Change is an illusion. Then why do we resist it so much? What is it that we hate about doing something different? When we first accept a job and are hired on at that perfect company many many changes took place at that company before you started that job. Yet you gladly took the job. The day you toured, were shown your desk, given your first tasks, read and understood the SOP‘s and everything else that goes with a new job, you were satisfied. A year later the company makes a policy change, you liked the old policy. You grumble to your co-workers “This sucks!”and most everyone agrees with you. We all hate change, especially when we feel it is unnecessary or when it changes our rhythm.
So how is change an illusion? It is an illusion in the way that we are led to believe by our own mind that change will disrupt our lives. We don’t like it because it causes confusion and adds more to our already hectic day. The first thing we need to do in order to get through change is accepting the fact that change happens perpetually. There is no getting around it. When change occurs, approach it as if the change was there before you were. What that means is, imagine the day before you started that new job was when the company made the big change. If you approach change in a manner that it is actually not change this will help you get through it much smoother.
How Does Change Apply To Me?
So how does all of that apply to me now as a freelance photographer? Well for myself I have been forced to make serious changes financially due to a significant decline in sales. Due to that I have no other choice other than to make changes in how I run my business. Many understand and know that artists are not the best at business. Where I lack significantly is my marketing skills. Frankly I suck at it. If I didn’t suck at it then I probably would be writing a whole different blog today. When people say the struggle is real, guess what? The struggle truly is real. I would wish for no person to go through what I am going through, ever! My change is not a simple policy change. I must somehow someway completely change my approach. Now that I have accepted the fact that change must come. I really do not know what I need to do to make that change occur.
Last year I spent a great deal of time reorganizing my website. I focused a great deal of time on SEO and the flow of the site. The result of that was a significant rise in traffic, but no conversions. Additionally there was an increase in browse time per visit, yet no conversions. I have tried following in the footsteps of those who are doing very well on ETSY. Unfortunately ETSY has done very little for me.
I know very well the key to unlocking success is marketing. One thing that I have consistently told many artists is that the key(s) to being a successful artist is presentation and marketing. Make your art stand out! Present it well, then focus on the marketing aspect. I present well, but it is more than obvious that I suck at the marketing aspect, I need help in that area. I am willing to make whatever changes necessary in order to market well.
Now that I am keenly aware of what I must do. I am faced with the perplexity of the “how the hell do I accomplish this?”. With change comes lots and lots of intimidation. Marketing intimidates me. Nevertheless this is what I tell people who are facing an intimidating task. Think about those many many times in your life you were completely intimidated. That new machine with all those buttons, lights and levers that you thought you would never ever figure out. Now you are the go to person for operating that machine, you own it. Intimidation forces us to do things we wouldn’t do otherwise. It forces us to learn and understand.
We don’t like intimidation therefore it motivates us. It motivates us to get back into our comfort zone safe and sound. At this point I am desperate to get back into some semblance of a comfort zone. That is my challenge. I have no idea how I will accomplish this, but it will happen. I also realize I can’t do it alone. There will be those who will help me and in return I will gladly help them.
Promote Each Other Often
It’s important to form a collective with other artists. What that means is support your fellow artist, promote them and encourage them. It doesn’t mean forming an exclusive clique. It means forming a commitment to support other artists. Every artist needs every iota of marketing help from others, from their peers. When someone uses my photos I love it when they attach my name with an active link to either my website, Instagram and or Facebook. This helps me and I need this as do other artists. It’s just one important form of marketing that we can all do and it is free.