- Ilene Price Design
There Aren't Enough Hours in the Day
It's not easy, but it's rewarding...
Something I have learned on my journey as an artist is that I am not good with sales, marketing and promoting myself and my artwork. Many creatives I believe struggle with these issues, and even though there are many online courses one can take on the subject, it's still very daunting. When I decided to publish my book, I knew I couldn't just self publish it on Amazon, and boom, the world would buy thousands of copies. If that were true, then my Etsy shop would have lots of orders everyday. Being creative isn't enough, you need to learn the skillset of selling yourself. If I didn't self publish my book and instead had a publisher do it, they would have at least taken on some of this load. So a new journey began this summer, learning to promote "me," something very unfamiliar. The first thing I did was tweak all of my social media platforms to be visually in sync, banners, bios, images, etc. They were pretty good for the most part, I mean, I am a graphic designer, I should be able to master my own branding! I did the same with my printed materials, such as ordering new business cards, postcards, etc. The next part was very overwhelming, researching how to use social media properly. I used to post things from time to time, but with no consistency or pattern to it. I began delving into what to post, how many times a day, how to post for an audience and not for myself and so forth. This is literally a full time job and there aren't enough hours in the day. Now I understand why people hire other people to do this. I have found some valuable tools that helped a great deal with this process that I will talk about in a later post. At the same time, I began researching who my target audience was, making lists of who to send marketing material to, designing graphics and snippets to post on social media, creating a social media schedule and hiring someone to help me with cover letters and press releases. I also decided to create a dedicated Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram account specifically for the book, (which meant designing new branding banners), and buying the domain "TheABCsofNonConsent" to be redirected to my website if searched by someone. Whew, I'm exhausted, aren't you? And if that wasn't enough I also started to think about how I would package the book when I sent copies to prospective customers, picking the right envelope color and designing colorful stickers for the front and back of the package. I also spent some time wondering if I should plan a giveaway to get reviews on Amazon that could I run after the book was published and what that might be. Before any of this even happened, I forgot to mention that I had to learn how to self publish on Amazon by watching countless YouTube videos by other authors and reading through all of Amazon's marketing articles. If you're not feeling overwhelmed from reading this yet then maybe you have the marketing and business powers of a super hero. I am not there yet, but I am definitely earning my cape, and to my surprise, I am finding it all very interesting. If I can manage all this, me the shy artist who doesn't like to talk about herself, then anyone can!