Make a Roadmap for Success

You wouldn't rent a car in a new city without having a map that shows you where you're going, so why would you expect good results from an exhibition or event without a plan for success?
A roadmap outlining your marketing tasks will bring you peace of mind and better results.
In talking with a number of artists recently I was struck by how few of them knew what goes into a plan. Thought a little guidance might be in order.
Road Map and Toy Car

4 Simple Steps to Creating Your Roadmap

1. Define the individual tasks – make each one as specific as possible. They should require just one step to complete. David Allen calls them next actions.
Here are some examples of individual tasks:

  • Set aside 2 hours to write copy for catalog.
  • Decide on image for postcard.
  • Write draft of email blast.
  • Edit email blast.
  • Send email blast.

Note that the last 3 are different tasks and shouldn't be lumped together.
2. Identify what you need to know or whom you need to contact in order to complete the task. In other words, make sure you have everything you need to get it done.

  • Send email to Susan to ask if she can design the postcard for me by February 22.
  • Call Joe to see if he was happy with his last printing job at Print Shop X.
  • Call gallery coordinator to ask about venue's promotional plans.

3. Set a date to do the task. Not a deadline, but the actual date you will do the work.

  • Write draft of email blast on February 6.
  • Edit email blast on February 7.
  • Send email blast on February 8.

4. Add your task to your task list or schedule it on your calendar.

Guidelines for Your Roadmap

All tasks start with a specific verb that defines the action needed. Instead of saying “Contact Steve,” be more specific. Will you use email, text message, or the phone to contact Steve?
Write it out! Keeping your plan in your head only leads to forgetfulness and overwhelm.

Look Over Your Roadmap

Is it realistic?
Is it challenging?
Are you just doing the same thing you always do to promote something? How could you expand your ideas and your reach?

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7 thoughts on “Make a Roadmap for Success”

  1. Great list! Because I know that people respond differently to the variouse marketing approaches( am I showing my age?) I have divided my marketing into groupings such as mailed postcards, who responds to social media such as facebook, a newsletter to most, and also personal emails to some. Also 2 wks or so before the show take your postcards everywhere you go and hand them out. I plan ahead and write down each task in my calendar because there are alot of moving parts to getting ready for a show and it can be overwhelming. I have had great attendance results with this approach.

  2. It’s nice to find a blog like yours that is looking at the business side of the industry. I have been struggling to find advice and information on how to sell my photographic artwork for a while and will enjoy reading through the site.

  3. this is a good post and helps to get organized!
    I am a painter and feel frustrated many times with so many tasks and feeling that I am not doing what I should, specially with marketing campaigns, etc. To have clear goals and most important: priorities! is what really matters

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