Learning how to promote yourself is an essential part of reaching your goals as an artist and creative entrepreneur.  The Tennessee Association of Craft Artists has invited Alyson Stanfield to lead, “Shameless Self-Promotion Workshop for Artists,” to provide support for those of us who would rather think about our work rather than getting our work noticed.     Stanfield wrote the guest blog that follows for Nashville Arts Magazine to encourage our audience to consider how they market themselves.  What an exciting opportunity!

by Alyson B. Stanfield


Marketing. Maaaarrrrrrketing. MARKETING!

There’s something about that word that shakes us up.

Marketing is something that direct-mailers and telemarketers do. They didn’t teach marketing in art school and you certainly won’t read about it in art history books or artist biographies.

It’s the dirty deed that we all have to do, but no one in the past admitted that it was necessary.

Marketing doesn’t have to make us bristle! Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help you feel better about the M word in your art business.


Do share. You should have so much faith in your art that you can’t wait to get it out into the world. Don’t focus on the selling. Concentrate on the sharing.

The people who have asked to be on your mailing list want to hear from you. They’ll be upset if they’re the last to know.

Do focus on others. Art is a form of communication, so you need at least one other person to participate in the dialogue. Remember your viewers! You lose sight of personal relationships when your focus is on selling.

Do inform. Education is empowerment. With every tidbit of knowledge you impart to your followers, you are bringing them closer to an understanding and appreciation of your art.


Don’t beg for attention. It’s kind of icky to plead for fans, followers, and subscribers. It’s even ickier to complain when people don’t follow you back.

Resist the urge to blast everyone with a “vote for me” email that reeks of desperation. We want to see your confidence, not your anxiety.

Make great work, post interesting stuff, interact with us, and we’ll become your fans.

Don’t request action from people who don’t know you. Just because you have people’s email addresses doesn’t mean you should use them for your own gain. Unless you would ask them for a favor in person, don’t do it in an email.

Don’t be greedy. Aim for quality, not quantity. Who cares if you have 10,000 Twitter followers if that’s not where your fans are hanging out?!


Alyson Stanfield will help you feel better about marketing in her “Shameless Self-Promotion Workshop for Artists” in Nashville on March 23-24, 2013. She is the author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion and helps artists sell more art at ArtBizCoach.com and ArtBizBlog.com.

Alyson’s workshop is at the invitation of the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists. You can register now at http://tennesseecrafts.org/events.html.


Enter to win a FREE ticket!

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