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In Episode 66... 

Heather Freeman is a contemporary, abstract artist from Durango, Colorado. She uses acrylics, collage, graphite and whatever tools she feels moved to explore at the time. Heather has been fully committed to being a working artist for the past two years, but she has yet to reach her goal of bringing in a healthy profit from her art business. Like many artists, her art covers a portion of the expenses, and she supplements with grants and her part-time job in public health.

Over the course of the last year, Heather says her art has become stronger. She is better at saying what she wants through her art and is looking to make more connections with people who are attracted to her artistic style. She is already doing an amazing job of building connections with her local artist community by participating in local events and inviting the public to some of her own. Heather not only wants to continue to grow locally, she is looking to do the same online.

In this episode we outline her current local strategy as well as her goals and use them to transform how she shows up and uses Instagram. We talk about actively looking out for leads and opportunities and about finding where Heather fits into the local area as a contemporary, abstract artist. I share ideas on finding more people for her to nurture and connect to in the Durango area.

Listen in for several valuable tips on honing a local strategy as well as growing an online presence for your art business.

Key takeaways:  

  • Local growth can be quicker than connecting with a global audience. (00:06:13)
  • Keep a list of possible leads and connections for reaching out in the future. (00:11:33)
  • People you have a connection with can be your ideal art buyers. (00:18:37)
  • When growing online, think about how to accomplish your goals through the platforms you invest in. (00:24:25)
  • Post invitations on your social media for people to join your email list and highlight the benefits of your newsletter. (00:29:24)
  • Use Instagram as a tool to help you research connections.(00:35:35)
  • Making yourself known in networking groups can help you develop a "team" to work with. (00:39:50)

Resources and links mentioned:

Learn more about selling your art:

  • For more practical and energetic strategies to create consistent income and life balance, follow Jessica on Instagram @artistmarketco
  • For more insights on how to name your Ideal Art Buyers based on who you are rather than what you make, click here.
  • Would you like to know where to spend your time in order to create consistent sales, without letting it take over your life? Awesome! Grab your free training, "The Artist's Day" here: https://theartistmarket.co/
  • For information on working with Jessica, send your questions/thoughts to jessica@theartistmarket.co

Read the Transcript for this episode

Jessica Craddock: Hello. Welcome back to Intuitive Art Sales. I'm trying something a little different behind the scenes over here where I am taking the time to record an intro for each episode because I want to make sure that you are getting as much value out of this episode as possible. So if I can help you understand what you're gonna get out of it.

What to look for, how it applies to you. Then you'll know if it's something that it's worth your time to listen to. And I completely understand from working with so many artists that your time is extremely valuable. You're doing so many things. I wanna make sure that every episode you take the time to listen to you know what you're gonna get, and know what you're gonna get out of it, and know how to take action on it.

So in this episode, I work with Heather Freeman, who is a artist who's actually local to me. She's in the Durango community, which is really fun for me. We got to meet up in person and I taught a class for her art studio and all kinds of fun things. She is already doing an amazing job of. Really connecting with her local artist community, showing up for events, hosting events, doing all of that to get her face out there in Durango.

And while she wants to continue growing that, she also wants to know how to do that online. So what we did was we took her local strategy, which we took the time to outline a little bit and her goals and use that to transform how she shows up and uses Instagram instead of like so many artists do saying, I know I need to post three times a week, so I'm gonna do it.

How could we take her goals and plug them into making Instagram effective for her, looking at different measurement markers than if her post went viral? If she got 500 comments, if she immediately sold a piece, how can she utilize this online platform to grow her art business in a way that feels.

Authentic to her. The first thing that we did was talk through what she's already doing locally and how we can turn that into two or even three times as many sales by really looking out for those leads and opportunities and a couple of examples of how she could personally do that. And then because she's struggling to figure out where her art fits in, because we're in a, a area where there's a lot of Southwest art and she's more contemporary, abstract artist, how can we continue finding more of those people who she should nurture and connect to in that local space?

Lastly, we talked about her goals as far as what does she want more of. In the following year, and how can we transform those goals into an Instagram strategy that's gonna help her achieve them much faster. So if you are someone who's been in that local community trying to grow your artist income for a while, and you would like to start scaling online, this is the perfect lesson for you.

So with that, let's get into it.

 Welcome back to Intuitive Art Sales. I'm here with Heather Freeman, and I'm really excited to be with Heather because she is actually an artist that I got to meet in person a couple of different times. She's in my local community and we've been having some fun together.

So I invited her to come on this podcast and help her solve a problem or two. So I'm really glad you're here. How are you?

Heather Freeman: I am great. And I'm excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jessica Craddock: You're so welcome. Okay. So let's just dive right in here and say, Is there something in particular that you are coming today hoping to get, or would you like to just kind of explore with me?

Heather Freeman: Probably a little bit of both. I mean, I've

Jessica Craddock: Okay. Let's start there. Where are you dreaming about taking things?

Heather Freeman: This past year, I've, I've gotten much better at making my art. I feel like, like technically speaking, it's stronger art. I am getting better at saying what I want through my art. And so next year I, I want, I really wanna connect with more people that vibe with what I'm doing.

Jessica Craddock: Mm-Hmm. How, how do you wanna connect with them?

Heather Freeman: Well, I am starting to think about and connect with galleries as 1 way. I mean, I do it already in my own studio, but I know that I live in the Southwest and southwestern art is huge here. I'm a contemporary artist. I have lots of color. It's, I'm pretty unusual, which could be, powerful, you know, to be a unique, you know, type of art here, but at the same time, I know that there are probably smaller pockets of people here. just bigger masses. Because I know that's going to be more powerful in terms of strategy for reaching people.

[00:05:51] Local growth can be quicker than connecting with a global audience.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. So I kind of like to take a 2 pronged approach with it, and I won't go too far because I talked about this a couple of episodes ago. But really honing in on growing that local community while at the same time, you know, learning how to put yourself out there in a way that you can connect with that global audience so that while you're figuring that out, which, you know, content is something that takes a little bit longer to convert and grow that community and all of that, which is an important part of it. But also how can we supplement that by looking for more people closer to home, so that we can make sales faster while we're building this.

Heather Freeman: Yeah, that totally makes sense.

Jessica Craddock: Which, being perfectly honest here, I did it backwards. As I think you know, we've kind of talked about this. I grew my business online for six or seven years before I decided, wait a minute there's a ton of artists around here. What the heck am I doing? And that's kind of where we kind of connected, but I don't want people to make that mistake. And I don't think that you're doing this. But I'm just gonna, I want to be bigger, so I'm just going to start big. Let's figure out how to make big work in steps so that we're not disappointed when it just doesn't automatically take off.

And one way to do that is by testing with your community. So let's talk about what has worked inside of your community. You said earlier that you have had increasing sales this year. What have you done?

Heather Freeman: So I've done, I've put on my own exhibit in my studio, like a solo exhibit, when I had some new work. I was part of the emerging artists program through the Durango Creative District here. And they helped me get into the community and do an exhibit, a solo exhibit in a beautiful space, the Stillwater Music center here and

so that was, you know, just another step above doing it on my own. And then I've been a part of organizing, as well as part of being an artist for the Durango Open Studio Tour, as a way to, again, like, get myself out there and get some exposure and bring people into my studio and into my process. And then we started some first Fridays in Durango, so now there's like a monthly reason to invite people to come into my studio and share what I'm doing. So I feel like I'm, doing some things consistently for a bit, and I'm hoping that those pay off.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. You're, you're building a really strong foundation of connections in your community, which is great.

So you mentioned you put on a solo exhibit for yourself. You did a solo exhibition through the Emerging Artists Program. You've been organizing these open studio tours in Durango and First Fridays. Have you been paying attention to opportunities that may have arisen during those moments, but you were just so overwhelmed at the moment, you maybe didn't follow them through. To where this solo exhibition could lead to being in someone's coffee shop or someone who said they were interested, but never quite like got around to buying anything. Or have you looking back experienced any of those moments?

Heather Freeman: Yeah, I've had a couple of people who were interested in some commission work that I could have been more proactive and stayed consistent in reaching out to that. See what their interest was and checking back in with them for sure. Those could have been, you know, potentially really great.

Jessica Craddock: How long ago was that?

Heather Freeman: That was over the summer.

Jessica Craddock: Okay.

Heather Freeman: August.

Jessica Craddock: Give me an example of what you did do for one of those people as far as following up because you said I could have been better, so that sounds like you did something. What did you do?

Heather Freeman: Yeah, I mean one of them I got to like all the way to a contract, and then at that point like it just it never got signed. And I followed up a couple of times, and then it just kind of went to the wayside. Another one came through I know her through a running club and Came through and just said, you know, she was interested. I want to talk to you at some point about commission. She's got a house up in the hills a little bit. And, and, yeah, I don't think I did anything. I don't think I, like, reached out to her again at all, not once so that's terrible.

Jessica Craddock: It's okay. We, we all do it. It's about learning to be better.

Heather Freeman: Maybe because she, you know, I know her and she's kind of a friend and I'm like, I don't want to sound pushy. And I had seen her, I've seen her since, and failed to mention anything. And I thought about saying something, but I didn't.

Jessica Craddock: Okay.

[00:11:11] Keep a list of possible leads and connections for reaching out in the future.

Jessica Craddock: Do you by any chance keep a list of all of these people and opportunities that present themselves, whether or not they go all the way to fruition?

Heather Freeman: I have a list. I can't say I've been good about it, like I started it. And like even right now, I know I have people that I want to touch base with, and say happy holidays. And I haven't done that yet.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. It's on the list. I want you to up it to the top of the list. Mhmm. Cause it's the, honestly it's the easiest thing to put off. So let's say, I don't know, I'm going to make this up, you got 10 people on that list. Probably, if I'm just using my powers of deduction, since it's December 13th and Christmas is in 10 days right now, it's probably not the time to go, Hey, did you want to talk about that commission or that opportunity or that thing you said we could do together? Probably not the time for that, but what it's a great time for is touching base, making their day, doing something nice for them, thinking about how can I be a good human to this other person? Actually, let's get out a piece, do you have paper?

Heather Freeman: I do, yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, let's get a piece of paper and just pretend that we're working on our list right now. So we're gonna put name one, name two, name three, four, five, six, seven. Okay, so person one is friend from running club. But let's think about that person. What would be something lovely that you could do with, for, to that person?

Heather Freeman: I mean, the first thing that comes to mind is you want to go for a run, like go on a run together.

Jessica Craddock: Let's go for a run. For sure. So the connection ladder that I see in my mind looks something like, it's, this changes every time, depending on when I'm saying it. But I'm writing something in mass, like a piece of content, and they see it. That's, it's a connection point, but it's, it's lower down ladder, right? Whereas, let's say you sent them a text, it's a little bit further up. Or a voice memo, like you sent me the other day, a little bit further up. A video, a little bit further up. A group thing, where you get to connect further up. In person, one on one, is like tippy toppy. Okay. So, going for a run, just opening that door, I'm thinking about you. How are you? Do you want to go run? I want to let off some holiday steam type of thing.

That's a great connection point. Opens the door for, let's say, I don't know, middle of January for then you to go, Hey, I'm really working on being better in my art business about, you know, great customer service and making sure that if people bring something up, I'm there to support them.

A long time ago, you mentioned that you might be interested in a commission, and I didn't get back to you. And that's my bad. But my goal this year is to make sure I am the best artist I can be, and I just wanted to see if that was something you still wanted to talk about. Also, humanity, we're bringing humanity into that. I, I could have done this. I didn't. I'm sorry. Here's how I'm trying to be better.

Heather Freeman: Yeah, that's a really sweet way of saying it.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. Who's next?

Heather Freeman: I have a friend, Emily, who we've talked about doing a collaboration together. She's a reupholster, so we've talked about like putting my artwork on some fabric.

Jessica Craddock: Ooh, I got excited about that. That's fun.

Heather Freeman: Yeah. Yeah. She's an artist with me in the art room. And we've just kind of gotten busy with our own things, and I haven't followed up with her on that. So I could totally like just ask her for coffee and or I might even see her tonight cause we have an art room meetup.

Jessica Craddock: Perfect. Emily, You want to get together and the next, I don't know what your schedule's like, but whenever you're a little bit more free and have coffee and talk about what that collaboration could look like. I think it could be really fun to do some marketing slash art creation together, and I'm really excited about that idea. Do you want to talk about it or? and to be really clear here, I love doing collaborations. I just had a meeting with someone and we're doing one in February. I'm planning it now because the opportunity to chat was now, but that doesn't mean just because you're talking about it now, it has to be done before Christmas or whatever. We can plan things out in advance. All right, so we're going to stop there because I think you get the idea, right? But that list is one of the main ways you triple your sales.

Making it a priority, putting names on it, going back through that, not just like following up with them, which is an important thing to do if you are at a point where they're like, I want to buy that. Great, let's have follow up then. But until then, just keeping them in your world, doing great things for them. What do they need? What do they want? so you can put my name on there, too. Because you already do that with me, so then you'll just have another name to put on your list.

Heather Freeman: That's good.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so then we've got our list. We're doubling and tripling our sales our local sales, because every time we put ourselves out there, solo shows, first Fridays, et cetera, we are looking for names. What types of names are we looking for? Do you know the answer? Tell me what you would put on there.

Heather Freeman: I'm not sure I know what you're, you're asking, like what type of person?

Jessica Craddock: Yes, we're going to put, if they say, I want to do a collaboration with you, I have an opportunity for you. I want to buy something at some point. Of course, those people go on there. Is there anyone else that you might think about who could help me grow in this local community to find more leads and opportunities? What type of people would those be?

Heather Freeman: Yeah, I mean, I guess there's another person that I, it goes back to putting this person on my list, but that could also help me. And she's a realtor and has said that if I wanted to, like, put together, like, a little work with the other artists in the art room and put together, like, a little basket of goodies, like, she often does, like, a welcoming gift to her clients. That's a possibility and I just, I haven't done what it needs to make that come to fruition. So,

[00:18:15] People you have a connection with can be your ideal art buyers.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. I'm trying not to go too many directions here, but you may have heard me say this before, but I think about the term ideal art buyers. I think about it in three different ways. So who connects with you? Girl from Running Club. You don't know if she's interested in abstract contemporary art, collage, whatever, or not, but because you guys have a strong connection, that makes her more likely to be a ideal art buyer. So that's number one.

Also, realtor friend fits into that bucket. She's local to you. You guys like each other. You have things in common, ready to go. Business owners, other artists.

The second bucket is what is your art about? You said earlier, having fun, bringing joy to the world, self care. Where are the people that are in those categories? When you mentioned earlier, I don't know if everyone likes abstract art around here, I'm not sure where to put it. We can go the other direction and say, who's into self care? Who's into making the world a happier place? Who's into caring for others? And look there.

And then the third bucket is the one that would be the easiest, but who would be into exactly the, the visual type of art that you make. That one is harder, because we don't always know what people's styles and preferences are. But we could also put people in that bucket who we could collaborate with, such as furniture upholsterers, interior decorators for those realtor's houses, stagers. those types of things.

Okay, so if you fit into one, two, or three of those buckets, they can go on your list, and your list starts getting longer. And we can prioritize and say, this one gets a star, I need to give them the most attention. Once we've gone through those seven people, our list is not over. We're still creating connection in all of these different places with all of these people who have one of those three buckets.

Okay, so then, online, how does that translate? So you said you're looking for going more globally was not the word you used, but how would you like to show up online to do that? And let me, let me give a clarifying thing real quick. I'm not just talking about making the best social media post. I'm talking about on a bigger scale of what we just talked about, those people all exist online too. So, if we're taking kind of that let's call it strategy, that we just made for growing locally into growing globally, how would you translate that?

Heather Freeman: So, I guess I would be more proactive in really searching out those people that would fit into those buckets.

Jessica Craddock: Mm hmm. That's one way to do it. I said not about the content, but also the content, we can start trying to slightly tweak it so it gears more towards talking to one or two or three of those buckets, depending on what we're doing at the moment. If we took all that out of the equation, the list and the individual people and who might connect with it, what would you want your online presence to look like in a perfect world?

Heather Freeman: Well, like a reflection of my art, I mean, my art is trying to inspire joy in others. And I want to communicate that, that's one other way that I can show that story and what that art is about.

Jessica Craddock: Right.

[00:24:09] When growing online, think about how to accomplish your goals through the platforms you invest in.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. Let me ask a different question. If we're thinking about platforms, I'll give some examples. Email, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, blog, YouTube, Etsy, Artfinder. Gallery who works online and represents artists, what types of places, if you could choose, would you want to invest your time in?

Heather Freeman: Email feels really good because that would be the strongest and most direct connection. would feel good to have gallery representation and to have a team, like, to feel like I'm on a team of people that we believe in each other and we're supporting each other. Instagram, I mean, I've been on that for a little bit. I know it takes longer to build connections there, and I'm sure there are things I could be doing better and differently. And I've worked on falling in love with Instagram but I still have my hangups about it, I guess. Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: So in my perfect world. All artists are online in at least two places, email list and some sort of social media platform. I say that with the caveat of social media platform strategy being based around where do you want your art to end up? You said in a gallery, I want to have a team of people who support me. I want to get people onto my email list. So then Instagram is used for those goals, instead of what 99 percent of people do is, I have to post three times a week and they post three times a week.

But if we were thinking about how could I use Instagram to help me get into galleries, to maybe form my own team of people where we are supporting each other in our growth or find one that already exists and being a part of that one and supporting the people in there and vice versa. And how am I using it to get people on my email list?

So we're using it a little bit more strategically than I just have to post. Because when you start doing it that way, it starts to feel like it has a purpose, and you can actually see impacts that it's having on those goals instead of, did it go viral? No. Did I get 500 comments? No. Did people just go in and DM me to buy my work? No. And if we're not hitting those three benchmarks of success on Instagram, or one of the three, then we feel like we're failing at it. But when we kind of switch our mindset to how do I get more people on my email list from it? How do I interact with galleries? And how do I find my team? Then it's all of a sudden working, whether or not you get 500 comments and a post goes viral and someone buys a piece right off the bat.

Heather Freeman: I love that.

Jessica Craddock: So in that frame of mind, let's come up with one to two ways that you can use Instagram to help you with each of those three goals. as far as email goes, are you currently doing anything to get them on your email list?

Heather Freeman: So in my studio, I have a sign up list. And some days I'm better than not at being like, oh, this was a great conversation. Would you like to be on my email list, and inviting them to my email list? So I could be more proactive that way. And then online, I would say, I don't I don't have a lot of posts that say sign up call to action is to move them to my email. So I could do better with that as well.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. Okay. One little tweak to that is, can we think about once a week, or how often would you send out an email?

Heather Freeman: It's about once a week.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, great. Look at you. I'm so proud. Okay, so once a week, we do something to highlight why our newsletter is awesome. What's coming out in the newsletter. Why you would want to be on the list with the action of sign up. So a lot of people will bury the lead I'm not saying don't tag on, join my email list all the time. You can do that, but at least once a week, I want the post to be about the newsletter. Can we do that? Try that.

Heather Freeman: Totally. Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: And then we're going to see, does that make an impact compared to what I was doing before? Okay. Like really measuring how many people joined this week, even if it's one, I'm guessing it's more than the week before and the week before.

[00:29:08] Post invitations on your social media for people to join your email list and highlight the benefits of your newsletter.

Jessica Craddock: Also you said sometimes I'm good at inviting people to my list. That's that second habit. Since you know how to do it, you've done it, we're going to make it a habit. what would you like that habit to look like? Can I invite five people a week? Can I invite all my new followers? Every time someone DMs me, can I say, Hey, I would love to, connect with you on a different platform? Would you like to be on my newsletter? What would you want that to be for you?

Heather Freeman: Yeah, I mean, I would want to do it both in person, in the studio as well as online.

Jessica Craddock: Definitely, but just because we're talking about that more online presence at the moment, what would you like that to look like on the internet?

Heather Freeman: Yeah, and I guess I would need to decide, we talked about those three buckets, would it be about like being a part of the community of joy seekers, you know, like where I'm. It's about the, the process and getting to that happy place, or is it? You're saying yes.

Jessica Craddock: Well, I'm nodding because I'm happy because you are kind of connecting the dots yourself. Like, if the people that I'm trying to really connect with online are those joy seekers, self care, having fun with the world people, then our newsletter should also reflect that.

Heather Freeman: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: The abstract collage portion is just a bonus, and they're going to see that on your Instagram. And they're going to see that in your emails. Then we don't have to look for, well, does this person follow artists who are abstract artists? Let me dig for 20 minutes.

Heather Freeman: Huh.

Jessica Craddock: We can just cut that part out. And they're going to say yes, or they're going to say no. And some people are going to say no, and that's okay. We're letting them decide, but we're making the invitation.

Heather Freeman: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so your criteria, if I understand you correctly, is if they look like someone who cares about self care, joy, having fun in the world, you invite them. That is the goal.

Heather Freeman: Yeah. Whether it's on the post, we'll do the post one times a week, or if I end up you know, chatting with someone on Instagram. I'm trying to get better at like evolving the conversation, so it's... cause I always say hi to new followers, and then I'll follow them back. And I'm getting better at like, okay, how do I keep that conversation going so that I can ask them? So I will ask those people as well.

Jessica Craddock: I think you could think about down the line is an opt in and I have mixed feelings about them for artists, but mostly positive. What could I create that would bring value to someone's life around self care, joy, having fun. It doesn't have to be necessarily even a teachable moment. It could be like, how do you bring joy to the world? How do you do self care? Name a couple things.

Heather Freeman: Well, it really came out in this last series that I did, and it was all about self care. Incorporating those things that that I do. I mean, starting out is just recognizing like I was having a challenging moment and was in a bad headspace. But yet I want to paint, and I want to paint joyful things. So it's all about, okay, well, how do I get to that? And so the painting process is literally, how do I get from that place of struggle and and pain and move my way up kind of that emotional scale to get to that place of joy. And so, like, self reflection and just honoring that I'm in this place of struggle for 1, and then, kind of deciding what is it that I really want and then taking time, like when I'm painting, sometimes those first layers are pretty, I don't want to say ugly, but it's not, it's not where I want it to go. You know, it's not bright and colorful yet. And so it might be pretty like muddy colors which is fine. It's just not where I want it to go. So just like being okay with each stage of the creative process and it going through those messy stages to get to the, place that I can look at it. And I really love the piece.

Yeah, so I feel like there's something in there, like, to make that connection.

It's a little bit like, it's more like self care, for sure, intermixed with the, with the art.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah, I'm just gonna throw this out there and then it needs to be refined, but maybe it's not a thing they get when they opt in.

Maybe the newsletter is where I can share more vulnerably about how even when I'm in a place where things aren't what I want them to be, how I can use creativity, to work through that and kind of like, what I think about, and how I do it. So it's not, you're not teaching them to do it. You're sharing kind of a behind the scenes, more special version of you that maybe you're not quite comfortable putting up online, but it's behind a quote, unquote, paywall where they have to give you their email address to get those more real stories from you.

And maybe that evolves at some point, but that could just be the thing is that the newsletter is the thing that they want.

Heather Freeman: Yeah. Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. So moving on. We said galleries. So if we're using Instagram, and one of our purposes of Instagram is to find galleries in the United States, around the world, where, in Colorado, where are we looking?

Heather Freeman: Around the United States like Southern California, maybe Salt Lake City, maybe Denver, maybe Santa Fe.

Jessica Craddock: So kind of the western U. S.

Heather Freeman: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: And that's not to say we're limiting ourselves forever. We're just saying, what do I want to look at right now?

[00:35:19] Use Instagram as a tool to help you research connections.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. So one of the ways to use Instagram is also as a research platform. You can think about it as content. You can think about it as connecting. You can think about it as research. Research is actually kind of one of my favorite ways to use it because it's visual. It's pretty. So we can start looking for Western U.S. galleries on there that we can add to our list that we can start spending time looking at their application processes, once they're on our list, start looking at.

What is their application process? Who are their artists? Finding their artists on Instagram, connecting with them, asking them questions. Seeing when they have a cool show that you might want to go to, you could, you know, join their challenge or share their thing or that kind of thing. So researching and connecting, what are two ways that you would like to use Instagram to help you with that gallery project for 2024?

Heather Freeman: Yeah. I mean, just to understand who they are, cause I know that I'm not going to fit every gallery out there. Like, you know, every gallery has their own mission and who they're willing and wanting to work with and their own aesthetic. And I think Instagram could be a great tool to figure that piece out, just to kind of start, like you said, researching whether it would even be worth taking it further.

If they are, if they make it on my list, I I can start building some of those relationships. Because it is about relationships, right? I mean,

Jessica Craddock: It is.

Heather Freeman: Yeah. I mean, I could, you know, just do their submission thing, but it's probably less likely, to get accepted if they don't know me yet. I'm guessing.

Jessica Craddock: So my podcast manager, Julie, I tasked her at the beginning of the, or the, let's say the summer, I think with helping with some podcast pitching to get on other people's podcasts. She does about one a month and she's real good at like following up and all that stuff, but they just haven't been real successful. And that's not her fault.

She does a great job on research and all the things. But as soon as, for example, I take the time with this last podcast that I would love to be on, I'm not going to name it yet, I won't jinx it. I shared something of theirs really thoughtfully, and they wrote back some emojis. And then I, a couple, a week, two later said, Hey, you know what? It'd be really cool to like exchange interviews on a podcast. Do you have any interest? And she's like, let's touch base in the new year. Right now I'm taking the holidays off. I hope you have a great one. And it was a great interaction and felt very positive towards that could be the thing. And it was honestly so easy. I didn't spend hours researching and writing a pitch and blah, blah. I just was a human and chatted. I need to do that more. Mental note to myself slash lesson for you to take.


Once you've got the foot in the door, if then, for example, Julie then sent a podcast pitch to her, there's a lot more likely chance that she's going to be like, yeah, let's do it, compared to it's just out of nowhere.

Heather Freeman: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Jessica Craddock: So that is our, what we're doing with galleries. We're finding out who they are. And we're, let's call it, opening the door. Okay. Last one. You said team, and I know you said team in conjunction with gallery, but I took it out. And I separated it because I do think you can have a gallery, and you can have a team. And you can have a gallery team, and you said team, you want team. So even if you are not getting it out through a gallery, how could you find your team on Instagram?

Heather Freeman: Ooh, on Instagram.

[00:39:34] Making yourself known in networking groups can help you develop a "team" to work with.

Jessica Craddock: Because that's what we're talking about today. That doesn't, you don't have to find your team on Instagram, but we're thinking about how can we use this platform differently.

Heather Freeman: Well, I have taken a class with a mentor who has other artists who help out in like the community space. And so like we can submit our artwork and then someone from the team will pop in and give us feedback. And so I feel like I could get to know those people better because they're like a step above me and have more experience.

Jessica Craddock: Absolutely.

Heather Freeman: Even in galleries. So I feel like I can do a better job of going to their feeds and interacting and doing good things there.

Jessica Craddock: Yes, especially if you're not just in one of them, but you're in all or not all of them, but the people you connect with the most, just off of a gut feeling. When you show up in one, you tend to show up in others. And then they see you here, and they see you there. And then you're everywhere, and then they're like, who is this person?

Heather Freeman: Which is what I want to happen with my art too.

See me there. They see me there.

Jessica Craddock: But if we're using Instagram to grow our email list, to get into, for now, West U. S. galleries, and we are creating a, I'm going to keep calling it a team. The chances of that happening continue increasing exponentially. On top of what we talked about before, where we are continuing to grow our local community and supporting them and remembering to reach back out to them and follow up and all of those things.

You do all that together, you're going to see a lot of growth in 2024.

Heather Freeman: Let's do it.

Jessica Craddock: Let's do it. Okay. So, what are your key takeaways? Ready? Go.

Heather Freeman: My key takeaways are getting better with identifying those key people that I can help and make their lives better and, you know, making that a priority to stay in touch with them and just do everyday normal human things.

Mm hmm. Um. And then online, I can use it as a tool to, encourage people to get onto my email list, which is where I want them to be so that I can connect with them in a way, in ways that are meaningful, not only to me, but in ways that I feel like I can have the most impact with them.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. I also want to iterate just so we don't forget this part. We talked about a couple of habits. That we want to make sure get on our to do list every week. Inviting what you call joy seekers to your email list when you find them on Instagram. And not just find them, but you're keeping your eyes open for them. An email or a post a week about the newsletter itself. Getting creative with how to share that in different ways. As far as galleries, the habits are finding out who they are, and opening the doors. And you can get that more clear, like, I want to do this many, this many times, in this many days, blah, blah, blah.

And then also, as far as team initially reaching out and connecting with the people who are on it and making sure to interact with them on a semi regular basis until that connection really starts to form. applying to those galleries. My hope for you in the next year is that you apply to 30 galleries. That's a lot.

Heather Freeman: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: But if we apply to 30, we're probably going to get into 5, 10 if you're doing a really good job. And then you just got to start cranking out work.


Heather Freeman: That's easy part.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. And some of those are going to sell for you really well, and some of them are not. So we want to try to be able, if galleries is really one of our main goals to find out which ones are going to work for you as quickly as possible. So maybe let's just go all in there for a minute.

Heather Freeman: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, great. Heather, where do people find you? You said you wanted them to join your email list. So where is that and where is your Instagram?

Heather Freeman: Yeah, I'm at heatherfreeman. studio. And then on Instagram, backslash Heather Freeman Artist.

Jessica Craddock: Perfect. And I'll spell it real quick, just in case. H E A T H E R F R E E M A N.

Heather Freeman: That's it.

Jessica Craddock: And you guys can all spell artist, and if you can't, I don't know what to tell you. Okay. This was lovely. Thank you so much for doing this with me. We'll talk to you soon.

Heather Freeman: Okay. Good to see you. Thanks.

Jessica Craddock: You too. Bye bye.

Heather Freeman: Okay. Bye.

More about Intuitive Art Sales

This is the show where I, Jessica Craddock, am going to teach you how to source your art marketing from within. You're going to practice claiming that authentic art business that you want and leaning into the most natural way for you to get there. You're going to learn to get connected to your intuition, your confidence and your community, so that you can sell your art consistently while holding strong boundaries on your work life balance.

Most of my episodes are full of interviews with your peers. In these and all episodes moving forward, I explore what each artist wants and give them the next steps to get there. You can take their struggles and their challenges and learn how to navigate your own and create actionable steps towards creating more art sales, more consistently at higher prices than you've ever sold before.

Just a note to our long-time listeners: We're doing away with our "Seasons", but you can still find this designation abbreviated at the end of the show titles for Seasons 1 & 2. From now on episodes will be numbered chronologically at the end of the title as well as in the episode description.

You can find all the episodes here.

About the Author

Jessica Craddock

I mentor intuitive visual artists who are sick of one-size-fits all formulas sell more work, more consistently, at higher prices — with better work/life balance. My clients regularly make 3x more in art sales within a year.

Using my signature Consistent Income method, we’ll push you over the precipice of some really amazing growth so you can become the creator of your next chapter.

My secret sauce is that we focus on not just the "doing", but also the "being". Affirmations, trusting yourself, knowing when to go slow and when to go fast, practicing getting out of your comfort zone and making room for the feelings that go with that... all this is equally as important as the action steps.

For once, you'll be ahead of the game and understand what's right for you.

  • Incredible episode! I put my paint brush down so many times to message warm leads back I didn’t even realize I had! I love Jessica’s soft, yet tough cookie approach when helping artist’s discover the opportunities they have right in front of them that can be hard to see for yourself when you’re in the thick of business management. I’m so glad I discovered The Artist Market Co.

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