FOR COMMITTED CREATIVES READY TO BECOME KNOWN FOR THE WORK THEY'RE MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT
Stop throwing away your best creative time and energy on other people’s priorities and start getting seen and known for your creative vision.
You make art, and creative work of all kinds, in order to take something—an idea, an emotion, a story—from inside your own head and put it into somebody else's head in as complete and intact a form as possible.
It’s only when it’s seen, heard, read, or experienced, that your work completes the circuit and lights up the world.
In the real world, what you make could look like anything from painting, to writing, to cartooning, to music making, event planning, designing, DJing...really any physical creation or even set of ideas you generate that’s unique to you that you put out into the world. That is art. (At least in our definition.)
And art is communication. Art needs other people.
So what will you feel when you spend months—years—on a project, polishing and perfecting every angle, then you release it into the world… to bafflement? Or worse, indifference?
Your art is not working. You feel like a failure because you’re not completing the circuit.
As artists and creatives, we're trained to stay inside our own heads. Everything you’ve learned has focused on
“what do I want to express?”
But that’s only half the equation.
Maybe you’ve felt that pain when you finally decided you were going to “get serious” about promotion and posted some work in progress on Instagram.
And then, after a few hours of obsessively refreshing the page you’ve got… five likes. (And one of them was from your mom.)
Suddenly you feel completely deflated. All that energy to promote has flown out the window. You know you "should" post every day, but what's the point? You might gain a new follower maybe once a month, and it seems like no one sees your posts or cares. You end up feeling hopeless.
Everything you try feels like a huge time and energy suck, with zero results. But you feel like you’ve got to do something to break out of this rut…
So you work yourself up to post something on Instagram again — and the cycle continues.
Creative work and knowledge work is your life and livelihood, and you’re great at it. People keep wanting more. And that’s kinda the problem:
You are exhausted by showing up on other people’s schedules and doing creative work aligned with other people’s priorities.
You are sick of doing work that's sorta-kinda, that's passion-adjacent. You want control over your time and attention and the ability to focus on the work you care about most.
You have something you burn to share with the world, and you need this work to be VISIBLE.
Because imagine what you could accomplish if it were easy to share — and to draw in your people who love what you’re doing and want to support you...
Imagine the impact you could create if you could build that audience that engages with your work — and wants to buy what you want to offer (no skeezy used car salesman tactics required)...
And it all felt authentic to your vision and your mission as a creator— and not something that detracts from the core of your work.
In short…Imagine you had a way to reliably complete the circuit.
When you go into your creative cave and make your exciting new project, you do it with the totally reasonable expectation that someone's going to be there to receive this work when you’re done.
Getting paid for it would be awesome (and certainly may be your short term or long term goal), but more importantly, your audience will understand what you’re doing. You're going to have a real impact on them.
And so you actually finish it! You release it into the world!
But that's where things break down.
Nobody pays attention. It's not that people hate it, or tell you it’s bad. You don't get trolls. It's none of that stuff.
People just don't pay attention. They don't care.
(And that’s almost worse than if they told you it was no good.)
Do these fears ring a bell?
Often, when we get crickets in response to our creative work, this is the first place our brains go.
We assume that lack of attention equals lack of talent.
We blame ourselves for not producing “better” work — and that forces us into this cycle of creating and practicing and creating...in secret.
But no matter how much we create…
No matter how many times we revise our work…
No matter how much we improve our craft…
Somehow, we’re still not completing the circuit and implanting our ideas into other people’s minds at any kind of scale.
For many creatives, the dream is to “be discovered.”
We want people to see and recognize and experience our art — and we want the rewards (monetary and otherwise) that come with it.
We want to be able to make money from our art, because that will mean we have more time to create, more time to devote to our passions.
And the best way to get that seems to be the magic that happens when we “get discovered” by the “right people” — whether that means landing the book deal, getting accepted into the gallery show, or just becoming Internet famous for our work. It will give our work that stamp of approval that we did something right.
Because then it’s someone else’s job to do the marketing and selling, to talk about the work, and to get it in front of the right people.
Then, we think, everything will be easy…
But often, that’s not true.
Getting a book deal with a major publisher doesn’t guarantee you a huge marketing budget, or anything like the attention your work deserves.
Showing your art in a gallery doesn’t guarantee it will sell.
Being reviewed by someone influential rarely equates to more than the proverbial 15 minutes of fame.
And if you want your work to provide income for you? None of those milestone events guarantee anything.
The dream is that the gatekeepers will handle allll the marketing for your work. It's their job, after all!
But then they do a pathetic job of promoting the work and it falls into obscurity almost immediately.
Relying on any of those institutionally-approved gatekeepers to build your audience for you means you’re handing off control of your career and your future to others — others who cannot possibly care as much as you do.
You’re made passive, subservient. You're infantilized and controlled.
In short, even being “discovered” doesn’t always complete that circuit of creating and receiving the art you want to create in a meaningful or lasting way.
But when you decide that, yeah, you probably need to create visibility for your work yourself somehow, it can feel so scary and overwhelming.
You start to wonder if you’re going to have to spend your entire life on social media, on emails, on creating a website or talking to people online… All your precious time that should go to creating is suddenly eaten up posting ridiculous stuff that falls flat and feels pointless.
It feels like a trap. Like you’re sacrificing the freedom of a creative’s life to be a cog in a marketing machine that you can’t control.
Or it doesn’t feel safe to draw attention to yourself. You worry that you’ll have to lay bare your entire life in order to be “visible.” That might invite in trolls and haters — and you’ll never get that genie back in the bottle. It seems like there are no second chances online.
But mostly, the fear is that, no matter how much time and effort you pour into building that visibility, you might still fail.
You don’t know how to do it.
You don’t want to do it.
You don’t even feel like you should have to do it! If you were good enough, somebody else would do it for you…
...(And who are you to even deserve the attention?)
You start to feel like a sell-out and a poser — when all you wanted to do was do your work and share your ideas.
Shouldn’t that be enough?
What's actually going on is that you're not inviting people into your work. You’ve pulled up the drawbridge, yet are still expecting people to show up for the party.
If you think that you can stand safely inside the wall and expect your fans to build their own bridge to come engage with you and your art?
Right. Never going to happen.
But that's what many people hope will happen.
It’s one of the greatest, most pervasive, and most damning myths of being an artist.
In reality, you’ve got to be the one to build the bridge. It’s your job to complete the circuit.
And it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think.
Jessica is passionate about her work, yet deeply conflicted about what it means to her and what she wants out of it. She's a mom, she recently completed a PhD in urban planning that she's unsure she wants to use, and she spent all last year feeling like she was neglecting her children to write what is essentially a book (about Idol Pop through the lens of Kazakhstani boy band 91) in a series of blog posts. Which she then posted a few times on Twitter.
It’s amazing work. And it’s virtually invisible.
She wondered why it felt like such a letdown— even though she accomplished the big project she set out to create.
When I asked what she had wanted to gain from the project, she said she had hoped that people would read it, would interact with it, email her about it, start a discussion — but that putting any sort of effort into generating that discussion felt vain, grasping, and made her afraid to finish it.
She even went so far as to say, “I think somewhere along the line I internalized the idea that writing for the sake of writing is the mark of a true writer, and writing for any other goal is… corrupt.”
And she’s not alone.
If you’ve internalized messages about the purity or sanctity of art for art’s sake, it can feel like compromising your integrity to go out and try to drum up an audience for your work.
But what if it was possible to create visibility in an authentic way, in alignment with artistic integrity, creativity, empathy, excellence — without feeling like you’re screaming into the void?
What if you could build an audience of people who want to engage with your passion projects (and pay you money for them) without altering the core of what makes you… you?
What if you could have a life that’s centered around your most important, most aligned work — and that supports you financially as well as creatively?
It’s all possible — but not if you keep doing the same things you’ve been doing (or, let’s be honest: NOT doing) so far.
Here’s the good news:
Building visibility and success as a professional creative can be broken down into three pretty straightforward steps:
But not easy.
Lots of creatives hope to make money with their work, but don’t have a plan or a strategy around how to make that happen. Some aren’t even sure what they’re selling, really, in the first place.
What you need is a framework, a plan to make these steps clear, manageable, and trackable, so you can see exactly what’s working.
That framework, that strategy, is the healthy alternative to junk-food tactics like “just post your work on Instagram every day!”
When I tried marketing in the past, it felt separate: I make the thing and then I market it. And when I'm ready to market it, at the very end of the process, it almost never results in anything. And then I’m frustrated and think ‘I'm bad at marketing.’
But Authentic Visibility connects marketing to who you are as a creative person — that just makes it all different. It just makes it feel better.
For an independent creative person that does probably have a pretty great sense of who they are and what they want to be doing, connecting marketing to that feels like the secret sauce.
— ERIK LOYER, SOFTWARE ARTIST
For the first 20+ years of my professional life, I had no idea how to bridge the gap between my dream of a growing audience and more stable income from my work, and the day-to-day things I did.
I put book after book out into the world, hoping it would catch fire, having no idea how to exert any influence over that process. I was just following the time-worn, yet utterly broken path laid out for authors:
Problem: I got stuck at Step 1, since Step 2 is something I thought I had no control over — and so 3 and 4 simply never happened to me.
Not knowing any other option, I kept making more books, continually cramming more work into the same overstressed life, hoping the Dusty Fairy would hit me up this time.
It wasn't until I consciously committed to studying how to build a business that anything changed at a structural level.
And at first, I hated every minute of it.
Culturally, we treat business and art as warring nations, and initially I met every sales-oriented suggestion, every jargony marketing term, every mention of “pain points” and “customer journeys” with burning fury.
It felt like I was giving myself a brain transplant — slowly and painfully — as I learned how to translate each concept into something I understood and was willing to implement.
That’s why I created Authentic Visibility.
I didn't want other creatives to have to go through the same excruciating process I faced.
But I know it’s a big ask for most creatives to push through their distaste for all that marketing jargon and ethically-challenged tactics to get to the other side, where the powerful tools of communication and growth are in their hands.
The parents, partners, friends, colleagues, bosses, and mass media figures who say or imply that you aren’t capable of this? That you don’t have what it takes to make your own choices and run your own life?
What happens as a result of gaslighting?
Your loved ones don’t think they’re gaslighting you. They think they’re “protecting” you.
Sorry. They don’t get to decide. That’s your job.
I wanted to teach marketing in a way that would be ultra-clear and understandable for artists and creatives. I wanted to create something tailor-made to address their concerns and built on their strengths, with safety nets to protect them from their weaknesses.
And to do it without resorting to all the marketing-speak and techno-jargon that enraged me.
I went to work with that goal: to make marketing not only understandable for creatives, but also exciting and maybe even…fun?
As I worked, I came to see that the one thing artists would never compromise, the underlying reason they were suspicious of marketing and sales, the true value that unified them was AUTHENTICITY.
You want a way to show up without feeling spammy or scammy.
A way to attract true fans who are there because they want to engage with you and your work.
A clear framework to understand which parts of yourself and your story belong to the world— and which don’t.
Our approach is aligned with the concerns of artists and creatives, not B-school bros and Instagram influencers.
You’ll learn simple, clear methods to build a relationship with a passionate audience using empathy and creativity, in full alignment with your ethics and values, and clear self-defined boundaries to protect your safety.
With Authentic Visibility, you’ll be able to:
This program is designed to be simple and fast, and to give you a strong mastery of the basics. You can learn and implement at your own place, so that you never fall into the overwhelm trap. And you’ll be able to get answers to all your questions from a community of creatives in every discipline and field who are doing the work with you.
Authentic Visibility is not like any of the other training you've taken, I promise. Absolutely. It is not.
It's not any one thing. It is a roll of Lifesavers — everybody gets a different flavor because we're all different flavors. It speaks so much to the individual, process, journey, place you are in life. It's so unique. It's almost — by default, it's customized.
This is a course that speaks to your heart, and that calls to your heart, and that helps you answer the question: "What really, truly, would make your heart happy?" And it actually won't matter what you answer because you're going to get something that you need more, that you don't know you need.
I did find what I came for, and I found so much more of such greater value.
— CHRISTINE COWLEY, AUTHOR
The course materials and active alumni group are immediately available as soon as you jump into Authentic Visibility
You'll have 24/7 access to mobile- and tablet-friendly course materials, including interactive worksheets and written and audio lessons.
Work at your own pace, whenever and wherever you like!
Joining Authentic Visibility also gives you access to the Autonomous Creative Collective, an engaged and dedicated community of creative people who support each other, offer feedback, and share experiences.
Group support is there when you need it. In addition to discussions, articles, messaging, and posts, you're invited to biweekly Action Calls!
The problem with marketing courses is that they’re often:
a) full of jargon and business-speak that's there just to try to sound smart and...
b) presented as a HUGE to-do list of "essential" tasks.
I decided to build something different.
Authentic Visibility is a jargon-free, step-by-step plan that will let you choose your own path and how far you want to go at any one time.
The curriculum is designed with natural resting points. If, for example, all you want to do right now is figure out how to talk about yourself and your work, you can do Unit 1 and stop there for now. Or you can go on to Unit 2 to learn how to build an audience.
The point is, I’ve created it with natural rest stops where you can pause, test your work, and gather your wits before you take on the challenge of the next level. Think of it as a built-in safety valve against overwhelm.
*You can choose to rest here and gain massive confidence in how you talk about yourself and your work, and knowing exactly who wants to hear it!
*You can choose to rest here, and learn to build visibility for your work online, and IRL!
*You can choose to rest here and gather a tribe of fans on an engaged email list who will be ready to buy from you when you're ready to sell!
*You can get all the way to the end, and learn exactly how to sell your work in alignment and authenticity!
What particularly appealed to me about this course is that there's a lot of attention put on how what you want to say reflects what you want to do and be in the world, in a sustainable way.
A lot of the material that I've consumed has been around techniques, story structures, hooks. Persuasive things that are going to get people's attention. And those things, from a copywriting point of view, are helpful.
But the fuel to do it needs to come from a more powerful source than just, ‘Oh, I should be doing this for my business.’ I really appreciated the attention put into locating meaning, and how that part was integrated with the data part.
— DIANA DE CABARRUS, PERFORMER
Connecting your offer to your revenue expectations and time use will help you get true clarity on your goals and design the right marketing strategy to reach them. This bonus module helps make all the moving pieces crystal clear and makes it possible to track and see your progress on your revenue and visibility goals. You will:
It's so important to understand where you want to grow your visibility and who your audience is. But if you don't know what to write to them, or how to clearly communicate about your work, you're going to be frustrated. In this bonus minicourse, learn to write so that your people want to take action, just like the pros do with an introduction to key copywriting concepts, templates, and tools. This minicourse will help you:
At the heart of Authentic Visibility are the amazing connections and colleagues you’ll meet inside. In our community, you’ll find a rich, deep network of fellow creatives who care as much as you do about getting this right.
When you get inside, you’ll realize: You are not alone. You are not weird.
And when you believe you need to devote energy to building a sustainable creative life, you are not wrong.
We bond together to help one another.
That’s why, alongside your enrollment in the six-month course, you also get six months of full access to the Autonomous Creative Collective: the premiere community for creative professionals, when you join Authentic Visibility.
Our students tell us the community is the single most important factor in their success and a huge part of why Authentic Visibility has changed their professional careers and their lives. Tap into the immense value and support of a curated community of creative professionals working with you side-by-side on generating their own authentic visibility.
Those group meetings were fantastic. Obviously it takes a lot of your time, but it's so special. It's just the most amazing thing to have that group all on different kind of points on the same trajectory, all trying to also help each other.
And then realizing that group of all these amazing people that I just thought were totally sorted, they turned out to not be that sorted, or least felt that they weren't sorted.
And having Jessica there, bringing it back down to the ground level and saying, you know what? It's all right, you can do it.
I mean, you can read as many books as you like, but it's the experience that makes it stick.
— PENNY SHARP, ARTIST
I can keep going back and go a little deeper each time. I have the tools. But without the ACC, I would get lost.
Another student mentioned how she loved that we were from different disciplines and that's been really important for me too, because writing groups have not worked for me. Maybe because Authentic Visibility is multi-disciplinary, there's no sense of competition, and there's no sense of anyone talking down to others.
What you've created is a safe place for all of us to come.
— CHRISTINE COWLEY, AUTHOR
Authentic Visibility and our signature creative productivity program, the Creative Focus Workshop (CFW) go together like chocolate and peanut butter — and if you choose to upgrade to include the CFW when you enroll in Authentic Visibility, you’ll be able to access this powerful course at the lowest price I’ve ever offered.
If you struggle to find the time and energy to do your most important work (including Visibility work!), the Creative Focus Workshop is for you.
It’s the only program specifically designed to help serious creative people level up and put the work that really matters to them at the core of how they live their lives.
After you enroll in Authentic Visibility, look for an opportunity to bundle your enrollment in the Creative Focus Workshop on the next page!
I wanted to share the joy and excitement with you that YOUR COURSE WORKS!!
I still have the fading Post-It note on my wall beside my desk that says “Create Season One of Podcast and make it awesome, and organized, and exciting." I am doing essentially that.
The podcast is called This is Our Time, and it follows the journey of five women who go on the largest-ever all-female expedition to Antarctica. As a result of doing this story, I have been invited to Antarctica on the second expedition, and I leave in ten days!
— SAMANTHA HODDER, PODCASTER
I look back and I realize that my God, I was working so differently six months ago. There are things I do and tools I have that make every day really, really much better. And that turns into a good week, and that turns into a good six week sprint, and that eventually turns into a finished film.
What you will find out, like I did, is that you can read about this as much as you like. But not before you're actually in a workshop, doing the assignments each week, having this community around you, having Jessica to lead all of this—that's where you're going to see your life being transformed. So if you're on the fence, I would say don't think about it, just join. And you can thank me three months from now if you take my advice.
— ANDRE HEDETOFT, FILM DIRECTOR
Before working with Jessica, I felt absolutely overwhelmed, and I had too many ideas to really get focused in on what I needed to do, and no way to consistently sort them. I felt guilty all the time, I felt like I never deserved a break.
And it felt like I was never going to be able to grow out of it.
Now, I have given myself a promotion. It's amazing how much my firm has grown and how much clarity I've gotten around what I do. I'm able to go and sell projects now that I would never have even attempted to follow up on as a result of what I have learned.
The Creative Focus Workshop Momentum System is one of the best investments I've made all year.
— JENNY TRAUTMAN, CONSULTANT
when you pay in full
Save $81 when you pay in full
Plus: Bundle Authentic Visibility with the premier creative productivity course, the Creative Focus Workshop, for the lowest price available ever:
$200 off the full price for the CFW
After you enroll in Authentic Visibility, look for an opportunity to bundle your enrollment in the Creative Focus Workshop on the following page!
Plus: Bundle Authentic Visibility with the premier creative productivity course, the Creative Focus Workshop, for the lowest price available ever:
$200 off the full price for the CFW
After you enroll in Authentic Visibility, look for an opportunity to bundle your enrollment in the Creative Focus Workshop on the following page!
14-Day Money Back Guarantee:
I know it can be scary to buy something “sight unseen” as it were, so I’m offering you a chance to come in, kick the tires, and make absolutely certain that Authentic Visibility is for you with a 14-day money back guarantee.
If you decide it’s not a good fit, for any reason, within the first 14 days, let me know and we’ll refund your investment.
Easy as that.
Be confident in sharing and selling your work because you know you’ve got something special, and you know you’re talking to the right people, who truly believe in you and what you make.
Join Authentic Visibility Today
Authentic Visibility makes the connection between what your work is about how you present it to the outside world, and how are you going to ask people for money. And that's just a hard thing for many artists to connect with and feel good about.
My intention is just so much more than marketing. It's to put my stuff out there, whether I sell it or not. A real business person would call what I do a hobby. They take delight in calling artists' work hobbies.
Artists don't call them that. This is our life's work. It's a spiritual practice. It's not a hobby.
— JOHN LAUER, ARTIST
I think if you are creative, the one thing you're worried about is exposing yourself to criticism, or not even knowing how to interact with the world. And this is like, you're a toddler and we're going to teach you how to interact with the world.
It's like kindergarten for creatives.
Everything you need to know, you learn in kindergarten. But we never learned any of this stuff. You're going to learn who you are and how to talk to other children nicely and how to deal with bullies. It's very non-threatening, and you can be vulnerable because we're all a bunch of toddlers together.
But by the end, you're going to be a goddamn ass-kicking teenager on three kinds of social media with an email campaign. It's very accelerated growth.
—AN AUTHENTIC VISIBILITY STUDENT
I’m Jessica Abel, and I’ve been teaching artists and creative people for 20 years. What infuriates—and motivates—me the most is when I see my students laboring to make their amazing work while bearing the weight of expectation that our culture lays on them.
I refuse to perpetuate the myth of the lone genius that undermines our collective power.
I reject the minimization of the value of creative work that results in every other thing feeling so much more pressing and urgent… and the work never taking precedence.
I deny the infantilization of creative people that results in everyone else having the right to question our priorities and life choices.
I’ve worked with 20 years-worth of art school students, and more than 700 people in my own courses to help them create comics, podcasts, novels, academic publications, blogs, courses, films, businesses…
…and more importantly, to own their identities as the makers and doers all those things and create a SUSTAINABLE, RESILIENT, PRODUCTIVE creative practice.
Living a life as a serious, committed creative without blowing up every other thing in your life is a delicate dance. I know: I’m a full-time art school prof, and I’m a publishing cartoonist and writer. I’ve lived abroad in Mexico and France for a combined 6 years, and yes, I speak French and Spanish (badly). I’ve done a podcast and published textbooks. I’m married, I have two kids. I have a house.
In all of that, what’s most important to me is not a fat resume, it’s that I’ve made creative work the center of my professional life for more than 25 years.
It feeds me, both literally and metaphorically.
And that’s what I want for you.
I understand that marketing feels scary, and completely anathema to true art.
And if you’ve tried some sales or marketing tactics in the past, but haven’t seen the results you want, you might be afraid that’s a reflection on the quality of your work, or afraid you’re incapable of the kind of success that will turn your passion into a business.
Or maybe you’re afraid that selling means you’re not a real artist.
You’re tired of wasting hours on social media without getting a response. Tired of putting work out into online marketplaces only to see it ignored. Tired of the time and energy required to do local shows or conventions and getting minimal traction.
And deep, deep down you’re afraid that it’s all luck, anyway. If my work is good enough, it’ll be discovered...
A belief that’s just setting you up for failure and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But what’s the alternative?
For most creatives, their art is like breathing. So what are you going to do — quit breathing?
Instead, take a deep breath and imagine what you could accomplish if you got this promotional piece figured out…
If you want (need) to build an audience and make money from your work, then you have to take action.
There is no middle ground.
This is completely doable.
Even if you :
Authentic Visibility can help you sell your work and have it feel effortless and empathetic. Selling can actually feel like the best thing you’ve ever done for the world instead of a guilt-inducing sea of ick.
You will start to garner the recognition you’ve been craving.
And you’ll finally feel confident that your efforts will actually translate to results.
Authentic Visibility puts the power in your hands to build an audience for your creative work so that you can make more money, spend more time creating, and build the confidence and pride that you’re a professional creative.
I've always been really bad at promoting myself, at setting any boundaries about the work that I'm making for other people, and setting how much I'll get paid. I'm absolutely rubbish at that. I'll end up just doing twice the work for half the money.
Whereas now I say, I'm going to make this and I'm going to promote this. Because this is now what I do. And you might like it. You might not, but I'm making it anyway.
— PENNY SHARP, ARTIST
I was surprised at how my attitude toward marketing changed once I started with my values. I think what made me reluctant to create an email list is that it is a very clear demonstration of that commitment to having a relationship with customers, with an audience, and to producing stuff for them.
I recognized that I hadn’t made that commitment to come up with that content. So it was a reality check for me. But it helped me recognize that content is essential toward building an audience and that, if I'm going to do this, I have to make that commitment, and find a way to fit that into my life.
— CHRIS SELLERS, GAME DESIGNER AND CARTOONIST
The idea of “Authentic Visibility” really resonated with me, and I wanted to learn more about how I can show up as an individual, rather than how I felt before, which was kind of like “fake it till you make it.”
I just thought I wasn't capable of coming at it from the perspective of being very true to who I am.
Whenever I come into this, it's rewiring my brain so that when I hear marketing, or if I'm trying to sell something, it doesn't feel icky. I'm showing up authentically, and I'm finding people who not only want to buy my stuff, they need my stuff in order to get to the next step in their goals.
And that's what I feel whenever I hear the words "authentic visibility." It's more than just marketing, because you're not just trying to sell something, it's tied to who you are as a person.
— RACHEL OBER, SOFTWARE ENGINEER
I’m super uncomfortable with the whole concept of marketing my work. I feel like marketing is slimy and selling is pushy and I don’t even know if I feel OK about trying to make money with my art.
I hear you. I have felt the same way. But there is nothing wrong with being paid for the value you provide. We don’t expect a lawyer to write up a contract without being paid. We don’t think it’s weird for a house painter to expect money.
Why do we think it’s wrong to be paid for creative work? Just because we like doing it? Or is it because we don’t really believe it’s worth anything…?
Your work is valuable.
When you communicate that value to others with clarity, that’s marketing.
When you then ask to be paid for the clear value you provide, that’s sales.
When you really DO have something of true value, that’s all there is to it. There is nothing manipulative or sleazy or dirty or wrong about any of it when you do it in an open, honest and ethical way. It’s a beautiful thing for everyone involved.
And Authentic Visibility will help you get there.
I really prefer for my work to speak for itself.
Wouldn't that be nice? If we could build it and they would actually come?
Unfortunately, in actual fact, there are large barriers between your work and its ideal audience. When you ask people for their money, or even their time, they need to be sure their investment is going to pay off. And this is exactly what you'll be able to communicate when you clarify the value of your work and develop a consistent message... And that's the core of what you'll do in Authentic Visibility.
Once people have "met" your work, it may well speak for itself, but you've got to introduce it to people first.
My work is [performance-based, visual art, in academia, "just entertainment", _____ ]. I'm not sure how it "helps" an audience. Will Authentic Visibility help me grow my audience?
Many, I would venture most, students in Authentic Visibility make work that resists the typical bro-marketer selling advice, where you're told to figure out what "problem" your offer solves and then hammer on the "pain points" the audience feels around that problem.
What's the "problem" a painting solves? An electronic jam track? A dance performance or a stand-up routine?
And yet, what in your life have you've spent the most money and time on? What do you love the most (outside of your humans and animals)? I bet among your top 10 are a few cultural products (books, movies, art) that have changed your life.
That kind of life-changing is what your work can do for other people. Yes. It can.
And in Authentic Visibility we get it: it's HARD to figure out how to talk about your most important creative work, and typical marketing tactics and approaches simply won't cut it. Instead, we have a creative-centered process that will put the power of building your audience in your hands.
People WANT to be inspired, uplifted, challenged, heard, seen, by art. They want to have art (such as fashion) that reflects their self-image and helps them project their personality to others. It's so important to embrace the power of art to change lives.
That's what we'll do in Authentic visibility, and you'll learn to talk about that value in your work clearly.
I don't think I can do this. I'm an introvert!
If you're an introvert, that's all the more reason to get the message and the audience right.
What's the worst thing for an introvert? It isn't talking to strangers. It's talking to strangers when you don't know what to say.
You don't have to glad-hand and hawk merch if you do a great job showing people why they ALREADY want your thing! Authentic Visibility will help you figure out exactly what to say so that people are excited to hear from you and buy from you.
You won't have to talk to people at conferences or fairs (or at all…) although once you connect to your audience, you'll be so thrilled, I bet you won't be able to stop chatting them up!
Do I have to be visible online? What if I hate social media and want to stay away from email?
Maybe your work can't exist online, for example, live performance of music, theater, or immersive experiences.
Maybe YOU don't want to exist online, because you hate social media or object to Big Tech.
I will not lie and tell you this isn't a hurdle: visibility gets easier when you can use the massive reach of the internet.
But people who have ephemeral art practices need a committed audience as much or more as anyone else: you've got to get people to show up when you're live! You can use online tools in combination with real-world ones to increase your reach and your impact.
If you're in a field that kind of pretends marketing doesn't exist, like a branch of academia, you'll find that message clarity is immensely important and powerful in getting your colleagues to understand and engage with your work. AND you'll be one of the few out there who's even trying, which is a huge advantage.
And if you don't want to be online, you more than anyone need creative solutions to get your message out. We will discuss this, and students in Authentic Visibility—with their incredible well of creative thinking—can help you figure out what will work for you.
No matter what form your work takes, there is an audience that will respond to it, and you can learn to connect with that audience (online or off) more powerfully when you get clear on your message, and design tactics that are custom-made for your life and how you want to show up.
That's precisely what we do in Authentic Visibility.
Marketing is my [publisher/gallerist/network/collective/somebody else]'s job. Why do I need to learn it?
Because even if you have a professional in your corner helping, at best, their attention will be split among the many authors/artists/whatever in their stable, and at worst you'll get no attention at all.
You are one among many to them. The only person you can fully trust to have your interests at heart is yourself. And that's amazingly empowering!
What if I've done promo before, and it hasn't worked?
There are no guarantees in this world, but I'd hazard a guess that when you've done "promo" before, you were probably throwing spaghetti at the wall, just trying some version of tips you read somewhere.
Most of those tactics fail because they center on what the creator wants to say, not what the audience needs to hear. They rely on the principle of "annoy the many to convert the few" (post more, flog more, sell more) which is counter-productive, exhausting, and feels like crap. They chase tactics and trends that are based more on what some algorithm says is best (an algorithm, by the way, that's designed to maximize success for the platform, not for you).
Authentic Visibility will help you work strategically to understand the value you create for your audience, and then demonstrate that value, so that you will see results. It will help you share and connect in a way that feels human and aligned so that your audience knows you respect them (and returns the favor). It will teach you to choose your platforms and tactics according to what works for you, not some mighty tech giant.
What if I get in there and I hate it?
Well, I hope you don't hate it! But I don't want anybody to feel any buyer's remorse, so I've added a 14-day money-back guarantee: if you join us and decide within the first 14 days that it's really not for you, you can request your money back. Easy as that.
What happens at the end of the six-month program?
For the six months of the program, you'll have full access to all of the course materials and the incredible Autonomous Creative Collective.
When that six months ends, you will be eligible to upgrade to stay in the Autonomous Creative Collective as an ongoing, alumni member at the end of your six month enrollment. You retain access to the Authentic Visibility course as long as you're a member of the Autonomous Creative Collective!
USE THE CHAT BUTTON IN THE LOWER CORNER OF THIS PAGE TO ASK, AND WE'LL GET RIGHT BACK TO YOU, OR EMAIL CONTACT@JESSICAABEL.COM
You can keep doing what you’ve been doing.
Keep posting random stuff on social media, hoping something will resonate.
Keep pitching publishers, thinking the right “yes” will fix the problem.
Keep forcing yourself to get pushy — and then feel horrible and degraded.
Keep signing bad contracts with people who make big promises.
Or keep doing nothing, despair that your work will never find an audience, and “don’t quit your day job.”
Or you can choose empathy over skeezy marketing tactics.
Choose authenticity over selling out.
Choose visibility over starving artist syndrome.
You can choose to join us in Authentic Visibility.
The course is part of the process of working through things you tried to solve in the past that didn’t work.
Now you have an overview of the whole thing, and suddenly you're not lost at sea anymore. It provides a map.
Now I can explore the land. I have to walk there and discover the cultures. It's not overwhelming anymore.
—AN AUTHENTIC VISIBILITY STUDENT
Don’t just continue feeling overwhelmed and exhausted without a plan. Don’t put off the day when your work will start to really have an impact.
Instead, invest in a proven method to
You deserve it, and I believe we can make it happen.