That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles??

Shelley and I believe so strongly in our mantra of “no starving artists” that we take it literally when we speak publicly. We feed our audience cookies!

When we started down this path, we spoke with our good friend, Flo – an exceptional baker and home-chef.  She offered to create a prototype cookie for us that would not only taste great but could also operate as an edible business card.

After lots of experimentation, Flo shared her product with us.  We were thrilled with the taste and the look. These cookies screamed the professionalism we were after.

The next step was to figure out the cost to S2 Seminars for all this yummy goodness.  Flo agreed to let us walk her through our maker pricing process to arrive at what she should charge per cookie.

Here are the steps we used for Flo and the cookies.

Step One:  Figure out the material costs to produce a batch of cookies. 

How much were the ingredients and the packaging to produce a dozen final-product cookies?  Taking into account the cookie and icing ingredients, the plastic sleeves and the ribbon, and any spoilage, Flo used her receipts to calculate that 12 finished-product-worthy cookies could be produced for around $9.

Note 1: Flo defined spoilage as cookies where the royal icing surface was not level or flat, the edges were too brown, the bottoms too dark, the icing letters smudged, etc.  She felt roughly 9 in every 12 cookies she produced were acceptable to represent S2. This meant each batch had to contain a minimum of 16 cookies to make sure she got a full dozen of her final product.

Note 2: For those with an accounting bend reading this blog, please know we purposefully kept this story simple. If Flo were going to make and bake full time, then we would definitely need to expand our pricing process to include sunk and operating costs and possibly some amortization too.

Step Two: Figure out the cost of labour required to bake, ice and package a batch of cookies. 

Including shopping and cooking time, Flo estimated the labour was around two hours per dozen worthy cookies.  She did feel her labour estimate would become lower over time once she developed a production system  but for now, this was the number.

In Alberta where we live, minimum wage was $13.60 when she was producing the cookies.  Multiplying two hours times $13.60 gave us $27.20 for the cost of labour.

Step Three:  Figure out the price to charge per cookie.

Now we knew the ingredient and packaging costs and the labour costs.  It was time to do some more math and figure out the price per individual cookie.

Herein lay the crux of the problem.  S2 Seminars had a budget of $1.50 a cookie.  $3.02 per cookie was more than double!  To get the price per cookie to meet our budget, it meant the material costs, labour costs or both needed to shrink.

Flo looked at her material costs and decided that, with our mutual eye to a quality product, there was not much that could be done to get the cost lower.  Next, she determined that meeting the goal of $1.50 per cookie would mean she’d only be able to charge $4.50 per hour until her systems were in place.  This put a lot of pressure on those systems to become ultra efficient so her labour rate could reach the minimum wage per hour target. Her chances of success were extremely low.

We then came to the mutual conclusion.  Although we all loved the finished product, it was cost prohibitive for either of us to pursue further.  We sure had fun finishing up the prototype cookies though!

If you’re a maker and struggling with setting your price, write us and we’ll write back.

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

 

 

A Sweet Business Plan for Success

“Business Plan!”

Did you cringe?

Many people cringe at the mere mention of a business plan, especially if they prefer to live in their right-brain over their left-brain. Of course most of us use both sides of our brains — some appear to use neither side! — but we all resonate more with one side or the other. (See our previous blog, Right-Brain, Left-Brain.)

Business plans live in the left or logical side of our brains. For those who prefer to use right-brain skills, a business plan can seem daunting.

At S2 Seminars, we realized we could help right-brain thinkers if we could find a way to translate some of the business plan “code” into language more suitable to the way they think.

Drumroll please…. enter the S2 Seminars Honeycomb Business Plan Model!

The honeycomb is symbolic of the industrious bee, his propensity to work in teams, yet able to work independently, and his sweet, Return on Investment (ROI), honey! (No, I’m not getting fresh with you!)

The hexagon shapes in honeycombs fit together in a wide variety of configurations which are conducive to building a plan, especially if  you don’t initially know the order your pieces need to be placed or how many you will need.

We recognized that 80% or more of the content in typical business plans is common to all plans. By starting with these common components, you can develop a plan that works for you.  If others who need to see your plan require more components, simply add them on to what you developed for yourself.  (For reasons to have a business plan, see our blog “Because You’re Worth It).”

Here are the most important components of a business plan.

Basics: Your company name, structure, address, phone, web site, social media, your business description and other introductory information.

Vision: Includes vision, mission and value statements. Why are you doing what you are doing and how will you do it?

Products: What are you selling – products, services or both?

Money: How much do you want to make? How much will you charge? What are your financial projections?

Markets: Who is your customer? Where is your customer? How will you reach your customer? How will you bond with your customer?

People: Who is on your team? What skills do you lack? Who can you hire or barter with for the gaps in your skills? Or, do you get training so you can fill the gap yourself?

Summary: The Executive Summary or overview of everything you’re planning. This is written after the rest of your plan but presented to potential business partners and financiers BEFORE the main plan to entice them to read more.

Writing a business plan is the first step in making a living from your art.

S2 Seminars is pleased to offer a two-day workshop for creative and performing artists called A Sweet Business Plan for Success. We will lead you through all these components in detail, helping you ferret out answers to important questions and flesh out a business plan that works for your goals, whether it’s simply to have a roadmap for business success or to secure funding.

At the end of the two days, you will have a business plan that’s 85 to 100% complete, (depending on its complexity, your ability to provide information and who needs to see it) so you can get on with making money from your art.

For more information, check out our events page.

Shelley Goldbeck, 
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

 

Because You’re Worth It

Have you been asked/expected to donate your art? Play for free? Speak at an event for no charge?

It’s often for a good cause.

Or my personal favourite… exposure!

When I’m asked to perform for exposure I say, “People die from exposure!”

Of course, as artists learn their trade, sometimes they have to do projects for experience, which differs from exposure. With experience, you get your mistakes out of the way so when the Big Show comes (whatever that may be for your art), you’re ready!

I read a Facebook post several years ago by a woman, a professional speaker, who was approached by Oprah’s team to present at their up-to-$1000-per-seat event.

For free.

The conversation went something like this:

The author of the post asked the producer on the phone, “Are you getting paid?”

Oprah’s producer replied, ” Yes.”

“What about the receptionist? Is she getting paid?”

Again, Oprah’s producer replied, “Yes.”

“The janitor?”

“Yes.”

Not surprised but disappointed, the author said, “Yet you expect me to work, after taking 16 years to get my education, practicing for years, becoming better with every performance — so much so that I’m considered an expert — for free?

To which the producer responded, “But it’s Oprah.”

(Hmmm… this reply has a bit of “exposure” odor to it, doesn’t it?)

Not shaken, the author queried again, “Is Oprah getting paid?”

I’d like to tell you the producer eventually saw the light and was able to negotiate an agreeable speaking fee for the author.  But, it was Oprah and things were done her way.

Being expected to work for free is common among my fellow musicians, poets and speakers and my numerous friends who are painters, dancers and other creatives.

Why should artists be paid? Here are 13 good reasons. I’d love to hear your reasons.

  1. Art education costs money. Lessons, classes, degrees and certificates all have their price.
  2. Art costs money to produce: paint, canvas, instruments, costumes, demo CDs, studios, props… the list goes on.
  3. Art takes time. Think of the hours you invested getting good at your art — playing an instrument, perfecting that move, capturing the curve of a face, getting your speech timing just right.
  4. Artists need to eat.
  5. Artists have marketing costs like any business: business cards, website, travel, supplies, instruments, technology, etc.
  6. Artists cope with criticism, pain, pressures, self-doubt and rejection, perhaps more than others because of their vulnerability when exposing their art to the world. (Maybe they deserve hazard pay!)
  7. Artists must create and cultivate a fan base to be successful. There are many ways to do this, but they all cost money and time.
  8. Being an artist carries greater risk than other professions. There’s no safety net of a weekly paycheque here. Gigs and sales are often sporadic and unpredictable.
  9. Art is vital to our culture, our education and indeed, our happiness. Why do we not attach higher value to it?
  10. Few artists get filthy rich, but shouldn’t all artists be able to make a living using their gifts?
  11. It’s a myth that getting paid demeans the art. The greatest art in the world has monetary value.
  12. Everybody needs money. Artists are part of the everybody.
  13. It’s not a sin to be paid for doing what you love. Many people do it and haven’t been struck down by lightning!

Your art is a valuable contribution to society.

Your being PAID allows you to make that contribution. Otherwise, you’re relying on  others for sustenance or earning a paycheque with busywork that doesn’t scream who you are like your art can.  Why should you have to let these distractions stifle your creativity and productivity when others are “allowed” to do what they love and earn a living doing it?

Today I challenge you.

Change your beliefs about artists and money.

Artists deserve to be paid.

Shelley Goldbeck, 
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

How to Sell Your CDs Online

Music distribution has changed dramatically over the years. In the past, you’d hear a song on the radio. If you liked it you’d go to your local record store and buy the album or the single.

I got an iPod for my birthday from my daughters in 2008. What a wonderful new toy! I spent weeks and hundreds of dollars building my digital music library. I revelled in having thousands of songs at my fingertips wherever I went. Because it was so convenient I developed a relationship with many old favourites and relished the new music I sampled.

I stopped buying CDs, preferring the convenience of digital files so I completely understood when my friends asked where they could buy a digital copy of my CD, Buffalo Beans and Bluebells.

I quickly discovered that I couldn’t list directly on iTunes or many of the other music services for that matter.  These systems aren’t set up for the budding artist with only a CD or two under their belts, like me.  You see, unless you have a large repertoire of albums, they force you into using  a music distributor who will happily take a share of your royalties for their trouble.  I got busy and started researching online.

Luckily, I was able to find reviews for many. I was dismayed at what I read. The biggest complaint from artists seemed to be the inability to reliably collecting money from these distributors.

Then I found Distrokid, whose reviews were stellar. For only $19.99 per year, you can upload unlimited albums and songs. Distrokid distributes them to iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon, Google Play and over 150 other stores and streaming services. You keep 100% of your royalties. You can even legally use cover songs by paying $12 per year per song. (It’s important to me that other musicians are paid for their work too.)

The process for loading your music is straight forward. I had a small glitch because my producer had loaded my album for me as a favour.  Because Distrokid doesn’t allow duplicates, I was unable to get those songs listed in my name. So I asked my producer to remove my files. It took a few days but I was able to load the album without a hitch.

It was very exciting as I got notifications that my CD was up on iTunes,  Amazon and other services. I haven’t seen any money yet but to be fair, I only loaded everything last week.

If you have a CD, it’s imperative you provide your customers with choice for how they purchase that CD. Distrokid is an easy way to reach your fans and collect the royalties you deserve. One final tip: Remember to update your website with links to your digital music.

Disclaimer:  We did not receive any fees or proceeds in any form for recommending Distrokid.  They’re just a company doing it right and one we’re happy we are getting to know.

Shelley Goldbeck, 
www.S2Seminars.ca

 

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

Creating a Marketing Plan, Part Four: How To Implement your Marketing Plan

This is the fourth in a four-part series on Creating a Marketing Plan for your arts business.

In our previous posts we discussed Who is Your customer? Where is Your Customer? What Matters to or Bonding with your Customer. In this post we look at some ideas for How to Implement your Marketing Plan.

Now that you know who your customer is, where they hang out and what matters to them, you are ready to start marketing.

The good news?  There’s more than way to accomplish this goal. Here are some tips that have worked for us.

  1. Get a system. Create a calendar to regularly put action into your marketing plan. We recommend a simple spreadsheet using MS Excel or Apple’s Numbers. There are apps you can download to integrate your calendar with other functions. Or use Google Plus where you can use the calendar, store and share documents and more. You can even go low-tech and use a paper calendar. It doesn’t matter. Just have a system. And. Use. It. If you schedule web site updates for 3PM Sunday, keep that promise to yourself or reschedule within 24 hours.
  2. Plot out your plan. Research how often you can message your customers without losing their trust. For some it’s daily, others, weekly. You might get away with sending a weekly blog or newsletter (with four times more info as sales copy), (which is tweeted and shared on Facebook automatically); two additional Facebook posts (which are automatically tweeted) and one presentation at a non-profit luncheon where you get to sell your books/CDs. Your research will dictate your frequency. Follow others in your industry. Are you comfortable with their frequency and messaging?
  3. Pre-fill content, wherever and whenever possible. For example, you can write ten blogs one weekend and schedule them to release once a week over the next two and a half months. Prepare content ahead even if you can’t have it generate automatically. You have a system, remember? You can write all your Facebook messages for the month. Collect your images, links, etc. in a file on your favorite device. They’re ready to copy and paste into your posts as you need them. With some preparation your Facebook chores can take only a few minutes each day. Technology can help. Often you can set it up so that when your blog goes live, it notifies your social media of choice. Linking the channels you use is easier than ever and will save time.
  4. Focus. You can’t do it all. Some say it’s better to NOT be on a social media channel if you aren’t active. Pick the top two or three media your audience uses and wow them. If you’re wildly successful and have more resources, you can expand your channels in the future.  If you’re on Facebook, be there. Answer comments. Share information interesting to your tribe. Be frequent and regular. If YouTube is your main channel, do it well.
  5. Measure and test everything. For example, install analytics in your web site so you can see who visited, how long, which pages they clicked on, how long they stayed on the page (were they reading it or just passing through?); all vital information. Test Facebook posts by posting the same message twice, each time with a different title. Which title garnered more likes/views? These are more clues to what resonates with your customer. Test email subject lines by sending the same message to two different groups using two titles. Measure which title elicited more reaction.

We’ve really only scratched the surface of Creating a Marketing Plan but if you implement a few of these tips you will enjoy exponential growth over doing almost nothing!

If you’re serious about making money from your art business, Create a Marketing Plan. If you need help, let us know.

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

 

 

Creating a Marketing Plan, Part Two: Where is Your Customer?

This is the second in a four-part series on Creating a Marketing Plan for your arts business.  Link to Part 1, Who is Your Customer?

Part Two: Where is Your Customer?

In Part One of Creating a Marketing Plan we identified who our ideal customer is and what matters to him/her. Now that you know that information, finding your customers will be easier. Here are some tips for where to find your customers.

  1. Create a list of possible media. Your list might include your web site, your blog and social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat; traditional media like print (including books/magazines), radio, TV; and newer media like podcasts, YouTube and webinars. Business cards, postcards, brochures, and promotional gifts (pens, water bottles, bags) are all part of your marketing, as are how you dress, how you speak; even the cleanliness of your car sends a message to clients.
  2. Now that you have your list, it’s time to analyze each medium’s effectiveness in reaching your ideal customer. For example, if your ideal customer is a soccer mom, you will likely find her on Facebook. If your client is the CEO of a small company, good luck reaching him on Facebook! Odds are LinkedIn will be his social media of choice. This might require you spending time on the various media to find out who’s there and what they’re saying.
  3. If you don’t know where your customer hangs out, do some research. Ask past customers how they like to communicate with you. They might like frequent short messages on Twitter rather than reading a long technical blog article. They might prefer podcasts because they spend long hours in a car. They might like to post pictures on Instagram. 

Once you’ve determined where your customers are, the next step is to join them there. Set up your Facebook account, start writing your blog or the script for your video, decide if you’ll find your following on Pinterest or Instagram or neither! (Where NOT to be is as important as where TO be!)

Finding your tribe is a process. Very few get it on the first try.

Most artists, authors, speakers and other influencers are not using the same media nor speaking to the same audience with the same message in the same way they were two decades ago!

So be kind to yourself as you build your business. Baby steps!

If you need help setting up your systems, call us.

Once you find your following, what are you going to say?

In Part Three of Creating a Marketing Plan, we cover “Bonding with your Customer” or Matching your Message to your Customer.

 

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

 

Link to Part 1, Who is Your Customer?

Creating a Marketing Plan, Part One: Who Is Your Customer?

In our past blog, I Have My CD, Now What? we discussed why you need a marketing plan.

And we promised to show you how.

In this four-part series, we’ll look at various steps that are integral to planning, building, and executing a marketing plan for your business.

A few decades ago I participated in a community theatre production. Once we had our parts, our first exercise was to “get to know” our characters. We did that by creating a back story for them. In the script we found clues to why the characters were the way they were and we made up back stories to explain their current state.

At the time I wondered why we were bothering. What we wrote would never be performed or revealed in any way.

Then I realized that none of us could “be” our characters if we didn’t really know them. “Being” a character is far different from “doing” a character, as anyone who has sat through a badly performed play can attest.

It’s the same with customers. We can’t serve them, meet their needs or sell to them if we don’t really know them.

The first step to creating a marketing plan is to get to know your ideal customer.

Who is your ideal customer?

The answer is NOT “everyone”, despite being the most common answer!

In our world of infinite choices and combinations you and your product will never appeal to “everyone” so get over it!

Here are some tips for discovering your customer.

  1. Think about one person who was most excited about you or your product. What does he/she look like? What does she want, need, have, etc.? What does he drive? What makes her heart sing? How many children does she have or does she even have children? Does he cook? Does she travel? Does he play an instrument? What does she read?
  2. Think about what you can do for her. Don’t even think about what she can do for you (buy your product) before you know why she wants/needs your product. You waste your resources and risk alienating a potential future customer when you’re not sure. How will your product improve her life/health/happiness?
  3. Think about why. Why does your ideal customer care about you or your product? (Or, what would it take to get her to care about you and your product?) What values do you share with your customer?

This is not a comprehensive list of questions because all our customers are different. The important part is to ask questions. Make no assumptions.

You might find it helps you to draw a picture of your ideal customer or create a collage of everything your ideal customer cherishes.

Caution: if you do not complete this painting-the-picture-of-your-ideal-customer step all future steps are at your peril! It is imperative that you know the wherefores and the whys of your customers’ buying decisions if you ever hope to sell them anything. You can only accomplish this if you know them intimately.

Once you’ve arrived at honest accurate answers to this question, “Who is your ideal customer?” you’re ready for Part Two of Creating a Marketing Plan, Finding Your Ideal Customer.

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

 

 

What to do when Oprah calls…

Breathe! Remember we all put our pants on one leg at a time – even the rich, successful and famous! Then say, “Hello.” Maybe follow it up with, “How are you today?” Whatever you do, don’t drop the phone or go running up to the first person you see screaming, “Oprah’s on the phone!!”

Seriously though, how often do you meet someone you feel is better than you – whether it’s true or not. Maybe it’s because of their financial status, brain power, natural raw talent, or some other “trait” you’ve convinced yourself makes them superior to you. We are all comprised of flesh, bone and water – roughly 60% water actually! Some of us just use our grey matter a little differently and others are simply born into money.

Our overall sense of self-worth or personal value is called our self-esteem. It’s healthy to have confidence in our own worth and abilities. But what do we do when those feelings of worthiness and contribution are low?

What You Can Do to Bolster Your Self-Esteem NOW

1. Surround yourself with people who love you.

Stop spending time with people who treat you badly. Reconnect with those who believe in you and like you (love you is even better). These people are pre-wired to help you feel better about yourself and want to see you succeed.

2. Remove negative self-talk from your vocabulary.

Why do we set the bar higher for ourselves then we would for other people, then kill ourselves trying to jump over that bar? It’s time to start believing “good enough” really is good enough and quit beating ourselves up when things aren’t perfect. Done well and with the right heart beats done to perfection every time.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others.

People don’t always tell the truth, especially on social media. On the surface, it may look like they’re doing better than you are when in reality, you are doing just as well or better! Author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz in his 2017 book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are says:

“In the Facebook world, the average adult seems to be happily married, vacationing in the Caribbean, and perusing The Atlantic. In the real world, a lot of people are angry, on supermarket checkout lines, peeking at the National Inquirer, ignoring the phone calls from their spouse, whom they haven’t slept with in years.”

4. Find something you like doing and do more of it.

Maybe it’s playing or creating music, painting, sculpting, writing, spending time with your children, … whatever! Just do more of it so you can remind yourself you don’t have to be an expert at something to have fun. And fun is good for your mental health!

5. Get support if things become too much.

Many major centres have free or next-to-free programs for people to help re-establish healthy self esteem. In Toronto for example, the Health and Wellness Centre at the University of Toronto offers counselling services for low self-esteem. The Calgary Counselling Centre in Calgary has an action-oriented program to help you “create a positive, stronger sense of self and make healthier choices.” If you’re nervous about that big a step, make an appointment with your family doctor and start there. The secret is to just start doing something to make your life better.

 

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

 

Happy Inspire Your Heart with Art Day!

January 31st is Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, a day to ruminate on how art touches your heart.

Art is many things – it can be a great piece of music performed at the right volume for maximum enjoyment, a painting worth more than a thousand words, prose that moves you to tears or laughter, or maybe even something as simple as a perfectly poured cup of brew with good company to enjoy it.

Do something today that reminds you why you love having art in your life then share it at #InspireYourHeartWithArtDay or leave us a comment below.

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, attend our workshop, 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoe-String Budget.

Playground for Creativity, Community and Collaboration

cSPACE bills itself as a Playground for Creativity, Community and Collaboration.

That is a bold promise.

And very exciting!

As part of our participation in the arts community, the S2 Seminars partners, Susan and Shelley recently visited cSPACE, an incredible building born from the sandstone carcass of the old King Edward School in southwest Calgary.

cSpace is an arts hub, innovative venue and coworking space for Calgary artists to experiment, explore and spark change.

Their mission is to provide the conditions that diverse communities of creatives need to remain vital, sustainable and innovative while generating dividends for Calgarians across the city.

They do that by providing affordable, flexible and inspiring spaces that are responsive to the evolving needs of new artistic practices, missions and enterprises while delivering unique gathering places for all Calgarians.

They provide opportunities for artists to engage with peers and collaborators, amplified through greater connectivity to surrounding neighbourhoods.

They share knowledge by providing specialized workshops, services and peer-to-peer mentorship.

cSPACE King Edward has meeting facilities, a rooftop deck, on-site cafe, and a shared workspace called the Sandbox. This space allows artists to “go to work” which can be vital for artists.  Doing their art is often a solitary activity but coming to the Sandbox alleviates encroaching “hermit-ism”.

Shelley and Susan from S2 Seminars hide in a mural at cSPACE

The day we visited, a market was being held in one of the generously wide hallways of the old school. Artisans offered their lovingly created pieces, from paintings and sculpture to jewelry and soap.

The vision for cSPACE King Edward is to ignite the intersection of art and everyday life. A cool example is the old boilers used to heat the school are mounted in the floor of a hallway, covered with thick glass and turned into a museum piece: art meets life.

Everywhere you go art is in progress or finished art is displayed. It’s tremendously inspiring, knowing this torch has been carried to here and that as a city we have access to this innovative initiative.

We were impressed and amazed. We look forward to conducting some of our training sessions at cSPACE.

If you’re an artist, looking for workspace or a community, check out cSPACE.

Check out upcoming cSPACE events.

Read the cSPACE blog.

Consider becoming a cSPACE member.

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer,
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, attend our workshop, 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoe-String Budget.

What is Your YouTube Strategy?

If you choose to do only one thing for your business in 2018, having a YouTube strategy could result in your best Return on Investment (ROI).

ROI is all about inputs (what you invest) versus outcomes (what you get back).

If I invest $10 and get back $100, that’s excellent ROI. If I invest $100 and get back $10, I’m losing money like a sieve.

If I invest 200 hours to create a painting that I can sell for $50, I’ll starve.

But if I can duplicate and sell that painting for $50 to 100 customers, that’s $5000 and I’m making a living wage ($5000 made divided by 200 hours to create equals $25 per hour).

In today’s world, there are many places to invest your time and money. The emergence of video as an important marketing tool can’t be ignored.

Well, it can, but you won’t be as happy with your ROI.

Here are some interesting facts about YouTube:

  • YouTube gets over 30 million visitors… per day.
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!
  • Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day.

See more YouTube statistics.

Depending on your audience, it’s very likely you’ll find them on YouTube. That’s why you need a YouTube strategy.

The Plan

Your plan begins with creating your own YouTube channel if you don’t already have one. Even if you do, you might want to create a new one specifically for your business.

Here is a good basic YouTube video on how to create a YouTube channel.

Here’s a more thorough explanation with screen shots in a blog for creating a YouTube channel.

Once you have a channel you need to add content.

But where do you get video content?

You can share other people’s content or you can create your own. Mostly you’ll create your own. After all, promoting you and your art is why you have a YouTube channel!

How do you create video content?

Here are seven tips to help you create good content.

  1. Most of our devices come with video cameras that are far better quality than we’ve ever had. They’re simple to use.  Editing software is widely available and easy to use.
  2. Remember to pull your devices out of your pockets and capture the moments of your life.
  3. Ask friends and family to record you at your craft, perhaps a piece of one of your music performances or you teaching a child to paint.
  4. You can make videos on how to do certain techniques that make you a better artist. If you have a trick that makes a beautiful creation, produce a video and share it with the world.
  5. Create a slide with your contact information to attach to the front and back of your video.
  6. Edit. Edit. Edit. Attention spans are shrinking daily so it’s wise to get to the point and keep it short with no unnecessary footage.  If you don’t grab your audience in the first five seconds, they’re gone. If you bore them along the way, they’re gone. We recommend one to two minute videos, and up to five minutes if they’re VERY interesting.
  7. You can even hire professionals to help you create content. (We can recommend videographers. Contact us.)

Post your videos to YouTube.

Then remember to tell people about your video using other media like your web site, Twitter, Facebook, and email.

Why do you need video content in your marketing mix?

There are at least five good reasons to use video content:

  1. Consumers want it. Remember those statistics? There is an appetite to learn using video.
  2. Connection. Arguably, video allows us to get better connected. When customers can see you, hear you and see your work, they’re more apt to trust you. And if they trust you and like you, they buy from you.
  3. Choice. That’s the new consumer desire. They want to choose how they consume their media. Some want written words, some want to hear them. Some want pictures, many want video.  By going to where your customers are, you are adding to their choice and increasing the chances they’ll choose you.
  4. Video is a unique way to promote your business. While customers are online, the majority of businesses have yet to discover the power of video. You can lead by pioneering video marketing in your category.
  5. Video is an ideal way to promote visual and performing arts, simply because… it’s visual! Event planners want to see you before they hire you. Having a presence on YouTube is vital for getting those gigs.

At S2 Seminars we are a “practice what you preach” company. We recently fired up our own YouTube channel. See our first video here.

We produced a half dozen “spots” which we will use to promote ourselves, our seminars and our other products. We plan to release them one at a time, strategically.

We will combine our YouTube strategy with our other marketing and promotions, like this blog, which is sent to Facebook and Twitter when we post. And we’re tracking it all in our marketing plan.

If you would like some help planning your YouTube strategy, contact us or attend one of our courses.

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer, 
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, attend our workshop, 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoe-String Budget.