In Episode 36... "I need help finding clarity on where to focus my efforts right now." - Melissa Loyd

Melissa Loyd is an acrylic artist living in Denver, Colorado. She is trying to figure out who she is as an artist and what she wants to say to her audience. Melissa typically works in acrylics, but is also dabbling in mixed media on wood panel and rock canvas. By exploring different options, she hope to find the combination that’s best for her.

Until this point, she has been using the launch model, and it’s been going pretty well. However, as a lot of us know, doing launches can be fairly traumatic, and Melissa’s not sure if that's the way that she wants to continue.

Melissa feels like she’s making a lot of progress in her business, but she longs to be more organized and consistent in her efforts. As an artist and a mother of four, she sometimes feels as though she is trying to do it all but isn’t really doing anything well. She just wants someone to tell her where she should focus right now and what she needs to prioritize.

 Listen in to hear how I help Melissa find her focus and learn what to prioritize so she can continue to move her business forward.

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • Create a list of three or four focuses for the month to choose from. (00:06:25)

  • Make your monthly plan to avoid wasting time. (00:17:15)

  • Decide what kind of content you want to put out. (00:21:19)

  • Decide what kind of art you want to be producing for sale. (00:26:15)

  • Be realistic about what you can get done in a month. (00:30:43)

Resources and links mentioned:

  • Connect with Melissa on Instagram @‌MelissaLoydArt
  • Visit Melissa’s website, www.MelissaLoyd.com, and shop her beautiful selection of artwork.
  •  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

Learn more about selling your art:

  • For more practical and energetic strategies to create consistent income and life balance, follow Jessica on Instagram @artistmarketco
  • 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/ 
  •  Sign up for the 7- day FREE trial of my Consistent Income for Artists program here.

Read the Transcript for this episode

Jessica Craddock: I'm here with the beautiful Ms. Melissa Loyd. She is an artist who is kind of still figuring out her style. She's making a lot of progress in it, but right now she's working on landscapes using acrylic and mixed media, and she, up until this point, has been using the launch model, which she said has been going pretty well. But, as a lot of us know, it can be fairly traumatic, and she's not sure if that's the way that she wants to continue.

She has four children at home, so she's trying to figure out how to maximize her time, make sure she's not wasting anything, and she's really utilizing those daycare hours. So welcome.

How are you?

Melissa Loyd: I'm good. Thank you for having me.

Jessica Craddock: I'm so happy to have you. Melissa's actually inside of my Consistent Income group program, so we're just getting a little extra bonus coaching today.

Okay, so Melissa, before I pressed play here, I was kind asking you a little bit about what you were looking to get out of today. And essentially you said, I want to know that I'm doing the right things. I want to know where I should focus.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah, yeah. I can just feel a little all over the place of all the things I want to be doing and trying to prioritize what feels most important to focus on and when.

Jessica Craddock: So draw back the curtains for me a little bit. What have you been focusing on? What's spinning around in your brain that's saying, I should be doing this? Kinda what's, what's happening? Gimme a little bit of a picture.

Melissa Loyd: Gosh. I would say I really want to just get in the studio and paint and work, and that's like what I really want to be doing.

But then I also have projects going that I. I have a couple of commissions that I'm working on, which I enjoy doing, but that feels different than just doing whatever I want to do completely And exploring. So I have projects to work on like that. Then I also sometimes just totally drop the ball with like social media and feel like I should be doing that, but I really, I just struggle with which of these do I focus on?

I have aspirations of. Having post planned, but that the amount of time that feels like it takes, I don't ever feel like I have to like, get ahead on that. As well as like education wise and my courses I'm taking from you, like wanting to make time for that. I, and then also I have a, a house with four kids that, and, you know, all the normal things that go along with having a family that I need to be working on.

Jessica Craddock: Sure.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah, it's just a sort of a struggle to know, and I'll, I'll try to have a schedule, like, okay, this is what, these are the days I'm gonna do this. These are the days I'm gonna do this. And then somebody's sick, and that messes me up. They're home, and everything changes, you know? And so I just, I have a lot of trouble sticking to a schedule, and I'm not really a great schedule person anyways.

Like I've never been that way.

Jessica Craddock: How do you operate best? Like when you get the most done, what happens that day?

Melissa Loyd: Like, what is, what are the circumstances that allow me to do that? Is that what you're asking?

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. Or like what's, what's happening inside of you? Almost?

Melissa Loyd: Hmm. Like how

do I feel?

Jessica Craddock: How you feel?

I know that's a weird question. Like for me,

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: So I drop my kids off at school between eight and eight 30. Most of my calls are scheduled to start no earlier than 10. Mm-hmm. Because I have found that if I give myself that space in the morning to do whatever I feel like I want or need to do that day, which often includes things like.

Listening to something on audible or sitting on my porch and soaking up as much sun as I can or working out or gardening or, you know, whatever that is. What does my brain want to do that day? And I give it to it first, I'm much more productive that day.

Melissa Loyd: I could see that being true about myself and I don't often go allow myself to do that.

Just the time constraints that I have, it doesn't always feel like I have the luxury to do that. If I had a day without any responsibilities except for like how I wanna spend my time, like without any family responsibilities, I would totally probably do that. And then I would go paint and spend time doing that. But I feel like I could be more productive. I think that's a really,

Jessica Craddock: Well, let me also say that this schedule is something my, my son has started going two full days, sort of. He's supposed to have a full day today.

I had to go pick him up cuz he threw up.

Melissa Loyd: So that sounds about right.

Jessica Craddock: You know, it's, it's just one of those things. But for most of the year I've been following his schedule and picking him up at 1230 and feeling guilty the entire first hour and a half of my day for not fitting more in, because now I have to go pick up my kid.

Melissa Loyd: Right.

Jessica Craddock: But on the days where I let myself give into that guilt and I'm like, I have to fit all of the things in that I can fit in. I don't get as much done.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah,

Yeah. Because you go slower and don't, just don't. Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Because my brain is not on yet. It's not ready to work on all of this stuff, and so I'm just like forcing myself to stand in front of my computer, like kind of with a blank.

Nothing's really working or coming out.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah. Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: So what really happens when I'm gardening or sitting on the porch or whatever, is my brain is processing, what do I want to do that day? It's feeding me inspiration about how to do it And then when I do sit down to do it, I'm ready to go.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah. That's really helpful actually. I mean, that's great insight cuz I, I could see myself being very much that way. Cause there's plenty of days where it's like I do sort of freeze and I end up not really doing much with that like, time that I do have. And then I feel like ready, okay, I could do it now, but my time's up.

Do you know what I mean? I've experienced that when I do sort of just let myself relax and do whatever, instead of getting things done right away, by time I'm like, feel mentally ready to go do whatever

the things I should do, are I'm out of time.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah.

Melissa Loyd: But if I put like a, yeah, I'm gonna do this for 45 minutes, whatever I wanna do, and then I still have another hour and a half or so before I really have to

Jessica Craddock: Exactly. And the other part of this is that you know what you're supposed to be doing that day.

Melissa Loyd: Right.

Jessica Craddock: You said one, I'm not really sure where to focus, and also I'm not really great at sticking with a calendar and like what I'm supposed to do that day.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: So one thing that you could do is figure out like, what are my focuses for this month? And then give yourself a pool to choose from.

Melissa Loyd: That's a good idea. Yeah, like that.

Jessica Craddock: So this is something that I've been doing with my one-on-one clients recently, is really figuring out what are my core activities that need to be done at any given time. So that I don't have to make all these decisions about what I should be working on.

Melissa Loyd: Right, right. And cuz that takes energy.

Jessica Craddock: It does. It takes so much energy. And probably half of the time that you're trying to work is spent prioritizing and trying to figure out where, where am I focusing?

Melissa Loyd: Yeah, it absolutely is.

Jessica Craddock: When you can eliminate that. It's way easier. You jump from, okay, I did whatever I wanted to do and now I can do one of these four things. So what that looks like is first we look at, let's just do a month together, shall we?

Okay. So if you're listening to this podcast and you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a big fan of mixing content marketing and relationship marketing cause it's just way more effective.

So we gotta look at both of those things. We've gotta look at the art that we wanna make and we gotta look at one, what's worked in the past. Okay. And we have to look at what do you feel like trying or doing. In the future.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: And then also , I know this is gonna be confusing if you're listening, so I'm trying to explain what I'm doing as efficiently as possible. The other thing we need to look at is the three parts of marketing. We have to make sure that people are finding us. Mm-hmm. That we are nurturing them. And that we are selling.

Melissa Loyd: Right? Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Naturally, most people will only do one or two of those, and so you really gotta look at, am I doing all of the parts to be the most effective?

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: So let me ask you, I like to make a little chart. You don't have to make a chart, you can just kind of think about these things.

But when we're thinking about what's worked for you in the past as far as. The people who have bought your art, how have they found you? What? What's worked there?

Melissa Loyd: I mean, most of the people that have bought at this point are people that I know, that know me personally. From someplace in my life. So I would guess that's relationship marketing.

Jessica Craddock: Absolutely. That cooperated

that. So how did they figure out that you were an artist? And that you have art for sale.

Melissa Loyd: Social media would be how they figured it out. Most of them, cuz we were, they were already following me when I started doing my art, I didn't create a new account. Like I just started posting on my personal account and merged into an art account, so.

Jessica Craddock: Gotcha.

So as far as visibility, you had a personal account. You know, those are a lot of times so effective. Like I have to start this whole new account for my art because people might not wanna see it, yada, yada, yada. You're just like doubling down on the amount of work you have to do. Cause now you have to start from scratch and then you have to go tell all those people all over there and so,

Melissa Loyd: Right.

Jessica Craddock: If you're just trying to decide between the two, listen to Melissa.

Yeah, that did work really well.

Okay. Do you ever talk about your art with the people that you know, or is it just based on

Melissa Loyd: I, I think a lot of times they'll ask me about it and then like I sort of just talk about what I'm doing and why.

Like why I'm pursuing this as my job and like my dreams. We don't necessarily talk a lot tangibly about the art itself as much. But yes, like we will talk about what I'm doing

Jessica Craddock: Okay. So my little chart, just so you guys know, it's in the co visibility slash content marketing box, I put that you used your personal account. Mm-hmm. And in the relationship and nurture box I put, you're talking about what you're doing and your why and your dreams with people that you already know.

Mm-hmm. What else? What you said that you're using the launch model. Yeah, tell me a little bit more about that. three columns and two rows. The top column is relationship, the bottom column is content marketing, and then across, or did I say that right? Top row relationship? The bottom row is content marketing, and then the first column is visibility. The second is nurture, and the third is sales. I find writing it down in this way is just a really great visual to help you see what's happening.

Melissa Loyd: Like what you're missing sort of or

Jessica Craddock: Exactly.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Right.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah, and I just sort of, I'll pick, this is what I'm doing right now, and every time that little collection that I'm gonna launch looks a little different about as far as like what I'm focusing on, but they usually kind of, I don't necessarily, I start out like more like parameters of I'm going to paint this in this medium, and then I'll pick, this is the date I'm planning to release these. I'll try to send emails to advertise this is coming. And as it gets closer, a few more of those, I, you know, be a big launch for, for my newsletter people.

Mm-hmm. Email subscribers. And then I'm also usually trying to post consistently on social media. Leading up to that. And basically, I found it's always my email subscribers that buy. I don't know if I've ever had a single person that's not on my email list, buy anything from me at all. So that does feel like that's a really good place to have people.

But yeah, but I sort of use it more on Instagram as like a way to remind those people, Hey, this is coming.

Jessica Craddock: Perfect.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: How are people getting on your email list?

Melissa Loyd: Through Instagram and then I, you know, I'll share my Instagram post to Facebook. I usually have a link in my Instagram profile for people to join.

And I usually, I get the most subscribers when I have a launch coming, especially around the holidays. I've done ornaments the last three years, and those have just been really, I think, an easy way for people to dip their toe into buying something from me, cuz their, the price point is lower.

So I usually, it seems like I gather quite a few new subscribers during the holidays too.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Do you do anything offline, ever?

Melissa Loyd: No, it's like one of

Jessica Craddock: You have four children. I understand.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah. Honestly. Yeah. No, it's honestly more, less that and more. I think I feel intimidated about doing that.

Jessica Craddock: Mm-hmm.

Melissa Loyd: Yet. I, think my work is good right now. Like I don't feel ashamed of it, like, or anything like that. I, I feel proud of it, but also I know I'm not where I want to be and so I think I'm waiting to make my in-person appearance, so I feel like this is who I am.

I get it, but I don't know if that is also, I can't tell quite though. Is that just fear and I should be doing that now. Do you ever really feel like I've arrived? You know, so

Jessica Craddock: If you feel like you've gotten to where you wanna be and you're done, you should just quit, right?

Melissa Loyd: Yeah. And I don't know that you ever feel like that. I think though I keep waiting to feel a little more like that than I do right now, but it probably is more fear. Yeah. So that I, but I have not, Done. Yeah, I haven't done that yet, but it is on my someday list. I'm gonna do this. But I think also a little bit, trying to figure out how to have a large enough body of work to bring to something like that feels a little intimidating me to me as well.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah.

Melissa Loyd: Because when I do my launches, I have, I make my own deadline, and so if I need to push it out another month, I can do that. I did talk to this coffee shop in our area that sells pieces, you know, will hang people's work for however long. And, and it was, I could have signed up to do that, but it, I felt intimidated by the number of pieces I was gonna have to have ready and just was like, what if I'm not ready?

Yeah, again, fear, I guess. Sure. In a sense.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. But also like practicality. Sure. But fear can definitely hide in practicality too. Cause if you really wanted to do it,

Melissa Loyd: I would do it.

Jessica Craddock: You would do it.

Melissa Loyd: I would do it. I'd figure it out. Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: The other thing I just did was I made an identical two rows, three columns that I'm writing down future.

What does she want to do? What does that look like? What. What's kind of calling to her, and what is she afraid of doing that she should do? Because fear is often where the most success lies.

Melissa Loyd: Right.

Jessica Craddock: It's, it's like this funny little trick the universe does on us. It's like you've got to prove you really want it, and then I'll give you what you want.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: The things we're most afraid of generally end up being the things we love doing. Almost always.

Melissa Loyd: That resonates.

Jessica Craddock: So, anything else you want to share? Anything? I'm just gonna say related to visibility how do you feel like you, you best nurture the, either your Instagram or your Facebook or the people around you. Is there anything you wanna add for sales? Anything that you want to do that we haven't touched on yet?

Melissa Loyd: I know, so we have a detached garage at our house that we are currently turning into an art studio, and that is, I'm very excited about that.

And I do have dreams of like having, like inviting people into that space. And I don't know at what, what capacity at, but I know that's something I want to do. I don't know how, how I'm gonna use it yet, but I feel very excited about the opportunities that that will create.

Jessica Craddock: Love it. Yeah. Okay. So if we're thinking about this upcoming month,

The way that we do it inside of the group is that we have a focus of every month, whether it's visibility, nurture, sales, or after sales, we wrap up, rest, reflect, make our new plan, continue. So we could go that route or we could just look at overall big picture. What are the things we wanna work on this month?

Which one feels more aligned to you?

Melissa Loyd: I feel like overall, big picture right now is where I'd like to start.

Jessica Craddock: Great. So we need, in our core activities, we need some relationship something, something. We need some content, something, something. Art.

And are there any projects that we need to be executing?

Do commissions fall under projects or art, or is that up to me?

We could go either way.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: What feels better for you? I kind of wanna put under projects right now.

Melissa Loyd: I feel like projects, because I feel like because my style keeps shifting. You know, when people hire me for a commission, I'm always kinda like, which one of these are you picturing? So I go a little backwards from where I'm at to do those.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. So let's see. We also need to make sure we've got some sort of visibility, some sort of nurture, some sort of sales.

Melissa Loyd: Yes.

Jessica Craddock: So under visibility, we have creating our personal account. That's kind of like a one and done thing. There's not really anything else to do there, so let's just not, we're gonna kind of cross that one off.

Okay. It's good, it's done. The other thing that we have, well, two things, but those are under not what's worked, but what do I want to do? I wrote down Coffee shop. And I wrote down in-person activities.

Melissa Loyd: Yep.

Jessica Craddock: So we're just gonna leave that there for a minute.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Under nurturing, I wrote down asking people to sign up for emails through their content and sending out emails. I also wrote down talking to the people around you about what you're doing and why and your dreams. I also wrote down future in-person activities. The thing about in-person activities is they can be really useful because they cover visibility, nurture, and sales, all in one.

Melissa Loyd: All one. Sure.

Jessica Craddock: It's like a package deal.

Melissa Loyd: Right. That makes sense.

Jessica Craddock: As far as sales go, we have emails leading up to a launch. I also have social media leading up to a launch, but I didn't really highlight that one because you said the emails are where it's at. And I wrote down in the future in-person studio visits. Oh, and in-person activities.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Of all the things I just said, what stands out to you as the thing you want to spend time on this month?

Melissa Loyd: I feel like one thing that I, I mean, I already have this coffee shop that I've talked to before. I feel like I should just go talk to them again and get my name. I know it's a list. It could be a year before I really would get a spot. So I feel like I should just go do that and be brave and get that done.

Jessica Craddock: For sure.

So I am writing that down under relationship. Here's the difference. Relationship means there is some sort of, person to person interaction involved. Whether that's in person, online, whatever. It does not mean writing a post that says, tell me what you think. That's still content. Content is anything that you put out to the masses. It could be flyers, it could be your website. It could be social media. It could be emails. It could be videos. It could be Pinterest. Whatever, whatever, whatever. That's all content.

Melissa Loyd: Right?

Jessica Craddock: . And that's where most people focus. Yeah. But we're balancing here.

So I wrote down Under Relationship, I wrote down Coffee Shop, which is going to be kind of a visibility activity for you. Mm-hmm. But I'm also going to challenge you to say Coffee shop is kind of a one-off, right? You go over there. You talk to 'em. You get on the list or you don't.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: So looking for other in-person activities

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Is the other thing I'm adding to that list. And that might be more coffee shops. That might be an art market. That might be applying to galleries for like group shows. Whatever that looks like for you that feels good, that.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Okay,

so next we have content.

When you were talking, we don't have any future co. You didn't say anything about, I wanna make more content.

You did say I'd like to be more organized.

Melissa Loyd: I, yeah.

Jessica Craddock: You didn't say, I wanna do Pinterest and YouTube and anything like that.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah, no, I don't really wanna add anything else. I think, I think what I really desire is to feel like I can be authentic in the content I put out to the masses.

I'll let them know me. I don't mind being vulnerable with people. That's not hard for me, but I haven't quite figured out how to do that when I'm not in front of a person.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah.

Melissa Loyd: And not that I wanna spill all of my guts or anything like that, but in a way that feels like people can connect with.

So I really do desire that. And I think part of what I feel like with social media for me, or the content marketing is, how do I, how do I do that in a way that feels relatable for people? And like, I feel like one of the things I need to do more is, is journal, which I enjoy journaling. But I feel like that's like for my brain, like the precursor to being able to put more content out there is I need to be journaling so that I can figure out what do I have to say.

I know it's in there, but I feel like there's too much going on, so it's, I can't just pull it up right when I want to, you know?

Jessica Craddock: Have you done this section about in the curriculum about the three big topics?

Melissa Loyd: I did, and I, I was like in tears writing when I did that one. And I need to go back and read what I wrote again. I just feel like I do a lot of feelings and thoughts and that I just need to get out. Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: So I don't think it's so, I might be wrong here.

Melissa Loyd: Sure.

Jessica Craddock: But I don't know that it's so much that you don't know how to do that, as you're maybe a little bit hesitant to do that.

Melissa Loyd: Probably. Yeah. For sure.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. So you get a challenge. Yeah. What would you like, and I'm not gonna assign you a challenge. I want you to assign yourself your own challenge. So as far as your content goes, What kind of 30 day challenge would you like to give yourself?

Melissa Loyd: Oh, can you help me think of some options?

Jessica Craddock: Sure. You said, I wanna show up more authentically. And relatably, to you, what is the most authentic, relatable version of content? And we're not even talking about what what you want to say yet. Mm-hmm. Right now I'm looking at like, what is the delivery vehicle that feels the easiest.

Melissa Loyd: Okay. I think my newsletter feels the safest in some ways. So maybe my newsletter and I, that's something I have wanted to be more consistently. I sometimes don't like it that I mostly send emails when I have something to sell.

Jessica Craddock: Right?

Melissa Loyd: So, not that people wanna hear from me every week, but even once a month, if I could send an email that felt a little more personal, or human than hey, look at this. I have this coming for sale.

Jessica Craddock: So I'm writing down on content, human newsletter times one. But again, that's kind of a one-off. So how do we build on that? What we're looking to do is create a big picture, like how are all these things working together? Yeah, we can send a newsletter, but how are we getting more people to your newsletter?

Maybe that's part of the challenge here.

Melissa Loyd: Okay. Yeah. I would like to be more consistent on social media. Is that, is that a larger picture then? I mean, to me that's where people are getting on my newsletter,

Jessica Craddock: So what if, let me suggest something and you tell me what you think.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: What if, for the next month, how many social media posts do you normally do a week?

Melissa Loyd: It just depends on the month. If I could do one a week, I'm doing pretty good, but some weeks there's been times where I've done more than that, but one consistently for me would be pretty good.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. So I have no problem with you posting once a or once a week generally, as long as we are doing other things for visibility and nurturing sales.

That being said, we just said we were going to create a challenge for you for this month, so I'm gonna push you a little bit. We'll say two a week. And the call to action for those is sign up for my newsletter or DM me your email address, and I'll sign you up for my newsletter.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah,

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so two posts with newsletter cta. We're gonna go back over this at the end and see if it's too much.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Then I want you to revisit that content topic video, and do whatever you need to do around that to feel like I know what I want to say that makes me feel authentic and human.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah. Okay.

Jessica Craddock: So that's going under projects. Cause that's a, an on top thing that's supporting us in everything else that we're doing.

Jessica Craddock: What do you wanna be making for your art right now? Are we landscaping? Mixed mediaing?

Melissa Loyd: Yes. Yes.

Jessica Craddock: Are we focusing on a particular size? Or is it just all over the place?

Melissa Loyd: See, I've had like these, I've tried to have these like daily at one point daily little renderings going on that are just watercolor and pencil, just like a daily thing when I can't get in the studio. But I also really enjoy working larger. I wanna do some, I've been wanting to work on pan wood panels. I have some wood panels that I've been wanting to do some work on and try that as well.

Jessica Craddock: Is that a studio thing or a, when I can't get in the studio thing.

Melissa Loyd: Studio thing.

Jessica Craddock: And how often would you say you're able to get into the studio?

Melissa Loyd: I dunno. I've had sick kids a lot lately. I would say if I could spend two mornings a week in there when my son's at preschool, that would be great. But sometimes only one is realistic.

Jessica Craddock: And if you're not in the studio, how realistic is it for you to do a, a study?

Melissa Loyd: Much more realistic. I mean, I could, I could do that. They don't take me forever and I mean, they are enjoyable. It would be an easy thing to do, honestly, even in that like, however many minutes I'm doing whatever I want, do you know what I mean? Kind of thing. They, they feel enjoyable to do like a, it doesn't feel like an assignment.

It just feels like a way to let out some creative creativity.

Jessica Craddock: So are these studies something that turn into like the foundation of what a painting will be?

Melissa Loyd: They started out more as exercise, but I do feel like they're leading me into more possibilities for the future of larger pieces. But they didn't set out, start out with that being the intention.

Jessica Craddock: I think that makes them fit very nicely in, so we're gonna say they are.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: We don't have anything for selling, and I almost feel like the, I said studio studies that turn into wood panels when you have time, but we also have commissions that we have to finish. I wanna make sure that if you've only got one studio time per week, we gotta get these commissions out the door.

Melissa Loyd: Right.

Jessica Craddock: So I'm currently crossing off wood panels, but they're next.

Melissa Loyd: Okay. Okay.

Jessica Craddock: How are we including some possibility of people buying from us.

Melissa Loyd: Until I have a, an in-person thing going on, at this point I only really know how to do the, the launches. So continuing to do that my launches are usually fairly small as far as how many pieces, it's usually 10 or less that I do.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. We don't wanna wait. In my opinion, we don't wanna wait. Because that just puts these big gaps between when we can make money because we have to fit in this whole launch. Right. Et cetera.

Melissa Loyd: Right.

Jessica Craddock: So would you be more comfortable with, as studies or wood panels are finished and like I said, we've gotta finish our commissions first. We're offering them for sale. Or we wanna take on more commissions or we wanna get real serious about in-person activities starting now.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah, I don't think I'm ready to do that quite, I'm ready to look into that and start scheduling some things, but not ready to like, do one right this month or next month necessarily.

I would say I would rather try selling them as they're completed whether it's on Instagram stories, or... trying to send out an email every time I have a new one, feels like a lot to me. . Like too much, like, like I don't wanna bombard people's email.

Jessica Craddock: Right. But also one newsletter that says Hey, I have something for sale this month probably isn't going to generate a lot of income for you.

Melissa Loyd: No.

Jessica Craddock: Also, I'm already pushing you on the two posts a month. So, where are we fitting this in?

Melissa Loyd: Does that fit in with my social media posts? Like,

Jessica Craddock: It could be that, you do every other one for newsletter and sale, but still in my general experience, it requires a lot more than just one post. And I also don't wanna add a whole lot onto your plate because mm-hmm. We're trying to minimize here. But stories like you just mentioned, could be a way to put out a lot more content quickly in a way that feels pretty easy. Is that true for you?

Melissa Loyd: Yes, I tend to, it tends to be easier for me to show up there than posting.

Jessica Craddock: Okay.

So we're gonna add sell studies in stories. Okay. So what we have right now, we have a visibility activity, which is the coffee shop and looking for other in-patient activities. We've got some nurturing cuz people seem to really like your newsletter. And we're gonna also. Work on our side of that, meaning we feel good. We feel authentic. We feel relatable.

So that's another part of that. As for sales, we're gonna sell the studies in our stories and we're gonna be making these studies projects. We've got commissions and the content topics that we're working on. So that feels like about maxed out with how much you can accomplish. Is that realistic to say, I can do all of that this month?

Melissa Loyd: Probably not.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. So what are we taking out?

Melissa Loyd: Yeah I'm just thinking my kids are getting outta school, you know?

Jessica Craddock: I'm gonna suggest something actually.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: I'm gonna suggest the two newsletter calls to actions go into your stories. So we're pretty much exclusively saying, my focus is stories and newsletter.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: If the posts happen, the posts happen.

Melissa Loyd: Sure.

Jessica Craddock: But they are not core activities.

Melissa Loyd: Okay. So stories and newsletter are my content core activities.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. We've got one newsletter to send out, and then you're gonna be real active in your stories with two calls to action being this study is done and it's for sale and sign up for my newsletter.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Does that feel better so far?

Melissa Loyd: Yes, that does. Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. Looking for in-person activities, newsletter stories, studies, commissions and content topic video, how does that feel?

Melissa Loyd: That feels better.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so just theoretically, because this happened to me your kid throws up on Friday, gets pink eye on Monday and then throws up again on Thursday. How are we pivoting?

Melissa Loyd: I don't know.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, let me ask a different question. What's priority one?

Melissa Loyd: I want to say I have to make the art, if I don't have the art. Right? I don't have anything.

Jessica Craddock: There's not actually a right answer here because one thing does not a strategy make.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: So it's really more up to you. What is your priority?

Actually, when is your commission due?

Melissa Loyd: They're, both people are pretty flexible. One is due at the end of June and one is, honestly, they still haven't, we haven't set the timeline yet. I just know it's coming.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. I have a thought I wanna throw out.

Melissa Loyd: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: If you did nothing else, But you completed this commission and you started the process on the next one. That would mean you have income coming in.

Melissa Loyd: That's true. Which is great.

Jessica Craddock: So that's priority one. Okay. Priority two in my opinion, is the coffee shop. Because that doesn't take long.

Melissa Loyd: No.

Jessica Craddock: And it's planning for the future. And it's creating more belief in yourself that you can do hard things.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah. That sounds good.

Jessica Craddock: Studies is number three.

Melissa Loyd: That sounds good.

Jessica Craddock: Commissions, coffee shop, studies. If all, if all hell breaks loose, that's your plan. If things go well, we're also gonna look for other in-person activities. We're gonna do a newsletter, and we're gonna show up on stories.

Melissa Loyd: Yes. Okay. I can do that.

Jessica Craddock: Last priority. The content topics video and working on that is actually my last priority. Cause I feel like that is something that you can use as an excuse to not put yourself out there. If I haven't completed it yet, you know what I'm saying?

Melissa Loyd: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: But if I'm saying you have to put yourself out there, you're probably gonna find the time to figure out what you want to talk about. So I'm putting my teachings last, which is really sad.

Melissa Loyd: Okay. Yes. Super helpful.

Jessica Craddock: Do, do you feel like you know where to focus and what to do and in what order to do them?

Melissa Loyd: I do. That feels great. Very helpful.

Jessica Craddock: So if you're doing this at home, try making that little chart. Remember across the top, is visibility, nurture, sales. On the bottom, is relationship and then content. And just fill in what's worked for you before and what you want to do, and then look at it and make sure it's balanced. You've got some relationship, you've got some content. You've got some visibility. You've got some nurture. You've got some sales. Don't try to do everything on that chart.

Melissa Loyd: Right.

Jessica Craddock: Really look at it and see, number one, what's the thing I wanna do the most out of all this? Start there.

Melissa Loyd: And then go from there. Okay.

Jessica Craddock: I like it. I like our plan. I feel like it's doable.

Melissa Loyd: Yes. This feels very helpful.

Jessica Craddock: Which has to be doable.

Melissa Loyd: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: You can't make a plan that you're not gonna do, then you just set yourself up for I'm a failure.

Melissa Loyd: Right.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. Melissa,

Melissa Loyd: This is great. Thank you.

Jessica Craddock: Where can people find you? You're welcome.

Melissa Loyd: I am, my website is just my name, Melissa Loyd.com, and Loyd is only with one l.

Jessica Craddock: Why don't you spell the whole thing for me?

Melissa Loyd: Okay. My name is Melissa Lloyd, m e l i s s a, Loyd, l o y d.

So just Melissa Loyd.com. And then I'm also on Instagram @ Melissa Loyd Art.

Jessica Craddock: Perfect.

Thank you so much for doing with us, with me.

Melissa Loyd: It was so helpful. Thank you. You're great.

Jessica Craddock: You are very welcome. All right. I will talk to you soon, Ms. Melissa.

Melissa Loyd: Okay. Thank you.

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.

Seasons 1 & 2 are full of interviews with your peers. In these episodes, 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.

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.

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