All posts by Barbra Sundquist

How to Sell Art: Market the Heck Out of It!

Many artists don’t really know what it means to “market”. This article will dispel confusion you might have about marketing your artwork.

The most important thing to understand about selling art is that it involves marketing. Marketing and selling are related, but they are not the same thing. Marketing is all about making people aware of your product, while selling is about getting the to actually buy your product. After all, customers can’t buy something if they aren’t aware of it.

Marketing includes the pricing, location, advertising, public relations, and display of your art products. Marketing is about helping your customer find your product. Selling is the final step in the process – when the customer whips out her credit card and buys your art.

One word you hear quite a bit about in relation to marketing is “demographics”. That’s a jargon word to describe a practical issue: who are your customers? What gender, age, and race are they? What income and educational background do they possess? What kinds of jobs do they have? What are their hobbies? Where do they hang out?

Marketers typically combine the answers to these questions to answer the question “who are our customers?” A demographic profile (often shortened to “a demographic”) provides enough information about the typical member of this group to create a mental picture of this hypothetical aggregate. For example, a marketer might speak of the single, female, middle-class, age 18 to 24, college educated demographic.

While you probably aren’t interested in getting quite so technical (and you probably don’t need to), it is useful for you to put some thought into the “who are my ideal customers?” question. The answer to that question will help you market your artwork, which in turn will help you sell your artwork.

The reason why it’s important to understand marketing as well as selling, is that if you don’t market enough you won’t sell enough. Too often, artists just thing about selling, which is actually the last step in a multi-step process. They realize too late that they should have done more promotion. They feel so disappointed when sales are slow and it’s really discouraging. The solution to that is to educate yourself about marketing and selling, and create success the next time.

Get more artist tips at Barbra Sundquist’s Collage Ideas Blog.. This article, How to Sell Art: Market the Heck Out of It! is released under a creative commons attribution license.

How to Become a Life Coach

Are you interested in becoming a life coach? If so, you might be wondering if you need special training to become a life coach?

As a life coach trainer and former certifying examiner for one of the largest independent life coach certification bodies, my answer to the “do I need training” question is yes and no. Yes, you do need training. No, it does not have to be a particular course or degree.

Think of other service professionals such as consultants or interior designers. A consultant needs to have a high level of skills in her area of consulting, but there is not a “consulting degree”. An interior designer needs training in interior design in order to provide quality service, but there is no particular degree required. Similarly, a coach does not need a degree or certification to begin coaching.

So what kind of training do you need to become a life coach? Many people who enter the coaching field come from careers that already involve people skills – such as teaching, counseling, personal training, human resource management, business consulting, sales, health care, journalism, ministry, parenting, and social work, to name just a few.

These people can build on their existing skill base with additional coach-specific training. Depending on how well their background has prepared them for coaching, they may need anything from a weekend workshop to a 2 year program to bring them up to a professional coach skill level.

In addition to learning new coaching skills, some people will need to “unlearn” certain habitual ways of responding. For example, consultants often have great questioning and problem-solving skills but tend to jump into “fix-it” mode right away. They will need to learn how to back off and let the client develop their own solutions.

The best way to figure out what kind of additional training you need to be a life coach is to get an assessment of your present level of coaching skill. Ask your coaching school if they provide an assessment. You need an honest assessment of your skill level in order to ensure success as a life coach.

Mentor Coach Barbra Sundquist specializes in life coach training. Visit her website “Become A Certified Coach” to get solid advice on how to become a life coach.. Also published at How to Become a Life Coach.

The First Session with a New Client

As a life or business coach, or a consultant, you probably offer an initial complimentary session to new or prospective clients. Here are some tips to make the most of that session.

Before you even meet with your prospective client, you must have a system or approach that you can describe – not just “we meet and play it by ear, whatever comes up”. People feel more secure and hopeful knowing that the professional adviser has a plan.

Once you have a system or approach that you can describe, you will feel much more confident going into the complimentary session. You know specifically what you can do for the client, and you know how to sell it.

When booking the first session, make it as soon as possible. Even the most motivated people get nervous about a new venture. So book the meeting for the same day or the next day if possible, and don’t give the client time to change their mind!

Once the meeting starts, don’t try too hard. Let me explain. What I mean is don’t overwhelm your prospective client with too much information. It will only confuse them, and by the end of the session their head will be swimming.

You don’t want your prospect feeling overwhelmed. You want them to leave the complimentary session feeling clear about their next step (hiring you!), not confused by too much information.

Another important tip is to interact as a professional, not as a friend. This is particularly important for life coaches. Your prospect has plenty of friends they can talk with; what they are looking for is a coach or consultant that can help them move forward in a professional way.

During the consultation, don’t be afraid of offending the potential client – if you hear or sense something that you think might be a blind spot for them, point it out in a neutral manner. That will provide huge value to them and differentiate you from “talking with a friend”.

For more tips on how to start and run a successful coaching or consulting business visit Barbra Sundquist’s website Become A Certified Life or Business Coach.. Check here for free reprint license: The First Session with a New Client.

The Secret to Selling Your Art

Many artists experience the problem of how to sell their art. It seems that when it comes to selling your art, there are a bunch of secrets that only some artists know. Or are there?

The fact is that there is no secret to selling your art. All the information you need to know is freely available to you. The trick is learning and applying that information.

One thing that you might not have thought of is that “marketing” is just as important in the life of an artist as the “creating”. Or to clarify: marketing is just as important as creating if you want to making a living as an artist. If you don’t need to earn a living as an artist then marketing is not as important.

Given that marketing is necessary in order to sell art, let’s understand exactly what marketing is. Simply put, marketing is making people aware of your product.

Making people aware of your art can take many forms. In fact, the more forms the better, because the more ways that your art is exposed, the more likely potential customers will notice it. Examples of forms of marketing include Facebook updates (and be sure to include a photo so people can see your art), displays in a shop windows, workshops or artist talks where you demonstrate your art, an exhibition, a website, a sign at the bottom of your driveway, and many other forms. Essentially, marketing is anything that gets the word out about your art and lets people know that it exists.

666Notice that so far I haven’t said anything about actually selling your work. Marketing is not the same as selling. The end result of marketing is to sell your art, but marketing is the step that comes before actually selling.

So know that marketing is all about making people aware of your product, while selling is about getting the to actually buy your product. Because that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Marketing your art involves thinking about things like pricing, location, advertising, public relations, and display. Marketing is about helping your customer find your product. Selling is the final step in the process – when the customer makes the decision to actually invest in a piece of your art.

Want to find out more about how to sell art then visit Barbra Sundquist’s home business website for more great tips.

Writing Your Military Bio

So you’ve been asked to submit a military bio and you have no idea what it is and how to write it? Don’t stress – this article will explain how to write a military bio.

A military bio is a summary of your training and accomplishments, as well as career goals.

You may be asked to provide a military bio when applying for a promotion or a move into a different branch of the military.

What goes in your military bio? Even though you do have a certain amount of leeway when writing your professional bio, there are still some basic guidelines that you should follow:

Be brief. A military bio should be roughly 150 words when written and no longer than 60 seconds in length when read aloud.

Write in third person but use first person when reading it aloud. Third person would be like this: “Jane Smith trained with”, while first person would be like this: “I trained with.

Start with personal information such as your name, rank, branch, and place of birth. Then cover military and civilian experience (civilian training or experience in a different but relevant area can be a major selling point).

Focus on your military history in chronological order from basic training to the present. Sunmarize the training and duties you have completed, as well as your deployment history and status.

In closing, briefly state your goals for the future.

Topics that can help you score extra points are things like your family history, awards and accomplishments that you’ve received in the past, as well as the details of how you rose in the ranks.

In summary, a military bio is a short description of an individual’s training, duties and responsibilities, goals, and past accomplishments. It’s often required when applying for a promotion, and learning how to write a great military bio will increase your chances of meeting your career goals. Good luck!

Want to find out more about how to write in military bio format? Visit Barbra Sundquist’s site How to Write a Bio to get a bio template specifically written in the correct style and format for military advancement.