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Run your business like a business | Art Lessons Podcast Season Two Finale

 

Welcome to episode 20, and with that, the end end of Season 2. After this episode, I’ll be taking a short hiatus of a couple weeks, and when I return, there will be much more hotness, but we’ll get to that in the episode.
What you really need to know is that many of the online platforms we use are making tremendous changes to their algorithms and policies. At first glance, you make think this is to your detriment, but I can assure you it’s not. 
Yes, it may be tougher to get your work into the eyeballs of others now, but it just means you need to do the kind of diligent work you were meant to be doing in the first place. It may also mean it’s time to put on the big kid pants, and start running your business with an actual operating budget. 
QOTD & AOTD
“I want to know how to break out beyond my Instagram account, to make a bigger name for myself. Where do I start?”
Jazel Jozic
IG: http://instagram.com/jayyyslays
Also, as a new added bonus, I'm including all of my raw, uncut show notes for you, below—always trying new things.
SHOW NOTES:
Today we’re going to talk about
  • 5 ways to win at Facebook
  • 21 tactics that kill on YouTube
  • 1001 things you MUST be doing even exist on Instagram
[head in hands]
Let’s go!

Welcome to episode 20 of the Art Lessons Podcast…
Today I want to talk about some truths in business
  • Truth #1: Change happens
    • Whatever you think you know about working online will most certainly change tomorrow.
  • Truth #2: You gotta pay the cost to be the boss
    • If you think you can exist on “free promotion” forever, you’re sadly mistaken.
Before I get into that, i want to acknowledge…
HEY LOOK! No Microphone!
Yes, that’s right folks. I finally pulled the trigger on the camera mounted mic, and so now I won’t have any puffy microphone in my face, but this one up top instead. 
So the sound will be a little different than it was before, 
  • a bit more real, but still high quality in my opinion, but you be the judge. 
  • Let m know what you think of it, but visually, and audibly
Ok, on with the show!
Three things happened over the last week or so, in the online world:
  • YouTube took the partner program away from small creators
  • Facebook changed the news feed for you to see more “family and friends”
    • Meanwhile increasing “suggested posts” (formerly sponsored posts) frequency
  • Instagram follows Facebook’s lead, showing a wider variety of people in your follow list
    • Also increased the advertising frequency.
The point being, just when you think you know how a certain platform operates, they will change the rules on you. 
Contrary to how most people react to these changes, it’s NOT to punish you, or your business.
  • it’s almost always to benefit the average user experience
Facebook and Instagram’s recent changes are an effort go keep “bad actors” and fake news out of people’s faces, when they didn’t ask for it.
YouTube’s changes were made to create a better vetting process of “partners”, in order to create a more friendly environment for both users, and Youtube’s advertisers.
 (really, its probably more the of the latter, but still)
Logan Paul’s “suicide forest” debacle wasn’t the only problem happening with YouTube creators, but it was definitely the most visual. 
  • If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google It
  • His stunt highlighted a major problem with the platform, 
  • and now YT is making big changes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Why is this a problem for creative people like you and I?
Because we are always looking to find a way to break out and get seen, but every time we try a certain approach, the rules change, and it can be disheartening at times.
We feel like pawns in a game
As if we only matter as a data point in the every changing algorithms
Guess what. You’re right. Well, half-right.
Yes, you are being used as a data point for these companies to figure out what their users want
  • You’re also using their platform, FOR FREE, with an expectation that the company will help you grow
There’s a lot of give and take, push and pull, yin and yang going on, and all parties involved are trying to find the balance. 

So, if all this back and forth is going on, and it will never stop, EVER, what is the solution?
How do we win at the game?
As you might expect, I have a few thoughts
  1. Post your work more consistently
    1. If you only share one image of your work each time you make something, you’re missing out on opportunities
    2. If people are following you for the right reasons, they want to see more from you
    3. Show your process, your progression, your philosophy
  2. Interact and engage with others
    1. The more you connect, the more people are going to want to connect with you in return
    2. Respond to comments on your posts as quickly as possible
    3. Reach out to those you follow, those that follow you, the people you find serendipitously, and share real thoughts
    4. Keep your emoji responses in your pocket
  3. Collaborate when possible
    1. Working with others creates a network
    2. New friends, peers, and colleagues will always be the most lucrative way to grow
    3. Don’t treat it as quid pro quo
  4. Start running your business like a business
    1. Running a business costs money. 
    2. You may be willing to spend thousands on your tools and supplies, but you won’t spend $20 on Facebook advertising?
    3. If you want to hang with the big kids, it’s time to start thinking like them
      1.  add an honest to goodness line item in your budget for marketing expenses
  5. Stop worrying about how many damn followers you have!
    1. I’m as guilty of this as anyone
    2. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others who have more or less
    3. Instead, engage with the ones you have
    4. 100 followers who would take a bullet for you, beat 10,000 ambivalent, passive viewers all day

What’s my plan?
All of these recent platform changes made me think deeply about what I am doing (and what I’m not doing) with my work.
Here’s my strategy [expand on each]
  • Show up more often
    • don’t be so precious about how I need to look before posting
    • put myself up on the different platforms more often, even if it’s just spitting a few words here and there, just to remind people that I exist
    • put more work up online for people to buy
      • this is one of my biggest problem areas
  • Create a better work flow
  • Finish older projects first
  • Work with others more
  • Be more conscientious to the art
  • Invest in my company and myself
  • Stop worrying about others, and just do me
Here’s the thing though… I should have been doing this ALL ALONG
Ok, maybe the specific details are unique to me, but the main outline is something we can all do
That list is a winning strategy for anyone, anytime, but it takes work. Really. Really. Hard. Work.
And that amount of work scares a lot of people. 
Hell, it scares me, because I’ve gotten real good at being ok with not doing it all.
Sure, I do a lot of that already, but not nearly to the level that I know I am capable of achieving.

I want to be formidable
I want to be a juggernaut
I want to be a force to be reckoned with in this creative world, but I can’t make that happen while doing the same ol, same ol.
I can’t make that happen when I’m bitching about how these platforms are screwing me over with their changes
I can’t make that happen when I sit in my hole, making my art, waiting for the world to come to me.
If we are to achieve our goals, we must stop waiting for these platforms to do the work for us. 
We need to take the lead on our success path, but it requires a shit-ton more work than we’re doing now. 

Ok, QOTD…
OK, AOTD…
Yes, that was on purpose, because the person who asked the question of the day is also someone who I’ve wanted to share for a little while now. 
So let’s tackle these two birds with one rock.
Jazel asks:
I’m having an artists crisis. Im just feeling a lil frustrated because im realising now that im at the point where i actually want my work to be seen outside instagram, and idk where to start. It's a bit overwhelming, and I know people who know people, but i don't wanna seem like im using anyone. Halp!

This has been episode 20 of the podcast, and that means the end of Season 2
I’ll be taking a short hiatus of a few weeks, but I will come back to you in mid-February with more hotness.
As I’ve eluded to in the past, I will finally be bringing new voices on board, occasionally.
I still want this show to be about my own creative reflections, 
  • but in an effort to share the work and ideas of other creatives, 
  • as well as give some conformational bias to my POV; 
  • I want you to hear from some people, who have their hands in the dirt, trying to make a go at this thing we call a creative pursuit.
This is not about thought leaders. 
This isn’t about sharing massive success stories. 
It’s more about good conversations with people who are just like you and me; trying to make their artistic dreams a reality.
Now, because some of those conversations will be via internet calls, 
I probably will not have video of them, and they will be featured as audio conversations only. 
I’m not a big fan of the split screen Skype call videos, with bad audio, and choose not to share them. 
When those do go live, you’ll have to go find the audio version, 
  • but we’ll talk about that more when we get there. 

Ok folks, I’m out. 
Thanks for hanging out for all of Season Two of the Art Lessons podcast
I’ll be back in a few weeks with Season Three.
Until then, remember, 
Be good today.
Be even better tomorrow.
See ya!


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