Sharing Your Art and Ideas through Shameless Self-Promotion

Before you do anything else, read this post from Nathan Hangen on the Copyblogger blog: The Art of Shameless Self-Promotion.

Now, let’s talk about why I sent you there.

I used to teach an online class called Shameless Self-Promotion. I also used to have a workshop with the same title. As it turns out, it’s a good title–so good that the folks organizing my upcoming workshop in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware have chosen to call their workshop Shameless Self-Promotion.

Nathan Hangen speaks for himself in his blog post, so allow me to give you my side.

The word “shameless” doesn’t mean shameful. It means lack of shame. Shameless Self-Promotion, therefore, implies pride–pride in your work, your art, your ideas, and your accomplishments. You don’t lie, you don’t embellish. Instead, you tell the truth with “lack of shame.” You don’t apologize for your good ideas. You hold your head high while you give an enthusiastic plug for what gets you excited about them.

There’s an entire chapter in my book called “Share, Don’t Sell.” This is how I want you to think. Don’t look for the latest sales speak or closing techniques. Instead of worrying about selling, get excited about sharing your art.

Anthony Frudakis
Anthony Frudakis, Andromeda. Bronze. ©The Artist

Until you are excited about sharing your art, how can you expect us to be overly eager about looking at it or buying it? Our level of fired-up-ness will never exceed your own. There is a direct correlation between your energy surrounding your art and our response to it.

There’s something else to think about that relates to your personal well-being.

You’ll have a hard time promoting your art until you are uber excited about it. You’ll whine, you’ll complain, and you’ll make excuses. Just don’t let me be within earshot of any of these time-wasting activities. They are unproductive and will suck the life out of you, your art, and everyone around you.

I will tell you the same thing I say in my book, in my classes, and in my workshops.

You should be so excited about sharing your art with the world that you can’t wait to get out of bed!

Are you there yet?

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14 thoughts on “Sharing Your Art and Ideas through Shameless Self-Promotion”

  1. WOW! Great post! I bought your book and I am excited to read the chapter “Share, Don’t Sell.” Thank you Alyson!

  2. HA …. well said! Yes Yes Yes, and YES. I speak and think of my own marketing efforts as “shameless” self promotion, but hmmm I do always think in my head that it is somehow shameful and I’m embarrassed by it on some level, and I’m really darn good at it. “You don’t apologize for good ideas” … wow I love that sentence.
    Thanks for a great post.

  3. Alyson Stanfield

    Jane: You’re welcome. Again, don’t think of it as promoting, but as sharing.
    Kelly: Enjoy the book!
    Michelle: You’re welcome.
    Rebecca: None of that shameful stuff! Hope this helps.

  4. Thank you !This arrived just when I needed it! I am so super critical of my work that I have huge problems with self promotion. I used to be an illustrator with an agent and I have to say that they were wonderful in singing their artists praises. There is something to be said for agents.

  5. Caroline: My pleasure.
    Valerie: Glad the timing is good for you. I hope you remember some of the things the agents said about you. Use them.

  6. Alyson
    My student Lenrow (a marketing class at Columbia College Chicago) thinks your blog ‘ROCKS” and we (the class) are looking at it now.

  7. Kimo & Lenrow: I love seeing students on this blog. It’s never too early to start thinking about this stuff. Come back often!

  8. Oh so very true!
    Perhaps that’s why I’m not always excited about the whole marketing part. I’m excited about my new work, but sometimes older work I’m not still so excited about. Never discuss it aloud, but plays a part in my overall exuberance.
    However, NO Excuse!

  9. the confident me….that is the new post on monday- i swear.
    I always worry that everyone will be irritated about me going on and on.
    It is a tricky area. Sometimes…i just go for it….sometimes…i shy away. It is an intersting thing…..shameless self-promotion.

  10. Becky has a good point in raising the danger of self promoting in a heavy handed and artless fashion. Of course we have to be enthusiastic boosters and share our excitement. But just as with making a painting, a sense of balance and proportion, as well as just plain old sensitivity to other people, is a must.
    Anyone who has been around the art world for awhile has run into the artist who comes on like a bulldozer talking incessantly about only themselves. We artists ARE interesting, but we have to remember that the audience we are trying to reach is likewise made up of interesting individuals. We have to take an interest in them as people. Besides, we’ll learn something in the process.

  11. Pingback: The Shaun White Guide to a Gold-Medal Art Career — Art Biz Blog

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