale'

The little girl comes into the house happy: the hen laid an egg!

She holds it carefully in her hands and sits down at the breakfast table.

Naturally, her parents are worried she’ll drop it or crush it.

“Give the egg to mummy Sarah, there’s a good girl”.

“No!”

Obviously. Tell a child she can’t have something, and she’ll want it all the more.

(That’s a sales principle right there, but that’s not the point today).

The parents reason with her, plead with her. No go: “I want to eat it”.

I lean over to her: “But if you want to eat it, mummy will have to boil the egg first”.

Without though or pause she hands over the egg.

Like I always say: Everything is essentially a sale.

And, you can sell anything to anyone, if you know how.

You can even cause a kid to part with an object, so long as you know how to (ethically) play into their desires. It really ain’t that hard.

Want to learn what to say, in which situations, so selling your product or service gets easier?

Then the LEAP newsletter is a pretty good option.

Get it here, if you dare to leap –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

Cheers. I’ll have my eggs sunny side up, please.

Martin

Don't Try to Stand Out From the Crowd…

…Avoid crowds altogether.

Heard it before?

I hope so – I’ve said it before. And before me, Hugh MacLeod said it.

Never was the point made more poignantly than yesterday, after Jimmy picked me up from the airport, and we stopped at Dublin’s Merrion Square.

Said to be a fantastic opportunity for artists to sell their work, I got a different impression.
In fact, I found it terribly disheartening.

Maybe I’d have felt differently if there had been droves of passersby, looking and buying art.

But there was hardly anyone on the street.

So there they were: one artist next to another, each with their pitch and their paintings.

Waiting. Waiting for someone to come by, to stop and look, to hopefully buy a painting.

But no takers.

Not that I’m against the idea of being on display – I’m always saying you need to show up and be seen.

That much, they were doing right.

But there are two things massively wrong with this kind of fair.

First, that ‘stand out’ aspect – the only thing making you stand out between 100 artists is your art.

And everybody there is doing exactly the same thing: trying to be just different enough to sell a painting.

It’s a race to the bottom.

How do you stand out, if you mix in with the rest? You’ll just be one of many.

So those people, instead of standing out from the crowd, are doing the opposite: they’re blending in with the crowd.

Hard work, I say. And not very joyful. Or promising.

Secondly, an event like that will only work for you if there’s people showing up, and that only happens if the organisers are capable of drumming up the audience.

For whatever reason, that didn’t work yesterday, so they all just stood there. Waiting.

Said Jimmy: “Each of these people would probably get more results if they’d spend their time writing good content.”

And he’s right.

Now you might say: “But there are thousands of bloggers, writing about their art.”

And you’d be right.

Which is why once again I’m making the case for building a list, and mailing them daily.

Because once someone gives you permission to show up in their inbox, you’re no longer part of any crowd – you’ve become part of an inner circle – the tiny, personal, private inner circle that your reader gave you access to.

In that personal space, that inbox, you have very little competition. A handful, perhaps. If at all, because very few people have the grit and tenacity to show up persistently, day after day.

Your competitors – whether you’re into arts or writing or design – very probably don’t write every day.

Which makes you stand out like a nail on a dance floor.

And that is how you get noticed, how you engage people, avoid crowds, and yes, sell art. Or anything, for that matter.

Something to think about, I say.

Next, think about learning how to write emails that distinguish you and that get you sales.

And when you’re done thinking, know yourself courteously invited to sign up here –> www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Cheers,

Martin

Into the Heart of Dublin

One of these days, I must tell you about my client Karen, creator of the award-winning educational game Time Tribe.

It’s a great game, and with the email chops she’s developed while working with me over the last few months, I’m pretty sure she’ll go fast, once summer is over and she’s back into the swing of things.

But that’s a story for another day.

The reason I mention her is that Karen is an archeologist, a true explorer.

She’s the kinda girl who wears a pith helmet and spends 3 months holed up in a desert, scraping away at things millenia old with a toothpick and tweezers.

An adventurer, an explorer.

And right now, that’s exactly how I feel.

As in, I’m about to step into the wilderness, and I’ve no idea what I’ll find.

I’m armed with a pocket knife, a survival guide, a compass and a length of string.

I’ve a map of the terrain and I read up on the local flora and fauna, and I know where to avoid the cannibals.

But for the rest, I have no idea what I’m going to encounter. There’s just no telling.

This Sunday, I will land in my jungle, and just like Edmund Hillary and the alike, I need to overcome my fear, stiffen my upperlip, and sally forth despite the risks.

My jungle is called Dublin, and my sherpa is Jimmy Kelly, painter and writer.

Our mission will be to convert the heathen natives of Dublin to a funky new religion called ‘Jimmy’s Art’,

And while we have a plan, and he’s got his network, and he knows his way around the art scene, I can’t help but feeling as if I’m at the edge of the jungle.

As if I’m in a clearing, and a little airplane just dropped me off.

I’m looking at a dense wall of bamboo, ferns, vines. There’s rustling, and I hear animals screech and caw, muffled by the vegetation.

The sun drums on my hat and sweat trickles down my temples.

Anything can happen.

According to quantum scientists, anything will happen.

I just hope we’ll be stepping into the right timeline, not the one where a saber-toothed art critic decides to devour us.

It should be an interesting experience, and even though it’s a type of project I’ve never done before, I’m confident it’ll go well.

But it does make me nervous.

The moral of the story?

Fear is a tool. It’s there to challenge you.

It asks if you really want this.

It forces you into mental sharpness and it helps you make decisions.

Fear stands before you, saying: “Really? Then show me, if you dare”.

At that point, you decide who wins: your fear or your drive.

At the risk of sounding like Yoda, the fear itself isn’t the problem – it’s being afraid of the fear that stops us.

And there’s only one way to overcome that: you grit your teeth, you cover yourself in insect-repellent, you take a deep breath, and you go.

Life’s too short for excuses, and no man who let fear stop him ever manifested anything extraordinary.

Mint cakes, flare gun, bottled water and first aid kit – check, check, check.

Wish me luck, I’m going in.

If I’m not back within a week, send in the rescue team.

Meanwhile, if you want to develop the same email marketing skills that Jimmy and Karen have, may I suggest you click here and sign up for mentorship?

http://www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Cheers,

Martin

You Have No Idea, the Opportunities Staring You in the Face Right Now

Talking to my buddy at the sailing school the other day, he complained about cash flow.

Like any business, he needs enough coming in to pay the bills, but also – extraordinarily important – to reinvest.

He’s got a very active and engaged Facebook following, and he gets good results each time he puts out an ad on there.

Problem is, he doesn’t have the capacity to handle all the clients.

He could be earning real good money, what with the summer in full swing and tourists crowding the beach.

But if you only have 10 hamburgers to sell, you’ll only be able to feed 10 people.

And with the number of surfboards and sailboats he has, there’s a ceiling. He can only serve so many people, which means he could be earning more, except he can’t.

Sucks to be a small biz owner, right?

Well, not if you have a little Stellar by your side.

See, his problem might be serious, but the asset – his audience – that he’s built up over the years is so valuable, he can solve his problem within days.

How?

Not by selling more of his stuff, because of that limitation he has.

He can’t invest in more surfboards and staff either, because that stuff is expensive.

So?

Sell somebody else’s stuff.

Simple.

He’s got an audience, they love him, they pay attention to him.

When he puts out an update it gets liked, when it’s an ad, they call and reserve a boat.

But there are people out there in the watersport niche who have an eminently scalable business – clothing and gear for outdoor sports, for example – who don’t have the fame and the audience.

Who don’t know how to sell, how to promote, or how to write an ad.

Those folk, they’re poised to grow, they just need to sell more.

So that’s what I told my friend: Identify five or ten businesses that have their online shop ready and stocked, who have the design and business model ready, and call them up.

Tell them: If I give you a Euro, will you give me 25 cents?

In other words: If I can bring you clients, will you give me a percentage?

If he makes ten calls, I’m pretty sure he’ll end up with two or three companies who would be thrilled for him to put up an ad and send highly qualified traffic at them.

He’s smart, I’m pretty sure he’s already taken action. I should check in, see how it’s going.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d already have ordered a new surfboard or two.

Anyway, just one of the many ways there is money right under your nose, if you dig a little deeper.

And, it’s ideas like these that are part of the perks of working with me, because you get to write in and ask questions.

And you’ll know by now that I have quite a few money-making tricks up my sleeve.

So, you know, it all depends on whether or not you really do want to take your business to the next level.

For which you can start, if you want, right now and right here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

Cheers,

Martin

Your Moral and Ethical Duty to Promote, Market, and Sell

John is a patissier, a luxury baker.

His works are true masterpieces: the highest quality ingredients, extremely meticulous preparation, and he designs his cakes to be proper works of art.

John is crap at selling though.

He considers word of mouth to be the best possible promotion, and one of his favourite statements is: “Quality sells itself”.

And yet, John has a hard time getting his cakes sold.

A few streets down the block lives Mary – not exactly a patissier, but she makes delicious and quite attractive cakes.

And she sells the living daylights out of them, much to the dismay of John, whose cakes are much better.

But Mary is a sharp cookie, and she got herself over the ‘marketing is dirty’ mindfuck years ago.

She’s tough, pro-active, persuasive, not shy, and she shows up everywhere: ads, blogs, social media, local events, fundraisers – if you say ‘cake’ in that town, the answer is ‘Mary’.

Even though John’s cakes are healthier, tastier and prettier.

See where I’m going with this?

If you make something truly good and useful, if you provide something that really solves problems – you MUST promote that stuff.

Because if you don’t, somebody else will be marketing their stuff harder and faster, and they’ll be selling more than you, regardless of the quality of their products or services.

And that means not only that you miss out on business: you’ll also be doing your prospects a massive disservice.

Because every time you do not promote yourself, somebody else will.

And the person who needs you will go to your inferior competitor instead.

If you have something of value on offer, something that really helps, then promoting it is your moral and ethical duty – if not to make the world a better place, than at the very least to make sure people don’t go elsewhere to buy inferior crap.

Now I’m going to put my soapbox back in the cupboard, and I’m going back to preparing LEAP #3, which will show you how to trigger existing desire in prospects before they themselves are even aware of those desires.

Best not miss out: http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

Cheers,

Martin

Go On Then: Fail. It'll Be Good for You

I woke up and stared at the ceiling.

I felt good. Really very good.

Strange.

I reflected on it.

There was no reason I should feel good.

In fact, one would have expected me to feel depressed, or stressed out, or panicky, but I felt none of that.
I was bankrupt. How could I possibly feel good?
Truly, thoroughly happy. Bizarrely happy.

Though I had forfeited my entire $150K inheritance.

I was also several months behind in rent, I had debts with suppliers, and I had no clients buying suits.

I was up shit creek, in a bad bad way.

And yet, I was the happiest I had ever been in my life.

I lay there for hours, just relishing the emotional state.

To this day, I still marvel at it.

Some part of me, barely audible, was saying ‘really good stuff is going to happen soon’.

Not that I believed that voice, but it was there, and for some reason it was stronger than anything I could possibly worry together.

We’re made of really weird stuff, you and I.

I kinda like it.
Anyway: about failure.

It doesn’t exist.

I’d ‘failed’ completely at my tailoring business.

But somehow I knew it didn’t matter.

Like Edison: He tried many prototypes of the lightbulb – some say 1000, others say it was 2000. Same difference.

He said: ‘I’ve not failed 1000 times – I’ve eliminated 1000 ways a lightbulb is NOT made.’.

Or like a salesman going door to door: He’ll hear ‘no’ more often than yes, but he doesn’t take them as failures.

Because for every ‘no’ he gets, he knows that the next ‘yes’ is that much closer.
You can not fail, you see. Not really, not on the face of it.

You can lose battles, but that’s just a battle lost – it’s not defeat.

You can fall on your face 1000 times, but each time you do, your knees get harder and your reflexes get sharper.

Oh, and you’ll also be training yourself in resilience, each time you pick yourself up and get back in the race.
Now, you might think that you would also need to spend a decade as a monk in order to be able to go down in flames while grinning like an idiot, but you’d be wrong.

It’s down to one simple thing: Mindset.

Knowing where you stand, knowing how to deal with the reality of business, and – note the choice of words – which attitudes to adopt in reaction to events.

Yeah, I didn’t say it’s easy.

But it’s damn simple. And, you can learn it.

This is one of the major selling points of the LEAP newsletter.

It equips entrepreneurs and freelancers with the mental armour and emotional agility to get through business without gasping every time a wave rolls over your ship, as you sail the stormy seas of entrepreneurship.

Bit lyrical for you?

It’s no joke though: Yes, with LEAP you learn tricks and techniques for marketing and promotion and sales, and all that.

But you also get me to feed you a mindset that I’ve learned over the course of by now 20 years, and which not only got me through bankruptcy smiling and productive, but which also enabled me to instantly start a new venture and earn my keep.

And that was years ago, and trust me: I’m still smiling.
You know, I tell you inspirational things in these emails, I try to motivate you.

For example: Do things suck? Then do this: Get off your ass, take action. Any action.

See?

But that’s just a call to action.

LEAP goes much deeper, and digs into the psychology of successful entrepreneurship.

And that’s in addition to all the marketing and business gold in each issue.

So if we’re talking about taking action, here’s one I would recommend for starters:

Get LEAP. It’s there –> http://www.martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/
Cheers,
Martin

It Would Solve My Problem, But Not Theirs

I keep thinking about that shopkeeper I spoke with yesterday.

At one point, bouncing back and forth ideas on how he could make more profit even though his prices are so low, he pointed at a carton of soy milk.

“I get these at a really good price. One thing I could do would be to offer these packs at 4 for 3: they get 4 litres, but pay only for 3.”

I was about to agree when he said: “But there’s a problem with that.”

Interesting. I listened, and he said the one thing that will, in the end, ensure his business will come out fine:

“It would solve my problem, but it wouldn’t solve theirs.”

To be frank, I was gobsmacked.

Who would expect a regular guy, a vendor of comestibles, someone who hasn’t studied marketing and probably doesn’t read business blogs, to think like that?

Yes he wants to make money, he wants to draw a profit from his business – but he’s 100% aware that he does that by solving problems for people.

If you’re in business in any way, you solve problems for people.

If you don’t, you have no business selling anything.

And if you focus on that, on the people who have a need, and on how you can fulfill that need, and solve that problem, you’ll be fine.

Think you don’t solve a problem? Maybe because you sell art or something else with a hard-to-define, intangible value?

Make no mistake: Your art solves a problem for people. The piece you make, the story you tell, the relationship you build with people, the value you (not just your painting) adds to their lives – all that fills the need of the art-buyer.

People are desperately bored with themselves and their lives. They read about celebrities, watch TV, buy books – all because there’s an emptiness they want to fill.

Living vicariously through others.

Why not let them live vicariously through you? They’re already waiting for you – you just need to make sure you show up in front of them, with your art and your stories.

Or with anything that you do or make. If people are willing to pay for it, it’s because it solves a problem.

Which makes it your moral obligation to get that stuff sold, in my opinion.

You solve problems, and you’re not doing everything you can to solve as many as possible?

Pah.

Get busy, promote yourself, reach out, network, tweet, whatever.

Sell that stuff yo. Solve problems.

Here’s a problem that I can solve for you: getting you more sales, by showing you how to write high-conversion, sales getting emails.

Meaning, I’ll show you how to get sales from your list by doing nothing more than spending 30 to 60 minutes a day, writing and sending an email.

If that sounds good (of course it does), go here –> http://www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Cheers,

Martin

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