Content co-creation: the results!

 

Last week I asked you to co-create the content of this site with me.

The engagement has been GOOD, and that made me very happy. So, before I go on: THANK YOU.

In this admittedly longish post I'll share the results with you, the conclusions I draw from them, and the actions they inspire. I think it's only fair as a transparency move, but also as a thank you for being honest with me.

So, here's what you said...

On what you want to read:

CONCLUSIONS

Well, they are fairly distributed, which makes me think what I proposed was well-offered. High five! Also, nobody wants me to shut up, so, pat on the back there.

The least successful category is social media tips for artists, which is understandable because there's quite a lot of that, and it's not what I normally talk about. I offered it because my most read post is on trying to sell Art on Instagram, but that could be under innovation, too.

I was surprised by the willingness you expressed to read about curated finds and Art theory. This indicates not only curiosity but trust, and makes me very chuffed.

The balance in these results possibly indicates that there's really two audiences here, the ones that know me for Innovation, and the ones that know me for my Art (no news). If my branding strategy is effective, this year should solidify the connections between the two and reduce the gap (my bet on how creativity is a multifaceted skill that can be applied in many ways).

ACTIONS

I'm doing what I call a "Hello, 2005!". I am... going on a daily blogging schedule.

WHAT?! Some have called it suicide, some have called it "so backward it's forward". I've actually noticed 2 trends that support your vote and this decision:

  1. a certain nostalgia for when blogs were not all about strategy and click-bait. The fact that a big percentage of you want me to start a curated find feature supports this view (also, I've asked around, and I'm not alone).
  2. a need to process the massive amounts of info we ingest daily.

I hear you say "and you are going to do this by adding more info?!". No. Kinda. Let me explain what I have in mind:

  • MONDAY: LAST WEEK IN IMAGES
  • TUESDAY: NEWSLETTERLAND
  • WEDNESDAY: LIFE IN THE STUDIO
  • THURSDAY: BUSINESS INNOVATION AND EXPERIMENTATION
  • FRIDAY: FANTASTIC FIVE FINDS
  • SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: NOTHING, YOU PSYCHO.

In a way or another all of these sections are about researching, experimenting, cherry-picking and making sense of information out there.


On what you'd like to purchase:

CONCLUSIONS

More good news. You are mostly happy to purchase! There's a small percentage of you that only want to read and that is fine. Thanks for the honesty.

There is an notable part of you that wants to develop a creative routine, and I wasn't expecting that (although admittedly, that's what I've been going on about for the last few months).

The workshop on designing for client's needs and the one on Design Thinking... are very overlappable, I was mostly checking if you guys let me use the terms Design Thinking. You do. Hurray! So if you join those two parts together, you get a big chunk of you wanting to know more. Fab!

Most of you did not want to read about social media for artists, and most of you no not want a workshop on that. Happy data being rational.

Now, many of you are ready to buy something to do with my artwork. I'm very honored! But most of you would prefer to buy something else than the original abstracts. Noted.

ACTIONS

Let's look at the specific data below...

On what type of workshops would excite you, and how much you are ready to invest in them:

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CONCLUSIONS

You like it quick and dirty. No lengthy sessions. Either a short burst or a repetition of short bursts.

Last year I tried to offer a half-day intensive and it tanked. THis supports my previous experience.

I am very curious about the repetition. I wonder if the emphasis is on the repetition or on the in-person experience.

This worries me because almost half of you are happy to pay up to 50 USD for a workshop. If we do a quick session, that's fair. But if we need to do a bunch of them live, the price would go up considerably, and I'm not sure 150 USD would cover that. Clearly this is an area where I can investigate further.

ACTIONS

You asked and I've got your back (click on the images to learn more):

8 weeks to explore and establish your creativity.

Weekly email chapters on your email (May to June).

(see what I'm doing? I'm testing if repetition is what mattered. In this topic repetition not only makes sense, it actually supports the content of the course. Content and container need to match, always!)

45 USD

One hour of digging deep into the needs of your clients through Design Thinking.... with a twist.

60 minutes of live interaction online on the 5th of May.

45 USD

If you took the questionnaire you got a coupon code valid for these. Yay! (the coupon expires on the 6th, so get on it if this is your jam).

On types of products and how much to invest in those:

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CONCLUSIONS

Ugh. This one was rougher. Some of you would buy the original paintings, but not many. That was my biggest bet for this year, so I need to adjust accordingly. The good and surprising thing is... some of you are happy to spend notably more on my products than on my services.

Here's my conclusion on the whole original Art debacle, and get ready because it's a bit wild: my originals are underpriced. My positioning strategy was to keep very narrow margins and introduce audiences that don't necessarily buy Art to my work. What this tells me is, those who know and value Art are happy to spend on it. Those that don't, well, they won't. And that's fine. I think it was Ash Ambirge that said that it was easier to sell to those that were already keen on buying than trying to educate new markets. Ash wins again. I calculated that if a gallerist exhibited 20 of my Twins and took a 50 or a 60% commission, she wouldn't cover expenses for the gallery. Since I need to take my artwork wherever Art buyers are, I need to consider my own margins (that were strangling me), and theirs.

On the other side, loads of you would like to buy something that looks like my visual meditations. Mostly notebooks (you nerds! I love you). I'll need to know more about these notebooks you want (as in, do you want to draw on them, or brainstorm on them? those pages would look radically different!); but since you are happy to spend up to 50 USD on those, we can make something awesome.

And because I'm stubborn as f*ck, I am going to go ahead and guess the scarves would be a good move (I have been warned by not one but two people that no, they are not a smart thing to produce and that people won't buy). We'll figure it out, as usual.

ACTIONS

My original pieces are going to go up around a 50% in May. If you were on the verge of buying something, do it NOW (I might remove some collections, too). I am giving you a month notice because I would like to have a month notice if I was you.

If you answered the questionnaire you got that magic coupon that works until the 6th. It will work on the originals. Let me know if there's something else you've seen in instagram or any questions/requests you might have and I'll try my best to accommodate you.

And, of course, product line to come hopefully before summer. It's important for me to make these objects in a way that supports other makers, innovators and designers and makes me feel fuzzy inside. So there won't be 3 USD notebooks, but I'll get you something delightful to use. Deal?

Before we go

What happens if this doesn't work?
You won't die, I won't die. We'll iterate and move on.

You know I am a firm believer in transparency and experimentation. So stay tuned!

Thanks for reading this massive post!


You can always email me if you have any questions or ideas, and if you liked this whole shebang, please share it with somebody who would appreciate it (there's a tiny share button below). Other than that, you can always support my work by buying a workshop or an art piece. Thanks and enjoy the sunshine!

 
Maria Gil