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On this site, Brainard Carey is reading from his books and adding commentary, like a directors cut of a book. New episodes are put up daily, but if you want to listen to a whole book in its entirety, from beginning to end, click here to listen to all of The Art World Demystified, and click here to listen to all the podcasts so far from Making it in the Art World. If you want to hear a free webinar on How to Get into A Gallery and Write better Statements and a Bio, click here.

Episode 177 – New Markets for Artists / Prospering in the New Marketplace

Chapter 1

Prospering in the New Marketplace

Before this book entered production, the editor asked me to include more stories in the first chapter showing how specific artists used a social networking tool like Facebook to their advantage. A few short examples of what artists have done for their careers through Facebook are outlined here so you can see how it might work for you. To research these stories, I posted a paragraph on my Facebook and Google Plus accounts asking if artist friends had stories to tell about social media tools and connections helping their art career. I got many responses from friends. Here are a few I think worth sharing.

The Jerry Saltz Page Phenomenon

On Facebook, there is a well-known New York art critic, Jerry Saltz, who has a page that anyone can read. It is a place where hundreds of artists debate and meet each other. The friend limit has already been reached on that page, but Saltz is also on Twitter and other media, and he frequently deletes massive amounts of friends to make room for new ones!

P. Elaine Sharpe

P. Elaine Sharpe is an artist from Toronto, Canada, who frequents the page and often makes comments that are interesting enough to generate more debate and sometimes responses from the critic himself. Occasionally, comments turn into offline exchanges that can become very real. In 2011, Savannah Spirit, a curator who met Sharpe through Jerry Saltz’s Facebook page, put some of Sharpe’s work in a show called Hotter Than July, in NYC. That show got press, and was listed as a “Critics Pick” in New York Magazine as a show to see. The critic, of course, was Jerry Saltz. His use of Facebook is better than most, because as a writer he creates wonderful short phrases, often misspelled, seemingly in a rush, that are engaging, charming, vulgar, and thoughtful, and that generate tons of responses. He is truly communicating with his audience, as opposed to just making announcements about his latest interests.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 176 – New Markets for Artists / Organizing

Organizing

The problem for many is how to manage all that information. Which news source do you read, which blog do you read, and where do you see art? Where do you read reviews about art? Rather than get overwhelmed or remove yourself from civilization—which now means being connected to the Internet—we must all organize ourselves so we can manage our careers efficiently without getting too busy or spending valuable studio time in front of the computer. If you followed all the tools and techniques in this book, and carried them all out with a passion, you could limit yourself to as little as thirty minutes a day online. If you wanted to do more, you could spend up to two hours online developing your career. Either way, I am not asking you to spend more time on the computer; I am trying to get you to spend less time in front of a screen by making the time you are there as efficient as possible.

Full-Time  Income

In chapter 6 I tell the story of an artist who sells all her work on eBay. She makes a full-time living at it with a six-figure income. She spends about two to three hours a day on eBay, blogging, and posting her latest work. As of this writing, she has become so successful after about three years of hard work that her art is now sold by other sources, like a gallery that saw her selling art online and made her a deal of some kind. You see, it is not just about you sharing and selling directly, it is about you becoming known as a successful artist, or as an artist with great work; then other people will make you offers that you may not have expected. There are stories of many bloggers getting a book deal based on the writing they are doing daily. In fact, the way I started publishing was not by submitting a book proposal to a publisher. It was the publisher that called me, because he saw my newsletter, or a friend of his saw my newsletter and suggested he contact me. That happened within less than a year of starting a newsletter, and it led to four book contracts.

Momentum

Things tend to snowball once there is momentum. In 2011, I was writing books like this one and two others as well. I also created an Internet project on kickstarter.com and I raised  thousands  for an art project I was doing. But that online art project led to many more things. I was invited to have a show with my wife in New York, and I was invited to a biennial in Europe (all expenses paid)—and more opportunities kept coming! I have been at it for many years as an artist, but the reason that 2011 was such a big year for me was also because I was firing on all cylinders, I was organized, and I was using all of the social media tools available, from managing my mailing lists, to Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. In this book I will tell you how to efficiently utilize all those tools and customize them for yourself to fit your pace, your goals, and to make your life easier and more productive with the least effort. I welcome your comments and suggestions because they are the basis of much of the information in here. I write a newsletter— which I encourage you to subscribe to—and in it I update all the information that I talk about in this book. In fact, in chapter 2, I base my writing on an answer to a letter from an artist. My website is yourartmentor.com.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 175 – New Markets for Artists / Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

In the hyper-competitive world we are in, the latest software and hardware, as it applies to creativity and promotion, is part of a language in which you must be conversant. This book is like a language course, in that it is meant to enhance your ability to communicate your art and creative ideas to the world. It is also a map, a strategic guide, to help you plant your ideas in the right soil so they will grow. That soil is the physical world as well as the virtual one.

Education

This is my second book on professional development for artists, and it can be used as a companion volume to the first one, Making It in the Art World. What is different about this book is that in it I focus primarily on the Internet as the main “new market” for artists. It is a territory that continues to grow rapidly, and has already provided artists with a full-time living. In chapter 6, I will talk about a graffiti artist who had a background in graphic design, working for an ad agency, and then quit his job to sell his art, first on the street and then on the Internet. When I interviewed him he said his thinking was that it didn’t make sense for him to look for a gallery, even in his hometown of New York City, because there were a billion potential customers out there on the Internet. That is the realm of new markets—how can you argue with his thinking? He is right. That does not mean that galleries no longer have their place. In fact, TMNK, the artist who sold his work on the street, also had several sold-out gallery shows  in Europe, and those galleries found him through work he displayed on the Internet and on the  street.

Sharing Efficiently, The Good News

What this means for artists is that there are more opportunities than ever, and there are more ways to raise money and put together shows through the new world of social networks, which continue to grow, enabling us to share more and more information. As an artist, that is what you are doing: you are sharing information, sharing your images and ideas. And that is what a participant, an artist in the new world market, has to become an expert in: the means to share efficiently.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 174 – New Markets for Artists / Is This Book for You?

Is This Book for You?

If you are a serious artist in midcareer, or just thinking about taking a first professional step in the arts, this book will help you identify which market in the art world might suit you best. It will also explain how to reach it, with a focus on social media strategies.

Traditional and Nontraditional Markets

This book will discuss traditional markets and exhibition opportunities such as art fairs, art consultants, galleries, and museums, but the emphasis is on the Internet and using new social media tools to network and get exposure for your art. For the reader who already uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google Plus: this book will help you to turn that knowledge into a directed, easy-to-manage, and savvy campaign. And for the reader who is reluctant to use Facebook and Twitter, this book can serve as a beginning course to help you familiarize yourself with these platforms and come to enjoy them at your own pace.

Where You Fit In

If you are a painter, sculptor, or conceptual artist, you will benefit from this book’s lessons on how to use the Internet to advance your career. You will hear stories of artists who have had success in selling their work on their own terms, without compromising in any way. You can choose which story or combination thereof fits you. If something clicks and one of these stories shows you a career path you’d like to emulate, then the remainder of the book will fill you in on the details. In the following chapters, the method you choose will be broken down into steps which you will use specific tools to complete. There is much devoted to Internet strategies, for the beginner as well as for the advanced user. I will also discuss other non-digital methods, such as new satellite art fairs around big ones, and making your own pop-up shows  to selling on the street. The Internet is truly the new territory, through which you can access billions of viewers. Even in the midst of economic crisis, there is a growing online market for art. It is a new territory because the Internet is vast and growing with more viewers all the time. In Asia alone there is over 900 million online, and in Europe, there is 500 million and in North America, almost 300 million as of 2012.

Artists living in the new millennium must create new models for exhibitions and sales. They must also be aware of new modes for reaching an audience, including social networking, the latest online platforms, and mobile phone apps. How we share visual information is radically shifting, and artists can use all these new tools.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 173 – New Markets for Artists

New Markets for Artists

The reason I wrote this book was in answer to the many artists who receive my newsletter, The Art World Demystified. It is also for all those who continue to seek my services as a coach to help with building a strategy for their  career.

It has been incredibly rewarding for myself as a professional artist and coach to work with individuals whose career took a turn for the better after focused commitment. I want to thank all of you who have been a part of the newsletter and all of those who may be part of it in the future. Much of the information on the web site, http://yourartmentor.com, was designed for artists and is regularly updated with feedback I remain grateful for.

My wife Delia Carey, is half of everything I do with The Art World Demystified, and though I am the “talker” so to speak, we run this educational resource together, and without her, it would not exist. I remain grateful for her beyond measure but in the case of this book, she has also been an excellent editor and source of encouragement and love. 🙂

My father, Marvin Salzberg has been a great support and continues to be as my late mother, Joan Egeland-Scott was.

When I interview artists I often ask about their parents, and it is usually no coincidence that one of the hardest professions on the planet had some real love and support behind it in the form of parents. Of course that is not always the case, but in mine it was. I miss my mother tremendously and wish she could have seen my first book published, but I know that her voice is in the words I write throughout this book.

My son, Shiva Carey has also been a great supporter of my work, and while that might seem natural, he has the insights of a writer at a young age and it has served me well. Also his ability to teach me about games like Portal, Mortal Combat and Assasins Creed, has allowed me to understand the immense power and artistry of the video gaming industry, largely built by visionary artists. Without him, I would be at a loss to understand it all, and of course without him, I would not be having nearly as much fun playing all the games I do.

Skyhorse Publishing has been a pleasure to work with, and in an age of electronic books, they are a publisher who still makes beautiful books, with special attention to cover art, paper stock and the general beauty of the printed book. How can I not love them?

Richard Bolger, longtime friend and excellent photographer, created the cover photograph for this book and the last one, and without him, I believe this book would not be nearly as sexy as it it. Thank you Rich.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 172 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Your attitude

Chapter 12

Your attitude

As I am sure you know, your attitude plays a crucial role in how you use this book and how you make it in the art world.

On one level, it is simplistic. When you are feeling good, it tends to rub off on others, and the opposite, of course, is also true. When you are enthusiastic about your work, your life, and the latest thing you are working on, those around you share that enthusiasm, and it can only work to your benefit.

The trick is figuring out how to maintain that level of feeling good every day, or at least on most days. For artists of all types, I think that one of the biggest issues is to work on your career on a regular basis. If you are using the time management techniques in here and are spending at least thirty minutes a day, four days a week on the work that it takes to get your art seen in the world, it will have a profound and positive effect on your career. By committing yourself to such a schedule, you are also telling your- self that you are in control of your life and that you are working towards a goal. That in itself will not only put a smile on your face and some self-assurance in your step, but will also prevent the feeling of being unsure about the next steps you are taking.

Health

Another aspect to consider is your general health. While this may seem obvious, artists operate under certain myths about partying. Drinking alcohol and doing any kind of drugs will not help in giving you access to the art world of your dreams. I am not saying that you should never drink alcohol and go to a party, but I am saying it would help to be conscientious about it. At openings for galleries, it is not helpful to drink the alcohol unless you do it very sparingly. When you are in control and aware of what is happening, you have the ability to really make things happen. Sincere enthusiasm is catchy, but slightly drunk enthusiasm is viewed suspiciously. Wouldn’t you view it the same way? There are artists that have been notorious party animals, but it is often to their detriment, either healthwise or in terms of their career. It is just easier to function and be ambitious when you are feeling healthy. It is very easy for artists to get involved in addictions to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food, sex, or something else, because to be an artist, you have to create your own structure, and since most don’t create that structure, they are in an environment that is unstructured and vulnerable to doubt. General well-being is also an important contributor to your attitude. Again, this may be obvious, but if you don’t practice it, it will not help you. To be healthy, really healthy, you need to do some kind of vigorous exercise every day. That could be walking at a quick pace for thirty minutes or working out at the gym or something similar, but it means sticking to a schedule.

Eating Habits

How you eat is another step, and a major one in my experience, of controlling your mood and attitude. I became a raw foodist at one point, meaning that I only ate salads, more or less. I didn’t cook anything; I ate plenty of fruits, nuts, and lots of greens with avocados and tomatoes and other delicious vegetables. I did not eat bread or grains of any kind. I also started to fast once a week. The way I fasted was to drink only distilled water for an entire day. I would fast every Sunday and eat raw food for the rest of the week. That in itself changed my life. The first big show I had at the Whitney Biennial came when I was a raw foodist. There is an incredible feeling to seeing quite clearly that everything you eat looks like it came from a plant or a tree. I lost weight and began biking every day and felt like a million bucks. This may not be the diet for you, but the more salads you eat, the better you will feel. Experiment and see. After eating raw food for several months or even days, have a plate of pasta or a bagel and see how it feels. In my experience, it feels awful, and suddenly I become sluggish and tired. That feeling of being tired extends to everything. You’ve felt that, I’m sure. Once you are tired, or not feeling well, all your best-laid plans are useless. There are plenty of books on the raw food diet and also books on how to fast, but make it easy on yourself and just try to swap out regular meals for a salad at least a few times a week, and you will feel better and have more energy to pursue the plan you have created with this book.

Stress, Anxiety, Depression

If you have serious depression, consult a physician; the other method to battle stress, anxiety, and depression is to meditate. While fasting, raw food, and exercise are important for health, stress is not managed entirely that way. As you move through your career, you will have ups and downs, and the downs can be difficult to manage if you don’t have a plan to deal with it. Meditation is simple, and it is the answer to stress that affects nearly all of us. You don’t need to take classes in meditation in my opinion, any more than you need to take classes in how to breathe. It is very simple. Sit in a comfortable chair every morning and set a timer for ten minutes. If you don’t have a timer, you can sit near a clock and open your eyes occasionally to check the time. With your eyes closed, breathe in and count to yourself starting with the number one. Then breathe out and say the number two, breathe in for three, and so on until you reach ten, and then start over again. Do not worry about other thoughts coming into your head; just continue to focus on counting. If you go over ten by accident, just start over at one. It is best to do this twice a day, in the morning and before you go to bed. It is an ancient technique that really works, try it. If you want to know exactly what I do, take a look at my daily calendar online and you will see my schedule of exercise and meditation on a daily basis, as well as the deadlines I am watching.

Generosity

While almost everything in this book is geared to help you make it, there is as much to be said for helping others along the way. It is all too common to hear artists who are jealous of other artists’ success. One of the cures for this unfortunate emotion is to be consciously generous to other artists in particular. Examples are to listen closely to friends’ ideas and help them sort things out or encourage them when you see them hesitate to pursue a dream. One of the online fund-raising platforms, kickstarter.com, is a good way to be generous with your money. I’m sure you have heard this can work both ways, so it is important to be financially and emotionally supportive of other artists. That means anything from lending your friend money to supporting several artists for a dollar or more each on kickstarter.com. You can go there now and begin to be a philanthropist for very little money. It will make you feel good and also give you a taste of what it is like to get letters from people thanking you for your generosity. Some of those letters will make you smile more than others, and that will be a tool to illustrate the pleasure of giving.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 171 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Creating a New Habit

Creating a New Habit

The fourth step is to make this process a habit. At the end of every week, set a time in your calendar to document your work and put it in a folder. If you don’t have a great photo of your work, that is OK for now; just take one with your own camera and put it in the file. When you get a chance to have the work photographed professionally, you can always replace or supplement your image at a later date. That is the way for your work to be archived, and after you are doing this for a while, you can begin to archive work from past years. You may not be able to do it as methodically as you are doing the present work, so if you find a work of art from the past, just determine the date it was made. You can approximate the date if you don’t remember and then put it in a folder, and as they accumulate for that year, you will have a whole new section.

Contact a Lawyer

The fifth step is to think about what you would like to happen to all of this if you are not here anymore. This is maybe the hardest step, but one of the most important because if all your work is archived perfectly, but no one knows, it will probably be thrown out or sold at some point. The idea is to make a living will, which you can do with a lawyer who can advise you on more details of it. A simple version of it would be to make a video recording of yourself speaking and also a handwritten document that is notarized and put it in a safe-deposit box at your bank. Most people don’t take this step, but it is really a generous thing to do, and this is why. When you leave loved ones behind, grieving, they have to do all kinds of things for you, and the easier you can make it for them, the better. It is a way to comfort them and make them feel confident in the choices they are making. If you are not sure what you want done with your work, you can say that, as well as give a few options; it is up to you, but this step, although it is a courageous and difficult one to make, will also help you sleep better, just like the monks, knowing your things are in order. These are my thoughts on organizing yourself this way, but for living wills, it is best to contact a lawyer who can guide you through the proper steps.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 170 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / The Next Step

The Next Step

The second step is to label and organize your images. It is not enough to keep them all in digital format. In fact it is dangerous. More and more we rely on web storage like Google or Flickr, but it is unreliable for a few reasons. The main reason is that when you stop paying storage fees on most sites, your images will disappear. Also, no one knows when an online business can go bust, also resulting in lost images, forever. Maybe you are thinking you can store them on your own hard drive? Hard drives are built to fail. Any hardware supplier will tell you this. It is not a question of if your hard drive will fail, it is a matter of when. For people who must store data on hard drives, you must duplicate excessively. For example, I know an audiophile who has thousands of hours of music as well as video, all in a digital format. What he does, knowing his big expensive multiterabyte drives will fail one day, is to make more than one copy. That means the contents of one giant drive are duplicated on not one, but two more drives. He also burns DVDs of everything, which is another medium that has a short life expectancy. DVDs may last one hundred years, but right now, no one knows, and it’s safe to say they are not safe! As we know, one scratch and the material is gone.

The Answer Is to Use Hard Prints of Your Images When Possible

The third step is to get a filing cabinet that is fireproof. Put it in your apartment or storage unit. Use file folders that are acid-free and, starting with the current year, make a folder for each month. In the folder, put images of your work, printed out in as nice a format as you can afford. At the least print out documentation of your work on 8 x 10 photo paper from your inkjet printer. On the back of each print, make a label that has the following information on it: the title of the work, the date it was completed, where it was completed, the size, where it is located or stored, and any other notes you want to add. If that seems like too much information for a label, then on the label, make a reference to a separate document that has all the information and notes. That separate document is a letter-size piece of paper that is also in the folder and is typed neatly with your name and address on it, as well as a note saying this is referenced from a folder of a certain date and day. If you have too many images or material for one month, then make a second folder for that month and put a section in your file cabinet for that month. Start with the current month so you don’t get overwhelmed and move forward from there.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 169 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Steps to Take Now

Steps to Take Now

Hopefully you will get recognition before she did, but nevertheless, she sets the example for the minimal amount of organizing that is necessary to preserve your work and make it easier for others to enjoy it and share it. First step: to begin with, start labeling your work and photographing it. If you are a photographer, begin scanning your images, if they are in film format. If you are a photographer that shoots digital images, then make digital folders and organize them by the year. If you are a painter, sculptor, installation artist, or mixed media of some kind, documentation is essential. Begin today by committing yourself to documenting your work with a camera. Ideally, you should have a professional photographer do it, one who specializes in taking images of art. I can’t overstate the importance of a professional photographer.

Using a Professional Photographer

Throughout my career as an artist, I have had friends who were great photographers, the kind that exhibited regularly and went to school for photography, but unfortunately, none of them could document art very well. That may seem strange, but it isn’t, because getting a good image of artwork is a talent all its own. Once I was working with an artist who was quite wealthy, owned several businesses, and he wanted to document his paintings and even reproduce some of them with the digital images of the work. Rather than hire a professional photographer, he used his assistant. I warned him against this, but he responded with logic, saying that he had bought the best camera for this; he had also bought light stands and had plenty of time to do this with his assistant. He also said that it is a fairly simple process in that all you have to do is bracket the images, meaning take several shots of each at different exposures to get the right one. His assistant, who also happened to be a photographer, began taking the images according to his instructions, which seemed to make sense from a technical point of view. After the assistant shot about ten images over the course of a day, the artist began to look over them. He was very frustrated by what he saw because for some reason, the colors weren’t right in any of them! So the artist spent more time working on the images with Photoshop until he got the image he wanted. The Photoshop work took him hours, and he was unhappy about that. However, he was a consummate entrepreneur and felt that he could figure this out, so he continued to work with the assistant that he was paying $10 an hour.

After another week of him getting frustrated and spending hours on Photoshop, not to mention having hundreds of images of his work that he was having a hard time sorting out, he gave up. He hired a photographer that was more expensive but did the job perfectly the first time. That was a very expensive learning experience for him when you count up the equipment plus the assistant’s time and the artist’s time on Photoshop. What happened? Honestly, it is hard to say what happened here. It seems to defy logic, but in my experience, I have encountered the same thing. So take heed and hire a professional if you want the best images of your work. Find someone who has taken images of artists’ works in the past and look at the work yourself. I have used a guy in New York City named James Dee, but there are many; just find one by asking product photographers or studios if they have done images of artwork.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 168 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / How the Living Organize Their Estates

Chapter 11

How the Living Organize Their Estates

While this may sound like a morbid topic, which I suppose it is in some ways, it is also a topic that is not just about what happens to all of your work after you die, but is also about how you manage your work while you are living. How you organize your work and prepare, not for an eventual death, but for every day. Some Buddhist monks go to bed saying a prayer that they are thankful for the day, and if this is their last day, they are prepared to die in their sleep. The idea of this is interesting. They are preparing for death each day by having their things in order. Can you imagine that? Having everything in order so that if you died the next day, all your belongings and work will have its proper place! When I first heard of that, I thought it sounded terribly death-centered on a daily basis! However, it has another aspect to it, which is that you must be very organized to do this and very aware of what happens to your affairs after you die. I am writing this chapter not only to help you get organized, but also to do the responsible thing for those left behind. We may think of death as something far off, but we also know it could happen tomorrow, so it is not just for your legacy, it is also for those you care about so they will have an easy time dealing with your art the way you intended.

Vivien Maier’s story

Even if you don’t want to work too much on this, at the very least your work should be organized and properly labeled. Let’s look at the unusual example of Vivian Maier, the photographer I mentioned in the introduction. The story is that a young real estate agent bought a box of negatives from an unknown photographer at an auction for $400. There were thirty thousand negatives in the boxes he bought. He eventually bought all the work he could, about one hundred thousand negatives in all. But there was more! Her cameras, small Super 8 films, and audio cassettes, as well as some clothing. These were all the things in her room, as well as some in storage. Almost everything was labeled with the date and where it was photographed. There were boxes and boxes of her images and related letters. She was putting them all in storage. She never showed these images to anyone as far as the owner of the negatives knows. The story of what he did next is fascinating. He posted some of the images online and got publishing offers as well as a movie offer. He created a project on Kickstarter and raised over $20,000 in less than two months to make a film about her life. I mention all of this because if her work was not in some kind of order and organized, it would not be possible for him to make the film and book he is making. Vivian Maier also was homeless for a time, and because all of this was in storage, her work survived. In many ways, her story is very sad because she never got to exhibit her work or know that a book and film were being made. However, they are being made now, after her death, and besides it being a case of good luck, that is, being found by the right person, it is also a case of an artist taking care of her work.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.