Last week I sent out an email with a shocking subject line.
Do you hate me?
And wow, did it get a lot of responses.
Here’s a response to that email I sent, from a reader named Gary:
Are you crazy? Do you always send inflammatory emails like this? I think you need a little help.
I’m not crazy. It was just a survey. I was just asking people who didn’t sign up for the course why they didn’t sign up.
Here’s part of how I responded to Gary:
Do I always send inflammatory emails like this? You’ve been on our mailing list for months – you should know the answer to that question is no.
Yes, it’s a shocking subject line, but I did it for a reason.
Many of the people who received that email have been on our list for months and have been fairly unresponsive. I noticed that you have been on our list for over a year and have never responded to an email before or purchased anything from us.
I don’t want the people on our list to passively consume information. I want them to take action. I want them to sign up for a course, hire me as a coach, or, at the very least, implement what we’re teaching and tell me about the results that they got.
You’ve been reading our emails for a year and never responded before. Why do you think that is?
The Danger of Passive Consumption
I’ve been running TAA for 7 years. There are people on our mailing list who have never purchased anything from us in that entire time. I pay for my very expensive email service based on the number of people on our mailing list. People who sit there and never buy anything cost me money, thought admittedly its a very small amount on a per-person basis. But that’s not a big deal to me. I’m happy to support those artists who can’t afford our courses and help them make a few sales so that they can get more training.
The bigger problem is how many people I see who join a bunch of mailing lists and never actually do anything with the information that they are consuming. This is a big problem in the information marketing business in general.
If you are one of the hundreds of artists who have emailed me and thanked me for the blog posts, and shared stories about how you tried something that I suggested, and it worked, then THANK YOU and way to take action on what you are learning.
But for the rest of you, here’s the deal: there are 3 things that prevent artists from making a living from their art: knowledge, support, and mindset.
TAA provides knowledge. That’s actually the easiest of those three problems to solve. We also do our best to encourage the community to support each other, and to provide insights into the mindset of successful artists.
It’s not about how good your art is. It’s not about making the right connections. It’s not about being given the right opportunity. Those things matter, but are not the ultimate arbiter of successful art careers.
We’ve interviewed dozens of successful artists on the podcast. None of them had their artistic careers handed to them. They all took massive action and didn’t give up until they made it.
Did I Make You Uncomfortable?
Most of the artists (600+ and counting as of this writing) who responded to our “Do You Hate Me?” subject line had a sense of humor about it. They got that it was tongue-in-cheek.
But there were a few people, like Gary, who had a strong emotional reaction. If you had a strong emotional reaction to that subject line, and you’ve never made a sustained, concerted effort to implement the advice from our hundreds of blogs, podcasts, and videos, then I would challenge your assessment of me. I’m not crazy.
I might be a manipulative marketer who is intentionally making you uncomfortable. You could probably make that case. 😉
But I also recognize one thing that is common among most artists: you might be scared, and that might be why you had that reaction.
But that’s ok. You can be scared. Art is a tough career. It’s not easy to pour your soul into something and have people reject it over and over again. Only the very strong have lifelong careers in art.
But don’t let the fear consume you. The knowledge is free for the taking on this blog. Find people you can rely on to help you, and decide that you are going to take action every day to move toward your goal.