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The Rule of 5 Marketing for Artists

So, you want to get your creative works out there. What are the next steps? Do you have a framework you can rely on? In this guide, I share a marketing framework anyone can employ and get results from. Here's how The Rule of 5 Marketing works for artists.


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David Andrew Wiebe

4 months ago | 5 min read
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Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for Your Soul fame is well-known for having created The Rule of 5.

The concept is simple – do five things per day that help you reach your goal.

Let’s say you were interested in losing weight and getting in shape. So, your five items for the day could look something like this:

  • Get eight hours of sleep
  • Go for a 30-minute walk
  • Make healthy meals for the day
  • Lift weights for 15 minutes
  • Drink apple cider vinegar

It works much the same way with marketing – identify five items you can do today to promote your visual art, music, poetry, or otherwise.

Here we’ll look at how you can apply The Rule of 5 to your promotional work as a creative.

How Does The Rule of 5 Marketing Work?

So, you’ve got a new painting, a piece of music, maybe a book, and you’re interested in promoting it. What next?

It’s amazing how, when an artist shifts from creative activity to marketing activity – even if they have previous experience promoting their works – they stall out and lose sight of the goal.

I’m speaking from personal experience, because this is essentially what happened to me as I went to work on promoting my best-selling book, The Music Entrepreneur Code in 2020.

I’m happy to report that the book became a small success for me despite my initial indecisiveness, but that’s only because of the connections I had built up to that point, and the momentum I’d created with my marketing efforts.

We should be so lucky, but most of the time, we won’t be. Marketing requires intentionality.

So, we need a framework. Not necessarily a framework as rigid as a checklist (although that can also be helpful), but a starting point for our marketing efforts.

The Rule of 5 Marketing is a great framework to apply. It’s defined without being too rigid, intentional without being too constrained.

I have my five daily tasks stored inside Evernote:

The act of coming up with five ideas daily focuses the mind on forward momentum. And executing these ideas leads to real results (also see next section).

Why The Rule of 5 Marketing?

Scope creep is a real thing (it applies to marketing as much as it does to our projects), and it doesn’t just show up in the work we do for others. It can easily creep into our own creative ventures as well.

And scope creep is the biggest enemy of consistency. It will see us executing 11 things one day, one the next day, three the day after. Before we know it, we’ve burned out and lost all momentum.

The Rule of 5 Marketing keeps us in check. It sets in stone what you’re going to be doing today, tomorrow, and the day after.

And the game is about as hard or as easy as you make it, so you may as well make it winnable.

Plus, it works.

While working my Rule of 5 Marketing plan, I recently shared a post on Facebook that got more engagement than anything I’ve recently shared.

32 likes, eight comments, one share.

Now, there are plenty of people that get way more engagement on their posts. I’m not much of a Facebook guy, so for me, the above is the equivalent of going viral.

There’s obviously something to be said for the content (picture of me holding up a scribble) that contributed to the success of this piece (it paves the way for future content pieces too). But if all I got were a few likes on Facebook, it wouldn’t be worthwhile.

These efforts, however, are sending a steady flow of traffic to my new beginner guitar program, Chord King Course. My promotional efforts are producing results!

Create a plan, execute against it, have faith, and you will see results from your efforts.

I’m Still Having Trouble Coming up with Marketing Ideas – What Should I do?

The beauty of The Rule of 5 Marketing is that you make the commitment first and then follow through with relevant actions. So, that means once you’ve made the commitment, ideas are sure to follow.

That said, I know it’s easy to get stuck. So, here are some free and low-cost ideas you can implement NOW (they will require some elbow grease):

  • Write a blog post and share it on your WordPress blog, Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, Steemit, CloutPub, or anywhere lese you can think of
  • Guest post for sites in your niche
  • Record an audio and share it on Anchor
  • Make guest appearances on podcasts
  • Make a video and upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, Odysee, DTube, Rumble, BitChute, Brighteon, or elsewhere
  • Request to appear in other people’s videos to talk about your products
  • Share your works on social media
  • Write a press release and share it for free on PRLog
  • Run a contest or giveaway
  • Send a sample of your product to influencers or experts in your niche (e.g., send your book if you’re an author, CD if you’re a musician, a quick doodle if you’re a visual artist, etc.)
  • Pull a publicity stunt, engage in guerrilla marketing, go on Tweet storms, go live on Instagram, set up a community of independent artists interested in promoting each other’s works, and more

Wait, 5 Things Per Day? Can I Take Weekends off?

That’s up to you.

I’ll be honest in sharing that with my recent promotion of the Chord King Course beginner guitar program, I have been taking weekends off.

That said, there’s no rule saying you can’t promote seven days per week…

And there’s also no rule saying you can’t choose more than five items per day.

I blog daily, so that tends to form the foundation of the various types of content I need to fulfill on to distribute across various social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Medium, Tealfeed, BitClout, Wisdom, and elsewhere.

Although I don’t hesitate in sharing everywhere I possibly can, the biggest movers for me, historically, have been Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, in that order.

And if I were to 80/20 that, Facebook is responsible for more traffic than anything you can name – Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Medium, Pinterest, or otherwise.

Additional Resources

You can also read about The Rule of 5 in Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles.

If you’re stumped for inspiration and real-life examples of marketing in action, my book, The New Music Industry details more options than most people are even aware of, and much of the content is applicable to entrepreneurship, freelancing, and just about any artistic endeavor you can name.

Final Thoughts

If you’d like to work with me to come up with your own The Rule of 5 Marketing plan, get in touch. I don’t come cheap, but I can help you quickly identify activity that’s going to lead to results in your marketing.

What are you taking away from this? How will you be implementing The Rule of 5 Marketing in your artistic career?

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David Andrew Wiebe

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David Andrew Wiebe is the Founder & CEO of Music Entrepreneur HQ, co-founder of The Indie YYC, best-selling author of five books for creatives and musicians, and host of The New Music Industry Podcast.


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