It’s easy to get lost in the administration of your art.  More software and services emerge everyday, allowing you to create, distribute, and market your product with relative ease.

But what about reaching your audience and growing the presence of your art?  We believe that a successful business starts with a single connection to a consumer, followed by an opportunity for that consumer to buy something of significance and value from you – a transaction.  Whether you are for-profit, non-profit, solo artist, or large organization, the same core concepts apply.  Empowering YOU, the artist or artist organization, is a critical step toward connecting WE, the audience, with your artistic experience.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you grow YOU the artist into YOU, the sustainable artist business:

First, practice the connection.  Your ability to connect with an individual through your art is what you do best.  Practice your craft and share it without reservation.

Second, grow the connection.  Understand how your art affects others and what kind of people you reach in the most meaningful way.  The best way to discover this is by asking them.  Then find where these people are, go there (physically or digitally), share your art with them, and give them ways to share your art with their friends.  Start with physical media such as a CD, a link to your website where your art is accessible, or an invitation to your next event.  After you connect with them, find a way to remind them about yourself.  You can ask for their email address or phone number to stay in touch with them, but don’t abuse this communication.  Use it to grow your presence—and the presence of your art—in their lives.

Third, don’t forget about the transaction, and be smart and creative with it.  Now that you’ve got their attention, offer them something they would enjoy and like to purchase.  There are a lot of standard things you can do such as selling a digital file, physical product, or ticket, but YOU are an artist, and thus you do non-standard much better.  Create one unique way per month to make a transaction.  Start by selling an object, and move on to selling an experience.  In each case, concentrate on making it convenient and easy for your fans to purchase your art and recommend it to their friends.

These three steps put you well on your way to growing your art.  Remember that you don’t have to be the most experienced business person to succeed.  Successful enterprises thrive because the people running them are able to come up with creative solutions to the problems they face.

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