How to get art gallery representation for your art

6 Comments

How to get art gallery representation for your art

Interested in getting art gallery representation for your fine art?
Here are my tips for what to do and not to do when talking to art galleries!  

Is getting art gallery representation for your fine art on your list of business goals? If so, that’s not unusual.

Many artists feel that getting their work into an art gallery offers an opportunity to reach more collectors, sell their pieces at higher prices, and legitimizes the quality and worth of their work.  

But these days, getting gallery representation isn’t as simple as just getting an art gallery owner to look at your work and hoping they decide their clientele will like your aesthetic.  

Now that online stores and social media sales posts have become the new normal, art galleries have had to adapt their strategies to remain relevant in an increasingly online-oriented sales environment. That means they’re a little more picky about which artists they choose to represent.  

So to give yourself the best chance of getting art gallery representation, you need to do a little groundwork to set yourself up as an excellent choice for representation. 

Before you start sending out letters of inquiry and requesting meetings with gallery reps, make sure you have these items crossed off your list: 

•   DO have a solid body of work, consisting of at least 10-25 pieces, that work together as a series. This will show the art gallery representative that you can create artwork with a consistent aesthetic that they can market to their audience. 

•   DO have your work profesionally photographed. Professional photos will show your work off at its best, with proper lighting, straight angles, and accurate color, maximizing the potential interest of any viewer. 

•   DO write (or have written for you) a solid bio + artist statement to showcase your story and your inspirations. Make sure that your history and story is explained in concise, straightforward writing that is easy to understand. 

•   DO design (or have designed for you) a clean, easy to navigate website + curate an attractive Instagram feed that showcases your dedication to your craft, your professionalism, and your ability to maintain a consistent artistic aesthetic. 

•   DO network with artists, collectors, and art market stakeholders to grow your audience and show to the art gallery that a viable market already exists for your work. They’ll be more likely to represent you if you have clientele to bring with you. 

Now that you know all of the things you should do, let’s talk about the things you definitely shouldn’t do if you’re looking for art gallery representation: 

•   DON’T try to show off all of the different styles or types of art you can do in your portfolio or in a single website gallery… this is the time to showcase quality and consistency! 

•   DON’T monopolize an art gallery representative’s attention during an art fair or during an art show opening. Their focus is going to be on sales, and they won’t be able to pay attention to your pitch. They won’t think you’re being enterprising; they’ll think that you’re not polite and respectful of their time and the other artist’s work. 

•   DON’T be pushy or take an art gallery representative’s feedback personally if they tell you they’re not interested. Everyone has different tastes and opinions and your work might not be right for that gallery’s clientele. Remember it’s not about you and move right along to the next opportunity!

•   DON’T assume that any one gallery will take you on or that one gallery’s representation will be enough. Galleries have to look out for their own bottom line, so make sure you’re spending time on your own sales strategies to sell your art, and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

 One last tip… the best advice I ever received about getting gallery representation was from a mentor and gallery owner, who said, “The best way to get into a gallery is to make them feel it was their idea.”

 If you make sure you are prepared by following my Dos and Don’ts above, you’ll be in a much better position to convince an art gallery owner that representing you and your art is a fabulous idea!

 Which of these tips can you take action on, today? Let me know in the comments!

Want to learn more about building an art business? Check out our Resource Library for more free content created specifically for artists!

6 Comments

Becoming a successful artist entrepreneur means you have to start thinking like this

4 Comments

Becoming a successful artist entrepreneur means you have to start thinking like this

If you want to become a successful art business entrepreneur, then there are three critical components you have to have in place: a solid business plan, an implementation plan (nope, those two aren’t the same thing!), and the mindset of an artrepreneur. 

I often focus on the first two elements—creating a solid business plan and implementing that business plan—but today I want to tackle the third piece: 

What does having an entrepreneurial mindset actually look like when you’re launching and growing your creative business, and how can you adjust your art business mindset to set yourself up for success?

Ready to find out? Read on!

1) Successful artists are willing to invest in their businesses

Okay, let’s talk about what “investing” in your business actually means, because this is a term that gets thrown around a lot, and it gets confusing!

An expense is something that you buy, use up, and then it’s gone… with very little effect on your long-term goals. Paper for your printer, the pens you bought, the coffee-stand beverage you bought this morning… will any of those purchases positively change your bottom-line or help you make more sales? Probably not—so that’s why we call it an expense and not an investment.

Investing in your business means spending money on services or products that help your business succeed in a tangible way.

That can mean investing in things like: 

  • A professional website with clear navigation and a gallery to showcase and sell your artwork

  • Professional headshot photos of yourself and photos of your art to showcase your work

  • Software or services that help you keep in touch with your audience or manage the sales journey for your collectors (like email marketing or client relationship management subscription services)

  • A personal assistant or other staff members who can take care of minor business tasks for you (even if it’s just a few hours a week to start), so that you can spend more time on creating artwork and making sales

  • Training and coaching that help you run your business more efficiently and confidently (like working with me through The LAB)

To put it bluntly, investment is what happens when you realize you can’t DIY everything in your business, and you start using the skills and expertise of other people or services to help you reach your goals. 

Now, let me just say that I am all for doing a lean-startup—that’s the system I teach and I’d never encourage an artrepreneur to make an investment that they truly can’t afford.

But at some point, you have to make the transition from a “starving artist” mindset to a growth-based mindset, which means realizing that you can and should take advantage of the resources available to you. 

2) Successful artists have a growth and reflection-based mindset

A lot of the mindset business advice out there for new entrepreneurs focuses on the “think positive” and “visualize your outcomes” aspect of mindset. 

That’s all well and good and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that. However…

If you want to build a successful art business, do the mindset work to back up all that positive thinking and visualization with deliberate reflection and action-taking!

  • Instead of just “thinking positive,” take the time to review your goals and evaluate whether they’re still serving you. If they’re not, it’s time to update them!

  • If you’re not making progress on your goals, what’s happening? This can often be related to a mindset issue: Are you afraid of missing out on an opportunity, so you’re spreading your time and effort too thin? Are you feeling resistance, and consequently playing small and not allowing yourself to take risks?

  • Are you asking for help when you encounter a new task or situation that is challenging? Shame and “I should already know how to do this” are powerful motivators to not ask for the answers you need—but if you’ve never gotten training, you literally cannot solve these problems yourself without a lot of trial and error, and that sets you up for needless frustration.

The most successful artists I know regularly review their goals and progress, pay attention to what their internal “voice” is saying, and surround themselves with people who can—because they are just a few steps further ahead in building their own businesses—offer solid support and advice.

3) Successful artists push themselves out of their comfort zones

I meet far too many artists who want to stay hidden behind their easels or computer screens, and just aren’t comfortable putting themselves and their work out there. 

You know what? I totally get it. It’s scary!

It’s hard to promote yourself and your work without feeling like you’re being overly needy or braggy, and not knowing what kind of reaction you’re going to get from your audience.

But you know what? If you don’t take the risk, you’ll never get positive attention and gain a following.

If you want to build a thriving art business and get sales, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and promote yourself. 

Unfortunately, success doesn’t “just happen,” and no one will share your work or spread your message without you doing the groundwork of gathering an audience, creating your own marketing materials, and searching for the opportunities available to you.

I’ve worked with hundreds of artists over the years in my role as a Business + PR Strategist, coach, confidant, and de facto business partner, and as a result I’ve had the chance to see what works and what doesn’t. 

So trust me when I say that at the end of the day, it’s the artists who push themselves in these areas who go on to build successful art businesses. 

I want that for you too! So go back and review the points above and think about where your mindset could use a little tuning up. 

Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!


4 Comments

Trying to sell your art online? Try these three tips!

1 Comment

Trying to sell your art online? Try these three tips!

Selling your artwork doesn’t have to feel hard.
Try these three actionable tips to successfully find buyers for your art and make sales.

Pop Quiz! What’s the No. 1 challenge that artist entrepreneurs face?

Well, to my knowledge no one has ever done a formal survey, but if they did, I’m confident that most artists would say their biggest challenge is how to find people to buy their art, whether that’s online or locally.

When you’re first starting out, it does seem like an overwhelming and impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

I promise you that finding art buyers isn’t impossible and that you can find people who are interested in your art, will buy it, and become huge fans!

So today, I’m giving you three actions you can take that will vastly increase the odds of you finding the right buyers for your art, help you make sales, and reach your art business goals.

1) Find your artistic niche

Everyone (and I do mean everyone) has a specific niche… whether that’s the style of art they create, the people that they create the art for, or the story that they bring to it.

The key to finding your artistic niche is identifying what makes you different from the rest of the artists out there, and using that knowledge to tap into a specific market where you can stand out and position yourself as a specialist in your field.

Dig into your artistic story and process and figure out what makes you different… then make sure you highlight those differences and who you serve in your social media posts and when you’re talking to potential collectors.

2) Post your offers consistently and often

One of the most common things I see is that an artist will make one or two posts about the new piece they’ve created, and then sit back to wait for the money to roll in. When their pieces don’t sell right away, they get discouraged and assume no one likes their art.

That couldn’t be further from the truth, and the truth is that not repeating your posts (or at least reusing the same content) is costing you big time.

The “lifespan” of a social media post (the length of time that algorithms think it’s important and your post remains visible in the news feed) is not very long. In fact, the lifespan of a post is mere minutes on a fast moving platform like Twitter, and only a few hours on a platform like Facebook or Instagram. 

The chances are high that your post was deemed “irrelevant” by algorithms before most of your followers even got a chance to see it!

So it’s important to make sure that you’re posting high quality content often and reposting that content on a regular basis for greater visibility. I highly recommend creating a social media content calendar to help you keep the big picture in mind when you’re planning your posts and offers.

3) Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up with interested buyers!

I cannot say this enough times… make sure you follow-up with anyone who shows an interest in purchasing a piece of your artwork!

If you follow-up, you won’t lose the folks who were kinda-sorta interested but forgot once they walked away, or felt too shy to reach out to you (yes, it happens on the other end of the transaction too!).

This does not mean that you have to be pushy and annoying, but you cannot assume that someone will make an initial inquiry and then take on the burden of following up with you, asking for all the information, and figuring out how to give you money!

People are busy! And it’s rare that a highly-interested collector who will stop at nothing to acquire one of your pieces comes along.

So instead of assuming people will come after you if they’re interested, make the first move after they’ve shown interest, and make your follow-up and buying process easy and convenient for your potential collector.

Reach out with all the relevant information, details they may not have noticed or thought of, and alternative pieces if they weren’t interested in a specific piece or if there are several pieces that could meet their needs.

Your goal should be to help them make a decision without working too hard… think of it like providing a luxury service!

None of these tips are miracle solutions to the “how to find art buyers” problem, but if you do each of them consistently and well, it will go a long way to helping you grow your fan base and get the sales that will help propel your business forward.

Have a question about how to implement any of these tips? Let me know in the comments!

Need help getting a plan together to sell your art? Then check out our FREE Resources Library http://theartistentrepreneur.com/resources-library and start building momentum in your art business today!

1 Comment

Part 3: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales...

3 Comments

Part 3: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales...

PART 3: Share the “why” behind your artwork

This is the third post in our three-part series on how to talk your artwork. Today we’re talking about letting your unique voice come through to your audience! If you missed them, here’s our first post on creating good content, and here’s the second post on establishing presence.


Hey there artrepreneur! Before we launch into today’s topic, I want you to take just a few minutes and answer a question for me: Why do you create the artwork you make?

… have you got your answer? Good!

Now, I may not know the details of your life story or why you started creating art, but I DO know a secret about you. Want to know what it is?

I know that your creative energy comes from a place deep inside you – regardless of your subject matter, your artistic medium, or how long you’ve been making art – and that no one else (no matter who they are) is making art for quite the same reasons you are.

What I also know is that many artists are scared about sharing the personal story behind their artwork. Either they’re worried about coming off as too esoteric or self-absorbed, or conversely, they think they have nothing important or interesting to say! So instead, they have light, inconsequential conversations and never show their deeper creative side.

In this series of posts, I’ve been talking about sharing your artistic vision through a “what, how, why” formula so that you can cultivate more meaningful relationships and conversations with your audience, ultimately making more sales and enjoying more success as an artist!

We’ve talked about some principles of sharing good content (the what), and establishing a compelling presence (the how), but now it’s time to get down to the really gritty stuff… your voice, or put a different way, the “why” behind your work.

Is it worth it to go to all the trouble of sharing the inspiration, process, and emotion behind your work?

Let me assure you that it is. Simon Sinek, a well-known author, motivational speaker, and thought leader, said it best, “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

As you build relationships with your audience and learn how to talk about your artwork, it’s important to let your voice (and your why!) come through so they learn about the real you, the one behind the art you make.

Ready for some guidance on how to do that?

1)    Let your message and mission take center stage

No matter what you’re creating or why you’re doing it, you have something you’re trying to accomplish with your art practice – in other words, you have a mission!

You shouldn’t be afraid to talk about “the real stuff.” In fact, that’s what will make you stand out and be unique among all the other artists out there. Once you’ve gotten clear on your message, talk about it! And then talk about it some more.

Don’t be afraid to repeat what you have to say over and over again. By affirming and reaffirming your position, people will begin remembering you and what you have to say… and once they’ve heard it enough, they’ll believe that you’re serious about it… And repeat it to others!

The takeaway: Trust your vision and your mission… and don’t be afraid to share it! It is part of what makes you uniquely you.

2)    Preserve your authentic voice

Are you quirky, serious, or somewhere in between? What do you think about when creating your artwork? What inspiration are you drawing from when you create something new?

Most importantly… how well do you stick to your personal “whys” when you’re talking to someone about your artwork?

It’s tempting to look around at other successful artists or brands and think that you should write like them, talk like them, follow the same marketing tactics as they do, and so on. After all, their system worked for them, right?

The problem with squeezing yourself into a mold is that it becomes harder and harder to talk about the deeper inspiration behind your work and step outside of the boundaries you’ve created for yourself.

The takeaway: Let your unique characteristics come through in your writing and conversations. Not only will this make you far more interesting to your audience, but – because your personality traits are likely reflected in the work you create – it will help your audience understand your work better too. Stay true to yourself and it will pay off in the long run!

3)    Pay attention to your audience’s “know, like, trust” journey

To successfully engage your audience, first they have learn who you are and what you’re about. Your ideal collector (the one you’re speaking to with your work) will hang around because they start to like you and what you have to say. Keep it up long enough, and eventually they’ll begin to trust in your integrity and authenticity.

Why is this important? Because it’s at the end of the “know, like, trust” (PLEASE LINK TO THE BLOG “YOU ONLY NEED THESE 3 THINGS TO SELL YOUR ART) journey that your audience will buy from you. But your followers aren’t just buying a piece of merchandise from you when they purchase a piece… they’re investing in you as an artist and in your future. They need to be confident that the investment is worth it!

Creating great content that conveys the authentic “you” naturally brings your followers along on this journey. That doesn’t mean that you won’t ever say “This piece is for sale!” or ask for them to sign up for your email list, but it does mean that you should balance these asks with real, engaging conversation.

The takeaway: The more authentic and real you are about your creative journey, the more people will learn to know you, like you, trust you, and purchase from you.

How are you planning to apply these tips to share the story, inspiration, and “why” behind your work? Let me know in the comments!

Did you miss the first two posts in this series? Click here for Part 1 (creating good content), and here for Part 2 (establishing presence)!

I know how hard it can be to talk about your work with confidence when you don't know what to say, or how to say it.

That’s why I’ve gathered all the information I shared with you in this 3-part series in one place and as a worksheet, so that you can work through everything at your own convenience and with a clear structure.

Click here,or on the image below, to access your free worksheet.

 
 

3 Comments

Part 2: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales...

6 Comments

Part 2: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales...

PART 2: Your presence is your secret weapon

This is the second post in our three-part series on how to talk about your artwork. Today we’re talking about presence and how to make an impact! If you missed the first post (on creating good content) click here to read it, and click here to read the third post on sharing your “why”.


After spending hours pouring your creative energy into a piece of art, crafting a conversation around that piece at an event or for social media is likely the last thing you want to think about.

In fact, I see many artists who just post an image of their piece, the size, and a price… and then they’re surprised when they don’t get any sales! 

People don’t buy artwork because it’s the right size or the right color (well, sometimes they do). Most of the time, they make purchases because there’s an emotional connection, with you or with the art.

You create emotional connection by cultivating interesting, authentic, solid conversations, and building good relationships with your audience and collector base.

In this series of posts, I’ve broken down the engagement process into three parts – what, how, and why. Last week we talked about content (the “what”). Today we’re going to talk about presence (the “how”).

(Don’t miss next week’s post on using your authentic voice, the last piece in this formula!)

You’re probably wondering what exactly I mean when I say “presence,” am I right?

Think about it this way: presence isn’t about what you say (remember, that’s content!), but rather about how you say it.

For example, what kind of speaker or performer would have the most impact on you? A performer who is enthusiastic about their material and interacts with the crowd? Or one who is clearly bored and can’t wait to be on their way?

Obviously you’d enjoy the first performer’s presence more, right?

Your followers and collectors will feel and respond the same way to the quality of your presence.

If you’re having trouble with this aspect of your conversations, whether you’re having them in person or through social media, try these tips to make it easier:

1)    Keep your message short for greater impact

We live in a fast-paced world, and it’s hard to hold on to someone’s attention for long. A visitor at an art fair, for example, has likely visited several booths before yours, and will probably visit several more after you. So how do you hold on to their attention for the few minutes you have and make sure your words will stay with them?

First of all, keep it brief! I know it’s tempting to ramble – especially if you have a lot to say – but hold yourself back and take your listener or audience’s lead. Pay attention to what type and length of conversation they respond to most. Then do more of that!

The takeaway: Your message needs to be concise and impactful. It’s hard to do this on the fly, so the best way to prepare is to practice! Find a friend who will role-play the part of an interested customer and exercise your conversation skills.

2)    Keep your energy up

We all have good days, sad days, and exasperating days when we’d rather throw our hands up and take a vacation, but it’s important to pay attention to what kind of energy and tone you’re using when talking to your followers and collectors.

That’s not to say that you should always be cheerful no matter what – it’s okay to be vulnerable about how you’re feeling – but keep your energy levels high. You want to be authentic, but not stray into “woe is me” territory.

Keeping your energy up also applies to in-person, nonverbal behavior… eating, sleeping, staring at your phone, or acting annoyed and tired with visitors when you’re supposed to be welcoming is a huge turn off for anyone. Of course you can’t completely ignore bodily needs, so consider how you can prepare ahead of time. Do you need an assistant so you can take a break? Extra sleep to feel alert? Something else?

The takeaway: Allowing your emotions to come through will help show that you’re a genuine person, but the key thing to remember here is to still convey your message professionally! How can you protect your energy (through sleep, preparation, asking for help, etc) so that you can be at your best when you show-up in your art business?

3)    Focus on the beginning and the end of your message

Remember that performer example I gave just a little bit ago? I want you to think back to some speeches or classes you’ve attended… which speakers made an impression on you, and what key moments do you remember?

Chances are high that you don’t remember many specifics, but you probably remember the beginning, the end, and anything done with a “bang!” in the middle.

Ultimately, that means the beginning and the end of your message are the most likely to stick with your reader or the person you’re talking to. It’s important not to get bogged down with irrelevant detail. Consider which parts of the message are the most important and how you can make those bits impactful!

The takeaway: Keep your message simple, pay attention to the important information you want to convey, and sign off with style! If you’re posting online, perhaps your sign off is a call to action, or if you’re in-person, perhaps this is asking for a sale, their information for your email list, or some other commitment that helps grow your relationship.

What do you think? Do you have anything to add to these tips? Let me know in the comments!

And don’t forget! If you missed Part 1 (creating good content) click here to read it, and look for Part 3 of this series (on using your voice) next week!

6 Comments

Part 1: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales

4 Comments

Part 1: Confidently talk about your artwork to advance your career and make more sales

PART 1: Share the right content

This is the first post in our three-part series on how to talk about the vision behind your artwork. Today we’re talking about what makes good content “good.” You can read the second post on establishing presence here. and the third post on sharing the “why” behind your artwork here.


A picture may be worth a thousand words (as the saying goes) but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to talking or writing about the work you do.

In fact, your success as an artist entrepreneur can depend on how skillfully you engage your audience – it could make the difference between someone signing up for your email list or not, making or losing a sale, or finally getting gallery representation versus being told to try again later.

Put simply, building connections and creating relationships with people who are interested in the art you create will help you make more sales and become more successful as an entrepreneur.

But many artists have a hard time with this aspect of their business. I’ve coached hundreds of visual artists over the past several years, and usually it’s not that they’re unwilling to talk, it’s that they feel awkward and aren’t sure what to say or how to say it!

To make it easier and less overwhelming, I’ve broken down the process into three parts – content (the “what”), presence (the “how”), and voice (the “why”).

All three elements have to be present for the best kind of engagement, but it all starts with creating good content or having good conversations with your followers. (We’ll talk about presence and voice in follow up posts.)

So the big question is – how do you go about doing that?

Here are three key things to keep in mind when you’re writing or talking about your artwork:

1) Know your audience

Multiple audiences may be interested in your work, but the key is to figure out how to talk to each one of them and address their interests and concerns. For example, you’d have a much different conversation with a gallery owner or an avid art collector than you would with someone casually browsing through your booth at an art fair, right?

It’s important to learn what your ideal collector’s interests are. What do they care about? What do they find interesting? What motivates them to buy art? How does your artwork and your “why” fit into those interests?

The takeaway: Make sure you frame the conversation about your art in a way that engages the people you’re trying to talk to.

2) Make an emotional connection

It’s rare that anyone wants to read a summary of your artistic education or accomplishments, but this is a mistake that I see artists make a lot. Instead of talking about what you’ve done, try talking about why you’ve done it.

Think about what details you can offer up that will catch your collector’s interest. What is the story behind your work, or what emotions are you trying to convey? What creative challenges did you have to overcome? How are you hoping to make people feel when they look at your pieces?

The takeaway: Explaining the emotional catalyst behind a piece will engage your audience’s emotions and help them make a deeper connection to your work.

3) What information do they need to say yes?

Whether it’s a small ask (signing up for your mailing list) or a big one (trying to close a sale), you need to answer any questions and objections that your potential collector might have – preferably before they even realize they have a question!

But that doesn’t mean you should overwhelm your audience with information! Again, it’s important to know your audience and listen to what their concerns are. Once you’ve done that, then tailor your message to the person you’re talking to.

Are they going to be worried about getting too many emails or that they won’t be interested in the content? Is your collector concerned about wall space and whether they have enough space to hang your art piece? What other concerns can you anticipate and answer?

The takeaway: Give all the details up front, so there’s no confusion and no reason for someone to answer your ask with a “no.”

How are you applying these principles to your communication? Or, how might you improve using these tips? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget! Look for parts two and three of this series (on successfully establishing your presence and your voice) next week!

4 Comments

Forgot about making a New Year’s Resolution? Try this instead!

Comment

Forgot about making a New Year’s Resolution? Try this instead!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are excited to jump back into creating new artwork and developing meaningful new relationships for your art career and business.

You may have noticed I’ve been quiet over the past couple weeks. That’s because, every year around this time, I make it a priority to be present for my loved ones and I try (as much as humanly possible) to stay away from social media. Taking this time away always leaves me feeling refreshed and with new ideas to put into practice!

So here we are, in 2019!

How are you feeling? Excited? Hopeful? Already overwhelmed?

When the new year comes, I think we (myself included) tend to make too many promises (to ourselves and others), take on a few too many “shoulds,” and pile on a bunch of resolutions—trying to convince ourselves that this year “will be different.”

We work hard to stick to these resolutions for the first few days of the year. Those of us who are more resilient might even make it through an entire month or two. But, ultimately, almost all of us end up falling back into our old habits and are disappointed with ourselves for not following through.

But let’s face it, change is hard!

Without the right mindset, strategy, habits, and accountability, it’s almost impossible to create sustainable change in our lives.

And that’s why, for a few years now, I’ve stopped making the same old resolutions and, instead, started getting clear on one area of focus where I concentrate all my energy for the next 12 months.

So, what do I mean by an area of focus?

First, let me tell you what an area of focus isn’t:

  • It isn’t a “motivational list” taken from one of your favorite pinterest boards

  • It isn’t a list of “to-dos” or “shoulds”

  • It isn’t the ongoing list you keep adding to, year after year, without actually doing anything on it

Instead, an area of focus is:

Outcome oriented: Instead of listing what you will or will not do this year, identify your desired outcome. An outcome you really want is much more inspiring than a list of to-dos!

Associated with a “why?”: If you don’t know why you are going to take action, if your desired outcome doesn’t resonate with your values and your vision, then what’s going to motivate you to follow-through?

Aligned: Life’s too short to do things that suck the energy out of us. Yes, you do need to get out of your comfort zone to grow personally and professionally, but it should make you feel good and energized. Or at least, if the action doesn’t, the outcome should. :-)

Focused (obviously): And this is the important one!!! Enough with the never-ending lists, please! We can’t (and shouldn’t feel that we have to) do it all. I’m challenging you to choose just one area of focus—not two or three or ten! Just one! And stick to it!

It can be finances, family, health… you decide!

But I can hear you already… “Are you crazy, Catherine! I can’t choose just one, I need to take care of my health and build my business this year. I can’t afford to choose.”

I know, I get it. I’ve been there.

You know what my biggest takeaway in 2018 was?

I realized that if you focus on one area that needs development in your life—I mean really focus and do the internal and external work—then the results will impact ALL other areas of your life.

Don’t believe me? Try it and let me know in three months how it turns out.

Unless… do you prefer doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result? I think not! (Everyone knows that's the definition of insanity!)

So, what are you choosing as your area of focus this year?Tell me what 2019 will look like for you in the comments below!

The next few weeks are going to be exciting at The Artist Entrepreneur HQ because I have great new content in the works for you! Stay tuned for more details.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and fulfilling year!

Comment

Want to Double Your Art Show or Launch Sales? Try This! [Part 3]

Comment

Want to Double Your Art Show or Launch Sales? Try This! [Part 3]

We’re doing a three-part series on how to make your art show or new launch a success! In the first post, we talked about what you need to do before opening night. In the second post, we talked about the one thing you must do during the art show or launch for a successful outcome. After you finish this article, make sure you go back and read the other two posts so you’re completely prepared for your upcoming event!

Your art pieces have come down and either been delivered or packed safely away again, and it’s time to start thinking about your next project, isn’t it? Not so fast, maestro…

There is one, critically important thing you must do before closing the books and putting this all behind you.

In fact, it’s so important, that one of my clients who did this doubled her sales after closing her show. Yes, I wrote doubled!

Want to know what that one thing is?

Once your show or launch closes, you need to follow up with your fans, visitors, clients, and potential clients.

It sounds simple enough, but most artists never do this, and they lose out on sales and making connections with potential collectors.

So, what should you do for a successful event wrap-up? Here are my three tips:

1) Post show or launch promotion lasts longer than you think.

Do you want the pieces you created hanging out in your studio for the next several months? Of course not! You want them to be displayed and appreciated, don’t you?

Here’s the thing… post event promotion lasts until you start promoting a new event. It’s as simple as that. Sure, you can share sneak peeks of your new work and inspirational shots, but you should still be working on promoting the last collection you created until your next show or launch takes the spotlight.

2) Follow up, follow up, follow up!!!

I don’t think I can say this often enough. It’s very rare for someone to be so interested in a piece that they take the initiative and call you. It’s up to you to take the lead and follow up with anyone who was interested in a piece or who expressed general interest in your work. Corporate contracts aren’t won in a single night, and referrals won’t happen when you and your artwork aren’t top of mind!

Send out a general “thank you” to everyone who showed up and supported you, send post event thank you notes and emails to individuals, and make sure you continue to nurture these relationships.

3) Reflect on what went right and what could have gone better.

Last but certainly not least, don’t wait too long to sit down and spend some time thinking about how everything went. It’s surprising how quickly we forget small details that we initially thought were important.

Think about how your show or launch experience unfolded—the lead up, opening night, and closing. Did everything go smoothly? What would you change the next time? What do you want to do again? Make notes for yourself so you can refer back to this experience in the future.

This debrief process helps you put everything in perspective, learning and growing from your experiences.

It takes self discipline to keep your momentum going, especially if you see everyone else kicking back and enjoying themselves. But not only will you see better results if you follow these tips, you’ll also be better prepared to promote your next show or launch!

 
 

Want to ditch the overwhelm and get a “Done for You” Checklist with everything you need to do before, during, and after your show or launch? Click here for The Ultimate Art Show Prep Checklist!

Comment

Want To Sell Your Art During Your Art Show? Try This. [Part 2]

2 Comments

Want To Sell Your Art During Your Art Show? Try This. [Part 2]

We’re doing a three-part series on how to make your art show or new launch a success! In the first post, we talked about what you need to do before opening night, you can check it out here. For part 3 on doubling your art show launch sales, click here.

We have also created a complementary, ultimate 39 Step Art Show Prep checklist that you can get here.

Once your art pieces have been installed, the invites have gone out, and opening night is just a few short hours away, it seems like all the “hard” work should be over, right?

Nope! Don’t rest on your laurels now. There’s more to do if you want your show or launch to be a success.

Let me make a quick comparison for you—let’s pretend you’re preparing to host a house party for your friends. Before your party you send out the invitations, clean the house, and go grocery shopping for snacks. (In other words, you do your marketing, create the art, and get set up for the show.)

Now that everyone is due to arrive for your party, would you duck out and leave your friends to amuse themselves? No! You’d be right there, making introductions, urging someone to try the artichoke dip, chatting up a storm, and making sure the event goes smoothly.

Your art show or collection launch is really no different. Once your event has kicked off, engagement with your guests and potential guests should be your number one priority.

Not quite sure what I mean? Let’s break it down a little more:

1) Make your artist’s bio, statement, and any other materials that support your credibility as an artist available during the event.

People don’t buy artwork, they buy the emotions that artwork inspires in them. There’s a wide range of emotions that can apply here—maybe the piece you’ve created reminds them of a cherished memory, perhaps your story intrigues them and they want a piece of your story in their lives, or perhaps they feel like owning your artwork gives them status among their friends.

Regardless of the reason, having your materials available will help reinforce the story they are telling themselves in their heads.

2) Greet and engage every visitor who walks through the door.

I know, I know, you don’t want to be too “salesy” now that your show has opened. Many artists I’ve coached are afraid of being seen as pushy and as a result don’t talk to people enough, or avoid them altogether.

Don’t think of your conversation as a “sales” push, think of it as getting to know the person in front of you, learning what they like and dislike, and serving them by figuring out which of your pieces would appeal to them most. And don’t forget to have an email list sign up handy so that you can follow up with them after the show!

3) Keep the event momentum going after opening night.

Once the energy of opening night has faded away, it’s tempting to believe you have nothing left to do. But your pieces don’t mysteriously disappear! Just because someone couldn’t make it at a particular date and time doesn’t mean they won’t make the effort to see your work on another day.

Remind your fans and collectors through social media posts and emails that your show is still up or your launch is ongoing, and look for fun, innovative ways to keep interest high—like hosting events or releasing special “behind the scenes” information.

I know it can be daunting to push yourself out of your comfort zone and keep the conversation going. But by implementing these suggestions, your chance of feeling like your show or launch is successful and profitable is much higher.

 
 

Want to ditch the overwhelm and get a “Done for You” Checklist with everything you need to do before, during, and after your show or launch? We’ve got you covered! Click here for our FREE Ultimate Art Show Prep Checklist we created for artists just like you!

2 Comments

The Secret To Planning A Successful Art Show [PART 1]

4 Comments

The Secret To Planning A Successful Art Show [PART 1]

We’re doing a three-part series on how to make your art show or launch a success! For part 1 we’re talking about what needs to happen before opening night… For part 2 on selling during your art show, click here. For part 3 on doubling your art show launch sales, click here.

You can download our Ultimate 39 Step Art Show Prep checklist here.

Planning an art show or the launch of a new collection in the near future? For many artists, it’s an important career milestone. After all, there’s a big difference between someone scrolling past a couple pieces of artwork you’ve posted to social media, and someone walking into a room filled with your work, or seeing an entire collection of your pieces in a sales environment.

Unfortunately, in my role as a coach for artists and creative entrepreneurs, I see far too many artists become discouraged when no one shows up to their opening night, or when sales fall far short of what they expected. Have you experienced this?

This doesn’t mean that no one likes your work! It just means that you need to do a little more preparation ahead of time to make sure that your art gets the attention and sales it deserves.

Can I let you in on a secret? The key to your success is building momentum—long before opening night or the day of your launch.

But how exactly do you do that? Here’s three essential things you should do before your show opens:

1) Set your goals, intentions, and make an action plan:

Maybe you’ve been planning to do an art show for a long time, or maybe the opportunity simply dropped into your lap. However it happened, before you get carried away choosing pieces and printing invites, stop and consider what you want to get out of the event.

Do you want to communicate a particular message? Are you hoping to reach a certain number of sales?

It’s not enough to simply say, “I’m going to have a show!” and throw pieces up on the walls. Take the time to create a plan for what needs to happen between now and opening night, consider your budget for materials and promotion, and decide what benchmarks need to be met for you to consider the event a success.

2) Plan how to sell your work:

Every artist’s dream is for their work to sell itself—without any input from you. But almost no one will come up to you and simply offer to hand over their money.

Consider how you can present your work in a professional way with information, framing, and high quality photos, create a sales procedure that includes how you accept payment and deliver the product, and learn how to talk about your work in a friendly, engaging way.

3) Promote yourself early and often:

Many artists wait until the last few days before a launch or opening night before even hinting to their followers that something big is coming up. This is a huge mistake! If you’ve waited that long, it’s too late.

You should start promoting your new art show or launch as soon as possible. Ideally, this is as soon as you start creating the pieces for the exhibition—or, if you’ll be showing work that’s already created—as soon as the ink on your contract is dry!

Plan how many posts per week and what topics you’ll cover, build a list of the people you want to invite, and then stick as closely to your plan as possible. The results you’ll see are directly proportionate to the amount of promotion you do beforehand.

Doing all of these things may sound overwhelming. But I want you to succeed—and the easiest way to reach your goals is to prepare for these things ahead of time.

 
 

Want to ditch the overwhelm and get a “Done for You” Checklist with everything you need to do before, during, and after your show or launch? We’ve got you covered! Click here for our FREE Ultimate Art Show Prep Checklist we created for artists just like you!

4 Comments