Thursday, April 3, 2008


I am thrilled to participate in Alyson Stanfield's blog tour to promote her new book, "I'd Rather Be In The Studio! The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion". Alyson invited me to ask her a question and she is also giving away a free copy of her book! And all you artists out there are going to want one, if you don't already have it, because it is chock full of great information and ideas. I came across Alyson's website last summer and immediately signed up to receive her free weekly newsletter. She got me started blogging! And then I signed up for a class on "Promoting Your Art" in the fall, which was conducted on a blog, with interaction from fellow students. It was a new experience for me--Fun and informative, with so much knowledge shared that I am still processing a lot of it. And the new book is excellent! So here is our "question and answer" exchange:

C--I took your Promote Your Art class. I KNOW this stuff, but I STILL have trouble asking people for their contact info, even when they're interested in my work. I get nervous, I forget what I'm doing--ACK!!! Later, I could kick myself! I gave them MY info & didn't get theirs. It reminds me of my completely inappropriate--but real to me--fear of talking to people as a kid when I was expected to sell Girl Scout cookies door to door.

A--Christine, this is common. Don’t kick yourself, but learn from your oversight and do something differently. As you know, in the book I reveal that it’s much more important to get business cards than to pass yours out. It’s because having someone else’s business card gives you control of that information. If you just give out brochures, flyers, and business cards, you never know what happens to them. But if you’re in the driver’s seat, you can use that information to build and maintain relationships. This is why you’re kicking yourself, but let’s move on to a more fruitful discussion.

Let me ask you this: Do you just forget to ask for their info? Or do you not know what to say? Or do you feel you’re intruding? Where are you coming from at the moment?

C--I think it's because I get nervous when I'm "on" with potential clients. I forget to ask. I don't consciously feel like I'm intruding, but I was thinking about this the other day, and how my parents used to say that I shouldn't be afraid to speak out, etc. But when I think about how they acted themselves in the world, I think that I picked up a different message from their behavior.

A--Maybe you can think about this as your self-promotion muscle. It just needs to be exercised. You need to get it into shape. What you’re talking about just takes practice. It takes a while to develop a habit of promoting yourself. It won’t help to beat yourself up over missed opportunities. It’s more effective to look back at each situation and evaluate what you could have done differently. When was there a good opportunity to get their business cards? What could you have said? What exact words would have been effective and comfortable for you to use?

I wonder if it would help if you had a clear reason to get their information. What if you could say, “Do you have a card? I’d love to send you a copy of this article I wrote.” Or “small matted print” or “set of greeting cards” or whatever you have that is of interest and value to people. That might make it easier to remember and easier to ask.

C--Thanks, Alyson, for letting me "pick your brain" a little and help you get your book out!

Please link here for the free book giveaway instructions:

Interested in winning a free copy of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion? Visit this site, read the instructions, and enter. Your odds are good as she’s giving away a free copy on most of the blog tour stops. You can increase your odds by visiting the other blog tour stops and entering on those sites as well.


Bill Frederick said...

As a writer, I find it difficult to "blow my own horn." I feel that my work needs to stand on its own merit once I release it. I can see that I need to learn to exercise my self-promotion muscles more ... thanks Alyson.

And thank you Christine for the great interview.


PS. Here's my post to I'd Rather be in the Studio

Alyson B. Stanfield said...

Yes, Bill, you're right. And I am getting ready to do a cool teleseminar on blowing your own horn. Stay tuned! And thanks for following along on the blog tour.

Christine DeCamp said...

Thanks for commenting on our post. Your post on IRBITS was great!

Sylvia said...

I'm glad to hear it's better to collect those business cards than to give out mine. I don't have a problem talking to people except when it comes to discussing my art unless I'm standing right in front of it. And maybe that's the answer to that problem--always carry a small piece with me.

Thanks for these interviews, Alyson, it's been a fun way to be one of your groupies.

tammy vitale said...

Christine - great interview! As always Alyson has a tasty bit of information that can help us one step further along our marketing path! My problem isn't collecting cards - it's having an idea of what I want to do with them once I have them! Yet more time out of the studio!

Susie Monday said...

I love the idea about having something to offer when I ask for their card. Could it be as generic as the (soon-to-be) newsletter? "I publish a quarterly a newsletter with articles about textile art and my workshops, if you give me your card I will send you the next (or last?)issue."

Jennifer Hofmann said...

I can totally relate to the resistance and fear that comes up in asking to be in contact with people. I love your practical suggestions, Alyson.

In a way, it feels like asking someone out on a date - it's a really vulnerable and tender moment. In essence, we're asking, "Do you like my work enough to want to hear from me again?" Being able to offer them something is a really great suggestion, because it becomes an exchange - your info or item for the ability to contact them in the future.

People tell you that they love your work, that it speaks to them and they're moved by it. Begin to believe them. By being in contact with them, you're get to share more of what they already love - so it's really a win-win.

Coach Lee said...

This is great. I think it is good to know you have to excercise your marketing muscle, it just doesn't develop on its own. I have been following Alyson on her blog tour and I am amazed how easy all the steps are she is sharing, we just need to remember to do them!


Mary Catherine Dabrowski said...

I'm so enjoying Alyson's Blob Book Tour! What a great way to discover new and intersting blogs to read. Thanks, Christine! I posted here:

Melissa & Emmitt said...

Hi Christine!
Great question for Alyson to answer for all of us. I loved her book and am thrilled anytime I can learn more form her.
I always seem to give out way more cards than I get, especially at show and event I am a vendor at. While reading Alyson's book, I got an idea to capture this information with an opt-in check box for growing my mailing list for my newsletter.
I posted a picture of the card on my blog:
I love your art and blog. It is a pleasure to meet you.
:) Melissa

indigomar said...

Hi Christine,
great interview. i like the collecting cards concept. it adds to the idea of using a guest book, which is a great resource for collecting contacts.
thanks for visiting my blog and looking at my studio pics. it is great to be painting although it is interupted by the day job, however summer vacation is around the corner! i'm glad that my painting still resides on your altar--i'm honored!!

linda said...

hi christine,
thanks to your blog, I have entered a blog link to the new book by Alyson on my blog. I am a gutless wonder when it comes to self-promotion and will be buying the book right away....I have never actually sold my paintings, at first because I didn't want to, was too attached or was afraid I would regret it...then it became, well, I should sell some work to pay for all the materials I buy all the time to support my addiction and now it's, well, wouldn't that be fun to actually get OUT THERE and try to sell some of my work! I think that is going in a positive direction but still, I need alot of encouragement and help actually succeeding, like most thank you! And thank you for visiting my blog...I will remember the show over memorial weekend in Point Reyes.