Earlier this week, I had to do something that involved putting myself out there as an artist in a pretty big way (if you came here from my newsletter you know what I’m talking about).
It might have seemed simple and easy enough to an outsider, but my inner experience was utterly tumultuous.
After pausing in a reflective moment of stillness, I realized that the thing that was preventing me from taking the action I needed to take to move forward was none other than the frienemy of my life: FEAR (fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of dying alone as a sad old cat lady, etc.). I checked in with my body and all of the areas where it was feeling tight and bunched up, “Yep, that’s it,” I thought to myself, “ridiculous, yet very present, fear is paralyzing me.”
I tell you this story because the way to become “known” as an artist is by putting yourself out there. I know that as you start to put yourself out there more and more, fear is bound to rear its ugly head up, at least once in a while.
Here’s what I’ve found to be true: the best way to overcome fear is through taking action.
I’d love to share with you a few actions you can take today in order to overcome fear and move forward on your artistic path.
1. Decide who you want to become known by & what you want to be known for.
- Here’s a hint: it’s not everybody. The more you are able to narrow down your target demographic, the easier it will become to find your tribe and forge real connections.
- Realize that you may not need as many fans as you think to become known by the right people and have a financially viable career as an artist. Have you heard about the theory of “1,000 True Fans”? Kevin Kelly wrote a pretty smart article about it, worth a read for sure. The idea is that an artist only needs 1,000 “true fans” in order to make a living from his work. He defines a “true fan” as “someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce.” The basic concept here is that the average “true fan” will spend roughly $100 per year on your work and that if you can build up just 1,000 of them, you could make a yearly income of $100,000. Food for thought.
- Make an internal pact with yourself about what it is that you want to be known for. This may not be an issue for you, but remember that as tempting as it is to try to quickly become a famous artist, a successful career is a marathon, not a sprint. When you decide you want to be known for integrity and excellence in your work vs seeking notoriety itself, you put yourself in the category of Meryl Streep instead of certain other public figures who are famous for being famous (we can all use our imaginations). Focus on honing your craft and connecting with the right people for the right reasons. Build slowly on a strong foundation and you’re sure to win.
2. Find at least one way to put yourself out there in front of these people today.
One of – if not the most – powerful way to reach them is by writing articles, being featured or getting interviewed on other platforms that cater to your target demographic.
There are many other ways to reach out to these groups as well, such as social media, forums, and commenting on those blogs that are being frequented by your potential tribe members.
To go in deeper with this material, stay on the lookout for the release of my premium content, where I walk through this intricate process step-by-step.
3. Develop a systematic plan of action that will enable you to consistently put yourself out there in front of your target audience.
Decide on an outreach plan and stick to it! You don’t have to do everything all at once. Just choose the thing that works best for you right now and stay with it.
Be sure that as you’re reaching out to these people, you’re also redirecting them back to your site and capturing their names and emails so you can keep in touch.
The key here is consistency. Connecting to your target audience is not a one time event, but an on-going process.
And now, for my tweet-worthy quote of the week… “Fear is the dumbbell of life. Lifting it by taking action is the best way to grow.”
Now, I’d love for you to TAKE ACTION. Answer the following questions in the comments section or on your own and act on them today:
1.) Who do you want to be known by and what do you want to be known for?
2.) What is one outlet that caters to your target demographic that you can connect on?
3.) What is the one action that you will do consistently to connect with your target audience?
Let me know how it goes and feel free to leave other thoughts on this post in the comments section below or send directly to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.