The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

Check Out My New Home! October 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rebecca Coleman @ 6:02 am

As of October 25, 2010, I have a new blog/website. It’s green and chocolate, and has been called “a petite-four with brains.”

All of the posts from this blog are there. Plus other stuff. Cool stuff. New stuff.

So check it out:

PS. I’m still sorting out how to transfer the RSS feed from the old blog to the new one, but if you want to just head over there and subscribe to my feed, that’s cool, too.


YouSendIt September 30, 2009

Filed under: Tools,Uncategorized — Rebecca Coleman @ 6:17 am
Tags: ,

Today, in my second of a week’s worth of technical tools and websites that make my life easier, I’m introducing you to YouSendIt.

In my line of work, I sometimes have to send or recieve really big files: photos for newspapers that are 300 dpi and videos are the two main main ones. These files are too big to send via email (which, for my email program, is pretty much anything over 10 MB). In the past, I would have had to have the person burn the file to a disc, and then meet up with them to do a physical exchange.

YouSendIt ( is the alternative. It is an FTP (file transfer protocol) program. Essentially, you upload your file to a secure server. YouSendIt then sends me an email with a link to download the file, which I do.

YouSendIt offers a free, “lite” version, where you are able to send/receive files up to 100 MB. If you are a videographer, photographer or graphic designer, you may want to upgrade to the paid versions, but for my needs, the free version works just fine.

YouSendIt also offers plugins for programs like Final Cut, Photoshop and Corel Draw, so you can directly upload your files from those programs.

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On Vacation July 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rebecca Coleman @ 2:55 am


E-book reviews July 20, 2009

Filed under: E-book,Uncategorized — Rebecca Coleman @ 6:55 am
Tags: ,

On June 21, I launched my first e-book: Guide to Getting Started with Social Media for Artists and Arts Organizations.Rebecca_ebook_12

I wanted to share with you some of the things that other people are saying about it.

From Simon Ogden, The Next Stage:

It’s a simple and well-organized handbook to help you cut through the noise and weirdness of the jungle that is the new way to market. This is a jungle that all businesses, from huge multi-level corporations on down to our little indie theatre troupes have to learn to navigate now. This book is a wonderful resource, and you’re in good hands with Bex as your tour guide.

From Maryann Devine, smArts and Culture:

Here’s what I really like about Rebecca’s book:

She doesn’t assume that you’re a marketing expert. Before she tells you how to create your social media plan, she clues you in on some marketing basics. Like lots of other nonprofit cultural staffers, you may not be the marketing director, but you may still be charged with promoting arts programming. Rebecca gets this, and gives you a bit of a primer.

She doesn’t assume you’re a social media expert. After an overview of social networking, Rebecca takes you step-by-step through the process of setting up a blog, Facebook page, twitter account, and more.

She doesn’t leave you hanging when the book is through. Instead of just handing out advice and saying “The End,” Rebecca includes detailed worksheets that walk you through the process of social media planning, and instruct you on setting up and maintaining specific social networking channels.

From Erin Raimondo, One Degree:

The originality here lies in the well thought out worksheet section. While most ebooks on the topic have suggestions, Getting Started literally gets you started, even for those no background whatsoever in marketing. A great little starter kit!

The book is available at two prices: $19.95 for just the book alone, and $29.95 for the book plus an individualized, half-hour consultation with me (which is a value of $25 on its own!). Both versions include an MP3 version and unlimited free updates. Oh–and a money-back guarantee.

There are two purchasing options:

  1. Book alone: $19.95
  2. Book plus an individual, 1/2 hr consultation via email, telephone, or Skype (a $25 value!): $29.95

Click here to buy.

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“But I don’t have time for social networking!” April 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rebecca Coleman @ 6:28 am

From an interview on Groundswell with Guy Kawasaki (by Josh Bernoff):

You blog, you twitter, you’re good at it. How do you answer people who say “I’m too busy to do all that stuff.” Should they learn to do it, or give up and watch from the sidelines?

Here an analogy: Would you go to Tiger Woods and say, “You sure practice and play a lot of golf. How do you find the time?” Tiger is in the business of playing golf. I am in the business of marketing, and marketing means getting out there by blogging and tweeting.

This isn’t about making friends, updating them on my feelings and life, and letting them know that my cat rolled over. If you wanted to play golf professionally, would you ask Tiger if you should learn the game or watch from the sidelines? What do you think he’d say? If you want to use social media for marketing, you need to approach it as a business skill like any other business skill.

Follow @guykawasaki on Twitter

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World Theatre Day: the afterglow… April 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized,World Theatre Day — Rebecca Coleman @ 12:42 pm

Wow. What a ride it’s been.

It all started a few weeks back, as I was starting prep work for doing publicity for our local Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Associations’ World Theatre Day celebrations. I thought–Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to make this year’s March 27 WTD celebration truly international? So, I put some stuff out there, and with encouragement, started the World Theatre Day blog as a place where theatre artists from all over the world could connect with each other wtd-avatar2_glowover World Theatre Day.

Then I started Twittering it, and, in a word, it snowballed. Many theatre artists who had never even heard of WTD started getting on board, and before I knew it, we were an international team of facilitators having virtual planning meetings on a semi-regular basis. My more technically-literate compatriots helped to move the blog to its own domain to make it easier to find, rejigged the design, and added the Tumblr feed to make it really easy for peeps to send us their photos and videos.

People started planning their celebrations. The Mayor of Chicago officially proclaimed March 27 World Theatre Day. We got the blessing of the ITI. Australia planned a flash mob. Brazil planned a political demonstration. The NY Neofuturists put out the call for Twitter plays.

Not everything worked out just right. Our local Vancouver celebrations were not well attended, due in part to the Junos being held that same weekend. The Guardian in London wrote about WTD disparagingly. Oh–and I was violently ill on March 27, due to a bug my son brought home from school.

Here’s a rundown of my fave WTD things:

As I write this, my heart feels very full. I love the theatre. It has been my passion for the past twenty years. And being able to share that passion, the joy, the transformative power of theatre with the world has been a huge gift to me.

A very special shout-out to the amazing team of international superheros that made it all happen: Jessica Hutchinson and Nick Keenan in Chicago, Travis Bedard in Austin, Kate Foy in Brisbane, Andrew Eglinton in London, and Simon Ogden, Lois Dawson and Trilby Jeeves here in Vancouver.

I will leave you with this thought: at our last virtual planning meeting, someone used the term “cracking the egg” to describe what we were doing this year. And it’s true–this year we cracked it, next year, we will break that puppy wide open, and make some really tasty omelets!

Here’s to World Theatre Day, March 27, 2010. It’s going to rock!

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Future Finances, Part 3: Insurance November 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rebecca Coleman @ 9:29 pm

In this, the third and final installment of Future Finances, I continue my conversation with Shelley, who is a financial planner with Investor’s Group. This post deals with personal insurance.

TAoTB: I’m self-employed.  What kind of personal insurance should I consider having?

S: There are four: Disability Coverage, which covers your income in case you get sick, Critical Illness, which covers you in case you get a debilitating illness, Long Term Care Insurance, and Life Insurance.

TAoTB: But I work from home. Why do I need disability coverage?

S: Because more than 65% of people will become disabled for up to 3 years in their working lives.There are many types of disability – from a slip and fall that breaks a bone to the diagnosis of a critical illness.  There are just as many types of insurance to cover these instances.

Disability insurance can cover your expenses for a period of time depending on what kind of insurance coverage you have.  If you don’t pay into EI or WCB, you can’t collect those.  Let me share my story with you:

A number of years ago I was working as the Business Manager for Theatre M.O.M.  A few months after starting with MOM, I noticed my hands/wrists would feel quite sore and fatigued at the end of the day.  One day, I was emptying my dishwasher and dropped a mug.  I didn’t have enough tensile strength to hold onto a mug.  This was a problem.  I went to my doctor that afternoon and she told me I needed to stop working immediately and begin intensive physiotherapy for both Tendinitis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  EEK!  I hadn’t planned for this!  I didn’t have much backup!

I called WCB and began the claims process – and it was a long one – ultimately ending in the denial of my claim nearly 1 ½ years later.

So what happened? After 6 months of painful therapy, completely depleting my emergency fund and borrowing money from family for food, rent and utilities, I had to go back to work prematurely and against my Physiotherapist’s recommendations because we had to eat!

So… do I have disability insurance now?  Yes.  My point is that this can happen to anyone, and the safeties that we think we have may not necessarily be there for us.

TAoTB: What about Critical Illness? I’m young, and I don’t like to think about the possibility of getting a serious or life-threatening disease.

S: Yeah, I totally get that. But it’s not unknown, and what happens if it does? Your family could be devastated if you were diagnosed with Cancer, or had a heart attack.  What Critical Illness Insurance does, in essence, is create an immediate cushion for you and your family, should you be diagnosed with one of these terrifying illnesses.  The fact is that your chances of surviving are very good.  What CI insurance does is offer you options – options for treatment, options for staying home during your recovery, options for care.

TAoTB: Okay, what’s Long Term Care Insurance?

S: It’s actually a bit of a misnomer.  It is an essential extension for your disability Insurance.  Should you become disabled for a period of time and you are unable to do 2 of the 6 essential daily activities (bathing, dressing, feeding, transferring (for example, getting out of bed), toileting, cognitive function) without aid, who’s going to look after you?  Probably a friend or family member, yes?  How will they earn money while helping you?  LTC is designed to pay you a pre-determined amount to help with your care – whether it’s $250/wk or $2,000/wk, you can plan for your own care without relying on friends and family.

TAoTB: I should probably have life insurance, huh?

S: Not everyone may need it. Read the questions below:

1.    Do you have children/family?
2.    Do you have assets that will have value when you die?
3.    Do you care about whether or not your beneficiary/next of kin will be responsible to pay your estate taxes on death?
4.    Do you want to leave a bequest for a charitable foundation or other cause?
5.    Do you want to leave an estate for your friends/family/loved ones?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then the answer to Life Insurance is also “Yes”.  There are a variety of coverages that are available, but it is impossible to give you an adequate quotation unless I know your precise situation and requirements. But remember – the younger you are, the less you will pay for ALL types of insurance.

TAoTB: But isn’t insurance super expensive?

S: There is no precise answer to that, without example.  I’m going to counter with this:  How much do you pay to insure your car?  …your house?  …your possessions?  Well, the fact of the matter is that you will pay less to insure yourself.  Are you worth more than your car?  …your house?  …your “stuff”?  At the end of the day, what will matter more?

TAoTB: Okay. But it still makes me a bit crazy that I will spend money on something I may never use.

S: Cost/benefit analysis shows definitively that insurances are worth it.  Also, there are products that are available for purchase with CI and LTC that give you a premium-refund option, should you not utilize these services.

In short…?  Insure yourself.

TAoTB: Thanks, Shelley!

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