TRANSCRIPT: Ep. 066 The Passion to Profit Framework


Miriam Schulman:
Hey there, it’s Miriam Schulman. Welcome, I am so thrilled that you’re here. In today’s episode, we’re going to explore the complete Passion to Profit framework. What emotional triggers are getting in your way and keeping you stuck? And you’ll also hear from two of my clients, artists, Peter Bragino and Pat Stanton, their stories are sure to inspire you. And finally, you’ll learn how to get my eyes on your art business, absolutely free. All right, we have a lot to go over today, so let’s dive right in.

If you have dreams of profiting from your passion, you need to know this first, while there’s a widespread belief that artists don’t make money, that’s actually not true. Now, you’d be surprised at how many people truly make a living as a full-time artist. Not only is it possible, but it’s actually common and much easier than you might imagine to make a consistent income from your art. While there are some artists who struggle and never really do gain momentum to sell their paintings consistently, there are others who are generating consistent five and even six figure incomes from their work. And heck, if you include superstars like Ashley Longshore or Damien Hirst, they’re seven figure artists.

So, what makes the difference? The truth is they’re following a specific process. Now, if you’re wondering how to sky rocket your success as a professional artist, step-by-step, and you’re dreaming of doing that in 2020, and you’re ready to start investing in your art career and you’re ready to let go of your limiting self beliefs, you’re in the right place. I’ve done it and I can show you how to do it too, using the specific process that I’ve developed.

You see, I noticed that the difference between the artists who struggle and the ones that are successful, is that successful artists plan for profit. That’s why I created the Passion to Profit framework. I’ve made it my mission, not only to help artists grow and develop their skills as artists, as I do inside my online art classes, but to also develop their business skills.
So, that’s what we’re talking about today.

Now, if you have a pen and notebook ready, get it ready, if not, I’ll wait. Okay. We can pause it and come back. You ready? Okay. Let’s go over the Passion to Profit plan. It’s really a five part framework that helps you cover all the bases for a thriving business. I’m talking specifically for how to do this as creators, but the truth is this framework, this five-part framework, really could be used to build any business, but I’ll keep it very specific today for artists.

So, the first part of it is the production plan. This is about consistently building a body of artwork, making sure you’re producing enough marketable art on a consistent basis. In other words, if I were to go into your studio right now and buy everything that you’ve made, would that be the income that you’re looking for?

Now, for some people, the problem is they’re really not producing enough artwork. They’re wondering why they’re not making enough money, and the truth is maybe they only make one painting a month or two paintings a month. And unless you are selling them for thousands of dollars each, that is not going to be a sustainable business. It’s like any other business. You have to produce inventory, especially with art, because you’re really probably only going to sell about 70% of what you make. And then, this production plan goes hand in hand with your profit plan. So, if I go into your studio and I buy everything you have available, but you’re only asking $50 a painting, well, that also is not going to be a sustainable business.

So, let’s say you have a hundred paintings and you’re selling them at a hundred dollars each, that’s only $10,000. That is not exactly a living.
So, your profit plan and your production plan, those are two pieces that really go hand-in-hand. And it’s really just math. You have to price your art for profits. So, let’s say you wanted to make $50,000 a year, well, that’s 50 paintings at a thousand dollars each. It’s just math.

These first two steps, by the way, they’re actually the easiest things for people to understand. Once I break it down that way, a lot of times artists will have an aha moment and they’ll realize, “I can’t make a living selling $10 greeting cards because I’d have to sell 5,000 of them.”

So, you have a production plan and a profit plan. You want to make sure you’re painting consistently and fast enough that you’re producing artwork, that you can price at this high enough level to make an income.

Of course, there’s a lot of doubt and emotions that are going to creep in.
We’ve talked about this on earlier podcasts. The doubt that no one will pay you that much, or how will I find somebody who wants to buy my art? But if we’re just going to be very strategic and very mathematical about it, you can create a production plan and a profit plan.

The next step is the prospecting plan, finding people who want what you’re creating. So, prospecting plan, it’s also like a list building plan, a building your email list, or building your contact list. Really, both things are essential, but you have to make sure you’re consistently getting your art and yourself in front of people. People who want it. Most of this means you’re getting in front of real human beings in real life, so you can communicate with them.

Now, of course, you can simulate this process online, but it’s actually a lot easier and more profitable to do it in person. And once you master how to do it in person, then it becomes much easier to take that and move it to the online world.

So, we have the production plan, which is making paintings. That’s kind of duh. The profit plan, which is pricing your artwork properly. And we dug really deep into that in the last episode, episode number 65, about the art and science of pricing. And this third plan is your prospecting plan, how to build your email list.

There’s a lot of advice out there. Unfortunately, most of it is not geared to us artists. That’s why on this podcast, I have specific episodes which talk all about how to build your email list if you are an artist. Okay. So, that’s three of the five plans. The fourth plan is your promotion plan. Now, this is the hardest part for most artists to learn.

The promotion plan is your sales and marketing plan. It’s the hardest for most artists to learn without help, because it is a complex set of skills, but it is something that you can learn and apply. When I work with my artist clients, we spend the most time working on this foundation, this promotion plan, these set of skills. What do you put in your emails? How do you write the emails? What is the subject line? What do you say in a sales conversation? How do you follow up? Sure, I talk about a lot of these things on the podcast, and I have heard from many of you that you’ve actually gotten results just from applying what you’ve learned here, which I love to hear. If you’re one of those people who are getting results, keep those emails and those comments coming in because I love to celebrate your success. So, that is the fourth plan.

And then the fifth plan is the productivity plan. How do you organize all of this, so you can focus and stop spinning? Now, I used to call this the system’s plan, but when I said that, people automatically assumed I was talking about technology because it’s systems, right? And although, technology is a part of it, it does help us become more productive. I mean, after all, that’s why we carry a mini computer around in our pockets, it isn’t the whole story. Technology is usually just a small piece of this puzzle. So, your technology could be your MailChimp or your ConvertKit email system or what you’re using for your website. But the system is not just the software, the system, or all the steps you take from the time you meet a prospect, someone who is interested in your art, all the way until they finally collect it, and all the steps that happens in between.

So, systems are how you really organize yourself so that you know what to do first, second, third, and fourth and, of course, technology can help you do all of these things easily, better and faster. So, those are the five foundations, the production plan, the profit plan, the prospecting plan, the promotion plan and the productivity plan. Notice how all of them are planned. So, all of them are actually concrete and practical strategies that you can learn and that’s what I teach. Once you have the Passion to Profit plan in place, you can create and market a body of artwork that your collectors will want. You can generate consistent income with your artwork. Because you have systems you’ll be able to dedicate more of your precious time to actually painting. Now, like I mentioned at the top of this podcast, you can book a free call with me to see how the Passion to Profit plan can work for you.

So, that URL again is Unfortunately, I don’t have time to talk to everyone, which is why there is an application to get one of those spots. All right, now you might be thinking, “Hey, I’ve got this Miriam. I love what you’re saying on this podcast. I can do all of it on my own.” And if that’s you, I applaud you. However, what often stands in the way of struggling artists, and even people who aren’t … I wouldn’t call them struggling, but they feel like they’re stuck in mediocrity. So, they’re not starving, but they’re in that middle space. So, what happens are there’s emotional triggers, we’ve talked about them. That’s why I talk about emotional triggers so much on this podcast, because I know how important it is to overcome them, to thrive as a creative person, whether that is just the hobby person, who’s trying to create art, or the person who wants to become a professional and sell their art.

Then that becomes even more prevalent, these emotional triggers. So, the doubt and fear about what you need to do. And if you’re doubting what works and what doesn’t, because you don’t have a strategy that you believe in, then what happens is all that doubt is going to lead to confusion and overwhelm. You keep hearing all these strategies, maybe you listen to my podcast, maybe you listen to five other podcasts. You read every blog, but you still don’t know what to do. So, what happens? When you’re confused or you’re overwhelmed, you don’t do anything because you procrastinate, and it makes sense, if you don’t know what it is you need to do next, of course, you’re not going to do anything. Artists who do succeed, they figured out how to plan for success. They have the right strategies in place and they don’t doubt their next move.

Now, if you’re not sure what to do next, you’ll probably end up doing nothing, or worse, spending your time doing the wrong things, wasting your time. So, if you’re having trouble focusing on what to do next, it could be that fear and doubt are getting in your way, but it could also be that you just lack the right strategy knowledge to build this solid foundation. Now, another thing that I’ve noticed is with humanity, and this isn’t really rocket science, but I’m going to explain, you know you’ve know this too. There are different kinds of humans in the world. There are people out there who just rock it by themselves. Those are the types of people who, if they decide they want to get in shape, they don’t even need a gym membership. They just set their alarm, six o’clock every morning, they get up, they go for their three mile run.

Maybe they have their free weights in the basement. They eat all the right food. They’re naturally thin. They do everything on their own. By the way, that has never been me. That has never been me. So, it doesn’t work for me in fitness and it never worked for me in career. I always like to surround myself with other people who are doing what I’m doing, whether I paid to be in a mastermind or I’ve created my own circles of artists to learn from. That is number one. Then there’s the type of person who, maybe they buy a gym membership, so I’m trying to use the fitness analogy. So, the first type of person does everything on their own, they don’t need any kind of structure. They just do it, all right? Then there’s the next type of person, and by the way, the first person, I would assume that’s more rare, but I don’t know.

The second type of person, maybe they buy gym membership, their motivation, on their own, just buying the gym membership is enough. They go to the gym, they develop their own workouts. They keep themselves accountable. They go to the gym every day on their own and they get amazing results. So, if you’re a number one, do it completely on your own, or you’re number two, pretty much on your own. Well done, my friend. I do want to point out that the number two type who joins the gym still likes to surround themselves with others who are also doing the same things as they are, which helps them become more successful. If you’re a number one, a solo self-starter through and through, the rest of what I’m going to say on this podcast is probably not for you. And perhaps you’re already getting the kinds of results that you want in your life with your art business. The kind of person that I’m going to want to be talking to for the rest of the podcast is the number threes.

So, the number threes are the kind of folks who want to rock it. They truly do. They’re motivated, but they can’t seem to make the progress that they want. Whether it’s because distractions come up, maybe they start and stop. It’s shiny object syndrome. They get all excited about making a YouTube video, but then they switch to Instagram or maybe Etsy, so they do a little bit here and there. These are the types of people, by the way, who are likely to buy the gym memberships and they go a lot in January, but despite really wanting to get in shape, they either go very sporadically or they stop going all together. Or maybe they get there and they really don’t know what to do and they spend most of the time in the locker room. Actually, I did that one year. I loved that locker room, two headed showers, it was like the best part of my day. Basically it was a very expensive bathroom that I joined.

Anyway, these types of folks want the results, but they need extra help to get there. So, if you’re a number three, if that sounds like you, listen up, I know you’ve probably always wanted to be a professional artist or maybe you already are one, but your results have been eh, or you’re okay but you just know you could be doing better. You want to create a successful business, but it’s just not happening. So, how do you get that extra kick in the butt? That accountability, like a personal trainer? You know how that is? Actually, I don’t really do personal trainers. I am the group exercise class person and that’s why I so believe in group coaching, just so you know.

So, I never do personal trainers. I join classes where there’s a group, there’s one, maybe one person’s leading 10 people. They’re kicking my butt for sure but I love having the other people next to me to compete with. That’s the kind of magic that I see happening with group training programs. I’m talking about art, but also talking about the metaphor of the exercise class. Maybe I think I’m too old, because I’m 50, because there’s a 25 year old to my left, but to my right, there’s somebody who’s 60. So, that excuse goes by the wayside. Now, the other thing you have to know is that when you are working with a group training program, whether it’s exercise or art, you’re more likely to get the right exercises than if you’re just making it up yourself, inside that gym or at home, the right strategies are not going to waste your time.

Now, we are talking about art marketing, but we could easily apply this to exercises. Anyone remember the vibrating belt? Total waste of time and electricity. And since I know there are quite a few people under 30 who also listen to this podcast, I want to share with you what the vibrating belt was. It was this big belt that you put around your waist and then attached to a machine, and the idea was that it vibrated your fat so fast that it loosened it up and eventually disappeared. Spoiler alert, that did not work. I’ll try to include a picture of what that looks like in the show notes, so anyone who is not familiar with that beautiful contraption can see how ridiculous it was, for yourself.

But there definitely is the equivalent of the vibrating belt in marketing, the random acts of marketing that some of us try, and maybe they work, maybe they don’t. That’s not what I teach in The Artist Incubator. I’m teaching strategies that I know work because I’ve applied them myself. I’m in the trenches with you. I am a working artist. Now, let me share with you one of the artists in my group, Peter Bragino found the accountability part of the group immensely valuable and he also loved the way I forced him to get out of his comfort zone.

Peter Bragino:
The truth is that I honestly have never gotten this much value out of any coaching thing I’ve ever been in. I really have never gotten so much value out of a coaching experience, which is good. I have perceived concepts of how things can happen. I’m glad to have the accountability and you pushing me into uncomfortable places, which aren’t that uncomfortable, but they’re uncomfortable enough to stretch me, which is good.

Miriam Schulman:
Now, the other reason people use personal trainers or coaches is because the personal feedback from an expert coach, someone who has gone before you and actually has done what they’re suggesting and gotten the kind of results that you’re looking for, and gotten similar results for their students, that’s the magic I see in the group environment. When it’s just one-on-one, you may doubt what I’m saying to try, you may think, “That only works for me, or whatever the guru is saying won’t work for me,” but what happens when you’re in a group situation and you see others getting success, using those strategies, it motivates you to do it as well. That’s why I want you to hear from one of my other artists, Pat Stanton. When Pat joined me, she was struggling to sell her greeting cards on Etsy. After applying my frameworks and gaining motivation by surrounding herself with other artists, she hosted her first open studio and she made over a thousand dollars at it. Listen to what she had to say.

Pat Stanton:
The real one was I was able to have my open studio this weekend. It was a really fulfilling day, a validating day for me, because up to this point in my life, I didn’t really feel like I could call myself an artist, but I feel like I can now because I’ve actually sold some stuff. All I’m trying to do is show people my art, but I don’t have to be afraid to do that anymore. I love this group. I love hearing everybody and where they’re at and whatever our trials and tribulations are. There is a lot of comfort in the common stories that we might have. If somebody told me a year ago that I would be painting and selling art, I would have told them they were crazy.

Miriam Schulman:
Let’s work together to attract high-end commissions, build your email list, host your first open studio and learn exactly what it is to close the sale. Not only will you overcome overwhelm, but you’ll gain practical strategies and a clear way forward for implementing them. You’ll get a backstage pass to how I run my own art business. Let’s cut through all the noise online, those random acts of marketing and find out what really works to sell your art. Fill your art classes from an artist who’s actually doing it.

So, here’s what happens next. If you want to grow as an artist and profit from your art in 2020, the first step is to schedule a free call with me. It is by application only. If you’re chosen for a free strategy call, I’ll help you map out your vision for 2020. We’ll also see if The Artist Incubator program is a good fit for you, and I’ll answer all of your questions about the program. Applications are going to be closing soon as it is limited to only 14 people, and many of those spots will be already taken with some of my existing Incubator artists who are renewing. So, if you’re ready to profit from your passion in order to build your following of raving art collectors and fans, share your artwork with the world to generate consistent income and make your dream of becoming a thriving professional artist a reality, go to to apply for a free creative strategy call.

I can’t wait to chat with you. All right, my friend, finally, to wrap this all up, I have a question for you. Have you reviewed my podcast yet? Because if not, I would love for you to do that right away. Reviews help others find the show and I always give shout outs on Instagram to my reviewers. I would love for you to be one of them. Now, if you’ve never left a review before, it’s really easy, it just takes a few moments. Search for The Inspiration Place on Apple Podcasts. Scroll down till you see ratings and reviews. Hit five stars. Add your review and click send. Okay, my friend, thank you so much for being with me here today. I will see you the same time, same place next week. Make it a great one.

Thank you for listening to The Inspiration Place podcast. Connect with us on Facebook at On Instagram @schulmanart. And of course, on

Miriam Schulman:
This episode was sponsored by The Artist Incubator. It’s my small group coaching program, where I help you take your art business to the next level with practical strategies that work. Imagine what it would feel like to be easily selling your art and profiting from your passion.

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