Internet for Artists: Best Practices for Effective Emails

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This is an excerpt from our Internet for Artists (IFA) Handbook. The IFA handbook is a collaborative online resource given to participants of Creative Capital’s Internet for Artists workshops. On December 8, from 7:00-8:30pm ET, join artist leader Sue Schaffner for our Website, Blog, & Email Essentials webinar where you will learn the full scope of best practices for managing your internet presence as an artist.

Some basic strategies for effective email communications

With the help of email, sending out communications about your projects couldn’t be any easier. Now commonplace and long accepted as a norm within the arts community, email is fast, easy, and cost-effective, but it’s not without its challenges. Getting your reader to open your message and read it is more difficult than you may imagine. Some strategies include:

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A Page From Our Handbook: Developing a Promotional Strategy

pdp-handbook

Every few weeks we post tips straight from the Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook, a 200+ page resource we give to Core Workshop attendees, written by PDP Core Leaders Jackie Battenfield and Aaron Landsman. The book covers everything from writing to budgeting, websites to fundraising, elevator pitches to work samples. Similarly, each post is packed with practical ideas to make your life run more smoothly, leaving you even more time for your creative practice. Learn more about all of our PDP workshops and webinars here.

 For more strategies on how to build a promotional campaign that expresses the quality and character of your work, be sure to attend our November 7th workshop, Promoting Your Work with Jackie Battenfield.

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Rule Your Universe: Dread Scott on Marketing Your Work

Dread Scott's "Burning the US Constitution."

Dread Scott’s “Burning the US Constitution.”

We all know that an artist’s work doesn’t end with her time at the studio. Artists are their own creators, and also their own cheerleaders. It is their passion for their art making that can get other people—be it viewers, curators, critics, or collectors—involved and interested in their practice.

Artist Dread Scott knows this better than most. The revolutionary potential of his own work—including installations, performances, and paintings—feeds off of the attention and participation of his community. He leads Creating a Marketing Strategy, our upcoming webinar that covers all aspects of marketing your work, including defining your goals, developing effective communication tactics, and building your support community. We asked Dread what artists need to know about MailChimp and how we can be rulers of our own universe.

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A Page From Our Handbook: Determining Your Artist Fee

From Jim Findlay's Botanica, 2012

From Jim Findlay’s Botanica, 2012. Photo by Joshua Higgason

Every few weeks we post tips straight from the Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook, a 200+ page resource we give to Core Workshop attendees, written by PDP Core Leaders Jackie Battenfield and Aaron Landsman. The book covers everything from writing to budgeting, websites to fundraising, elevator pitches to work samples. Similarly, each post is packed with practical ideas to make your life run more smoothly, leaving you even more time for your creative practice. Learn more about all of our PDP workshops and webinars here. For more strategies on building a strong foundation for your business as an artist, check out Art Business Management on February 18.

Turning in a budget with no artist fee can lead a reader to think you are not accounting for your own time. A benefit to adding an artist fee to your budget is that you can track the investment you make in your work; this can lead to better pricing strategies, a revised timeline for projects and better long-term financial stability. Continue reading

Best Practices for Building Your Artist’s Website

This is an excerpt from our Internet for Artists (IFA) Handbook. The IFA handbook is a collaborative online resource given to participants in Creative Capital’s Internet for Artists workshops. Register for the Website, Blog, & Email Essentials webinar on June 16, 7:00-8:30pm ET to learn the full scope of best practices for your website.

Sue Schaffner discusses Internet Strategies for Artists at Artists Summer Institute 2014

Sue Schaffner discusses Internet Strategies for Artists at the Creative Capital | LMCC Artists Summer Institute 2014

Your website should be completely dedicated to you and your work. Think of it as a studio visit or a reading where you are not present. Continue reading

Social Networks: A Page From Our Handbook

Every few weeks we post tips straight from the Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook, a 200+ page resource we give to Core Workshop attendees, written by PDP Core Leaders Jackie Battenfield and Aaron Landsman. The book covers everything from writing to budgeting, websites to fundraising, elevator pitches to work samples. Similarly, each post is packed with practical ideas to make your life run more smoothly, leaving you even more time for your creative practice. Learn more about all of our PDP workshops and webinars here. For an in-depth look at the current best practices for social media use, join museum marketer, comedian and social media expert Brad Stephenson for Social Media – How to Be Everywhere All the Time on September 14 at 7:00pm.

Jon Kessler , "The Web," 2013

Jon Kessler , “The Web,” 2013

Social networks have revolutionized the way people use the Internet. These online platforms for community engagement have impacted politics, culture and journalism. And they have done so quickly and completely through their potential for viral reach (if you tell two friends and they tell two friends, the effect multiplies exponentially). When you join a social network, you are participating in a multiparty conversation. This can be both liberating and confusing; staying on top your social networking presence can take a lot of time.
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A Page From Our Handbook: Positioning Yourself for Proposal Writing

Every few weeks we post tips straight from the Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook, a 200+ page resource we give to Core Workshop attendeeswritten by PDP Core Leaders Jackie Battenfield and Aaron Landsman. The book covers everything from writing to budgeting, websites to fundraising, elevator pitches to work samples. Similarly, each post is packed with practical ideas to make your life run more smoothly, leaving you even more time for your creative practice. Learn more about all of our PDP workshops and webinars here. This September, Creative Capital is offering two webinars on applying for grants so we chose a page to get you started on writing proposals. To learn more, sign up for Get Grants – How To Create A Project & Proposal that Gets-To-Yes or Applying for Grants & Residencies, Strategies for Writers.

Trainers, One-channel video, Danielle Dean

Still from Trainers, Danielle Dean, 2014. One-channel video, 8:06 minutes.

Unfortunately, there are not enough traditional funding resources out there to support all the great work being created. For every grant awarded, there are at least one or two other projects a funder would like to support but can’t, and that are just as worthy. The same is true of every artist a gallery signs, every book that gets published and every play or album that gets professionally produced.

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A Page from Our Handbook: Marketing Tips and Strategies

Documentation of On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Genocide and Slavery, a performance by Dread Scott, 2014. Photographed by Mark Von Holden

Documentation of “On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Genocide and Slavery,” a performance by Dread Scott, 2014. Photographed by Mark Von Holden

These tips come straight from our Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook—a 200+ page resource we give to Core Workshop attendees, written by PDP Core Leaders Jackie Battenfield and Aaron Landsman. The book covers everything from writing to budgeting, websites to fundraising, elevator pitches to work samples. Similarly, each post will be packed with practical ideas to make your life run more smoothly, leaving you even more time for your creative practice. Learn more about our PDP workshops and webinars here.

Marketing is the process of communicating about you and your work and the methods you use as a means to foster interest from others. Remember that no one cares as much you do about your art. Communicating about your work is ultimately your responsibility and is crucial to building your career. You should develop a marketing strategy and commit to doing something to promote your work each day.

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Page from our Handbook: Seeking Funding from Individuals

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Individuals donate the vast majority of funds to nonprofit organizations in America, whether it’s regular folks writing a personal check, making a monthly donation via a website, offering free services or supplies, or buying a ticket to a benefit party. Successful fundraisers devote significant time to soliciting such support; they conduct campaigns, produce special events and engage the community.

Whether you’re an individual artist going cc_icons_color-money-smallit alone or you work with a theater company or other artist collective, fundraising from individuals is increasingly important. We know it can be difficult to get started; we want to help you ask yourself the right questions so you can approach donors from the strongest position and feel secure in what you’re offering to contributors. If you’re raising funds for a socially or community engaged project, we encourage you to dig deeper with Stephanie Bleyer’s June 9th webinar, “Producing and Funding Your Community Engagement Campaign.” Read more about Stephanie here.

Getting Ready: Key Questions
As you begin thinking about your campaign, you’ll want to begin researching potential donors and strategies; deciding what donors will get when they give; and preparing to do follow-up, give thanks and keep track of donations long-term. You’ll also want to ask yourself the following questions before you ever ask anyone for anything. You don’t have to answer each one, but read through them all. They are interrelated, and together they should help you develop a strategy that plays to your strengths as a person and as an artist.
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A Page From Our Handbook: What Goes Into a Project or Annual Budget?

Artists at Work

Creating a budget for your next project (or your next year) can be tricky, especially when you plan on providing that information to a funder, in the hopes of securing a grant. How much is too much? How do you plan for the unexpected? And just where do you fit into the picture? Below is a helpful guide for budgeting, that you can use as a template. Are you a writer who wants to learn more about how budgeting plays into requests for funding? Register for editor Ethan Nosowsky’s upcoming webinar, “Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers”. And check out other helpful online learning opportunities (including Real Life Budgeting Webinar) on our calendar!

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