The Best Marketing Schedule

Every artist has a different productivity rhythm.

Some people perform best in the mornings, while others hit their strides late at night.

© Victoria Veedell, Last Light. Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches.

There isn't a perfect schedule for marketing your art. The only rules are that you do it consistently and with purpose.

The most important rule is that you don't use your peak creative time for marketing.

Peak Creative Time

If you do your best work in the studio in the morning, you should honor that. You shouldn't check email, write blog posts, or waste spend time on Instagram.

Studio time is for making art.

Without the art, you have nothing to market. Without the art, you are not an artist.

Marketing Time

Plan your marketing time around your studio time, but pay attention to your rhythms.

Some people can switch effortlessly between studio and business. They're in the studio in the mornings and at their computers in the afternoons.

Other people need more time to switch gears from creative tasks to business tasks. For them, perhaps studio time is all day Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and marketing days are Tuesday and Thursday.

Then there are people who need a lot more down time between each, like my friend Ann Cunningham. Her ideal situation, or at least it used to be, is one week in the studio and the next week working on the business and marketing. (I think that has changed for her in recent years.)

None of these approaches is right or wrong—unless you are trying to work against your rhythms.

What is your natural productivity rhythm?

Are you working with it? Or are you fighting it?

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17 thoughts on “The Best Marketing Schedule”

  1. Victoria Pendragon

    Excellent advice!
    And I’d like to add a little something…don’t judge yourself! Your rhythm is what it is and you can’t compare it to anyone else’s. My own, for instance, is really short and I shift gears many times during the day. That keeps me fresh and filled with enthusiasm all day.
    Though to someone else it may appear that I can’t concentrate, quite the opposite is true; I concentrate with an intensity that demands that I break to tend to another aspect of my work. This is especially true if I’m focusing on something that is emotionally demanding such as the series I’m doing on sexual abuse.
    I find that, for me at least, it’s a matter of paying attention to how I feel. The moment anything feels as if I’m ‘pushing,’ instead of effortlessly ‘producing,’ I shift into another phase.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Victoria: Thanks for that reminder. We’re so hard on ourselves and our natural tendency is to judge ourselves. We need to be reminded not to.

  2. My work time is almost always late at night. I am a photographer, so I shoot during the day, then usually, about 11:00 or Midnight, when the “rational” world goes quiet, I can’t help but work on my images, usually for about 3 hours, then fall into bed, spent. When I wake up, I’m presented with the fruits of my efforts. I almost always make posts of my activities as I work, and mornings are when I formulate marketing and respond to comments. This schedule keeps me from participating in “Normal” mornings, but it seems to work for me. If I go to bed early, I feel cheated.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Chris: Wow! That’s quite a grueling schedule, but it’s obvious you found a way that makes it work for you.

  3. This is such an interesting topic. This winter I’ve been trying to find a rhythm that works for me. I’m not sure I’ve figure it out yet. I’m going to try to practice each of these and see what I like best. I think I could benefit from really focusing on either art or marketing for a couple of days, and stop trying to do both at once. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before. Thank you.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Kristin: I love that you are willing to experiment and be open to discovering your best schedule.

  4. Great article, it’s good to see this in print, it’s like getting permission from an adult to do what I’ve always wanted to do; make my art when I feel most like it. I’m naturally a night person, but since my hubby has to get up early for work, am forced to be a day person. Plus I need the light to do my art. So it is sometimes hard to figure out what gear I’m even in, and if the burden of guilt is hanging over my head, saying I need to work on marketing, it’s hard to concentrate on art. When I’m in the zone, whether it’s art or marketing, I am really IN it. I will think about your approach. Maybe the week of art, week of marketing, would work best for me, to allow me to be completely immersed in whatever I’m doing, which is how I operate most efficiently. The idea of going a week without making much art is scary, but maybe it will all come out fine in the end. Worth a shot.

  5. Hi Alyson – This is really helpful. Thanks for the reminder to honour my peak creative time … and the part about finding what works for me and my natural rhythm. I could be marketing 24/7, there’s always something to follow up on, a blog to write, website to update … emails to answer .. show to keep on promoting, upcoming shows to plan and promote … and facebook! I think a good piece of advice would be to put more effort on my own blog and share THAT on facebook instead of spending so much time on FB thinking “I should be putting this in my blog first”
    It’s all a balancing act. I have to say the huge amount of marketing I’ve done is definitely paying off … will aim to adjust my balance scales to get into the studio and paint more.
    Cheers, Susan

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Susan: YES! Don’t build up all of your content on FB. That’s could prove to be fatal in the future. We never know what will happen to sites we can’t control.

  6. That´s really helpful to set a plan & stick to it. But the most important is to follow all the steps that are in a plan. I´m not very good at it. But I´m learning it 🙂

  7. A little tip that I would like to add is about working in short bursts! I’ve been doing this for a while and it is impressive the amount of work you can do when you are doing just one single thing for a small period of time.
    And here we are involved with creativity but sometimes is easy to lose focus.
    Just want to add this point to the conversation.
    Great post by the way!

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Felipe: Thanks! It helps me to set a timer. In fact, that’s what I’m going to do right now.

  8. Pingback: Weekly Self-Promotion Routine for Artists - Art Biz Success

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