Self-Promotion for Artists Class Begins 4-13-16

March 18, 2016 by · Comments Off on Self-Promotion for Artists Class Begins 4-13-16 

This artist might be interested in the UNMCE class, Self Promotion for Artists.So this is the year you decided to get serious about self-promotion, and it’s already March. Maybe you’d like to place pieces of your portfolio online in preparation for landing a job, or upgrading to a new position. Or, could be you’ve decided this is the time to add a client or two to your practice, and you want to update your image and relevant collateral materials.

No matter your avocation, if you’re considering the future, promoting yourself is on the horizon as well. Self Promotion for Artists, Class #55622, a regular offering from UNM Continuing Education (UNMCE) will give you the templates and the techniques to generate a marketing plan for yourself.

In a practical, high-content, five-hour class, you explore how best to promote yourself and your offering. You’ll come away with dozens of ideas about how to garner visibility. The interactive atmosphere encourages questions and hands-on learning experiences. For example, you will practice an elevator speech, discover why your bio is key to your success and learn what a media kit could do for you.

Need a press release? You’ll complete one as a result of this class and receive an e-book discussing how and when to use it.

Self-Promotion for Artists contains information useful to participants in a variety of Digital Arts certificate programs. Instructor Mary Ellen Merrigan is approachable and knowledgeable about publicity techniques.

A few comments from past participants include:

“Feedback about my bio was awesome.”
“I’ll keep practicing. This is a safe place to go forward.”
“I’m thinking about what we said about my website and how that impacts my brand and identity.”
“This was a great way to zone in on what to focus on for business. I’d not really thought about advertising myself.”
“Thanks to this class I can now pitch an idea. What an immense help.”

It’s always appropriate to invest in yourself. Self Promotion for Artists will assist you with that investment and pay dividends over and over as you apply the skills presented.

Registration information and class details:

Self Promotion for Artists

Course # 55622 – Wednesday April 13 & 20, 2016

Develop materials to promote yourself, your business and your art, product or service online and offline. From media kits to promotional calendars, your view of self-marketing will move forward exponentially as a result of this content-packed, practical class. Artists, designers and other professionals will plan and execute publicity tactics with confidence as a result. Prerequisite: None.

UNMCE offers six easy ways to enroll.

Self Promotion for Artists Practices Business as Unusual

August 1, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Do you participate in self promotion for artists? No? You may wish to revise that statement. There’s a call to do business as unusual. Do business as art.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Needle’s Eye – Custer State Park South Dakota

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Needle’s Eye – Custer State Park South Dakota

As a freelance business consultant, I find myself exploring how to expand my business presence with integrity in a world of increasing loudness. There’s little comfort in knowing nearly 50% of us are now working for ourselves. But there is understanding in realizing  the art of business is in the story your business must sell.

Like many artists, my initial response to the ongoing online clamor was withdrawal, a choice to get ever quieter. Thanks to a #DaretoExcel challenge from Jeffrey Davis and the Tracking Wonder Tour I’m on a path to create impact as a business artist.

In fact, the language and the practice makes a perfect introduction to my latest class for the University of New Mexico Continuing Education: Self promotion for Artists, #55622.

This two-week series which begins August 13, 2015, looks at marketing through a different lens.

How are you remarkable?

What if you could tell that story?

The course description for class #55622 is simple:

Develop materials to promote yourself, your business and your art, product or service online and offline. From media kits to promotional calendars, your view of self-marketing will move forward exponentially as a result of this content-packed, practical class. Artists, designers and other professionals will plan and execute publicity tactics with confidence as a result. Prerequisite: None.

The experience of participants is more profound. Andrea, a past participant said,

“Mary Ellen really helped open my eyes to the many different marketing tools that are available. She was very helpful and resourceful.” – Andrea

When asked what they like best about the class others have commented:

  • Conversations. Interactive format.
  • Feedback: peer feedback, teacher feedback.
  • Good info on how to promote yourself. It’s helpful that this class is hands-on and not just info by powerpoint

Practical exercises will provide students with tools for immediate use. Students will develop:

  • Professional bio or about
  • Professional signature
  • Professional intro
  • Fact Sheet or FAQ
  • Initial press release

As a result of this series, participants will gain:

  • An understanding of the difference between branding, marketing and advertising. Each student will identify their foundation for authentic branding
  • A focus on marketing outcomes
  • Clear ways to describe themselves and their business
  • An overview of basic publicity/visibility options including general press release how-to’s in order to publicize work effectively on and offline
  • An intro to social media, the new PR effort, and details about its impact
  • A one page marketing plan outline to enable a simple and easy marketing process

Sign up details: Six Easy Ways to Register

  • UNM CE #55622, Self-Promotion for Artists
  • 6pm – 8:30pm, Thursdays August 13 and August 20, 2015
  • $125.00 fee
  • Discounts may apply

How will you promote yourself?

UNMCE Spring Schedule Includes Social Media Options

January 22, 2014 by · Comments Off on UNMCE Spring Schedule Includes Social Media Options 

This Spring I present three classes on behalf of the Digital Arts Program at University of New Mexico Continuing Education (UNMCE).stinking thinking equals poor results

Course specifics:

Class #55622: Marketing and Self Promotion for Digital Artists
Develop materials to promote yourself, your business and/or your art online and offline. From media kits to promotional calendars, your view of self-marketing will move forward exponentially as a result of this content-packed, practical class. Artists, designers and other professionals will plan and execute publicity tactics with confidence as a result.
When: Thursday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm; 2 sessions starting May 15, 2014, ending May 22, 2014
Tuition: $179.00 Available Discounts

Class #55623: Marketing with Social Media
Expand awareness for your business or job search by combining traditional and social media. Market 24/7 with an Internet storefront showcasing who you are and what you do. Learn about a range of tactics that can help you stand out: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Google+ Pinterest, plus social bookmarking, blogs, YouTube and many other options that add exposure to your website. Take charge of your Internet reputation. Focus on strategies for distinguishing your company from that of your competition or ways to stand out as a job applicant.
When: Tuesday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm; 3 sessions starting March 4, 2014, ending March 18, 2014
Tuition: $239.00

Class #55622: Advanced strategies for Google+, Pinterest and Other Social Media
The bar is higher than ever for marketers who use social media. Go beyond the superficial to implement digital success strategies. Harness the power of Google+ with Google authorship and discover why G+ is predicted to rule the future social landscape. Discover creative ways to use YouTube for business. Drive your website traffic with a Pinterest company page. Don’t just get your company’s message out. Drive more business in.
When: Tuesday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm; 2 sessions starting March 25, 2014, ending April 1, 2014
Tuition: $179.00

Some of you have asked why I teach. Teaching for UNMCE brings me satisfaction for three reasons:
1. I make a difference
2. I connect with interesting people
3. I stay current on my topic – social media

Here’s just a little more explanation about these reasons. Consider it a short conversation with me:

I make a difference:This is the most exciting part of my job as a teacher: connecting you with the things you most want to learn.

“What is your number one goal for this series?” I ask before class begins. Then, I keep your goal in mind throughout our time together.

I believe we must all come to terms with a more transparent world. Our digital footprint occurs whether we acknowledge it or not.

One woman signed up for Twitter in order to access a high school’s meeting schedule. (It wasn’t available any other way.) A businessman wanted to understand how social media could increase sales. Another entrepreneur wants to get the word about a new trade school he’s offering. Each individual wants to make sense of new ways of communicating.

In learning about these opportunities, I realize you can choose from hundreds of sources “out there.” My commitment to provide you with practical, usable ways to meet your goal differentiates me.

“I’m not a teacher, only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you.”  –George Bernard Shaw

If there’s a bottom line, it’s “I care!”
I connect with interesting people

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” –Erin Majors

UNMCE continues to attract a diverse student population. During the past few semesters students from the non-profit world have mixed with long-standing businesses. Job seekers of all age groups have joined employees and employers and entrepreneurs.

The result brings stimulating presentations to the final class and dynamic discussions to our time together. Exciting.

I stay current on my topic – social media. 

In the words of Phil Collins: “In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.”

Because I aspire to excellence, I prepare for classes with continued study of social media, ongoing education about the most popular of social channels and the trends in an era of real-time happenings.

Not only must I be apprised of what’s happening in the ever-changing world of social media, but also in knowing how people apply that information. My preparation involves reading, talking with others and experimenting with my own social media.

From my perspective, teaching is fun.

If you want to look differently at this brave new world, this world of social media, please join me this Spring for one of these offerings.

Will you study your digital footprint?

Clarity in Marketing Begins With You

December 5, 2013 by · Comments Off on Clarity in Marketing Begins With You 

As I write, snowflakes hide the city lights. Even the roadway, just a few feet away from my front door, seems distant. In a storm like this, it can be difficult to evaluate actions: Should I drive? Will my meetings be cancelled? How will the weather affect tomorrow’s schedule? (It’s already snowed longer than usual.) Perspective changes, intention softens, vision blurs…

The snow becomes a metaphor for marketing.snow, a metaphor for marketing

Clarity in marketing starts with questions. Where am I now? Where do I want to go? How will I get there?

The actions needed to bridge the gap between where I am and where I want to go may be referred to as a marketing plan. Defining those actions, narrowing the scope of what must be done and moving with certainty down the path requires effort.

Begin by working through the problem(s) at hand. You may find it easier to hire a professional to help you. Here are five reasons to use a marketing coach:

  1. Accountability
  2. Perspective
  3. Expertise
  4. Advice
  5. Synergy

1. Accountability. Set benchmarks for progress and then inspect what you expect. A coach helps you think through the plan. Time after time I’ve discovered incremental progress as a result of specific goals. Small promises such as, “Email me after you write your blog post,” produce results that may have otherwise gone by the wayside. I appreciate that my coach holds me accountable to do what I say I will do when I say I’ll do it. While I may not be thrilled with my report, I own it.

2. Perspective. With perspective, I evaluate from another angle and take advantage of critical distance. My coach points out unrealistic expectations, judgmental attitudes, or emotions that unnecessarily block success for me. We can talk through irrational fears or overstated exuberance. Voicing these emotions to an objective third party helps me think them through.

3. Expertise. There’s no substitute knowledge. Specialty information takes time. Since today’s marketing cycle is made up of thousands of little things it’s easy to get caught in seminar after seminar to shore up confidence. A coach with expertise you can use offers incredible advantages: focus, shortened learning cycle, and a recommended course of action.

4. Advice. Because your coach has an ongoing relationship with you and your business, they are up to speed on your specific situation. Professional advice becomes meaningful in context, and therefore more important.

5. Synergy. What I most love about my coach is that together we’re greater. Most of the time I find that an idea discussed in our call gets polished, even embellished, and perfected before it’s released. Maybe the time spent in preparation for a coaching call forces additional thought and preparation. Or, writing down an idea lets the subconscious go to work. Whatever happens, it works.

You may come up with other reasons to hire a professional. Feel free to add them in comments at the end of this post.

Good luck. Your plan will be as good as the questions you ask. In the spirit of the season, here’s a handout I use to guide clients through the process. Work through it. Use it. Send the link to your friends.

Above all, have fun with the process. Are you clear?

Trapped in Doubt, Delay or Distraction?

April 25, 2013 by · Comments Off on Trapped in Doubt, Delay or Distraction? 


Eric and Rachel want to find new jobs. Katharine plans to sell her stories.

Thirty minutes into their evening class, a chorus of yawns, glassy eyes and blank looks sound the long day alarm.

Questions elicit one word answers.

To shift perspective, I invite participants to the board.

Their assignment: Write five words that describe you, five words to form the base of your social media voice.

List A:


List B:

Problem solver

A shift occurs.

As students explain their choice of words, observers morph into enthusiastic class participants.

  • They detail for each other minute differences between adjectives such as practical and down-to-earth or trustworthy and responsible.
  • They examine words that could be off-putting to an employer and talk about how to discuss ambition without intimidating during an interview.
  • They offer each other feedback, encouragement and critique.

Instead of one more thing to do, passion and energy back the promotional choice of social media.

I facilitate these type of shifts: from wary and resentful of social media to understanding, acceptance and even enthusiasm.

While you may not find your voice at the front of the classroom, this exercise adds consistency, authenticity and impact to your social media effort.

Once you know your why, the how becomes much easier.

Personal branding guru Dan Schawbel speaks and writes passionately about the age of personal innovation and its impact on brand:

Personal Innovation: The ability to see new opportunities where others don’t, create new positions/jobs that never existed, while undergoing continuous learning and adapting to economic change.

Schawbel’s new book, “Promote Yourself: the New Rules for Career Success”publishes in September, 2013.

Thought-provoking questions also help users define their voice.

If you want to find your voice, or if you are ready to authentically promote yourself, register for my class from UNM Continuing Education:

Course #55623
Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Day: Tuesdays
Dates: 7/7 – 7/23/13
Fee: $179

When will you give up doubt, delay and distraction to effectively promote yourself?


UNMCE Course Trains Participants in Personal Marketing Efforts

March 12, 2013 by · Comments Off on UNMCE Course Trains Participants in Personal Marketing Efforts 

“Never look for birds of this year in the nests of the last.” – Miguel de Cervantes


Business as usual means dealing with change. The speed and flexibility required to compete in the new norm makes a necessity of continually updating skills and knowledge.

Preparation as recent as last year my not qualify you to compete in today’s world. If you deal with social media, you can relate.

Three years ago, Pinterest, now the third largest social network channel, did not exist. LinkedIn did not have company pages. Facebook offered a completely different news feed.

Three days ago, YouTube launched a new channel. And so it goes. Change at the speed of new.

Marketing and Self-Promotion for Digital Artists, course #55622 from UNMCE will focus on marketing and publicity tactics for artists, designers and other professionals.

Participants explore benefits of media kits, promotional calendars, email signatures, and web-ready bios.

One Spring 2012 participant commented,

“I learned a lot of different advertising tool that I had never thought of. I also learned to write an effective bio-sketch.”

Other practical exercises help students move forward, and provide them with tools for immediate use.

As a result of this series, students will gain:

  • A basic overview of publicity/visibility options and an understanding of why they’re critical to success
  • General press release how-to’s in order to publicize work effectively on and offline
  • An intro to social media, the new PR effort, and details about its impact
  • A marketing plan outline to enable a simple and easy marketing process

Promise yourself you’ll deal differently with change starting now. As Miles Davis said:

“Bebop was about change. It wasn’t about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.” – Miles Davis


Sign up details:
UNM CE #55622, Marketing & Self-Promotion for Digital Artists
6pm – 8pm, Tuesdays, April 16, 23 and 30
$179.00 fee
Discounts may apply

How will you prepare your own marketing efforts for change?

Strategic Messaging Amplifies Social Media

February 6, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

As simple as social media seems, I find it necessary to think about how my message jives across various channels. It doesn’t just happen. Message is a strategic decision. The channel? A tactical one.

During the past few weeks I’ve talked with dozens of small business owners about social media and their approach to it. I’ve read blog posts and white papers on social media and thought carefully about the approach I advise people to take.

The conclusion I’ve reached: clarity across all social media channels builds synergy…and that means your message is amplified!

Let me explain with a bit of a case study.

Cynthia Morris, friend, client, creative coach and author of the soon-to-be-published novel “Chasing Sylvia Beach” said she’s using an existing project to talk about the problems her audience faces daily. Simple. Effective. And this strategy works across all social media channels.

The idea builds positive momentum for Cynthia’s content (on Facebook and on her blog) and ignites buzz for her book in the process.

Meanwhile, she adds to her content offerings with well-coordinated products such as this author retreat.

Like most of us, Cynthia evaluates on an ongoing basis.

“What’s working? What’s not?”

“Twitter’s not doing anything for me. I don’t see the kind of results other people are getting,” she said.

The answer? Time to be a little more strategic. She posed a question,

“Could Google+ be a little more useful than Twitter for me?”

Meanwhile, her tactics include continuing to Tweet, where she promotes her own products such as “Feed the Content Monster,” or “Free Write Fling,” uses the hashtag #writing, and comments on creativity and other topics.

When quizzed about her most successful ongoing social media tactic, Cynthia sites email.

“An email to my list generated five figures in sales one day last year. That’s working pretty well.”

The conversation with Cynthia sprang from my ongoing work with Social Media as I began the re-write of that chapter in the third revision of my e-book, “The Marketing Master Plan.”

Cynthia quickly and passionately called for a reduction in my questions. Her advice for others:

“Use the opportunity to get a light bulb moment for yourself.”

The conversation was a light bulb moment for me. Cynthia’s input:

“These questions involve serious focus and thought. Reduce them. It’s too long. The average person won’t answer these questions. They’ll simply feel overwhelmed.”

When you talk with your audience, think about the problems that keep them up at night. So, if you’re talking with me or any of my marketing friends these days, you may want to talk about strategic messaging in social media.

And, by the way, don’t just give me your pat answer. Tell me why strategic messaging is working for you. What do you notice?

Gear Up To Pare Down

January 4, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

What one action could have a real impact on your business for the next few months? Define and begin that action, and prepare to reap profits.

Too simple? Simple makes sense.

If you have difficulty narrowing a myriad of projects to one goal, welcome to reality.

I participate in a mastermind group that tackles reality with a theme. Each participant develops the wording to focus their actions for the year. For example:

  • Transcend What Is and Invent The New
  • New Me
  • Heart Vision, Intuitive Momentum

The theme offers a solution to multiple projects because, like an umbrella, it embraces all. Scheduling determines priorities.

Although every person has the same amount of time in one day, some get far more done than others. I’m convinced productive people know exactly what they need to do.

The steps look like this:

  1. Establish a theme
  2. Define goals
  3. Break goals into realistic steps, i.e., what will I concentrate on this month?
  4. Take monthly goals or concentrations and divide them into weekly ones
  5. Each week, for example, list the top 10 goals for the week
  6. For each weekly goal, list the steps or tactics that must be taken
  7. Define a realistic amount of time for each tactic
  8. Physically schedule tactics on your calendar

A calendar facilitates reality. If you have realistically estimated the time involved and marked it on your calendar, it’s simple to see if you are over-committing. I, for one, frequently list far too many projects for the time allotted if I fail to visually map out the tasks on a calendar.

One of my most important projects for first quarter 2012 is paring my 198-page ebook, “The Six Week Marketing Master Plan” to Four Weeks.

  • Step one is to revise the 45-day table of contents (toc) outline to a new 30-day outline.

My TOC outline is due on/before next Tuesday. I estimate it could take as long as three to four hours to complete. My calendar has time blocked for completion of this task.

  • Step two, the copy portion of the project gets more complicated.  Working from the toc outline I plan to complete all content rewrites prior to February 15. I will then and submit the new product to a graphic designer for finalization.
  • Step three, the finalization of the project will be complete on/before March 15, 2012.

I determined one action – the rewrite of this ebook – could significantly impact my business in the next few months. I added accountability to my own project with a promise to copy someone else on my toc outline due next Tuesday. Then, I published my own deadlines here for the world to see.

It’s simple, this effort of gearing up to pare down.

What one action could have a real impact on your business for the next few months?

What’s stopping you from taking action?

Communication Presentation at Santa Fe Business Incubator Discusses 2012 Realities

September 24, 2011 by · Comments Off on Communication Presentation at Santa Fe Business Incubator Discusses 2012 Realities 

Seasonally New Mexicans turn off swamp coolers and winterize their homes in October. The fourth quarter with its cooler temperatures requires a different approach for comfort.

Similarly, businesses might evaluate communications in preparation for the New Year. The realities presented by 2012 demand a freshened marketing approach.

Traditional marketing plays the numbers game. It uses sales, advertising, promotion and public relations to send the message out.

The average person gets more than 2,000 outbound messages a day.

Trade shows, direct mail, television, radio and print advertising, all examples of traditional marketing, continue to lose effectiveness.

Studies show today’s customer chooses inbound communication, finding information on their terms. Can your business meet the demands of “real-time?”

In a presentation to clients at the Santa Fe Business Incubator, I listed five communication realities represented by these changes:

  1. Because of the attention economy, now more than ever, your message must be defined and honed for your ideal customer.
  2. Smartphones already play an important role in our lives. How mobile-friendly is your business?
  3. New tools to consolidate information emerge daily. Your competitive advantage may well depend on your use of technology.
  4. Interactivity is essential in all communication. This means the brochure website is dead. Not only must your website be interactive, but business must make responding to customers online and offline a priority.
  5. Nothing substitutes for smart goals and good planning. Begin now to define your benchmarks for 2012.

Evaluate your business against these five realities. On a scale of one to five, with five being strong, how confident are you about your current situation? Download the pdf now. Are you prepared?

Business Visibility: What works now?

May 4, 2011 by · Comments Off on Business Visibility: What works now? 

Social media rules if one believes the headlines. At one point during reporting of Osama Bin Laden’s death, Twitter logged more than 4,000 tweets per minute.

Yet, according to Jeremiah Owjang, Industry Analyst and Partner for Altimeter, 41% of all businesses are reactive, not proactive when it comes to social media.

Local experience bears out national statistics like these. Consider the bed and breakfast operator who now uses only Facebook to promote. Or, the feed store now building an email list as well as a Facebook page. No print. No local advertising.

Has social media killed other methods of advertising? Or, are businesses merely reacting to the mode of the day, hoping for dramatic results?

In a presentation for the Albuquerque Independent Business Association’s Local.Lunch.Learn, Mary Ellen Merrigan talks about strategies to successfully navigate today’s gaggle of marketing channels. She draws on stories from locals as well as national case studies to create actionable and pragmatic solutions.

Join the conversation.

Slate Street Café
515 Slate Ave NW
Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm, Thursday May 12, 2011
Title: “Facebook, Twitter, Flyers and More – What’s Working Now?”
Reservations required

About Mary Ellen Merrigan
Mary Ellen wrote and published The Six-Week Marketing Master Plan to guide small businesses through the marketing maze. The revised e-book, published in March 2011, serves as the basis for an ongoing series of classes designed to guide individuals through their own marketing plan. For class information, contact the South Valley SBDC. Mary Ellen continues to combine social media with other more traditional channels. She regularly consults with small business owners including some of the best known names in Albuquerque.

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