When it comes to art marketing artists are always pressed for time. How do you open up enough hours in a day to create art and effectively market your work? If you are like most of us you start trying to do everything yourself – and that’s fun and wonderful until you realize that not much is happening in your art career because the buck for everything stops at you.
You need help but you probably don’t have much of a budget to pay for it. What to do then?
Our suggestion is to investigate selective outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant. Start by setting up a big-picture plan for your art marketing and then look to see which parts you need to be involved with and which you could farm out to another resource. To get off to a great start you should seriously consider working with a good art marketing coach to develop your plan – that way you can have some confidence before you start looking for resources to help you.
With your plan in place, the next step is to look at which steps you add value to and which you don’t. For example, any tasks involving ideas creation or planning you should definitely be involved in. But others which require specific research or more labor-intensive work can generally be outsourced. That way, you can keep your head in the interesting stuff and just keep an eye on the more mundane.
“But,” you say, “I still have to pay if I hire a Virtual Assistant”. And our answer to that is, “Yes – but probably not as much as you are thinking.”
As an example, we just outsourced some art marketing research using Elance, and we were delivered a ton of really useful, well organized information for the princely price of $50. It was such a great use of our cash because that same work if we had done it ourselves would have used up about $1,000 of billable time.
Think about that!
Some obvious tasks that you can outsource to a VA are:
- Market Research
- Compiling and organizing Gallery and Buyer Lists
- Snail Mailouts
- Email Campaigns
- Article Writing
- Updating your Facebook Fan Page
A word of advice – you will probably need to find different VAs for some of these tasks. Someone skilled in market research or data mining may not be the right person to write articles for you.
As far as finding VAs, we use Elance because we really like their very structured bidding and workflow process as well as the fact that they are truly global and cover almost any type of activity you are likely to need help with. But there are a bunch of other excellent outsourcing sites too such as Your Man In India. The Four Hour Workweek is also a great resource for options.
Our suggestion is to try it first with a research-intensive and repetitive art marketing task- something you don’t really want to be spending your time on. Then expand to include other activities and focus your time on being the artist and the project manager of your art career rather than the doer of everything!