Category Archives: Franklin Beecham

Franklin Beecham is a practicing graphic designer and emerging visual artist.

How social do you think you are?

Are you using your teenage daughter’s Facebook to get the word out? Are you hounding your staff about Tweeting on the job? Was your website built by your sisters son’s best friend’s cousin? Don’t just play Mafia Wars or Retweet because he’s your buddy. Use the tools for a purpose.

It’s time to take control and face reality: social media plays one of the largest roles in marketing today. Do you have a social media plan? You should. It’s as important today as a business or marketing plan is. Everyone uses social media today or at least those who are social do. But to do it right takes time and effort to learn what the tools mean.

Things to consider:

Try to post positive tips more than self-promotional ones, at least four or five times more. One of the top reasons people unfollow is because of overwhelming marketing, boring or repetitive posts.

Retweet an article because it makes good business sense to you and your clients. Make sure the offering is sound. Link it to your Facebook page or latest news from your company blog.

Spread your posts out so that when your followers log in, they’re not inundated with only your posts. It’s a sure way to get unfollowed.

Always try to put a link in a post for more information. You can only say so much in Social Media. Use simple and positive language. Remember that it is ‘social’ media. Include an action phrase to motivate your followers like saying ‘please retweet or please like. Research shows that more LIKES are made on posts at the end of the week, so make the ones on Friday count. Be polite. Thank your followers for retweeting or mentioning. It’s all about relationship-building.

Remember that when sending email newsletters to customers and prospects that they need to benefit from the message or they’ll opt-out from further mailings. It’s not just about you.

If you can keep these basics in your head, they’ll help you become more social. The Internet’s not going away, so leverage it’s power and grow your business!

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Franklin Beecham is a visual artist. His paintings are collected internationally. He is also the Founder of markhamartcollective.com an online visual art resource.

Website:  http://www.beecham.ca

http://www.markhamartcollective.com  

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When is a good time?

It is only a matter of time when the arts sector will take a big hit from politicians. Even though the arts and culture sector gracefully helps to sustain the economy, more so than sports entertainment does, our intrepid leaders fail to notice. Fundraising only works if people are willing to give. It also helps if governments lead the way.

With the potential cutbacks that have been debated over and over in Toronto, and by vague promises by MPP candidates, it is becoming more and more obvious that maverick attitudes need to be adjusted to save the arts industry. Sure, make cuts so that buses can run for the less fortunate. But don’t waste taxpayer’s time and money on frivolous spending?

Commercial construction developments are sprouting faster than a chia pet, yet vacant spaces in ‘older’ buildings grow just as quick. Who’s getting the tax break? Who paid for the infrastructure that leads to said building? What happens to that space? Can it be utilized by the arts sector or NFPs?

You know what it takes to put on a theatrical production, dance performance or concert, an art show or spoken word. Where is the support and space you need to rehearse, to learn, to exhibit?

If you belong to an arts organization, it’s time to get on their case and push for advocacy. What are they doing to support you the individual? You pay your dues. What are you getting for it? If your member organization is unable to provide an adequate answer, its going to be up to you to take a stand.

Do the same with politicians and community leaders until you are satisfied. Rise up and tell the leaders of society that the arts and culture sector is as important to the economy as raising taxes. Rally support from your peers. Use social media networks. Get the message across to as many as possible.

The character, Howard Beale’s signature catchphrase from the movie, Network said it all: “We’re as mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore.”

All it takes is your voice. The time is now!

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Know your rights

 In the age of unoriginality and plagiarism, it must be a nagging thought in the back of every artist’s mind. What if someone infringes on my intellectual property? The recent news that Apple Computer is trying to deal with problematic fake retail outlets in China just shows that even the biggest of them all becomes a target.

Recently I’ve been exposed to a little infringing of my own, but after subscribing to a visual artists’ legal clinic, I found that I have intellectual property powerhouse, Torys LLP waiting in the wings.

The Canadian Copyright Law is fairly cut and dried. Basically, when an artist creates a piece of work, they own first copyright. You can even register that copyright at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), however, if your creation is digital it automatically is date-stamped with a embedded creation date. Make sure all of your work has a © copyright symbol on it with the publication date.

I was surfing the internet lately and came upon a search engine called Copyscape. This tool uses the power of the major search engines to find infringing content. By entering my personal website domain, I found that an artist in Eastern Ontario had copied my profile text word for word. The search algorithm looks for the oldest version of text and compares it with indexed sites. Usually this kind of situation sorts itself out with a simple cease and desist order. Further action will require my legal counsel. Every page on my website has a © symbol on it with All Rights Reserved to me. Protect your website images by not making them too large. Web-ready files are too small and pixelated to enlarge for reproduction. There are scams out there whereby the artist is asked for the rights to reproduce your art for wallpapers. Invariably the artist is asked for a high resolution image. By giving this image up, unruly people will print and produce your work for money that you never see. Remember, if its too good to be true, don’t do it.

For professional graphic artists, the Canadian copyright laws also protects your intellectual property rights for volunteered ‘pro bono’ creative work. The key is that when no payment has been made, or no rights have been transferred, you own first copyright. If however you created something in the employment of a creative business, you do not own the copyright. This also affects writers and performers.

The Copyright laws were to be amended before the latest Federal elections to protect digital recordings, the use of digital players and more. You can visit the CIPO website to view Bill C-42. You can also learn more about other rights concerning your art.

The bottom line is to protect the integrity of ownership by using the © on everything you do, and take action on any infringements of your rights.

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Embracing the Power of the Internet

As a visual artist, I have noticed a lot of traffic in recent years to my website. The Internet is a powerful communications tool that is essential to promotion and awareness not just for big business, but also for the individual.

Due to my expertise I have been able to get my site ranked high in search engines, and because of this I have ‘met’ some interesting people and been involved in many positive  online activities. Each year I have been interviewed by university fine art students from across North America wanting to know what its like to be an artist from a philosophical standpoint to the technical. They are so appreciative of whatever knowledge I can offer. I have also been contacted by artists requesting ways to improve their own professional web experience. If I can point them in the right direction, I will. The world is a big place and there’s plenty of room for all of us. Most of my paintings have been acquired by collectors through the use of the Internet, from across the USA and Canada, and as far as Asia. This certainly brings the world community closer to home.

All it takes is a website and a little bit of knowhow. You don’t have to be a pro to do this. I have an artist friend who, without any prior skills, has her own website, blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts. The key is to be consistent and up-to-date. Its one thing to do local art shows, but its another to garner sales from the other side of the planet! Join as many user groups as you can and learn from what experienced artists have to say.

Don’t be scared of the Internet. There are some great no cost services that can get you started. WordPress offers great free blogging tools. Twitter and Facebook are free. You can even take credit card sales via the secure PayPal service.

If you want to stay far away from the technical side of marketing yourself, its best to hire a professional rather than use cousin Joe’s best friend’s brother-in-law.

Contact me or my colleague, John Stephenson. We’ve been doing this for a long time!

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Franklin Beecham is a visual artist. His paintings are collected internationally. He has also created branding solutions for the Markham Arts Council and the York Region Arts Council.

Website:   “http://www.beechamcanada.comwww.beechamcanada.com

Web log:  “http://www.markhamartist.comwww.markhamartist.com

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Leverage the Power of QR Codes

If you don’t already know, the latest smart phones and quick response codes (QR codes) are entering into online and offline marketing. QR codes are a hot item in mobile marketing as more and more advertisers add them to their marketing initiatives.

 More than just a ‘cool factor’, QR codes drive website traffic from print and direct mail. Magazine ads are using QR codes instead of asking their audiences to manually type in their information. Scanning the code into a phone automatically allows access to immediate information. By adding the QR code into a direct response piece, you can easily transmit the user to product information, websites, contact information and much more. This can potentially lead to an immediate sale or conversion, plus by using services such as Bit.ly you can track the success of your campaign.

 As the techno-savvy buyer travels by foot or motorization, realty agents can take advantage of immediate access to information about prospective real estate by offering the 2D barcode to those with a scanner app loaded on their smartphone. Sure beats typing in a phone number or address to view info on that newly-listed house you just jogged by.

 The immediacy of the QR code means quicker response. Imagine you have a video on YouTube. Post your QR code and immediately drive traffic to your movie trailer, commercial or music video. Add a QR code to your next event invitation so your uncle Bob can scan it in for Google map directions and not end up getting lost in some bar.

 So the question you should be asking yourself is: “why aren’t I taking advantage of QR codes, and what should I use it on to leverage my online and offline communications?” Contact me and I’ll show you how.

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 Franklin Beecham is a visual artist. His paintings are collected internationally. He has also created branding solutions for the Markham Arts Council and the York Region Arts Council.

Website:   “http://www.beechamcanada.comwww.beechamcanada.com

Web log:  “http://www.markhamartist.comwww.markhamartist.com

The Arts Need You!

Franklin Beecham

By: Franklin Beecham

As a creative individual, I have spent my life dedicated to the arts, namely visual (with a bit of performance in my youth). From life-size murals in high school, to book cover design in college, to brand development and communications collateral in my profession, to abstract paintings in my home studio, I have been influenced by my ever-changing environment whether by travel, trends or choice – and with an open mind.

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