As an artist and small business owner, I know you're juggling different priorities, and sometimes you just need some inspiration to keep going on the marketing end of things. That's why I've come up with a list of six of my favorite resources for artists, from mindset and marketing how-to, to friendly and entertaining pep talks in your ears. I hope you enjoy these podcasts, books, and blogs.
1 | James Wedmore’s “Mind Your Business” Podcast
Success is nothing more than a simple mindset shift and a new perspective.
James Wedmore is all about how your mindset has an impact on your business. Having the right mindset is important if you're going to be successful. It’s not all about hustle and hard work.
I love his teachings and coaching because he helps me stay positive most of the time and he can get me out of a funk if I happen to fall into one—which, let’s face it, is bound to happen once in a while when you’re running your own business!
I’m a big believer that the words you use about yourself will influence your outcomes. So like Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can or you believe you can't, you're right.”
The Mind Your Business podcast helps keep you thinking on a higher level:
“I'm going to be successful. I am successful, I am good at this, I am confident.”
Listening often can keep you from dipping down into negative beliefs about yourself and your business.
2 | “The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months” book by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington
The 12 week year is a structured but simple way to take your bigger business goals and break them down into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily tasks.
My students in the Art Marketing Project membership ask me this all the time: “I've set my goals for the year, and I know the strategy I'm going to use to get there, and I know the tasks I need to do, but how do I keep track of my progress? How do I keep myself moving along from day to week to month?” And I respond by telling them about the book The 12 Week Year and how I use it:
In December I set overall business goals so I know where I want to be by the end of the following year. I follow the planning process in The 12 Week Year but I put my own twist on it:
- I create a 6-week plan every 6 weeks, during which I think through where I’m at now and what I need to do in my business to reach my goals.
- Every Monday morning, I review my 6-week plan and create a weekly plan, which is just a list of what I need to get done this week to stick to the 6-week plan.
- At the end of every day, I make a list on a post-it note of the top 3–4 things I need to do the next day and number them in order of importance. This helps me get into action quickly in the morning and away from scrolling on the internet or getting lost in the weeds on something interesting, but not important.
3 | “You’re a Badass at Making Money,” by Jen Sincero
I own all of Jen Sincero’s “badass” books. I especially love You're a Badass at Making Money because it addresses something important for artists, and that is: how mindset impacts your ability to be successful in your business.
This is similar to James Wedmore’s approach, but Jen gives practical steps to help you change your negative thinking and your behavior.
Jen says that she noticed a lack of self-help books with cuss words in them and she wanted to fill that gap! I appreciate that about her because I feel like she isn't a holier-than-thou person who pretends to think positive thoughts all the time.
Instead she says, “Trust me, I get into these funks myself too.” Those negative things that you’re saying to yourself? She says them out loud and helps you see them for what they are—not true!
I have the audible version because it’s narrated by the author. I especially like being able to choose a chapter that aligns with the specific kind of funk I'm in at the moment. Jen Sincero is like an entertaining pep talk in my ear.
4 | “Big Magic,” by Elizabeth Gilbert
I absolutely love Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and I love Liz Gilbert’s approach: she knows that fear is always going to be present, but she has told it that it doesn’t get to be in the driver’s seat anymore.
Liz Gilbert reminds me a bit of Jen Sincero. She’s a no-nonsense person. She calls it like she sees it in herself and others.
As she once posted on Twitter, “I've never seen any life transformation that didn't begin with the person in question finally getting sick of their own bullshit.” If you need someone to talk you out of all your excuses and get you back to creating, get Big Magic.
She writes about what it takes to live a truly creative life, and delves into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She makes a distinction between originality and authenticity and talks about how to manage the “it’s all been done before” syndrome.
She asks, “Who do you make art for?” And tells us why we shouldn’t try to “help” anyone with our art and what to focus on instead.
About writing her bestseller, Eat Pray Love, Gilbert says “My art is mine. Even the art that I make that ends up helping people . . . I didn't sit down to write that book saying, ‘It's high time I changed people's lives.' I was such a hot mess at that point in my life, I could barely tie my own shoes. The last thing I had any business doing was being like, ‘And now, people, let me give you the answers.' That book was about me just looking for grace and looking for resurrection in my own life. And then, accidentally, because I followed my own curiosity, trusted my creativity, made the work I wanted to make, I accidentally ended up helping people. That's a side-effect that can happen in the end.”
That quote is from her fabulous conversation with Marie Forleo on MarieTV.
5 | Seth Godin’s blog and books
Seth Godin is a guy who will write a six-sentence blog post that blows your mind. He makes you think about something you’ve never considered before—about human behavior, or why things work the way they do.
And then you can ponder it and ask yourself, “How could that apply to my situation?” I think Seth Godin is a great person to follow just for asking the big questions and getting you to think about the important things in life.
Seth has a new book out called This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See. I haven’t got my hands on it yet, but it’s creating quite a buzz. If you still struggle with the idea that “marketing is icky,” get this book!
Seth maintains that marketing compassionately is the key to a successful business. It’s about bringing your product to someone who needs it and shining a light on it. It’s persuasion, not manipulation, and there’s nothing “icky” about it.
Picking a specific person to think of while you’re doing your marketing helps you serve the humanity in that person and in others who need your work. These are the people who will say “thank you for bringing this art to me.” We don’t do marketing to people; we do it with them.
You can find a nice introduction to Seth and his book in this interview he gave with Marie Forleo on Marie TV.
And here’s an interview that Amy Porterfield did with Seth Godin about his latest book, This is Marketing: Success Secrets to Serving the Smallest Viable Market.
6 | Tailwind software and blog
I use Tailwind and love it for scheduling and automating my Instagram Stories and posts ahead of time (Tailwind works with Pinterest too).
For a low monthly fee, Tailwind allows you to dedicate one block of time per week to schedule your social media posts, freeing you up from having to pay attention to it daily. You can manage it from your desktop rather than your phone—and you can have an assistant log in and manage your social media for you if you like!
In addition to that, I really love Tailwind’s weekly blog and email.
They give live trainings about Instagram and Pinterest, and they also offer webinars. I find their content to be very practical. If I happen to be thinking, “Gosh, if only I could get more followers on Instagram,” I swear I'll get an email from them that says, “Looking for more followers on Instagram?” They have their finger on the pulse of what their users need. Their information is always very timely.
*This post includes an affiliate link for Tailwind. If you click on my link and sign up, I get a small benefit. I only serve as an affiliate for products I use and recommend.
There you have it! Six of my favorite resources for artists. Do you have resources you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below!