Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Selling not sullying spirituality

Yesterday, I finally assimilated the mass of information I inhaled at an author marketing conference held in Cleveland last Monday. It was an incredibly dynamic every-minute-packed event that excited me from the moment I serendipitously encountered an announcement for it.

Author Marketing Live authormarketinglive.com kept its promise, even if we were somewhat overwhelmed. From an early-morning get together, through two talks during lunch and an after-conference social-networking time, there was little time to decompress. Which is why I chose to drive home right after. The four hours of silence gave me time to ground myself and begin to mull over what had just transpired. Plenty.

As an introvert, I am not a huge networker, but I am going to learn to be, thanks to Author Marketing Live. Several speakers helped me understand that it is not a nasty, sleazy, pushy business. Merely, as an artist, there is a time to remove the beret and confidently transform your art (mostly in the artist's mind) into a product and get it to customers. Essentially, to let the world know what you've done. My shaman has said this so many ways so many times to me. Now, it is sinking in.

As I read through my notes and compared them to shared slide of the presentations, I typed up what stood out, tallying 15 pages, and hand wrote a four page to-do list. Getting through that, making it doable, setting goals and breaking them into manageable tasks is my next feat.

I've already employed one very practical tip. My husband and I had just been discussing that I needed some sort of microphone to record my blogs. My voice is fine, but the background noise is not. One of the speakers is a voice artist and coach. Wa-la, he recommended exactly what I was looking for in his presentation. In addition to how I stumbled onto the event, this pertinent piece of information confirmed in my heart that Spirit did, indeed, lead me here.

So, in addition to applying this information to my situation, I desire to incorporate it in a manner that fits my style and spirituality. Yes, it is business, but I want to engage with integrity and not change who I am. Of course, I believe all of the speakers had integrity, they just don't happen to dabble in the spirituality arena and I want my business efforts to reflect my whole self.

What some presenters did for me, and I dare say others, was close the gap between art and marketing. I hadn't really understood I had blocks to selling, I just thought it was a degrading business. I'm imagining door-to-door pushy or the recent guy at Kroger's whom I told I did not want to subscribe though he insisted he could go home if he gave two more pitches. I gave in just so he could finish and he persisted to hound me until I finally told him what I thought of his product. That's just ugly.

I considered myself above selling, when I was selling out on my work #salonforthesoul

However, finding the right audiences (customers) for your work is not. Julia Kline  of sleazefreeselling.com illustrated this very clearly when she asked whether you'd treat your art (metaphorically) as a museum piece or garage-sale grade. That hit home. Here, I considered myself above selling, when I was selling out on my work that comes from the heart and also experience and an education. "Why deprive the world?" my shaman asks. Previously that sounded haughty of me to ask. Now it seems like the truth of joining art and marketing.

There is a way to do it and retain integrity. Engagement, they all said, was key. Community building, I call it and that's right up my alley.

Maybe I can be an authorpreneur and spiritual nurturer all at once. The possibilities are astounding.

• How do I embrace the business world?
• Can I balance it with who I am and what I believe?
• What does that look like for me?
• What is my practice of abundance?
• And of gratitude?

I create

private, with
all of my heart

and yet,
I desire to

not sullying
art with
aggressive tactics

it sits,

until a nudge
from Spirit
points me
in an interesting

away from the
deep and quiet
and into
the percolator
of the internet
and marketing

of all things

and now I
realize the
of uniting

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