Rick Moore is a pro! A beloved, retired Math teacher, Rick has found another calling, interviewing athletes and artists (among others) for his amazing internet radio venture. Go Rick! Here’s my recent interview with him. I am humbled by his generous spirit.
The real story behind my sea glass jewelry design business and how it landed in a business book.
A few month ago, a dear friend and author asked me “What do you know for sure?” Then, she challenged me to write up my answer in a 1000 word essay for a book she was about to publish. At the time, I didn’t know anything about the other essayists and that I would be part of something as powerful and honest as 33 Gems| Wisdom for Living Pieces of Life’s Puzzle.
Having only 24 hours to identify the topic and a few days to complete the essay forced me to quickly think about what has impacted me the most in life. The author (Dr. Sharon Freeman) wanted me to focus on my creative endeavor, sea glass jewelry design. Some of you know, my professional training is in marketing and that I have always had a business focus. BUT, the more interesting story is about all the forms of creativity that have led me to this particular moment in life and effectively, the kernel of “what I know for sure.” Philosophically speaking, it’s a stretch to say we know anything FOR SURE! But it’s a thought worth contemplating. My essay is titled, “This I know for sure| Creative endeavors are much more than hobbies. They can feed our souls, relationships, & pocketbooks at the same time.”
I can’t give any more away because I really do want you to buy the book. My essay aside, it’s the other essayists that opened my eyes and quite frankly humbled me in their accomplishments told in the most honest, and intimate manner. As a society we have debated issues of diversity, socio-economic challenges, education, immigration, fiscal responsibility, health care, politics, regional, national, and international cultural issues, immigration, etc. Through personal storytelling from people of highly diverse backgrounds, these and many other topics are addressed in ways that really hit home.
What stands out to me is the strength of human character in this microcosm of society – good over evil, high road over easy street, recovery, resilience, and giving back. I do not know any of the people in the book other than the author and one other essayist and her 11 year old son – but I want to meet each of them. When you read the book, you will feel like you have met each of them and take away a valuable new perspective and potentially relationship that will help you with your life, business, family, or simply feed your soul. And of course, the best is saved for last. 11 year old Negash challenges the adult world to think about the future and what will be left to his generation. To learn more, please visit Gems of Wisdom. To order the book, click here.
Last year at this time, I had the opportunity to gather 20 of my fellow Cape Ann Artisans for a 1/2 day workshop on arts marketing. It was a huge challenge (many, many hours of reflection) to boil down 30+ years as a professional marketer to a 4 hour workshop. The Marblehead Arts Association, now led by respected arts supporter, Kristine Fisher, has asked me to do a "talk" to higlight a few of the topics covered in the workshop. So a further boiling down to the ESSENTIALS of arts marketing. To do so properly, we have to start with a framework. In the big picture, there are many things that happen in marketing on the way to today's popular "tactics." It's actually the tactics (social media being a key one today) that scare the technology-phobic. But true marketing smarts comes from areas where artists can use their intellectual curiosity and storytelling abilities. So my goal is to make my fellow artists smart about marketing and allow them to decide which tactics make sense in light of the larger framework. All-in-all, this makes for a much richer experience. I hope the messages are well received. If so, this type of workshop and talk will indeed happen again. Please join me and let me know what you think as I reach the next milestone of my own marketing and arts combined professional life ! Sign up here on the MAA site!
Cape Ann Designs is very pleased to be joining “ART FROM THE HEART” CRAFT FAIR sponsored by the Marblehead Arts Association in February. I will be there for the entire day (10-4PM) to help you choose something special for you or a loved one just in time for Valentine's Day! We will be donating 20% of our sales to MAA and I am thrilled to be part of a diverse and enthusiastic group of artists presenting a wide variety of work. MAA will also be donating 5% of its proceeds to the American Heart Association.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, THE MARBLEHEAD ARTS ASSOCIATION, King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper Street, Marblehead, For more information call (781) 631-2608.
On March 26th, I will return to MAA to give a talk on arts marketing – a sneak preview of the Arts Marketing workshop I designed last year for the Cape Ann Artisans.
In the meantime, I am working on new designs for earrings, making many more silver combs, and bracelets due to popular demand during the holidays!
And while you are saving dates — mark June 20-21 for the Spring Cape Ann Artisans Tour!
Yesterday I had the privilege of sharing with my fellow Cape Ann Artisans30+ years of marketing experience wrapped up into a customized marketing workshop. I developed the workshop to help a diverse group of creatives wayfind through the maze of marketing lingo, tactics, and best practices needed to prosper (or even survive) in today’s hyper-digital environment. Gone are the days of just throwing stuff out there and hoping it sticks. The tastes and expectations of consumers of everything have been raised based on the instant feedback we now get (like it or not) from social media. There’s no going back, but there are plenty of lessons to be learned and opportunities to try things for free today that were inaccessible to the last generation of marketers. However, my learning and observation as a traditional marketing professional that has stayed the course is that one still needs a “framework” for approaching the new tools. For they are simply tools. Strategy and content still drive everything.
Having set this up as a “workshop” also made sense because “presentations” with no feedback are just like blog posts with no share this button! It’s ever so important to learn from our audiences – whether it be beforehand through preparatory, warm up questions, or ongoing research. I am a big fan of research to dive into almost any project. Artists in particular can truly benefit from research. There is a ton of best practices research out there to gobble up and digest. Kudo to some great new sources that I found when preparing – NYFA/Artspire The Profitable Artist; CopyBlogger; and ArtsBusiness.com.
As I would expect, I learned from my colleagues through their responses provided in the prep work. Common challenges and fears included the need to balance pure creativity and commercial aspects of being an artist; discomfort with selling oneself; understanding what really works among all the choices of marketing tools, etc.. But the one thing that I found interesting is the lack of understanding of our audiences and the huge untapped world of “segments” that could drive an artist’s future direction. Just in one small discussion we had the talent in the room to run a business-arts partnership between and artist that works with “trash”and a local waste management company; an artist that is a subject matter expert on marinas and local boat history(painting many of the most loved vessels in the area) and a local yacht club; a block printmakerpreserving and paying forward the beloved history of the Folly Cove Designers and all that is linked to that historical milestone.
Despite the immense gratitude shared at the end of the session, likely the group left a bit overwhelmed. My hope, however, is that each person will digest and morph the intake to work within their own personal marketing framework (a term I made up for the workshop). If there is only one takeaway that should make this incredibly talented group feel good, it’s that today’s marketing environment is driven by CONTENT. Content is driven by authentic, expert, thoughtful, and experiential musings. Artists are natural subject matter experts with incredible stories to tell. Combined with all the free channels out there to help us get the word out, the opportunities are limitless. And best of all, you don’t have to talk about yourself. The social network world allows for others to do it for you! Thanks for sharing……