Ep 74 How Betty Franks Designed her Wildly Successful Art Business with Ultimate Flexibility

Made Remarkable: Welcome back. And thanks for tuning in to the Made Remarkable podcast, hosted by Kellee Wynne. On today's episode, Kellee will be speaking with Betty Franks, a self-taught artist who started painting when she was 50 years old. Betty shares her tips on growing an email list, how social media has been influential in reaching a broader audience, and how she nurtures her artistic voice to shine through and all that she does. 

Get ready for a set-your-soul-on-fire conversation between Kellee and Betty. Filled with wisdom and insights. And of course, some big audacious dreams. Check out the show notes for more information about Betty, promotional offers and any other links or names mentioned in the episode. 

Kellee loves connecting with listeners. So don't be shy. Reach out on social media and together let's build a community that celebrates the remarkable. If you want to be notified every time a new episode hits the airwaves, just hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform. Okay. Thank you so much for listening and now let's get to the good part. 

Introducing Kellee Wynne and Betty Franks. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, hello. Hello. I'm Kellee Wynne, artist, author, mentor, fiercely independent mother and wife, and the founder of a multiple six figure creative business, and I love my life. But I've been where you're at. I was slogging away at this art business thing for more than a decade. Once I finally connected with my true calling, unlocked the magic of marketing, and built a system that could scale while I realized I could make an impact and make a substantial income, I'm finally running a business that I love and it makes all the difference in the world.

My biggest dream is to help you do the same. Let this podcast be the catalyst to your biggest success. You already have it in you because you are made remarkable.

Okay. I am so excited for this conversation, Betty. 

Betty Franks: I'm excited too. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: We've met in the past, but it's been a long time. Betty once was on my virtual art Summit 2020, our very first one, and since then, I just see you all over the world doing fun things, making art courses, making gorgeous art. So welcome to the podcast.

Betty Franks: Thank you, Kelly. Super happy to be here. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yay. So where are you right now? You're in California?

Betty Franks: I am, right now I'm in San Jose, California. However, I've got the suitcase out, getting ready to pack it, heading over to Croatia on Sunday, and I'll be there for five weeks, then I'll be back and, it'll be great because when I get back I really don't have anything on my calendar, so I'm hoping to keep it clear for at least a few weeks when I get back.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: So that you have plenty of painting time. 

Betty Franks: Yes, yes, for sure. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: I know it's so cool because I watched you even in the pandemic, going through the strenuous challenge of getting there and being in isolation. Yes. So that you can spend time with your parents? 

Betty Franks: Yes. Yes. It was, well, it was great. I hate to say that, but Okay. I'm one of the weird people that I loved the pandemic. I loved having time to myself. I loved when I traveled. Okay. There's pictures of me on airplanes and. It's completely empty behind me. It's completely empty around me. It was just so fantastic to travel during that time. Granted I did have to wear a mask the whole time, but, and then when I got to Croatia, I did need to quarantine for, at least 10 days.

And my dad's house, where he grew up, is just below where my parents live. And so I got, The old house all to myself, and it was great. My dad would come by in the morning and drop off food for me. He'd you know, go down to the market in the morning and, pick up some stuff for me and drop it off. And I have to tell you, I really loved that time. I created a lot during that time. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: I have to tell you that I loved that time too, though. There were some challenges and some emotional parts about the world in chaos, and I know I'm not gonna ever take it lightly that people lost their lives. Yes. But that was such a kind of a magical time that we really got to turn inward.

And, maybe readjust and realign to what we wanted. I made some big shifts because of it. But I remember watching you and I'm like, well, she's dedicated to what she has her vision on. And I think I'm with you on that. Like 10 days alone right now sounds like heaven. 

Betty Franks: Right, right. It was.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: And also, I'm gonna tell you, my husband and I put Croatia on the very top of our must. Must list. It's just such a gorgeous country. So your family's from Croatia. Were you born and raised in Croatia?

Betty Franks: No, my parents are from Croatia. They're from the same village and so, which is fantastic and you don't realize this until you get older, but.

Both sides of the family are in one place, which is so fantastic because when you go to visit, you don't have to go to different parts of the country, right. Or different parts of the world. They're all right there. And the majority of my family, extended family is there. Not too many of them came to the states.

But I was born, me and my brother and sister were born in Toronto, Canada, and when I was seven years old, we moved to San Jose. So I grew up in San Jose. In my late twenties, I moved to Southern California for work. Met my husband at that time, and we moved up to Seattle. And so I had been away from San Jose for about 26 years.

And when I came back in 2016, I was just, first of all sunshine every day. And just being close to family and friends again, you know, I missed my community. We have a strong Croatian community here. And so it, it just felt so good to be back, with the people that I grew up with and with, especially my brother and sister. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. So they're there, your family's there, your parents moved back to Croatia then? 

Betty Franks: Yeah. About 25 years ago they retired and my dad built a house out there. He was a builder. Mm-hmm. And. They were traveling back and forth, but by the time I moved here, they only came back a couple of more times.

At that point my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and so it, it became a lot more difficult to travel back and forth. And so they mostly, my dad made the decision that they would not be coming back anymore. So we travel. To go and see them. Like my sister just returned a couple of weeks ago.

I'm headed out that way. My brother will go in the fall. I'll go back again later this year. And so we're trying to help my dad out as much as possible as my mom's getting, a a lot worse. You know, she doesn't know who I am. Um, she doesn't recognize a lot of people. She needs a lot of, help in getting dressed, taking care of herself, all that stuff.

So we're there to help my dad out. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, and I just wanna make a point of saying it's the life that you've built now that provides you that opportunity to be able to travel and spend. Several weeks, if not months, back at home helping out. And I mean, if anything, I would say that's one of my biggest motivators in running my own business is that kind of freedom, choice, an impact that I can make.

 I mean if we have corporate, would you apparently had a corporate job? If we have, yes. You know, regular nine to five type, gotta answer to the, to the office. We don't have that ability. 

Betty Franks: And so right. Two weeks off a year, you know, restricted to that kind of schedule.

I count my blessings every day. I am grateful. Every day for this life that I have, for the ability to create art, to be able to put art into the world, and to be able to make a living doing it. It's like I pinched myself conscience. Like I can't believe that, you know, after the career that I had, which was so tied to.

Corporate that I could venture off on my own and be able to build up my own business and, and have that flexibility and have that freedom. And that's why I end up going, two to three times a year, because I have that flexibility to, to be able to do that. And yes, so grateful, 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: so amazing. So now then the, that. Begs the question, how did you get from corporate into this art world? 

Betty Franks: Well, yeah. It's certainly not a place that I thought I was going to be. I was at a point in my career where I was so burnt out, so stressed out, my entire body hurt. Like I had this constant knife in my shoulder and, at the time, you know, I thought that was kind of normal.

  1. Wasn't normal at all. There was nothing normal about it, but I accepted it for so many years of feeling that stress. And so I got to the point where I just, I had to leave. And so I, gave him a one month notice and I can't tell you how fantastic it was when I was done and I could feel like the tension.

Shifting away from my body and I was like, wow, this is what it's like to live a life not under constant stress and pressure. And so during that time I was kind of doing some, um, making cards, on the weekends and getting into mixed media. I fell madly in love with mixed media. And so I was kind of doing that and because I had more free time, because I was working with my husband at the time who had a, house painting career.

And so I was helping him in that business. I was helping with the marketing, I was helping with painting as well, so I was doing a little bit of everything, but I had almost all my afternoons off. So I wasn't working that full-time. So afternoons I got to go to my little studio and I got to create, and that just started building up and I started spending more and more time creating and I started posting on Facebook and I started posting on Instagram and, and not with the intention to sell, but just, Hey, this is what I'm working on, just sharing the stuff.

And slowly pieces started to resonate with folks and they started buying my art. And really, I don't think it was until I moved back to San Jose in 20 16, 20 17 is where I started taking, I said, okay, well I need to, I do need to make some money. And so I started getting a bit more serious about, you know, what does that look like?

What does that mean? What steps do I need to take? What do I need to learn to do? Mm-hmm. Yeah. So, 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. So then what are those steps? Wow. They're, I'm gonna just put you right on the spot. 

Betty Franks: Yeah, yeah. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: You developed your voice first. You became proficient first, which is always something that I try to remind people.

It's like, if you're just learning how to make art, continue in that process until it becomes like, Second nature to you, and the only way that that's gonna happen is to make more art. Make art, make more art. Make more art again.

Betty Franks: Yes. Absolutely. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: So once we get to that point where it's, and of course art is always ever flowing and changing and evolving mm-hmm.

To where it is, like it's gonna change over time, but when, once you know those materials, when that brushes in your hand, it's like, I know what to do with it. Yeah. It feels natural. And people are asking you to buy your work, then it's like, what's the next step to take? 

Betty Franks: Yeah, definitely.

You want to make good art. And in 2017, I had not found my style yet. I was like at the cusp of it, and I didn't know it. It wasn't until 2018 when I went to Croatia in May to visit my parents to stay with them. And in May, flowers are in bloom all over the island. And my mom loves flowers. She loves to pick flowers.

She loves making those little bouquets of flowers. And we had small bouquets of flowers. All over the house. And I just remember, I, I had all my art supplies and I was working on paper, and I remember saying to myself, Betty, you're on vacation. Just, you know, relax and just, just create, you know, no pressure, no nothing.

And before I knew it, I was creating these pieces that were inspired by these fields of flowers we were seeing by these bouquets of flowers that we were picking. I didn't recognize it immediately, but I recognized that something was shifting in me. And that shift. Continued when I returned and I was able to stay with it and I was able to, and, and I was just creating piece after piece and a lot of it was on paper.

Love working on paper. You know that, that it's not precious. If it doesn't work, who cares? It's just a piece of paper I can throw it out. Versus a canvas where, you know, it's like, oh wow, I just spent all this money on this canvas. I better do something great. Right, right. That's a lot of pressure. It's a lot of pressure.

And so by by working on paper, which was my first love anyway, cuz when I was doing mixed media work, it was all on paper. And so I just found that I really was able to stay loose and relaxed and I was able to continue creating the way I was creating that May in Croatia. And as I continue to do that, That style really solidified.

And once folks started seeing that, and actually those first few pieces I made in Croatia, I just posted them, they all sold, all the ones that I created that month sold immediately. And so Cause you were tapped in. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Absolutely. That moment when you're just creating for the sake of creating that the best work is gonna come.

Betty Franks: Absolutely. I was creating for my heart and. I, I wanna say that all these years people kept saying, you gotta crate from your heart. You gotta crate within. And I didn't know what that meant until I got there. And yeah, without forcing it, I was able to do it. I was able to find that connection to something that meant a lot to me.

Not just those flowers, but that time, you know, spending with my parents in Croatia, that, that was my connection as well. So, so, yeah, so, so finding your style I think is key. But I was working on administrative stuff during that period of time. You know, I certainly already had a website, but it wasn't a fantastic website.

I was learning how to ship art because I was selling art. Mm-hmm. So I was, you know, looking up this information, googling it, asking other artists how they do it. So a lot of learning, and I think there's one thing that. I'm so passionate about creating art and running an art business that I love looking up information.

I love figuring things out. I love, ] trying to find the best way to do something, the best way, meaning the best way for me, for me and my art, because it's gonna be different for everyone. And you just gotta try different things and figure out what's gonna work best for you. So, so being on Instagram was key back then.

I know it's very difficult today, but back then, yeah. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Now those are the golden days of Instagram, right? 

Betty Franks: Exactly, exactly. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. From like 2015 to. I don't know, somewhere around 20 19, 20 19 it went down, but 2020 we saw a little bit of surge cuz everyone was home and watching. And then since then it's been like, I am still mad that I'm on that platform, but I don't have any other options.

Yeah, I know. And golden years. 

Betty Franks: Yep. My goal is to get off of social media and I'm trying to figure out how to do that because as much as I love it, I also find it stressful. So I'm trying to figure out, what else can I do? Can I just be on there to love it and not have to be stressed about trying to sell my art there?

Right. So I'm working on, trying to figure some of those things out. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: We'll have to unpack that thought, but I wanna hear more of how like you transitioned into regularly selling your work. 

Betty Franks: Yeah. So building an email list was really key for me. So what I was doing early on when I was just starting out is I was.

In San Jose I was going to, I was, at local art festivals. So that was one way for me to collect email addresses. I would have an original piece of art and I would say join my email list to, get in on the drawing. So I started building it slowly that way. I was doing this same on social media once a month.

I would say anyone who signs up this month is in a drawing for this free. Original piece of artwork on paper because that was easy for me to ship worldwide. And I have shipped everywhere because I wasn't saying, you know, only open to US residents or whatever. So paper was the best way to do that.

So I slowly started building up my email list. And then at some point a few years ago, because whenever I went to Croatia and I created these small pieces like, nine by twelves, or even five by sevens, Those were selling so fast. As I posted them, people were interested. And so I was doing a lot of one-off shipping and I thought, well, there's gotta be a better way to do this.

So I decided at some point that I would say, okay, I'm creating these pieces in Croatia. They're available to my email list, join my email list, and you'll be notified when they're ready and you'll have first dibs. Mm-hmm. So ever since I started doing that, They sell out immediately. I don't even post them to social media other than to just share what they look like.

Right? Because again, that was a way to build up my email list, 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Build your email list, and preserve your energy because then, you know, there's only this one time. Now, how often is it that you do, a sale of your work? Well put a collection together, 

Betty Franks: Several times a year. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. So it's not daily that you have to check and say, do I need to ship something again?


Betty Franks: Well, yes and no. So, so the, because the art on paper. Sold so fast. Those were the ones that I told people to join my email list, my larger art, I get orders throughout the year for that. Right. And that's, you know, those are all one-off. It's not like I'm having a surge of people wanting to buy large art all at all at the same time.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Okay. So it's the works on paper, the smaller pieces that you do in a collection. Exactly. And I'm assuming, I'm making an assumption here because I see how often you're selling work. Mm-hmm. That you have a good collector base. Of probably even interior designers and other collectors that are really like, you wouldn't wanna limit them from when they can buy cuz when they need it, they need it.

Betty Franks: Exactly, exactly. And I don't have a good base of interior designers, however, that is on my list to research and, and connect with interior designers. So, okay. It's on my list to do some research in that area. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, I think that that's a really good way to go too, because they're always looking for original work.

Betty Franks: Yes. Yes. I would say building up my following on Instagram really helped me a lot. I get a lot of my sales through Instagram, just a couple of weeks ago when I was feeling like, you know, I don't think I'm selling anything through Instagram. Someone comes through and buys a 48 by 48. Painting from me, and she just happened to see it on Instagram.

It's not like she was following me for years. It just, it came up in her feed and she fell in love with the piece. And so I'm not giving up on Instagram entirely, but I'm trying to find a way to Yeah. Get off of there. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. So the balance between the two, well, I'm starting to work more with people who can help me with. Posting on Instagram, so I'm not always mm-hmm. There and little secret not been said yet, but I am taking all of July off. Wait. I am just shutting down and I am not, I'm deleting it off my phone. 

Betty Franks: Good, good for you. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: I have to, I haven't taken a break since I started it in 2014. 

Betty Franks: Yes. I, I understand. I've taken short breaks myself and they were always fantastic.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. The longest, I think is maybe a week. Even when I was in Nepal last fall, I was posting. Yeah, yeah. So it's like there just comes this point where it's like, okay, we need a reset and to reevaluate. Especially because Instagram doesn't have the reach that it used to. But at the same time, I, I don't wanna ever discount the fact that we were able to build a whole business for free.

Absolutely. Think about it, it was our time and our energy. We didn't have to pay for billboards. We didn't have to do radio ads. We didn't have to put it in magazines. Until the advent of the internet, that was really the only way you were gonna get in front of people's faces. 

Betty Franks: Yes, yes. And I try to, remind myself of that, is that, Facebook and Instagram, if you're not paying for ads, That's all free marketing.

Yeah. And if you're running a business, you should have a budget for marketing. I think so. And those are $0 values. $0 on your spreadsheet. So you know, if you on occasion need to pay for advertising, just note that that's all businesses have a budget for, for marketing. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Right. So then that comes to the point where I want.

People who are listening right now, who are starting or running a business to think of it like a real business. And a real business means we spend money to grow our business. Cuz if we're not growing Yep, then we have an expensive hobby. Exactly. Very exactly. Expensive hobby, and that's not what I want.

When we're playing business, it's very different than actually being the c e o boss of our business, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have a marketing budget too. I have a lot of expenses in the business that make it so worth running. Mm-hmm. Because then I get the time back to do the things that only I can do, make the art.

Record the podcasts. Right. Show up online. Right. So those are the parts that we absolutely must be focusing on. So the marketing, and we were just talking about before I hit record. Yeah. Is you've been working on Facebook ads? 

Betty Franks: I have. I have. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: And it's been helping you grow, but. Let's go back to why are you working on Facebook ads and what are you selling?

Yeah. You have a course which every one of your followers is so grateful that you have a course because we've all been big time admirers of your work for a very long time. But tell us the decision why it was time for you to make an art course. 

Betty Franks: Yeah, thank you. Thank you for your sweet words there during the pandemic, it's interesting because I really didn't take advantage of the pandemic. I took advantage of that downtime, but that was a good time for me to be doing more videos on YouTube. Mm-hmm. I think I would've hit a hundred thousand had I really focused 2020 and 2021 on videos, but I didn't, I was like, yeah, I'll do a video on occasion.

 I did do some paint with Betty's Sessions where these were live sessions for two hours. And those were fantastic. I had so many people join in and we had so much fun creating together. And what I did was I ended up taking one of those live sessions and I turned it into a workshop you can purchase cuz a lot of folks didn't join me, didn't know about it, or couldn't join for whatever reason.

And so I had been selling that workshop for several years. Up until last November, I had finally had a sale because I was gonna discontinue it. So I was running it for, what, two years that did over 40,000 in sales for me. Yeah. Just taking a recording from a workshop that I taught. So not only did I get the benefit of the income from doing that live workshop, but then I got the benefit of just taking that recording, cleaning up the beginning and the end a little bit and having it available for folks.

And people loved that. And then I thought, well, if people love that, I'm gonna sit down. I'm gonna make a really good one where I really slow down and I talk them through. My entire process, we do exercises together, so that we can build a foundation. But not only that, one thing that I kept hearing people say to me is they loved hearing my thought process.

Yeah. Of why I do what I do, and so, As I'm teaching this online course, I'm saying, okay, I'm putting down this color here because of this reason. I'm putting this mark here because of this reason. So I am talking out loud and explaining myself, and people are finding so much value in, in that whole thought process.

You know why? Why does an artist do that? What's the reasoning behind that that's gonna help propel them forward in their own career, their own art journey. In, in questioning things and talking through things and experimenting and exploring and playing. And I talk about all those things in my online workshop.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. And that's like, What I was so desperate for when I came back to art. So I was raised an artist. Then of course, like many of us lost it in my mm-hmm. Adulthood years and the mothering and the raising, and then I came back to it around 2010. I was like, okay, I'm not goofing off anymore. I'm gonna start working towards this.

So from 2010 to probably about 20 15, 20 16, even though I was becoming prolific and selling my work, I was still like, I still don't get how art artists make things in certain ways and get the results that they get. Mm-hmm. If I could be a fly on the wall and understand it, it would make all the difference in the world.

So you probably have all those thousands of followers on YouTube and, and Instagram and on your list that are like, finally, I get to see what the thought process is. And that's probably the most valuable thing. We don't need another step-by-step how to, right. When it comes to learning how to make art, what we need is actual comprehension.

Yes. Why do colors work the way they do? Why would you create the composition the way that you're creating it? Why would you cover up something that looks perfectly fine from the outside? Right? So when you're creating an art course like that, that's so much more in depth. You're giving. Thought, thought value to the viewer, to the student versus just, you know, paint by numbers type of a thing.

Exactly. I mean, I can see why that course has taken off and become really popular. Yeah. You just opened up in January.

Betty Franks: I started in January. It's been very, successful and just the reviews coming in just really means so much to me because there's no part of this. That is sped up. So truly you are getting my full attention for every brush stroke that I put down.

Mm-hmm. So I don't like do sections and speed it up and then come back and start talking about it again. I talk you through the entire thing and, and, and that's the feedback. A lot of the feedback that I have received is just how invaluable that is for folks. Unlike my YouTube video where I do speed it up, because most of those are large pieces and I can't.

I'm not gonna publish a five hour video and, and talk about it for five hours. So, 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: right. If they want that, they can come and pay for the whole experience, right? 

Betty Franks: Yes. Yep. Yep. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: We have to, as business women, business people as artists, kind of balance between what we're gonna share publicly and then what we're gonna ask somebody to invest in.

And I do believe that when people invest their money in something, they're actually gonna get better results because they are. Mentally and financially invested. Mm-hmm. In the process. So plus let's be honest, we need to be able to pay our bills if we can't. Absolutely. I think there's this like money A block that a lot of artists have.

Like, I'm doing something, I love how, how is it that I can do something I love and get paid for it? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. But much like any other profession, we have bills to pay, we have responsibilities, we have dreams and desires, and that idea that you just have to like get over that hurdle of giving everything away for free.

 I preach that as a teacher of. Creating courses and mm-hmm. Programs and workshops. 

Betty Franks: I feel that I give away so much free content mm-hmm. That I don't feel guilty or anything like that when I do have an offer out there that, that they purchase and honestly, it's so affordable.

It's under a hundred dollars and most of the time there's a coupon for $20 off. And for the folks listening here, I'm happy to drop in that coupon for $20 off. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: We'll put the link in the show notes. Absolutely. We'll be able to find you immediately. Yes. And you know, if you're on my mailing list, you're gonna get all the details to make .

Sure. That you get that. 

Betty Franks: Yeah. Yeah. So, so, because I, I offer so much free content and you know, folks who email me or send me a DM or leave me a comment on YouTube asking questions, I answer. All of them. I am so transparent. If you wanna know how to ship something, I'll tell you how I ship it.

If you wanna know where I get my floating frames, I will give you the link to my floating frames where I get them. I don't hide, I don't keep any of that secret because Right. I, I want to help other artists succeed because I am so grateful that I can do this and that I can succeed, that I want to share what I know so that I can help them.

Get further along in their art journey a little bit faster because, it took me a while to learn a lot of this stuff, and we all know that, everything is a learning curve. So if I can help somebody, get past that little thing a lot, a little faster to get them to where they wanna go, then I'm happy to do that.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, and it's nice because we're in a time and place where it's easier to share. Absolutely. You do have a big YouTube channel as well. Not just Instagram, but your YouTube is growing and I'm gonna tell you my belief in your secret to your success. It's because you are generous and you have gorgeous art.

But that's my outside observer's opinion. Your art speaks for itself, but what do you think the success is in YouTube? YouTube is really a growing platform. It's the longest it's been around. It's been around since before Facebook and all of that. Yes. And it's just now that we're finally like, Oh, why did I ignore this platform?

 It's an amazing platform. It's a search engine. Mm-hmm. So that means our content can live a long time. The right keywords, people can search, it's gonna show up in a Google search, they can find you. It's a deeper connection because they have to spend a little more time actually watching the videos and connecting with you.

What do you think your success has been with YouTube? 

Betty Franks: With YouTube, I would say. I love what you said. To add to that, I would say that I, I kind of feel like I've found this niche that seems to be working and that is, I share with you the pieces I'm working on, whether they're small on paper or, large on Canvas.

I not only share and talk through my process here and there, but I will share stories about being an artist and what has worked for me, what hasn't worked for me, stumbling blocks that I've come across. For example, I'm preparing a YouTube video to upload for tomorrow. I'm sharing, the struggle with this process that I've been experiencing, but I also share, tips on how to get beyond that.

So I'm mixing in learning how to create art and talking through my process and how to be an artist and, and how to run an art business. Sometimes I'll throw in art business stuff that's, specific to. How to ship something or it could be anything. Doing an email list, you know, I'll throw those things in so that each one of my videos is a combination of those things and, and I feel like that's been working.

And a lot of my videos are like an hour long and it just amazes me that folks. We'll sit and watch, although it doesn't amaze me because I'll sit and watch another artist for an hour and just be enthralled in watching their process and, and what they're doing. And, you know, posting consistently is important, although I have not been doing that and, and I would like to get back to doing that.

I had a solo show that opened beginning of May. It's still going on until July 8th. So a lot of my attention earlier this year was focused on preparing for that show. So I had to put YouTube, kind of set it aside for a little bit. But I'm trying to get back into it, but of course I'm leaving Sunday to go overseas, so I can't do it from there.


Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, that's ok. If you can just turn the camera on a little bit. But take us on a trip to Croatia with you, please. Yes, 

Betty Franks: yes. I share a lot of, videos and pictures in my, Instagram stories. Yes. So you can catch me there. That's a good place. There you go. It is, yeah. I, I love sharing, my daily walks or, being in town or going to the mainland, stuff like that.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. I will definitely be watching that without a doubt, because I just am like, I wanna soak it all up. Consistency was the keyword that you said there. Yes. For anything that we're doing in business, it's the consistency. I would say the reason my business continues to grow despite Instagram's algorithm mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

Is the consistency of just showing up over and over again and doing something on repeat. Yeah. There are times where we need to take a break because of life or whatnot. It's me showing up consistently with the podcast. That's making a difference. Yes, and growing my business. It's Instagram now we have YouTube going and I say we, because honestly, as I add more things, I can't do it all.

Do you have help?

Betty Franks: I do, I have a little bit of help. My daughter helps me part-time, so a few hours a day. She helps me with, doing some posts. She's mostly focused on, I will give her things to post, but on Pinterest, she does a lot of posting for me over there. And so I've been trying to grow my Pinterest following.

Yep. And just being, having a more regular schedule of posting on Pinterest. Because that is a search engine. Yes. Just like you mentioned YouTube, but. Pinterest, your content will live there forever. And if somebody's looking for abstract art, my stuff will come up. So, excited about doing that.

So I have her for a couple hours a day and it's been fantastic because it's kind of taken that load off of me so I can focus on other things. Like Facebook ads or like doing my videos. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Or making the art, because that's part of it. 

Betty Franks: And making the art. Yes, for sure. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: You have someone to edit the videos and put them on YouTube, or do you do that part yourself as well?

Betty Franks: I do it all myself, and now I'm, I'm starting to think, should I hire somebody to do that part? I feel like, and, and I have to get over this, but I feel like only I can do it the way I want it done, and I've got to get over that. And so having my daughter help out, I'm kind of slowly starting to get, get over it Betty, by having her do stuff a little bit her way.

And so I'm inching towards that. So I'm gonna see, I, I might end up hiring somebody to do, you know, I still have to do the voiceover. But having somebody maybe come in and do some fun graphics and things that keep people's attention, like, I'll go in now and when I did the five tips, you know, I'll go in, I'll type up each tip so it's on the screen and then I talk about it and, and so it takes some time to do the voiceover and then go back and do all the editing and add pictures where appropriate and stuff like that.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, it does it. And I've been doing more editing myself lately, even though I keep saying Outsource. Outsource. Mm-hmm. Cause if you can turn it over to other people, it does for you to do more of. What you're meant to do though. It was my son who was editing all the videos and he finally said, enough, this is not my dream career.

Just finished. Oh, bummer. He graduated with an associates for, cybersecurity and networking and stuff, and so he's like, I'm gonna go and like make real money now. Yeah. So I'm very proud of him for that. But I lost my editor, so we did a bummer hire. We do have some help overseas for video editing, but my team is US based, all of them helping with the emails.

Mm-hmm. And with the messaging and with the social media and a lot of the. Tasks. So that's part of like evolving in business so that you can continue to grow, bring in the income you want, you have to hand off certain things. Yes. So it might be that recording the video and sending it to someone to edit.

Yeah. And then that might be the best way to keep YouTube going, even in the days when you're, in Croatia. 

Betty Franks: Yes. Yes. And so we'll just do a shout out for both of us. If anybody listening to this knows of a great video editor. Yes, send that information our way. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Who is used to working with artists? Because we are a different breed, aren't we? 

Betty Franks: Absolutely. Yes. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, we are a different breed. It's not like creating those like high end, fast paced right. YouTube videos where you're like super fast cuts. You know? 

Betty Franks: Yep. I don't want that. Yeah, we don't want that. I know what you're talking about and yeah, you're right.

 It needs to be someone who is familiar with the way artists like to present their work because art, you don't want it. Zooming on the screen and zooming off the screen, you know? Right. And I think that was one of the issues with Instagram when we got into reels being so popular.

Yeah. ] it was all too fast and, and a lot of my reels that did well were the fast ones, but then I had so many people complaining like, it's too fast. And so I started slowing it down and then I started going back to posting regular still images. Yeah. You gotta have a little combination of, of both everything, so that you get.

The people who, like the reels can watch the reels, the people who like the still images can see those and and pause and zoom in. You know, do the pinch zoom in to really see the, the detail, right? 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Yeah. I find the best solution for all of it is to know who your audience is and continue to connect with them.

 From the heart, right? Because if we're just trying to do it to, I mean, congratulations, anyone who's had anything go viral, I haven't had anything go viral past maybe 30 or 40,000 views, but I have never had those like hundreds of thousands, which is awesome when that happens, but, If the message in the video or the post or whatever isn't clear, you're attracting people who don't wanna stick around.

What we really want is, that room full of like super fans versus the stadium full of lukewarm. Exactly. I'm here, I don't really care. So I mean, that's where making sure that the work that we do is of value. And when I say work, I don't just mean the art we make, but. The message, the way we connect.

Mm-hmm. The way that you said, if you have a question, I'm gonna answer it. I'm gonna be in the comments, I'm gonna answer your dm. I'm actually a real human being and I care about your results. That changes everything and people absolutely feel 

Betty Franks: Yes. Yes. Yeah, so important to do that. And I have some people sometimes comment, Oh, Betty is really good at this.

And they'll, they'll talk like they're talking to somebody else that posted it. And then I'd write back. I'd be like, Betty here, thank you so much. You know, that's me. I still want my own social media. I respond to these. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Yeah, me too. And part of that is because I do feel like still with Instagram, Kellee Wynne Studios is an extension of me.

And that's why after I take the break, I'm gonna come back to more of me rather than the next thing I'm doing and the next thing I'm doing, I really am, looking forward to having many, many months of just exploring making art and seeing how I can reconnect with my audience on that level.

And, talking about my process running a business because this is what I've been most passionate about in the last couple of years. And so art has now become for me more cause I'm not. Teaching as many art classes moving forward. Mm-hmm. So art has now like full circle art is my hobby again. 

Betty Franks: Yeah. And we need that. We need to be able to create when we're not under pressure to have to get something out there, you know? Right. Like for my solo show this trip now coming up, going to Croatia. It's when I create, it's just for me, it's for me to enjoy that time. Certainly I'll have those pieces available, but what I'm saying is it's not like I have to do it right.

 It's because I really, I'm looking forward to it. It's gonna be fun. Yeah.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: So where do you see the future for you with, teaching? I know you're gonna keep making art and selling art, that's a given. Yes. And I'm so glad for you for that. But where do you see the future with teaching for you? Are you gonna create more courses?

Are you just letting this one live and seeing how it unfolds? Yeah. Workshops, I dunno 

Betty Franks: Yes, yes. To all of the above. So, the course I have now is my core offering. It's the fundamentals. It's, really spelling out, the way that I like to create and giving you, you know, tech techniques and processes that you can incorporate into your own artwork.

I teach in-person workshops. I've been doing that for years. I did two of them this year. One in Santa Fe. , At Santa Fe Artist Getaway. And I'll be back there again next year. And I taught in San Jose just a couple of weekends ago. So, I like teaching locally because it's easy to get there. Yeah.

And. Next year, I plan to do at least two in-person workshops. So I think I'm gonna be teaching one in Ohio. Somebody's reached out to me, so I'm trying to get to the East coast. I have so many people say, please come to the East Coast, so I'll be heading in that direction. So I'll be teaching two places.

 I would love to teach overseas. I would love to teach in Croatia. Yes, I get a lot of requests for that right now, as you know, my parents are my priority right now, so when I go there, it's all about them and spending time with them. Although I'm maybe thinking about maybe next summer I might be able to squeeze in doing a workshop over there.

So we'll see how that goes. And then in terms of online, because not everybody can come to my workshops, I am going to be creating another online workshop. I haven't decided exactly the subject. I've got a few things bouncing around in my head, but I have had people asking how to create large and if I would do a workshop on creating an online course for creating large.

So that is on the list. Plus I've got some other ideas. So I'm hoping when I get back later, After this trip in the fall, spent some time putting together another course. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love it. So then we know that more is coming from you. 

Betty Franks: Yes. Yes, definitely. Yes. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: All right. I love to end my podcast with the same question and dare I think about the few people that I've forgotten asked.

So I don't wanna miss this cause this is the fun of living. What is your big, audacious dream? 

Betty Franks: Ooh, okay. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Sky's the limit. There's no, nothing's holding you back. Yeah, everything is possible. 

Betty Franks: I have a couple of them that have been bouncing around in my head for a while, and, and I'm a true believer that what you put out into the universe comes back.

And so I'm constantly putting this out there. I'm talking about it. I'm looking at pictures. I'm doing all that stuff. So one of them is I want to live in a tiny house. And I want to have a piece of property, a large piece of property. I want a tiny home and I want a second tiny home that is my studio.

And then I want several more for my brother and sister and family to come visit. And then I want one that's a community house where there's a big kitchen and we can sit and dine together. So, Okay, so, so that's one of my way out there.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love it. You know, and it's not too far off from my idea, which is that kind of property with cute little bungalows on it.

Yeah. Right? Yes, exactly. And then one big place for everyone to make all together, 

Betty Franks: right? Yeah. I would just, I would love that. And for family to be there. So, so that's one of them. And then the other one is a, and I'm gonna get a sampling of this in September, but it is to. Travel around in an RV and paint.

So I have not seen a lot of the country. When I was young in my twenties, I did travel to a lot of cities, as part of my job. But that was, business travel, you didn't get to see it all that well, so, yeah. I would love to go and just, you know, get a really small RV and just travel the country and just, no, no time limit.

 Don't have to be anywhere specific at any time. I know that there's this saying called chasing 70, so chasing 70 degrees. Would be ideal for me cuz that's like the perfect temperature. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: So you just travel where the 70 degree weather is? 

Betty Franks: Exactly, exactly. So when it's cold and snowing up there, you're down here.

When it, when it's too hot up here, you're up there. Yeah, I like that. So in September, my daughter and I are going on an RV trip for 11 days. So I'm gonna get a sampling of, what does that feel like to be on the road traveling round. And so we'll see. I'll have that in my stories as well. I'll be posting about it.

Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's great. I was gonna say you best document it cuz we're gonna wanna see. Yes. I can see Betty on the road painting in every little nook and cranny across paradise 

Betty Franks: being, being inspired by wherever I'm at. And I'm heading up towards Montana, so excited about that. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love Montana. Big open wide skies, just like they say.

Yep. I am so excited for you. I'm so glad that we got to connect and I mean, what an honor to just sit and chat with you, this afternoon and. Thank you. 

Betty Franks: Thanks, Kelly. It was so much fun chatting with you, and I look forward to doing it again sometime. 

Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes, absolutely. You are the best, Betty.

Thank you. Thank you. 

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