Invitation to a Special Evening!


S2 Seminars would like to invite you to a special evening!

Toastmasters District 42 Speech Champion, Russ Dantu is off to compete in the Toastmasters’ World Champion of Public Speaking Finals in August. On July 25, we are Launching Russ to Chicago with an evening of entertainment and enlightenment.

The evening begins with a free autographed copy of Russ’s new book, At Your Service upon your arrival. If you’ve already bought his book, no problem. Russ is offering a “trade-in deal” where you can exchange the book from this evening for one of Russ’ other wonderful products.

Next, you’ll move onto wine and cheese networking. Your first glass of wine is free. More may be purchased for cash, with all proceeds going to the fundraiser. Meet new people and old friends as we mingle before the show and during intermission.

Then, we gather in the historic and beautiful Hillhurst United Church sanctuary for entertainment by some of Russ’ favourite Toastmasters and friends.

  • Emcees, Palmo Carpino and Former District 42 International Speech Champion, Rowena Carlson, promise an evening of hilarity.
  • Former District 42 International Speech Champion and professional performer, Chuck Rose will entertain us with his gift of song.
  • Former District 42 International Speech Champion, Darlene Davies will show us (and Russ) how it’s done!
  • For all those who’ve wondered “what the heck is Cowboy Poetry anyway?” Shelley Goldbeck (me!) will be sharing from her repertoire of original poetry and music.
  • And of course, you’ll get to hear Russ Dantu, himself, as he delivers his two competition speeches.

If that’s not enough, our evening will top with the talents of mentalist, Greg T, who uses, human psychology, illusion and intuition to dazzle his audiences.

Proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards assisting Russ with his expenses. If we reach our goal — in the spirit of uplifting each other — we plan to leave a legacy account for future Toastmaster District 42 International Speech Contest winners.

It seems ambitious, I know, but if you’re willing to treat your favourite someone to a summer evening of entertainment, enlightenment and enchantment, we’ll meet our goals.  Tickets are only available online through the secure registration services provided by our favorite event service provider, Ticketor.

Summer is short and we realize folks are vacationing and busy with family. If you can’t make it, please extend this invitation to someone who might enjoy a night on the town or consider donating money by contacting me directly.

For your convenience, I have attached our event e-Poster. We appreciate your sharing with your network to help us reach our goal of 250 Russ supporters.  Here’s how others can help:

  1. Share our poster.
  2. Buy tickets: https://bit.ly/2L3tJof
  3. Become an event sponsor. Call Shelley Goldbeck @ 403.606.1379 for details.

We hope to see you there.

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2Seminars is proud to be the official registration sponsor for the fundraiser to Launch Russ Dantu to Chicago for the 2018 Toastmasters International Speech  Championship.

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.

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.

Life Happens

At S2 Seminars we believe in planning, attention to detail and doing excellent work.

But the best laid plans can go awry.

We also believe family comes first.

A death in the family has changed our plans.

We reluctantly made the recent decision to postpone our first workshop of 2018.

We’ve rescheduled 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoestring Budget for February 13, 2018.

Perhaps with New Year preparations out of the way, February 13 is a good date for you to join us.

We will help you create a business card and show you how to use it. We will build a Facebook page and you’ll leave with a plan to use it in your marketing mix. We will also help you plan your web site and give you tips for using it effectively.

If you’ve resolved to focus on your art business this year, you don’t want to miss this opportunity.


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.

Do I Need a Facebook Page?

Social media has revolutionized the business world.

Having a Facebook page can be an integral part of your marketing plan. Here are four reasons to have a Facebook Page for your business:

1. Conversations:

Companies can now speak directly to their customers and receive feedback, in essence having conversations.

The value of a conversation is immeasurable.

Think back to a recent conversation you had. The sharing of ideas may have changed your perspective on an issue. Perhaps your understanding of the opposite view has grown. You may have changed your actions as a result of that conversation.

By having conversations with your customers through a Facebook page you can learn what your customers want or need. You can tailor your product or service to meet their expectations.

2. Being Human:

When companies advertise, they tend to use “Adspeak”. We’ve all heard Adspeak, it’s what makes ads sound like advertisements.

And most of us have learned to tune out that kind of talk.

On a Facebook page you can have fun, be real, and show your vulnerability, all human characteristics not usually found in adspeak.

3. Building a Community:

The most successful businesses build communities they can go back to again and again with new products and services. These communities often consist of raving fans, the ultimate customer. Build community by:

  • Posting useful, relevant and interesting links
  • Asking fans to contribute with comments
  • Organizing contests and promotions
  • Providing a place to leave reviews and other feedback
  • Offering incentives for activity on your page

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Having a Facebook page for your small business can be an effective way to direct traffic to your business website and blog. Activities on your public Facebook page can also give you an SEO boost when they are indexed by search engines.

Building and using a Facebook page is one of the tools covered in our workshop 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoestring Budget.

Shelley Goldbeck, 
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.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!

S2 Seminars partners, Shelley and Susan wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

We’ll be spending time with family, eating copious amounts of delicious food and contemplating the New Year.

Our wish for you is that you’ll recharge your batteries during this traditional and much-needed winter break.

As you reflect on the past year and look towards 2018, a good resolution is getting serious about your business.

We’re serious about our goal of eradicating poverty in artists.

If you’re serious about eradicating YOUR poverty, consider enrolling in our first class of 2018, 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoestring Budget.

Procrastination is the enemy of New Year’s resolutions so we suggest you jump right in.

We’re covering the basics: business cards, Facebook, and web sites. When the workshop is done you’ll have three tools that will make an immediate difference in your business.

What a way to start the New Year!

S2 Partners,

Shelley and Susan

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.

3 Things You Can Do NOW to Make Your 2018 Resolutions Come True

Resolutions aren’t wishes. They’re commitments you choose to act on… or not.

2018 is almost here. If you’re like 41% of Americans, you’re probably already thinking about how you’ll commit to the changes you’d like to see in your life next year. Unfortunately, only 9.2% of you will feel you’re successful in accomplishing those resolutions by the end of the year. These stats were collected and published in January 2017 by Statistics Brain Research Institute, a group of people passionate about numbers. More importantly, they say:

People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

That’s all well and good, but how do you move from wanting a change to stating a resolution then making it come true?

There are three things you can do today to get going.

  1. Shout it from the rooftops! The more people you tell, the more people there are to help keep you accountable for what you’re trying to accomplish.  Just make sure you don’t accidentally commit to more resolutions than you can possibly fulfill in one year.
  2. Write it down. As simple as this sounds, it works — commitment is reinforced when you involve more of your senses. Writing is both physical (touch) and visual (sight). Read what you’ve written aloud when you’re done, and you add two more senses (sound and hearing), strengthening that commitment even further.
  3. Get help. When you don’t know how to proceed, getting help is one way to fast-track the endless hours you’ll spend searching and attempting to teach yourself the answers on the internet. It’s a wondrous place but it can also burn through your days with ease.

Make 2018 the year your resolutions come true!

Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your opinion, especially if this has worked for you in past too.


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

Registration is Open!

Registration for 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoestring Budget on February 13, 2018 is officially live.  If you’ve been waiting to register, now is the time to act while early bird pricing is still in effect.

We had lots of fun (seriously!) using a tool called Ticketor to provide the online registration.  It was relatively easy to set up although it did take a little longer to do than advertised.  The biggest challenge was rewriting some of the “fine print” content they provided with the default site.  Ticketor wrote it as though their site is the only one S2 Seminars has, which is not our case.  On the upside, their videos, FAQs, emails and chat support service were really helpful.

Long story short, it’s now possible to register 24×7 using a credit card.

If you’ve been wondering what to get the artist in your life for Christmas, maybe this is it.  As any thriving artist will tell you, there’s nothing like the gift of independence that comes from controlling how, when,  where and for how much your art is sold.

 

Why Don’t Artists Make Money?

Vice News produced Why Artists Don’t Make Money in May 2015 as part of their “The Business of Life” series. The panelists in this show share a ton of statistics about the value of creativity to society.  They also explore why we’re in this position today, how we need to rethink monetization of art  and suggest the average artist (not the top 1%) needs to take control of marketing and selling their own art.  Originally published for a US-based audience, it transcends our borders and applies equally as well here in Canada.  It’s also still relevant today.

You can check it out in our For Artists playlist on our BRAND NEW  You Tube channel.  (Yes, we’re pretty excited about having a You Tube channel.  We’ll be publishing more content there over the next few weeks and months.)

At S2 Seminars, we believe choosing a career in art does not require a vow of poverty. Yet we notice our artist friends chronically struggling financially.

The solution seems simple to us because we both have business experience.

But right-brained artists may have had little interest in or opportunity to learn business skills. Sadly, they pay (literally and figuratively) for that inexperience.

If you’d like to make money from your art ask us about  Three Must-Have Tools To Market Yourself on a Shoestring Budget.

In this five-hour workshop we lead artists who are neophytes at business through three basic steps so they can begin valuing themselves and their art, and making money immediately. We feed them too!

I Have My CD, Now What?

Remember the day you picked up that box full of new CD’s containing your music? If you’re like me, you were probably ready to  jump right out of your skin! I bet you were optimistic about selling them, too.

But, seriously, how ARE you planning to sell them?

They won’t sell themselves.

You likely don’t know 500 people, never mind 500 people who are willing to buy your CD. (And selling only 500 isn’t enough to live on!)

Hint: Don’t count on your friends, especially if you haven’t supported them by buying their books and CDs!

In our modern world, there are many ways to promote your work, be it CDs, books, art, or music.  It can seem overwhelming, poking through the options, making a plan and finding time to execute the plan.

I recently produced a CD of poetry and music, dedicated to my parents for their 60th wedding anniversary. It was a surprise.

Although I had my CDs six days before the party, I couldn’t say anything online because my mom follows me and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. So I’ve kept quiet.

But the cone of silence is lifted. The party is over. Mom and Dad are happy.

Now it’s time to get selling. What will I do?  I’m going to follow these three simple steps is what.

1. Set a Goal

I like to go big or go home so I’ve set myself a goal to sell 5000 CDs in 2018. It seems ambitious but if I pull it off, I stand to make a decent living and I’ll have a lot of fun doing it (which is truly my ultimate goal)!

2. Create a Plan

I’m becoming my own marketing case study.

My business partner, Susan and I are teaching artists business skills through S2 Seminars. We agreed that I would serve as a marketing case study for the company. Our thinking is, “If we can’t sell my CDs, how can we possibly tell our clients what to do?”

So I’m making a plan and sharing it with you in installments through this blog.

The plan includes Facebook posts, Tweets, email messages, sending CDs to people who can promote me, booking live events, building pages on my website to promote my CD, ensuring it’s available online and much more.

3. Work the Plan

As the plan solidifies and I implement it, I will blog about my experiences. We will all learn more about selling our works of art together.

Don’t miss it. Sign up to follow our blog.

 

Professional Photo Shoots Don’t Have to be Scary… Really!

I’ve hired photographers in the past for traditional family portraits. You know — the ones where you can turn sideways and hide behind other family members so not all of you is seen.

My business partner and good friend, Shelley and I decided we needed pro shots for ourselves and the launch of our new venture, S2 Seminars.  As an ex-model, she knew what it was all about.  Until yesterday though, I had never experienced a professional photo shoot where me, and only me, is the centre of attention.  To tell the truth, I was terrified to do it because I have self-image issues.

Well, after working with Trevor Carter at D’Angelo Photography, I can now say with authority that it’s not scary when you have the right photographer!  Here’s a recap of our experience and the process we went through.

  1. We asked people we trusted and whose professional photos we admired to recommend a photographer they had worked with who was talented and fit our budget.  Thank you Russ Dantu for recommending Trevor Carter!
  2. Next came the meet and greet with Trevor to make sure we were comfortable with him  and his work and to select the location for our shoot.  Big checkmark on Trevor’s abilities and our comfort level.  We decided to shoot i260n his studio to help save ourselves some money.
  3. Shelley and I met to make some wardrobe selections, determine any clothing shortfalls, and decide what poses and props we wanted in our photos.  The latter topic included thinking about where we wanted to use our photos going forward (e.g., blog posts, banner images on our website, posters, business cards, etc.).  There was only one tiny fail here, but that was quickly resolved with a trip to Las Vegas and the outlet mall to buy some new clothes for Susan.  (She was headed there anyway so no blowing the budget with this shopping location choice!)
  4. We arrived at Trevor’s studio — D’Angelo Photography — at 1:30 in the afternoon, a little nervous but excited at the same time.  Trevor put some music on to help get us pumped up, we changed into our first outfits and the photography magic began.  It wasn’t long until he had us laughing and feeling like naturals.  Before we knew it, we’d had all our wardrobe changes, used all our props, and run through our list of poses and a few more Trevor added for us.
  5. Less than 6 hours later, Trever had the proofs in our inboxes and the real fun began.  Trying to choose just a handful of the great shots he took!

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And that’s all there was to it!

We’ve included a few of our favourite shots in this post.  If you’re ever in need of a professional photographer for whatever reason, Shelley and I highly recommend Trevor Carter at D’Angelo Photography.

And, if you’re stuck trying to figure out which poses, what to wear, where to shoot, or anything else pro shot related, give us a call.  We can help.