Obstacles to Self-Promotion for the Artist

Many artists are, by the very nature of being artists, not necessarily motivated by the kind of detail work involved in self-promotion. However, I believe if the underlying conflicts related to “going out” into the world can be understood, and the process of connecting can be seen as a creative act, there can be less conflict in this area of endeavor.

It is easy as a sensitive to become overwhelmed with the number of tasks and places you want to, or need to, focus. Begin by making a list of the areas where you need to focus. For instance, the list might include: creating a website, redoing your business card, teaching a class. Then, in each area where you need to focus, write down what the goals are, and the issues and fears that relate to these goals. What are the tasks that need to be completed to achieve these goals?

Many artists will already be overwhelmed by what I have written. Yet, unless all these pieces that float around in the artist’s head can be put down and slowly addressed, there can often remain a dark cloud of dread around the entire realm of self promotion.

If the areas to attend to become a list, a to do list, and you set aside an hour a week, or a half day a week to focus on business items – you will serve yourself well in the long run.

Your list of things to attend to may be long right now. You can prioritize. That is all you can do. You can identify what truly overwhelms you and find someone else with whom you can trade tasks, or set up a support team where you each address these less than fun tasks at the same time each week or month.

Keep a list of where you are listed- online sites etc.. Make a note on your calendar, at the beginning or end of each year, to review these sites. Is your contact information current? Is any information about your work (style/medium) still correct?

Over time, you can begin to collect ideas of who might be interested in your work, or how you might reach out or network. The first thing to begin to do is to keep track of those people, ideas, businesses, creations that move you – for any reason. Look for those who as people, or in what they do feel resonant in some way.

There is the tendency for flooding, for taking in more stimulus than you can manage. When you begin to feel competitive or self critical, take a break from taking in new information.

Whether the people, organizations or ideas that grab you are purely sources of inspiration or are possible connectors or resources down the road – honor where your inner bell of resonance goes off.