Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

This is it

In just a few short hours, registration closes for the April Newsletter.

And in case you missed it, that’s the one where I go all out teaching how to make the most of Twitter.

Here’s what you’ll find inside if you subscribe on time (aside from getting daily direct access to me by email for your questions):

* The one character that you need to use if you want people to notice you (no hyperbole here, but it’s odd how little understood this is)

* How to consistently see people follow you each day, without having to hunt for them – they’ll find you

* Ways to find content other people create, in order to establish your own brand as an artist

* How to use that content in a curation strategy that keeps your Twitter feed alive and attracts followers

* How to create a Twitter profile that upon seeing engages people and entices them to follow you

* The one word you need to use in your Twitter handle

* What to automate and what to do manually for most efficient use of your time

* How to use your own time in your studio to effortlessly become more liked and followed (another big time-saver, this one)

* The four things to constantly ask on Twitter – including asking for a sale (Oh yes, you sure CAN sell on Twitter)

* The tools you need to use to save time and deliver more value to your followers

* How to get on the radar of art collectors, publishers, media outlets, journalists, galleries

* A copywriting trick that dramatically increases the chances of people clicking on the links you tweet

* How to use #hashtags effectively to get more views on your tweets, and consequently more followers

* How to use the ‘cinema exit’ principle to get hundreds of people to follow you in a matter of days (this one is golden – Amazon uses it ALL the time)

* How to compose a tweet that people won’t miss and will get them clicking

* How to use Twitter strategically to build a list of email subscribers

* How to meet real-life people and forge actual friendships through Twitter

And that’s just a few of the lessons and instructions.

What you get delivered to your doorstep when you sign up is 16 pages of this, and a whole lot more.

And, you get a free 30-minute consulting call, PLUS ongoing email support.

But time is running out because registration closes tonight at midnight.

Ready to grow up, get your name out there, become a successful artist who sells – by using one of the most effective and easy to use platforms on the web?


Next, go here to get your Twitter-learn on –>



When Will You Stop Throwing Spaghetti at Your Paintings?

Most marketing efforts amount to little more than experiments and tests.

You throw some spaghetti at the wall and see if it sticks.

If it doesn’t, well then you try something else.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that this not likely to lead to success.

Or indeed, sales.

Not to say that I can cast stones – I too have been dreadfully unorganised.

But along the way I learned some important things, one of which the fact that it’s simply ineffective to try tactics if you don’t have a strategy.

Now I’m not a fan of war, so don’t get me wrong for using the words strategy and tactic.

Besides, the use of tactics vs strategy applies to to all kinds of things.

Even to art, in fact.

You might have a fantastic talent for colour or handling a brush – those would be your tactics.

But you also need to have a vision for the painting, the composition. That’s your strategy.

And in all things in life, tactics by themselves are hardly useful.

They are part of an overall strategy, and it’s the combination of the two that gives you a way to succeed.

As an artist-entrepreneur, you also need a strategy: become visible, build a list, communicate with those people.

Within that strategy, you have tactics: real-world exposure, social media activity, press and publicity – whatever the things that work for you.

And each of those tactics need their own strategy.

If you don’t have a plan, a strategy for each of them, you won’t know how to optimise the total composition of tactics.

You won’t be able to measure, test and improve.

For me, the breakthrough came in stages: First, I realised I needed to work on growing my list.

Next, I decided to start a newsletter, and a few months in I realised I want to work exclusively with artists and creatives.

Which brought me back to the question of traffic and list building.

So I decided to use Twitter as my main tactic, and I designed a strategy for it.

And, I’m pretty happy I did.

Within weeks, my following went from 800 or so to 2000.

In fact, I gained 600 followers in just 48 hours last fall.

Nowadays, I don’t seek out followers because people – artists, the people I want to work with  – find me and follow me.

And by and by, my reputation and status grow, and so does my list, bit by bit.

So if you want to know how I did it, let me show you in the next LEAP.

Which, I realise as I’m working on it, applies for a large part to Facebook as well.

So even if you’re not into Twitter that much but you just can’t find a content strategy that words for you on Facebook, the April issue will make you a lot smarter.

Tomorrow’s the last day to sign up in time to get it.

Best not dilly-dally, but learn a strategy.

Get a good one here –>



How to Market and Sell Your Art While You Sleep (No, Not in Your Dreams)

If there’s one thing I love about Twitter, it’s how easy it is to automate things.

And yes, I know that you shouldn’t put your entire Twitter activity on auto-pilot.

That wouldn’t work, and it would be pretty spammy.

But some parts should be automated, and not just because I say so.

Just consider: You collect and gather interesting content that art-buyers like.

You post or retweet it, and then it gets pushed down the stream.

Which means that only your followers who are on Twitter right then and there will see it.

That’s a pity – not just for you, but also for them: They follow you because they’re interested in what you share.

But what if they’re on the other side of the world, asleep?

What if they’re at work?

Or driving or in the kitchen, or – well, just use your imagination.

Those folk don’t see it, and you miss out on being appreciated, while they miss out on learning or reading something interesting.

Same thing with your invitations to join your list.

And, of course, the tweets in which you detail your progress on new work.

And let’s not forget those tweets that say: “New artwork for sale, click to see it”.

Schedule that stuff, and you’ll be marketing and selling hands-off, while sleep or paint.

Now obviously, Twitter isn’t the only place where you can share and re-share things automatically.

But in my personal experience, it’s one of the easiest platforms to use, once you get the hang of it.

And don’t think for a minute that Twitter isn’t useful for selling art.

No matter what the experts and gurus tell you about Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram.

Just ask Lori McNee.

See, like I’m fond of saying: It’s not a matter of which platform is best – it’s about which platform works for you.

So if you’re not into Facebook or any of the other platforms and you like Twitter but you’re just not sure how to be strategic there on selling your art, I’ll show you how in the April LEAP Newsletter.

Which you can get here –>

Oh did I mention, your visibility on Twitter depends on your strategy and not on your advertising budget, as is the case with Facebook?

Right, enough said.

Happy Sunday evening.


Why and How to Send People to Your Competitor


Has Martin gone completely insane?

Send people to other artists, who are just as eager as you to land a customer and score a sale?

Clearly, the Spanish sun has fried his brain.

Not so, my friendly artist friend.

It’s all about context and strategy.

Obviously when you write an email to your list, you don’t send people to the competition.

Instead, you send them to your own gallery or sales-page or online store.

But in the context of social media, curating the work of other artists and deliberately putting those others in front of your followers can be a very effective strategy.

It’s that content curation mechanism that I mentioned the other day.

By being deliberate and strategic about who you present to your followers, you raise your own profile.

You get to be perceived as resourceful, as tuned in and switched on.

Your followers will realise that you’re not just there to make a buck – no, you are about art.

Not only that, it’s also a way to act from a position of strength and confidence.

And, confidence sells.

When people see that you’re not afraid to ‘lose a sale’ to someone else, that fosters respect, people value that.

Besides, the idea of ‘losing a sale’ is pretty relative:

If someone prefers to buy a painting from another artist instead of from you, there’s a good chance that they wouldn’t have
bought from you anyway.

Could well be that they only follow you because they like your social media presence and the things you share.

So if that’s the case, I say let them walk and buy elsewhere.

Another benefit is that when people see that you’re sharing other artist’s work, they will be much more likely to share and retweet both your own and other’s content.

And, it makes you an interesting person to follow, so it helps you grow your follower count.

Of course you pepper your timeline with regular pitches, offers, and invitations to sign up – we’re not talking about being a charity.

I do it all the time, and it works pretty well.

Retweets, shares, comments – people even retweet my sales-pages – something I hadn’t expected at all.

Anyway, I must go because in half an hour I have that call with Barbara, the owner of the calendar website for artists.

Will let you know her details later on.

Meanwhile, there are just a few days left to sign up in time for the April LEAP Newsletter, which is all about building an art business on Twitter by means of content curation.

Access here –>



Fifty Shades of Feminism

Or was it misogyny?

Today’s email is a little different, because I want get this off my chest.

Definitely a bee in my bonnet.

The other day, having dinner with a friend.

She tells me: “The hardware store in town has sold out all their rope.

That 50 Shades of Grey movie ran for four days in a row.

Movies never play that long in this town”.

I sighed, and bemoaned the state of the world.

Now, before anything else: I’m not judging anyone.

Live and let live. What people do in their bedroom isn’t my business.

That said, I wonder if sado-masochism is healthy for the psyche, but I’m no expert so I don’t have an opinion about it.

What I do have an opinion about is the way commerce feeds us things, tells us it’s normal, and proceeds to earn a crapton of money in doing so.

Regardless of whether the thing in question is or isn’t good for society.

As for that 50 Shades movie: don’t think for a minute that there was art behind it.

Or that its purpose was to liberate women, or equalise the balance.

What happened is that a woman wrote short pieces of dark, violent, sexual vampire fan-fiction and posted it on a forum.

People loved it (obviously – sex sells).

Besides, it’s human nature to be fascinated by taboo and scares.

At some point a publisher noticed the pieces were popular, and told the writer to drop the vampire stuff and turn it into a book.

That book became a bestseller and a movie ensued.

Wooptidoo. Cash in the bank.

Here’s why I’m upset:

The other day I saw an interview with a psychologist, and she waxed passionate about how fantastic it is that thanks to the movie, women are now finally able to truly own their sexuality.

My jaw dropped.

What the hell is wrong with this world?

That movie isn’t about liberation – it’s the story of a young and innocent virgin, who gets manipulated by an attractive and wealthy man with a very dark twist to him.

Coerced and cajoled into submitting to his will.

To endure abuse, violence, and – if I understand correctly – rape.

He stalks her at work, enters her home, sells her car without her consent – there’s a whole ton of things in that movie that you nor I would want happen to us.

Ah, but it’s just a bit of fantasy, isn’t it?

Innocent entertainment, right?

No it isn’t, and it isn’t right.

An entire generation (two or three generations, in fact) of people is being taught by pop-culture that it’s perfectly fine to submit to a dominator, as a matter of course.

Again, I don’t judge people or their practices or preferences.

But to see feminists say that this is a good thing is bizarre, and frankly very saddening.

Feminism hasn’t even managed to achieve equal position in society yet.

There is still a lot wrong with the balance – in social life, the workplace, legal systems.

And then they go and – inexplicably – say that this is actually empowering women?

Truly, the mind can make any connection.

Riddle me this: how does submitting to abuse equal empowerment?

What a load of hogwash.

Don’t forget: the book and the movie got made for one reason only: because someone with dollar-signs in his eyes saw a way to make tons and tons of money.

And I don’t believe it’s doing society any good whatsoever.

Marketing gone wrong.

Here’s marketing gone right, if you’re the kind of person able to think for themselves –>



Put THIS on Your Calendar

Had a great little fireside chat with Dexuality Valentino yesterday, a multi-talented artist from Huddersfield, England.

I grilled him on how he manages to be successful at making and selling art, despite having a full-time job and a family life.

Gave me some pretty interesting answers as to the secrets of his success.

For one thing, he’s married to a marketer.

Now, just in case you’re female and this makes you want to send me a marriage proposal – the answer is no, sorry.

Seriously though: the guy has some great systems set up.

For one thing, he absolutely thrives on structure.

And I agree: systems, habits and structure are what make stuff happen.

It was a really good call, but since I’m writing the April LEAP this week, editing will have to wait till next week.

But, I can give you a tip today.

Because one of the ways that he sells his art is by way of calendars.

There’s a website run by a lady named Barbara, where his art gets used for calendars, and apparently it can be quite lucrative for artists.

I just want to speak to her first, before I give you the details.

So keep an eye on your inbox, and I’ll let you know how it works and how to get in touch with her.

Next week, new interviews with Jimmy, and with Dex.

But for now, sign up for the LEAP newsletter if you’re ready to invest and turn your art into a business –>

I’m off, I have a Barbara to call.


Why I'm About to Turn Down a $2000 Gig

martin_091b“Martin, how much for a handmade suit?”

A phone call, last Friday.

A British gent in Marbella – we were in touch way back when, in my tailoring days.

Friendly man, runs a business real estate business.

I explain that actually I don’t have my tailoring company any longer.

He presses on: “But do you still make suits?”

“Very occasionally, and I’m very picky about the kind of job I take on”.

I’m just short of telling him that if I stitch at all these days, I take it as a work of art.

That in reality, the only work I do at a sewing machine these days is for my former abbot or his assistants.

“But how much would it be, if you would take on the job?”

Clearly, the man knows sales. Clever, that ‘would’.

“2000 Euros”, I tell him, and he goes “Oh, that’s fine”.

“But”, I tell him, I’m not sure. I have to think about it. It would take a lot of time away from my current work”.

Mentally, I calculate how many podcasts and webinars I can study during the 100 hours a suit would take. I’d learn a lot, and get paid for my time too. Not a lot, but still.

Part of me is decided: NO. Stay focused.

Another part says: “It’s money, Martin. And you tell everyone you miss tailoring. And you could treat it as art, instead of work”.

Oh the dilemmas we face, right?

As my abbot used to say: “Choices… life is all about choices”.

And so I’ve made my choice: I’m not doing it.

If Mr. Marbella phones back, I’ll decline.

Because yes, I’d love the work. Truly.

But I am focused, I’m building a new business, I’m here to help artists. Not to make art.

Besides, there are plenty of things I don’t get around to as it is.

My novel, for example.

Or the 3-part art-marketing manual I want to co-author with Helen Aldous over at Artonomy.

So, no.

I want to stay right here, work with artists, and serve you guys with daily emails and the best possible newsletter I can write.

Maybe once the April newsletter is ready next week, I’ll take a day off to put together some nice linen trousers for myself, to ease the pain.

The moral of the story?

Temptations abound.

Money gets offered, shiny new objects appear and boy are they tantalising.

Opportunities arise, and wouldn’t you just LOVE to jump in?

Sometimes it’s a good idea, other times it isn’t.

But I think that focus and concentration win every time.


I’m going to focus on the Twitter issue of the newsletter.

Which you can get here –>

Catch you later.



How to Ethically and Legally Use Other People’s Content to Build an Audience

These days, ‘content marketing’ is all the rage.

The idea being that you create materials that first entertain or teach, and secondly inform a prospect on why or why not to buy something.

Which is a good strategy, but now that the whole world and their hamster have a blog/Tumblr/Pinterest/Instagram, it’s becoming hard to stand out from the crowd.

Enter the term ‘content shock’ – where there is just too much, a tsunami of fresh content coming at us every hour.

How on earth do you set yourself apart from all the others?

It’s pretty simple, actually.

Hugh MacLeod famously said: “Don’t stand out from the crowd – avoid crowds altogether”.

Now, what’s the kind of person most apart from crowds?

The leader, of course.

So, why not become a thought-leader?

That way, people don’t just look to you for your art, but for the intellectual and social value that you bring them.

And, it’s not actually very difficult.

The trick is to use other people’s work.

And yes, that’s legal, and yes it’s ethical.

In fact, you do people a favour, if you do it right.

Not by stealing their content or plagiarising things.

No, the trick is content curation.

Meaning: you hunt for the kind of content that your ideal audience finds relevant and interesting, and you relentlessly provide that to them.

Everybody wins: the creator gets shared, you build an audience, and your audience gets fed information they care for.

Think about it: Someone who is incredibly well-read and therefore has answers to all kinds of questions and problems: that’s someone you’d value, right?

So, why not become that person?

These days, content curation is one of the easiest, most fun ways to build an audience of fans.

And it’s not just me saying so:

Copyblogger – not exactly a stupid bunch – released a new website platform with all kinds of bells, whistles and kitchen sinks built in, and guess what’s the driving force for driving traffic and building a list of email subscribers?

Content curation.

Whether you use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or you just blog, becoming a source of exactly the information that your audience is hungry for works like a charm.

Sure does for me: my Twitter following grows every day that I send out new links. And so can yours.

So in the next LEAP, I’ll explain exactly how to listen to your audience to find out what they want, and how to make the process of content curation as easy as 30 minutes a day.

Sign up here –>



A Handy Lesson From a Successful Artist: The Core Tenet of Marketing Art

The other day I mentioned Dex Valentino – a truly intriguing chap from Huddersfield.

For one thing, he’s trying to blackmail me into writing my novel.

But also, we’ve had some very interesting exchanges about marketing art.

The dude is onto something.

So yesterday, I decided to just give him a call and express my gratitude and appreciation.

Bit of a gamble, since I’d never spoken to him before.

But it was in order to connect, and not sell him anything, so I figured that his phone number in his email signature equalled permission.

Had a great little chat with him.

And I was pretty impressed with his prowess as an artist with a truly professional mindset.

There are several lessons in here, by the way.

First: in marketing, you reach out. Show up. Make contact.


Secondly, you don’t ‘go for the kill’ right away – instead, you start by building a relationship first.

So important.

And in the process of doing that, you deliver value.

For example, by documenting your process of creation.

Or talking about the things that move and inspire you.

Besides, I don’t need to pitch anything at him: he knows I’m in business, have things for sale.

After all, he reads my emails every day, and there’s always a link in it.

But back to the things he’s doing right: here’s a guy who has a full-time job, makes art any time he has a moment, writes…

And, very important: isn’t shy about putting himself out there.

The result of which is that he actually gets his work sold.

So I asked him for an interview, so that you all can learn how a regular guy does it.

Because it’s all very well to see famous and highly successful people with massive audiences pull it off, but I wonder how inspiring that actually is.

If you have a family, a job, don’t know where to start, are starting out trying to sell, seeing a big name do it might actually be more discouraging than encouraging.

So next week, you’ll hear from a normal feller how he does it.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a brilliant statement he gave me, which summarises perfectly the core, ethical, put-into-practice-today concept of marketing:

“Its all about making the world a slightly smaller place, one friend at a time.”


And, here’s the link if you’re ready to invest in your art business and join the LEAP program –>



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How Do I Love Thee, Twitter? Let Me Count the Ways

The first time I ever looked at Twitter, I thought the world had gone insane.

I think it was 2007, and I had just seen Hugh MacLeod tell the world that Twitter would be big and important for marketing.

At that time I was running my tailoring company and since marketing was required, I went to have a look.

What I saw was bewildering, confusing, and mostly pointless.

An endless stream of updates by people I didn’t know.

Most of it completely inane.

Why would I care what John from Illinois had for breakfast?

What was Lily in London trying to say, telling us she had just bought a new Mac? Showing off?

Who in the world would care that some bloke in France had just been pulled over by the police?

I gave it about 30 minutes and closed the page.

It wasn’t until years later that I went back, and learned what it is, how it works, and what it’s for.

And I can tell you I’m really glad I did.

Over the years, Twitter has given me many benefits.

I’ve found valuable resources and still do.

I’ve made real life friendships with people thousands of miles away (What’s up Colin – come visit again this summer, ok?)

Twitter helped me get into a mastermind group that gave me fantastic support for years.

It’s brought me sales, help, learning, contacts, a network.

Once, I was pitched by one of the stars of the 80s series G.L.O.W. to write a script for a new spin-off series.

I was green back then and didn’t know what to charge or what to think.

So I went to Twitter and asked Jerry Kolber – creator of National Geographic’s Brain Games –  to help me out, which he very courteously did.

(I declined the gig, btw).

Twitter got me a successful copywriter to give me free one on one coaching, when I was just starting out as a copywriter.

It’s given me tons of laughs.

On Twitter, I’ve successfully proposed marriage to two women I’d never met (not at the same time).

Both said yes.

Luckily, neither of those situations turned into an actual marriage, so I guess I made a clean escape.

But still.

More benefits: It’s helped me get on podcast interviews.

It’s raised my profile among industry leaders in the field of marketing, art and copywriting.

I’ve had a world famous business psychologist give me free advice.

And this is just the shortlist of all that Twitter has done for me.

Point is, Twitter won’t necessarily get you a lot of direct sales, and it’s not what it’s made for.

But it’s a pretty marvellous tool for connecting people and building up a reputation.

Once you get that, you can make your art sales happen as a consequence.

It can be a lot of fun on there, and it’s a fantastic tool for getting yourself out there.

And I will show you how to do it in the April LEAP.

Next, sign up here –>



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