No More Overwhelm: Get More Marketing Done in Less Time

Time poses a real dilemma for so many artists who genuinely want to be promoting themselves and marketing their work. As one artist said to me recently, “Life gets in the way!” Most of us have a long list of important obligations and tasks to do, plus we need that essential time in the studio. Adding more to the list just seems overwhelming, so the marketing often gets postponed… and put off… and delayed. You know what I’m talking about, right?

I feel it myself, which is why I love seeking out ideas for improving the way I manage my time. Of all the tips I’ve ever heard and read, here are the three that I think are the best:

1. Commit a block of time to art marketing once a week. Have you ever noticed how we manage to carve out time for the things we deem super important? If promoting your artwork is important to you, perhaps it’s time to set aside a block of time once a week for this activity and hold it “sacred” so that you’re not tempted to sacrifice it for something else. The number of hours you need will depend on where you are in your career, but you’ll probably need a good three or four hours at least. If finding a chunk of time that big in your week seems unreasonable, maybe you could break it up into two smaller chunks.

2. Do similar tasks in batches. Efficiency experts often talk about the start-up and clean-up time involved in any task, which is why it’s a great idea to work in “batches.” So, for example, instead of setting up your photo gear to shoot every newly completed work of art as each one happens, save them up and do a monthly photo shoot. And instead of putting together a competition entry for each deadline, keep a running list of competition deadlines and enter every competition coming due in the next four weeks all at one time.

3. Create a set schedule. If you put the first two ideas together, you’ll soon see that you could create a monthly routine for yourself. This works really well because most marketing and business tasks you do only need to be done once a month. Here’s an example of a monthly schedule for all your marketing tasks, broken down week by week:

Week 1: Update your website. Shoot photos of all the new work you’ve completed in the last month, upload them to your computer, and get them into your website. While you’re there, add stories for each piece and take care of any metadata tagging you’re doing. And finally, make any other updates to your events page, resume, etc.
Week 2: Send out your monthly e-newsletter. Thanks to all the photography, jpeg prep, and updates you did last week, you’re already well on your way to putting together this month’s e-newsletter. Now it’s just a matter of designing and presenting the info in a way that represents you and your artist-brand to your subscribers.
Week 3: Research competitions. Start by visiting all of your favorite competition listing websites and noting any that you might like to enter. It’s a good idea to record all of the competitions on a spreadsheet or list somehow so you can strategically plan which works you’re going to enter into each opportunity. But before you round out the day, go ahead and submit your entries to all of the competitions with deadlines in the next four weeks.
Week 4: Take care of all other routine marketing tasks. This is the catch-all week when you can take care of quite a few different, smaller tasks. This is a good time to check in with any galleries that are representing you, and to ship out or deliver some new works to them. If you’re looking to add a gallery, now’s the time to research possibilities and send out a portfolio or two. Got a big event coming up? Make sure you get a press release out to all of your media contacts. You get the idea.
Week 5 (in those extra-long months): Take care of occasional tasks. When you’ve got an extra week in your month, use that time to do those things you just never get around to, such as updating your mailing list or shooting a time-lapse demo video for your website. Extra weeks are also ideal for "big picture" planning. Re-evaluate and revise your branding, website, and social media profiles. Or check in on your strategic plan and make adjustments as needed. 

Obviously, this is just a sample of how an artist might organize his or her month. You might be a blogger or selling through art fairs, so your month depends entirely upon the unique set of marketing tasks you’ve selected. No matter what they are, I’m sure that many of them can be batched so that you only have to do them once a month.

What other time management tips can you share? What works for you? Let’s connect!

Leave a Comment