Thursday, March 28, 2013

I spent $4500.00 for an online class

Yes.  Yes I did spend $4,500.00 to take an online class.  Yes, it scared the crap out of me to do it.  I am, shall we say.... frugal?  I won't even spend $40.00 on a pair of pants.  What's more, the class is a teacher training class in painting and I had never really even painted or taken a painting class or an online class before I signed up. 

What made me do this wild, way out there what-could-you possibly be thinking act?  I don't do this kind of thing.

It was Connie.  Her site.  Her words.  Her video blogs.  The way she is living her life.  I found it very much in line with what I want for myself, and I knew that I wanted to go deeper, learn more, and expand my creative potential exponentially. 

And I knew that Connie was exactly the person I could do this with.  I'd never talked to her before.  I didn't even e-mail her any questions about the class.  I just signed up and sent my $500.00 deposit before I could chicken out.

So, how did I know?  What does Connie do that you too, can do as you start to get your own site up and running?

She let me "see" her in a few different ways.  Through her video blogs-I watched "vlogs" that covered years of time, she got dreads, she cut them off, I felt like I was going through the process with her.  Her written posts too, were so wide open and soaked with her truth that I connected with her in my own heart.  I returned several times to her post about leaving her job and starting her own business as this resonated deeply with me.

I took her free online tutorial "Total Alignment" and knew that this type of creating was for me.  I wanted to sign up for "BIG" but it was full.  Ignite had openings and by this time, I was hooked.

I started learning everything I could about Intuitive Painting (which I had never heard of before) and I took the HUGE LEAP of signing up for the Ignite Teacher Training Class.  (Remember I had never taken a painting class or an online class before...)

Turns out, I absolutely love the class and feel like it is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. It's given me the confidence to start putting myself out there:  making and selling my artwork, teaching art classes, collaborating with other's expanding my world exponentially-just as I'd hoped.

As I work to build my own site and online business, I'm noticing what captivates me about other people's sites.  How did Connie get me from never painting or taking an online class to jumping right in with my entire self and a good chunk of money?

What can you learn from her online presence?
  • Look at the whole picture you are creating-I was attracted to Connie's lifestyle.  Doing yoga, making art, collaborating with other artists, participating in raising feminine energy-these are the things that drew me in because that's the lifestyle I'm looking for. I paid my money to move my life in a positive direction and to help others do the same, not just to learn how to teach painting.  What do you have to offer that pulls people in?  What is it about you.
  • Provide samples of what people will get from working with you.  I love Connie's artwork and she displays it frequently.  She shares how she creates it.  She holds painting parties where you can join her to paint online.  I want to be able to create powerfully and fearlessly, which is another reason I signed up.  What can you show people to demonstrate your work?  Look for ways to visually share what the outcome of working with you will be.  If you don't have a tangible product, guide people to create an image in their mind, maybe through description, testimonies or sharing the accomplishments of those who have worked with you in the past. Help them paint a picture of what they will get out of working with you.
  • Give away something powerful for FREE.  Connie does this with Total Alignment.  It gives people an introduction, a taste of what's to come.  It makes me want more.
  • Make it easy for people to sign up.  With Connie's classes, you just click on the class, you're taken to the registration form and from there it's simple. 
  • Make it easy for people to pay you:  Connie offers a payment plan, but gave us a discount for paying in full (it was a $500.00 discount for the class I'm taking!) You may also want to consider this as it makes it easier for people to spread the payments out, but gives an incentive for paying upfront.  Perfect.  Whether you're selling a painting or a class-some people may need to spread the payments out.  Connie uses Paypal to collect the payments.
So, part of my own development is evaluating websites to see what I can glean from them.   I'm happy to have a look at yours!  Want to know what people think of your site?  I'm giving out my thoughts for free today.  Leave me a comment with a link to your site. I'll check it out and give you feedback. I believe in building on strengths, so I'll point out where I see you shining as well as what I'd like to see more of.  It's not easy to put yourself out there-get a little boost of encouragement and support to keep on doing it!

Thanks to all who signed up to have me look at your sites.  I love to see the beauty you are shining out to the world through your art and your spirit!  If you missed the freebie day, but want me to take a look at your site, contact me at:


Unknown said...

Very cool !! Excited to see what you are creating :)
My site is
I appreciate the feedback :), it may need some tweaking, how do you create a site that is effective and doesn't require a lot of time. I am a grad student and super busy but feel that I should be supporting my art .
Thanks !

shannon said...

You know I want your advice! Check out my site.....still tweaking it. Wonder what my give away could be? You git my wheels spinning!

jeanie said...

Kelly! This is so wonderful! I love your style. You inspire me with your grounded and confident presence. Love!
I would love your opinion on my current artsy website. I am aware of some places that need more.....and quite likely my attention and presence....time, time, time!

I'm also working up another site that will be exclusively for private access online classes, but that is a ways away. is my url.

As Shannon also shared, "you git my wheels spinning" too!

Anonymous said...

Yes please!

Kelly D said...

Kim, Your beautiful artwork is the star of the show. I love the electric energy and free flowing style. On your homepage, I felt instantly connected with you from your description of your painting process as it is similar to my own. Your description makes me want to know more, so I clicked over to your blog. This is exactly what you want, to get people's attention and then give them more. It sounds like you don't have more time to give at the moment, being in grad school, but you might consider posting blogs on an infrequent basis, such as once a month and let people know up front that is what your schedule is. I'm sure you're learning a ton in school that might help aspiring artists who are eager for information. I was also intrigued by the US Restaurant opening where your work is being displayed and I'd love to see you play that up a little to generate some excitement about it. I looked at the Lotus flower sales page and I like that there are a range of price points for people to purchase your work and your description made me start to envision where I might place this in my studio. I would say you're off to a good start, but you want to give people a reason to come back and see you. You might want to think about the intention of your site, right now it is a place to market your work, but later on, when you finish school, you may want it to work harder for you. Lay the ground work now, so when you're ready to launch your full blown art therapy goodness, people will be waiting to receive it.

Kelly D said...

Shannon, I know you have really been spending time redesigning your site to be more a reflection of your work. It's really coming along. You know that I can't get enough of your artwork and that people gravitate to it and want to know how they can make something as equally beautiful that is a reflection of their own style. This is where I see your greatnesses, in both creating and sharing your process with the world through classes. I think you could reach alot more people online as your own community is on the small side, but even so, you've been lighting it up! To get more specific about your site, on the media page, I would love to have an easier way to purchase than contacting you by email. If all of these paintings are also in the buy artwork page, you may want to consider consolidating to just one. On both sites I would love to see at the top of the page a message that your work is available in a variety of formats and prices, otherwise the first thing I see is a $750.00 painting which may cause me to put your work out of my price range. That's the first impression I see. In the workshops page I would like to be able to connect the workshop with the photo of what I would be making, so placing the photo above the paypal button on each page would visually help me. Even better, for each workshop I would love a link to a little 2-3 minute video of what we would be making and how it would come together. For example showing how a magazine becomes a pair of earrings. Not necessarily the whole class, but an overview to let people put it together in their minds. Lastly Ms. Shannon, you are such an amazing resource to other artists because you are living it-you are a self-sustaining artist who is doing what she loves every day and making a go of it. I would love to hear more about that side of your life too-it is what many people aspire to and want to become someday, myself included. You have much to share in terms of how to market your art and get it out there-vast experience in showing and selling. Shine it out there love!

Kelly D said...

Jeanie, Your site is a reflection of many of your diverse creative pursuits wrapped into one. It sounds like in your post here that you have more than one site? I am wondering if you have considered pulling out the medium readings into it's own site? I think that might appeal to more people than just artists, who might not otherwise find you. I was most drawn to your home page and your soul mirror sessions. Your initial resistance to the art journal resistance and then subsequent joy in making your own, makes me want to try it too. I scrolled down a bit and then was taken with your encaustic process. This is an area that I know many artists are interested in learning more about. Have you considered a video about your process as a form of documentation? I would really love that as someone who wants to try but isn't sure where to begin with it. Plus, how you pull natural elements into it is uniquely Jeanie and something you could build around too, if you feel called to. I have more to share, so I'm going to shoot you an e-mail with my thoughts. Much love to you Jeanie with that soul-full voice that brings me to tears (in a good way!)

Jenny Grant said...

Hi Kelly,
I would love some honest comments about my site and some suggestions of what could be done better. That is sooo valuable.

The site is a continuos work-in-progress and I have several things on my todo list to update and rework but to get someones first thoughts and suggestions is always very valuable.

Thanks in advance!


Gina said...

Hi Kelly, I am sorry I didn't have time to read until today. I would love your feedback on my site if it isn't too late. Loved the blog!

Kelly D said...

Absolutely Jenny! I will have a look this weekend and get back to you.

Kelly D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly D said...

Thank you Gina! I would love to have a look-I'm having a blast with this! I'll get back to you this weekend.

Kelly D said...

Thanks Kim your feedback is below. Let me know if it helps!

Kelly D said...

Hi Shannon, your feedback is below.

Kelly D said...

Hi Una, I love your description of yourself and that you are living your life's purpose. "Dancing my way through life" sucks me right in and I want more. Your description of your classes as "a safe, loving space for you to explore mindful presence in your body" would have me waiting outside your door were I in Colorado. Your photos communicate your messages very well, I feel your happiness and your grounded, energetic power when I look at them. I'd love to see more of your artwork and the yoga retreat in Costa Rica is making me drool. The price is fantastic! Your site seems mainly informational to me right now. If you send me more of your intentions for where you would like it to go, I'd be happy to get more specific.

Kelly D said...

Jenny, I'm a big fan of your work. I had bookmarked your site before you even asked me to have a look at it. I would love to see more of your process, either through video or through capturing your work at different stages of development. Even through teaching classes. Your artwork and words both draw me in and I feel you have much to teach others, if you felt so inclined. I also really like what you're sharing on your facebook page-I can feel that you're thriving and drawing positive energy around you. I hadn't realized you were hosting a retreat with Tracy V-good for you! I think it's looking good and I enjoy reading your posts. Keep going!

Kelly D said...

Hi Gina, What screams to me through your site is the beauty you are spreading throughout your community. You are putting yourself out there and shining your light in so many ways. I love learning, and I really wanted to learn more about your fabric mandalas-very cool. You come across as a very caring, generous person who is sharing her gift of art with the world. I love your banner of your own artwork. Your site comes across to me as a place of sharing. Sharing what you're creating, sharing with your community, sharing through your charitable events. I'm not sure if you have a different intent or are looking for your site to work differently for you, but as far as sharing goes, it's right on.

gina said...

Thanks Kelly! I really appreciate your feedback! My site has been about sharing. My goal initially was to create a presence and to have an on-line gallery then it evolved to sharing on a deeper level. Now I am ready to move it to the next level. I hope to continue to share but also make it more accessible for someone to buy art if they love something and I want to continue to be able to use my art to connect with people and support the community. You have inspired me and I can't wait to look at the other websites you are reviewing here.