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

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

Let Me Make One Thing Perfectly Clear

Well, several things in fact.


You are in control, and you are responsible for your art business.

Nobody has permission to steal your thunder, no matter how important they (think) they are – unless you’ve given them permission, in which case might I suggest you revoke it.

How? By taking control.

And how do you do that?

By committing to take action, and by being specific and analytic about what you’re going to do with your art business.

So, in the December LEAP, that’s what you’re going to learn.

Here’s some of what’s in it:

* How to plan your year and marketing tasks ahead, so you’ll make the most use of opportunities without running out of time

* Why and how to create structure, habits and frameworks – so that your marketing is better and your creativity higher

* What neuroscience says about resolutions, why they don’t work, and what to do instead

* How you can ride the wave, given the fact that the traditional art industry is falling to pieces, and how that enables you to develop your own brand and audience

* How to implement and develop Aristotle’s ‘excellence is a habit’

* Why you must get lasersharp focus on which goals to work on, and in which order

* How to develop the habits that allow you to achieve those goals

* How to really identify what you’re for: the value you bring to the world with your art

* How to explain and tell the story around that value

* Massively useful: how to connect and engage with influencers so that they will put you in front of their audience

* An template for an outreach email you can adapt and use in order to attract influential people with massive audiences to your art

And, yes, a whole lot more.

And, if you sign up before midnight tonight, I will also personally fix and smooth out your own version of that outreach email for you. (Current subscribers also get this gift).

And don’t underestimate that: Karin, by current count, has received 5 very positive replies from top dogs in exactly the field her art is for.

That’s five extraordinarily useful contacts who liked the fact that she sent them an email out of the blue – five brand new relationship she can develop.

Just because I tweaked that email for her, and because she selected the right individuals based on my instructions.

Exactly the same instructions you will find in the next LEAP.

So. You ready for the next year, no resolutions required?

Then sign up here and get ye ready for some massive change in your art business in 2016 –>



How to Not Sabotage Yourself

Have you ever looked back at a situation, and though: “man, I sure screwed that one up”.

Maybe a job interview, or a relationship, a business partnership, a sale…?

I sure have.

Everything was going swimmingly, and then suddenly I do or say something, and the whole thing falls apart.

Self sabotage.

Another fun yet useless aspect of the human condition.

There can be all kinds of reasons, of course.

From fear of success, to (oddly) fear of failure, to childhood trauma or simple insecurity…

Who knows what makes us do what we do… I sure don’t.

But, one of the biggest pitfalls we can step into, one that pretty much guarantees self-sabotage, is to do with the goals we set ourselves.

See, there are two kinds of goals: those that enable you to reach them and then the next one and the next one – and those that prevent you from even reaching the first.

This is why New Year’s resolutions are pretty much 100% useless.

They only work for an incredibly small subset of humanity.

And if you’ve ever failed your resolutions, you’re not part of it.

(Don’t feel bad: neither am I).

People like us, we need to go about things differently.

We don’t run on willpower alone: we need clever approaches.

(Besides, willpower is finite: you have less of it the more decisions you make – tried and proven in scientific research).

So for most all people it’s not the thing we should rely on anyway.

For example, using ‘enabling goals’.

These are the kind I mentioned, the ones that when you reach them, enable and empower you to reach the next.

How to find out if a theoretical goal is an enabling goal?

The S.M.A.R.T goalsetting strategy will tell you.

If a goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely, you’re good to go.

If any of those five are missing, you need to adjust the goal before you set it.

But there’s more to it.

If you want to really make waves in 2016, you also need to choose goals that will have a considerable impact on your progress and your results.

So think about it.

Are you going to go for New Year’s resolutions again, or are you going to get smart about your plan, strategy, and goals…?

If the latter, the December LEAP Art Marketing Newsletter will get you very clear on which goals to choose, in which order, and give you instructions on how to set them so that you’ll stick with them.

She goes to the printer’s tomorrow, and the deadline to get it is tonight at midnight.

And you can get in on time if you click here –>



How to Nurture Relationships With Influencers Without Being a Nuisance

When the Karin received that reply to her outreach email, she wasn’t quite sure what to do.

(She received a second one, btw – this time from a professor and doctor of child and adolescent studies – not bad for an artist whose theme is children and education).

But the first one – what to do?

She wasn’t going to reply.

I mean, the guy would be unable to visit her show, so not much point in replying though, right?

Actually, yes.

See, I always tell you that marketing is about relationship and conversations.

Or, as the Australian marketing consultant Timbo Reid says:

Marketing is what you do when you can’t go see someone in person.

So Karin sent a group of influential people a personalised invitation email.

The guy replied, said thank you, and ‘sorry, can’t make it’.

That right there, that means a relationship has started.

So she definitely has to reply, because if she wouldn’t the brand new relationship would end as quick as it started.

“But I don’t want to appear needy”, she said.

Good point.

So here’s what I told her:

Send him a reply, along the lines of:

“Many thanks for your reply and the kind words.

“It’s a pity you can’t make it for the opening, but the show runs until January 23 – if you do end up coming out to have a look, I’d be more than happy to meet you there. Just let me know.”

But what to do next?

Become valuable to him.

Like so.

First, go read up on the guy.

Find out what his books are about, watch a few of his Ted Talks.

See where he gets published.

In other words, take an interest in him (as you know, people tend to be interested in those who are interested in us).

Then, stay in touch without pestering the guy, or being a nag, or appearing needy.

It’s really really simple.

You’ve researched him a bit: you know what his world and his work is about.

So in the weeks and months that follow, keep your eye out for things that might be interesting to him.

A book, a talk, a blog post, an interview somewhere on a podcast – anything that he’s likely to appreciate.

Be a connector: point him at people he might like to read or listen to.

Simply compose a new email, and write;

“Hi John,

“You might have already seen this, but I came across it and I think you might like it.

[insert link]

Stay well,


And you just keep doing that, any time you come across something that would be relevant for him.

In other words: Be a giver, and become a fun and useful (not-needy) individual to that person of influence.

Nurture the relationship selflessly.

Just like you would do with a new  real life friendship.

“Hey, listen: I just found this really awesome book/movie/band. Gotta check this out”.

And there you go.

That’s how you nurture relationships with influences.

I didn’t make it up either.

There’s a pretty successful marketing teacher called Joe Polish, who has built his success basically on being a giver and connector.

So you could do worse than to follow his example.

How to get those influencers to reply to you and take an interest?

You’ll learn that in the next LEAP, where you’ll see the outreach email she used, plus instructions on how to adapt it for your own use.

Go get ‘er here –>



Eating a Live Frog for Breakfast (Vegan Safe)

One of the best things you can do for your art career, is to eat a frog for breakfast.

NO! Put that frog down!

Sheesh. Must you take everything so literally?

I’m talking metaphor here.

Allow me to explain.

Imagine you were struck with some odd medical condition, and no doctor would be able to find a cure.

Except one, who says that a certain type of frog, when eaten alive once a day, can cure you.

And hey, you want to live so what can you do?

Now most people, they’d put it off until later in the day.

I mean, who wants to eat a live frog?

But that means you spend the whole day dreading the prospect of eating your medicine, which ruins your entire day.

And, there’s a real risk that you’d end up not doing it at all.

Which, as the doctor told you, is only going to make your affliction worse.

Now, lets leave the image behind, and translate this into art marketing.

There are things you know would be good for your business, but they’re not something you’re looking forward to.

Maybe it’s phoning people up, or fixing your site, or writing daily emails.

Doesn’t matter what it is: You know that there are things you could do that would really have an impact on your business, and you just. keep. putting. them. off.

No, I’m not a mindreader: I just understand the human being.

What’s more, I’m the same.

But for the last few weeks, I’ve experimented.

I’ve eaten a live frog – as in, I’ve taken big action exactly on those important things that are going to make a difference to my business.

One of those things is calling people up, out of the blue.

And I’ve done it.

And it’s already had some interesting results.

For one thing, the seminar I’ll be hosting next month, at a gallery not too far from here.

So yeah. Eating frogs. It works.

No Kermit! It’s a me-ta-phor!


If you want to get ahead, it’s worth your effort to identify one or two important things, and stop procrastinating on them.

And once you get it over with, you will feel like amazing.

If you start your day with just one simple but important action, you’re going to be on top of the world the rest of the day.

Which means that you’ll enjoy the fun marketing things even more.

Oh yeah. Psychology baby.

Want more psychology that helps you advance your art business?

It’s in LEAP, and you can get it here –>



Six Artists of Separation: How to Connect With Influencers

They say that in no more than 6 ‘friend of a friend steps’, each one of us is connected to one another.

The idea started some years ago, I think when someone tried to prove that in just 6 connections, everyone could get in touch with Kevin Bacon, or something like that.

I think he got a lot of phone calls that day.

Anyhow, apparently researchers at Microsoft analysed 3 billion messages, and found that the theory holds, except it’s 6.6 degrees.

Now, I don’t propose you try to call Kevin Bacon. (I tried – his voicemail said ‘This is not how it works’)

But I do want you to be fully aware that you are just a few steps away from incredibly useful, or influential, or helpful people.

You can very easily make connections with people who might just have an enormous impact on your art career.


One of the artists I’m working with – a talented Dutch woman by the name of Karin Hoogesteeger – was about to open a show.

I mentioned her last week, when I instructed her to reach out to influencers in the field of education, since her art has to do with that.

I gave her some instructions on what to put in an email to those people, and made a few edits for her.

She sent it to about 30 people.

So far, only one reply.


That reply was absolutely stellar.

A Dutch education bigwig sent her an extremely positive, grateful for receiving it.

And, from a guy who is positively a thought leader in education in Holland.

Author, speaker, you name it.

That guy gets SEEN, he has a huge network and social and professional standing, and he was thrilled to receive her missive.

How’s that for minimal degrees of separation?

Just from a few hours of building a list and sending one simple friendly email.

Unfortunately it was too short notice and he can’t show up.

But, the connection has been made, and a relationship has started.

If she nurtures that relationship, he’s extremely likely to show up at a future show.

Connections, conversations, relationships – that’s what an art business is about.

And as you’ve seen it can be so easy (and fun) to do.

So here’s the deal.

In the next LEAP newsletter, you’ll find the exact email that she sent, plus instructions on how to modify it for your own purposes.

But, there’s more.

I’m going to do you a very special favour.

For anyone who signs up for the deadline tomorrow night, I will personally edit your email for you, and get it ready to send.

You take the template, modify it, and send it to me.

When you get it back, it’ll have been massaged by these here big strong hands, and just might land you a perfect connection, just like what happened to Karin.

You can use that email over and over again, each time you have a new show or studio viewing.

And each time you send it, someone just might show up, or become a precious connection.


Ready for 2016?


Then get on board the LEAP system, and I’ll make you ready.

Access here –>



P.s. If you are currently a LEAP subscriber, you can also send me your email for me to edit. Note: this is not a rewrite – I’m offering to tweak and perfect it for you, like I did for Karin.

Interview: Ana Hoffman of on How to Drive Oodles of Visitors to Your Art Website

Welcome to the second episode of Art Marketing Expert Interviews, this time with Ana Hoffman of

Ana doesn’t specialise in working with artists, but she’s definitely an expert in attracting visitors to your website, and getting them to convert from visitor to subscriber to buyer.

In this interview, you’ll hear:

  • Why Twitter isn’t necessarily the best choice for artists: people don’t necessarily go to Twitter to look for visual ideas. Ana thinks Pinterest and Instagram have much more potential – and don’t forget Youtube!
  • A whole bunch of free resources for you on Ana’s site – check the links at the bottom of this page)
  • Why you’d do well to focus on networks that maximise your time, in other words: go where your audience is most likely to hang out
  • Why and how to create interest, so that people come back to your site. In other words: bridging the gap between ‘Oh this is nice’ and ‘hey I’ll have that, here’s money’
  • Tips on how to make your site layout work for you, and encourage people to buy
  • The why and how of building a funnel. Art is an emotional purchase, and very rarely an impulse decision. Ana explains why you must think in terms of progression through stages.
  • Why it’s worth your time to think in terms of conditioning: If people don’t buy right off the bat, you need to make sure they’ll want to come back and see your work again and again.
  • Where list building comes in, and how to create an email sequence to educate your audience on the merits of buying art in general and your work in particular
  • Why Ana considers education the best way to sell
  • The non-salesy way to sell: Earning permission to pitch by giving something useful, and how to keep doing that so that you retain that permission.
  • The ultimate sales machine: sell without selling
  • How to build an email sequence with a start and finish, but also to keep adding to it so that it keeps growing.
  • A bit of a surprise: even Ana didn’t really think that daily emails can work, but she just might give it a try
  • How Ana started out with no list and no blogging strategy. But I remember Ana from years ago and I remember how she just started conversations with people. And these days, she runs a healthy business, and so can you if only you engage with people.
  • Why the secret to a successful business is conversations and relationship building.
  • A very simple way to instantly start a relationship the very moment people sign up.
  • Tips for how to get fans and ambassadors to take action and spread the word about you
  • Big think: don’t just focus on the buyers.
  • Why Ana is adamant there’s no recipe, no cookie-cutter solution for everyone, and why you’ll always have to find out what works for you and your audience
  • Why you should focus on who you are as an artist, and present that rather than give things away
  • Why nobody would buy colour-by-numbers art, which is why there’s no standard marketing approach that works for everyone
  • Landing pages: what’s the best entry point that gets people to sign up
  • What Ana thinks of popups – probably not what you would expect from an expert in traffic and conversions
  • What to do if you don’t like popups – but you still want to grow your email list – you just don’t want to pester people.
  • The value of analytics, and whether or not you should use them
  • A special gift from Ana (links in the shownotes), to make your analytics much easier to understand, instantly.
  • Why you should talk about your art progress, especially on visual platforms
  • A platform you had probably not considered but which can give you thousands of visitors in very short time, even if you have very little fame or exposure
  • How she used that same platform to generate 243.000 pageviews in just 30 days, and her students are seeing great results too.
  • Why stories are so incredibly important in your marketing
  • A tip to help you repurpose your visual material for even more exposure and traffic

What can I say?
Listen to this interview and you’ll come away with a ton of ideas.
Click the links to access the interview, and the special bonus links Ana has for you.



Watch Out, They’re Stealing Your Thunder

Have you ever noticed how some people seem to get things right, progress fast, earn well and sell a lot of art?

While others don’t manage, complain, struggle or plain simple go bankrupt?

Tell me: which of the two do you prefer looking at?

Next: which one do you end up looking at most?

If you prefer the first but end up looking the second, you’re suffering from a human condition I call morbid fascination.

For some reason, we’re prone to look at negative, unpleasant, or even awful things.

That’s why we get traffic jams when there’s been a car crash on the opposite lane.

It’s why war games are popular, and horror movies too.

We might think we like horror movies, but I don’t think it’s an actual liking – I think it’s a kind of morbid fascination.

Like William S. Burroughs wrote: “Like a tainted cheese, overpoweringly delicious and nauseating.

That’s how the media hook people with scare stories.

And, if you’re not aware of this natural tendency, it can seriously hamper your chances for success.

If you keep ending up reading stories about struggling and starving artists, perception bias is going to make sure you’ll see more, and more, and more of those stories.

And places like Facebook too: “Hey, she seems to like that kind of thing – let’s show her more of it”.

It’s real simple:

What you look at will appear again and again, in your perception.

It’s how the mind works.

And if you look at negative stories, they steal your thunder.

Bit by bit, the impressions and reports will whittle away at your self-confidence, beliefs, and action-taking abilities.

Whereas if you look at success stories and listen to podcasts about people who have discovered ways that work, your self-confidence and abilities grow.

You get to choose.

And now that I’ve told you this, you’d better consider what you choose.

Because I would venture that the media you take in are a pretty good predictor of your success.

In the next LEAP newsletter, I’m giving you suggestions as to where to look, and specific instructions for what to do with the positive things you observe.

That way, you get better at marketing and promotion all the time.

But, it’s only for people who are determined to look on the bright side, as it were.

If your worldview is gloomy and you’re unable to redirect your orientation, it’s not going to work for you.

So if you’re the kind of person who sees opportunities instead of obstructions, here’s where you go to subscribe –>

Deadline is next Monday.



On Sale Now! Black Friday Special: 50% off on Mass Hysteria, (Slightly Used)

Just curious: Did you see any special offers come by today?

Unless you’re living under a rock (a very good place to live, on Black Friday), you’ll have been bombarded with deals offers, and ‘never-to-return-insane discounts’.

I watch the madness, and I lament the sorry state of the world, and of the advertising industry at large.

I mean, come ON: The Black Friday idiocy has even been exported to Spain.

And it’s not about special deals, either.

It’s about induced mass-hysteria.

That special deal?

It’ll come around again in the coming year.

Businesses are always creating deals.

So why do people go crazy, crushing each other when the doors of the shop open?

A shopping frenzy akin to ravenous animals trying to get at an elephant’s carcass.

Madness, and disgusting.


It’s one hell of a fine reason for artists to get good at marketing.

Yes, I’m talking to you.

See, Cybermondays and Black Fridays and what have you, they only work because of manufactured hype.

It really is a type of mass-hysteria.

But there are other ways to sell, without any hype.

Helpful marketing is the name of the game.

Creating media and messages that are fun and inspirational in their own right.

Content that if you were to sell it, people would actually love to pay for it.

Except you give it away, because that is what your marketing.

When you do that, you feel fulfilled and happy, because in the process of getting your name out there and your stuff seen, you are already making the world a slightly better place.

Even before you get the sale, at which point the effect of what you bring to the world gets amplified hugely.

Yes, you can manipulate people into buying.

It’ happening on a huge scale, under our very eyes, today.

But you can also facilitate the buying process for people who really want what you make.

Anyway, enough ranting for today.

I’m going to crawl back under my rock and ride this day out.

Meanwhile, here’s where you go to learn how that helpful marketing idea works –>



Art Marketing Success Roadmap 2016 – How to Get From ‘Here’ to ‘There’

This new LEAP I’m working on, that’s going to be something special.

After personally making every possible mistake an entrepreneur can make, I think I finally have a few things figured out.

And I want to share them with you.

Because you and I, we both are creatives.

I believe we have a lot in common, even if I don’t create pure art, but functional stuff instead.

I’m still a creative, and an artist at heart.

And if you’ve ever struggled with your marketing, your pricing or your sales:

I KNOW what you’re going through.

Used to be, I had no idea what to do.

Where to invest time, or money.

No clue as to who my audience should be – until I figured that out: artists, like ye olde self.

Nor did I know how to make plans.

I’d try my hand at something, drop it again.

Try another thing, halfheartedly.

On and on, one insecure and uncompleted step after another.

But those days are over.

I know what I’m doing (I hope!), I know where I want to go, and I have a plan and a roadmap that will get me there.

Hint: it’s going to involve ebooks.

Many, many ebooks. At least 20 of them, hopefully in the next year.

Also: expert interviews.

One a week, if I can pull it off.

And yes, Ana Hoffman’s interview is ready to go live, you’ll receive the link later today.

So, what about you?

What’s your plan for the next year?

Where do you want to be, 13 months from now?

I know it’s early to talk about the new year, but that’s only because resolutions don’t work.

And more importantly: I want you to be ahead of the curve, and the competition.

What’s your roadmap look like?

What steps are you going to take?

Which actions, investments?

What are your milestones?

Ah, oh. You ain’t got any of that stuff.

Yeah, that might become a bit of a problem.

You definitely need a plan and a roadmap.

So here come the cavalry:

The next LEAP will tell you exactly how to build one.

Make sure you read it, and above all: implement it.

Knowledge and instruction is only as useful as its implementation.

So if you want to go places, and you want to have a plan and map, go here –>



Blast From the Past: Art Marketing Lesson From Aristotle

I’m currently reading Mark McGuinness excellent new book Motivation for creative people, and this morning I stumbled up on a line that really resonates with me.

Bothers me a bit too, because it turns out that I wasn’t the first to come up witht the idea that repetition breeds success.

In fact, Aristotle already said it in like 384 B.C.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”


Damn if he isn’t right.

Wonderful way to put it, too.

Excellence is a habit.

So let me ask you: what are your habits, when it comes to promoting your art?

Do you give it a shot every now and then, only to give up again when it doesn’t work?

Because that’s a habit too, and one that’s never going to lead to results, ever.

Do you spend hours of time on things that deep down you know aren’t going to get your results?

I mean, man those cat videos on Facebook are fun.

Definitely something you must share with your followers because they’ll get to like you more.

True, but they’ll get to know the wrong part about you.

Remember, people buy something once they get to know, like and trust you.

And if the way they know you is as a person who’s not only into folly and never business minded, they aren’t going to be very likely to actually buy from you.

Even if your art is very good.

Good art by itself won’t do the trick.


Because other artists, who are just as good – or maybe not even as good – will be having their marketing ducks in a row, and are actively and consistently finding the right audience, and giving that audience what it wants.

And that’s why they get the sale before you do.

Habits matter.

They are what build up to results.

So for the coming year, I want you to take a close and hard look at what kind of habits you have.

Eliminate those that don’t work or are a waste of time.

And build new ones that lead to more visibility and more sales.


That’s what you’ll learn in the next LEAP Art Marketing Newsletter.

Get it here →



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