I know the word marketing can have a downright negative connotation for most of us who have been burned before. And I know the thought of marketing your art can seem like an oxymoron when you think of how this definition of marketing contradicts the true nature of the work you create from your soul.
But what if we took the word “marketing” and stripped it down to its original meaning? What does that look like? (As you may have guessed, I really do believe in stripping when it comes to running your business!)
Here’s the most formal definition you can find, officially approved by the American Marketing Association Board Of Directors in 2013 (doesn’t get more marketing-official than this!):
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large.
That is such a beautiful, lovely definition of what we would like to believe and follow, and it is actually what the original intention of marketing was!
Let’s break it down even more into art terms:
Marketing is sharing your greatest gifts with those who can most benefit from them in an authentic, genuine, honest way.
Your art is a vehicle through which you are expressing the message you are meant to share with the world, and your ideal client hears that message when he or she comes into contact with your work. The key here then becomes honing in on your own message of what you are putting out into the world through your art while knowing why your ideal client loves and needs what you are offering. When you merge these two voices together, your message becomes crystal clear to those who most need and are searching for it.
Here is the genuine heart of your purpose in marketing:
Your ideal client is actually paying to be in communion with you and your message.
So when you know what you’re offering and who your ideal client is, you then have the perfect formula to begin marketing your art with vision, clarity of purpose and good, old fashioned FUN!
This is what every honest marketer knows inherently and stands confidently behind.
Think about an artist you know and love, who, if they had a show you know you would pay the price of the ticket no matter what it was. You would scrape together the money somehow in order to see them, spend time close to them, their work and their essence.
The reason for this is because money is actually an exchange of value for value. This is why we feel the need to protect it, to save it, to hold it close and never let it go. Because intuitively we know money is our primary representation of what we deem valuable in our lives. It symbolizes the most precious gifts we have to give and to receive. When we come to terms with this, we then know that our marketing is actually serving a much larger, soulful, meaningful purpose that cannot be kept a secret. And the stronger your sound you message out, the more your most ideal clients will feel this and resonate with it from far and wide.
I’d love to hear what the heart of your message is as an artist. What is one line that captures your gift you know you must share with the world through the art you create? Please share with me your “heartline” in the comments below!
The more generously you share, the more you will help others in ways that you can never imagine.