Do not display in the secondary navigation
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. Check it out here, and look for the last article on wrapping up your event to be published next week!

We have also created a complementary Ultimate 39 Step Art Show Prep checklist thata yuou 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… look for posts next week about what to plan for during and after the event.

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

3 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Working, And How to Fix It

2 Comments

3 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Working, And How to Fix It

If you’ve been doing this creative entrepreneur thing for a while (and honestly, even if you haven’t), you’ve probably heard that you need to have your own website. I’m here to tell you that, yes, it’s true.

On your own site, you get complete control over your brand and how your work is presented. You can post original content and freely ask people to subscribe to your newsletter. And, if you decide to sell your work through your own website, you have complete control over how you’re paid, without giving a sales cut to a third-party vendor.

Unfortunately, many artists — discouraged by poor sales — wonder what’s wrong with their website.

They spend hours adding pages, tweaking their writing, or sometimes completely redesigning their sites… but never identify the underlying problem!

Are you having “issues” with your website? Let’s fix them!

Which one of these situations sounds like yours?

1)   “I keep working on my website to make it more attractive and enticing, but people just don’t seem to visit very much… what’s the point?”

2)   “People sometimes visit my website… but I’m not getting any sales!”

3)   “I get a lot of traffic, but people don’t hang out very long and I’m not selling anything. This website just isn’t working out for me people don’t seem to like it much.”

Before we tackle each of these situations… have you looked at your site data? (If you don’t have Google Analytics set up to track how many visitors you get, where they’re coming from, which pages they visit, and how long they hang out — go do that right after finishing this article!)

To successfully market yourself as a creative artrepreneur (and you ARE in the business of making and selling creative works, right?) you need to understand and utilize your data. You can’t fix your strategy if you don’t know what is and isn’t working!

Did you know that only a tiny percentage of your visitors (just 0.5–2%!) become paying clients? That’s just not very many, so it’s important to make the most of every visitor you have.

Now, let’s talk about each of the problems above and how to solve it.

1)   You’re not getting any visitors to your site

In this situation, not enough people are aware of you and the amazing stuff you create. Instead of relying on Google to display your site in someone’s search results, you need to work on growing your audience.

Not sure how to do that? Check out last month’s blog series about the different methods you can employ to grow your network of fans and potential clients — both on and offline! (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

2)   You get traffic, but no sales

Did you know that most people need exposure to a product or idea at least six times before they’ll make a purchase?

If good traffic but no sales is the issue, either your visitors haven’t been exposed enough to your work, or it’s just too difficult for them to make a purchase.

Give your fans a reason to regularly check in! Think about creating a blog or vlog and posting quality content on a regular basis. Make sure you’re using clear calls to action in your newsletter and social media posts. Let your followers know there’s exciting stuff on your site and that you want them to visit!

Also make it obvious that your work can be purchased and give details about how to start the buying process, whether that’s contacting you, visiting an online shop, contacting a gallery, etc. If an interested client can’t find answers quickly, they won’t keep searching — don’t make them jump through hoops! 

On this note, you might enjoy reading my related article "You only need 3 things to make a living selling your art"

3)   You get plenty of traffic and some sales, but not as many as you’d like

So you’re getting visitors to your site… but they’re still not taking that next step. Remember my spiel about Google Analytics? This is where having that information is very helpful… it can tell you where your visitors are coming from, what pages they’re reading, how long they’re staying, and when they’re leaving.

Analyzing this data can tell you a lot about how user-friendly and optimized your site really is. Are you using sharp, well-lit images that compliment your artwork? How quickly does your site load? Are your menus and site structure easy to understand? Are there appropriate CTAs in place, and have you designed each page with a clear idea of what you want your visitor to do next?

Also make sure you’re communicating your personality and brand values effectively. High traffic but no sales often means your visitors aren’t making an emotional connection to you and your work.

While you’re in evaluation mode, try asking a few people who are new to your website if you can watch while they interact with your pages and content. This is a great way to get candid feedback about your site and discover what’s working and what’s not.
 

Did you notice what I didn’t say was a problem? Your website platform! Many artists think their issues will magically go away if they move from one type of website (like Wordpress) to another (like Squarespace).

If you’re thinking about making a switch, you probably don’t need to. Growing your audience, posting interesting content that is aligned with your brand, and making your website user-friendly rarely depends on the platform you’re using. So don’t waste time designing a brand new website – focus on your marketing strategy instead.

Which of these website issues are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments!

Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and  find the support + community you need!

2 Comments

PART 3: Get more eyes on your artwork! The power of partnership

Comment

PART 3: Get more eyes on your artwork! The power of partnership

(Note: this is part three of a three part series on growing your audience. Click here to read the first installment and here to read the second!)

Hello artrepreneur!

If you’ve been following along with the last two articles, you’ll know that I’ve been publishing a series on different strategies for growing your audience and increasing engagement.

I can’t stress enough how important it is for every creative entrepreneur to pay attention to this part of their business.

Yes — it’s possible for a previously unknown artist to suddenly find themselves the center of attention after a post on Facebook or Reddit or some other platform suddenly goes viral. But, truthfully, it’s very unlikely.

Don’t wait around to be “discovered”… get yourself out there by creating a marketing strategy and then pat yourself on the back when all your hard work pays off!

Use partnership opportunities to reach new people

This method can be used concurrently with the other methods, or on its own. It’s actually my favorite way to grow your audience because it doesn’t cost much and it’s a wonderful way to learn about your ideal collector and how others are growing their brands!

Partnership opportunities are everywhere. You might work with influencers, create an artists group with other creatives and cross-promote everyone’s content, participate in a group giveaway, collaborate with others to create new products… the possibilities for this are nearly endless!

Working with influencers or well-known brands can be done any number of ways.

One of my clients ended up working with an independent filmmaker, who featured some of her artwork in their movie. Another client, who creates Zen artwork, collaborates with other entrepreneurs who focus on clean, minimalist, mindful living – attracting yogis into her audience.

You might consider doing a “take over” on Instagram, where you post your content to the influencer’s stories for a day. You could even go so far as to have them take over your stories as well! Or host a Q&A for the influencer’s audience about why you do what you do and how you work.

Before proposing a partnership, take some time to consider what you bring to the table.

How does your artwork (or creative product) benefit your potential partner’s audience, and why is the partnership a good fit? What ideas do you have for what your collaboration might look like? And what are the benefits and end goal, both for you and your partner?

If you find yourself struggling with self-worth and worry about the value you have to add, then I recommend that you read my post on "How do you find buyers for your art". 

While youre looking for opportunities to promote your work, dont forget about plain old PR…

Have a good press release in your backpocket and reach out to local news organizations, magazines, and other media organizations to see if what you have to offer and what they need might be a good fit. On your end, that might be an unique and interesting story for their publication, willingness to share your expertise in an interview or a self-written article, or an agreement to do some sort of creative work for them.

Remember that many of these collaborations only manifest after you’ve invested some time in the relationship. As long as you’re willing to make it a win-win for everyone, partnerships have lots of potential and can help you grow your audience very quickly!

I hope this series has been useful for you. If you missed part one, about growing your audience organically, or part two, about when you should start paying to attract new fans, make sure you go back and read those for some other great tips.

If you could pick any influencer or brand, what would your dream partnership look like, and what would the outcome be? Let me know in the comments!

Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and  find the support + community you need!

 

 

 

 

 

Comment

PART 2: Get more eyes on your artwork! When should you pay to reach new fans?

1 Comment

PART 2: Get more eyes on your artwork! When should you pay to reach new fans?

(Note: this is part two of a three part series on growing your audience. Click here to read the first instalment and here for part three.)

If you want to have a successful art business, you need to have a fan base that follows you and your work, and most importantly, buys your work from you.

Without paying clients, you don’t have a business, you have an expensive hobby. It’s as simple as that.

But how to go about growing an audience and getting people to pay attention to your work? I know that this can feel like a daunting project. That's why in this series of posts, I’m talking about three different strategies you can use to get more eyes on your artwork to increase your sales!

Pay to play with a bigger audience

In the last post, I talked about how you can grow your audience organically. That method requires time and effort though, and eventually you’ll either run out of “free” time, or you’ll want to start targeting new audiences. Either to continue growing your numbers, or for a specific purpose (like a sale or an upcoming gallery show).

At that point, it makes sense to approach your audience strategy differently. You might decide to pay for ads (sometimes called sponsored content), creating and managing them yourself. Or, you might decide to hire someone else to create content, post, and possibly run ads for you.

Ads are a huge advantage if youre trying to cut through the “noise.” Depending on how they’re set up and what audience characteristics the ads target, your content will usually show up in front of people who have interacted with you before, or new people who like similar things (and therefore might like your work!).

Hiring a social media manager can be expensive, but doing that also frees you up to do other things (like make art!).

Just make sure you spend time checking out their credentials, seeing what other kind of work they’ve done, and what kind of results they’ve gotten for their clients.

Sometimes a social media manager will just clean up your feed and then help update it regularly. If they have marketing or ads expertise, they might create a social media strategy, or run ad campaigns for you.

Paying for this kind of exposure usually makes your audience grow pretty quickly, but a word of caution: it’s very important to create a strategy before you whip out your checkbook – otherwise you’ll find yourself spending a whole lot of money for very little return on your investment. (See "3 Tips to Help You Set Yourself Up For Success" for some help with this)

And not only do you want to plan how you’re going to attract new followers, you also want to figure out how youre going to keep them engaged and interested in your content.

There’s no point in getting lots of new followers only to have them ignore you! It boosts your numbers and looks good, but if they’re not visiting, commenting, sharing, and buying from you, then you are no better off than you were before.

I know that there is so much more to say on this topic, but I will stop here for today (let me know if you have any more specific questions on the topic). In my next post, I will share a completely different strategy to find new fans – one that most artists don’t think of! In the meantime, if you missed the last post on growing your audience, click here to read it!

Have you considered running ads or hiring someone to manage your media feeds? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!

Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and  find the support + community you need!

1 Comment

PART 1: Get More Eyes on Your artwork & Grow Your Following with these 3 Strategies

6 Comments

PART 1: Get More Eyes on Your artwork & Grow Your Following with these 3 Strategies

Note: This post is the first of a 3-part blog post series. Click here to read part 2, and here for part three

Let me ask you something… if you posted pictures of your work to Instagram or Facebook every day, but never, ever got a like, a nice comment, or a message in return, would you keep on posting? You might not want to, and I get that. You’re not alone in feeling that way.

But heres the thing: if youre serious about building a sustainable art business (and I think you are, otherwise you wouldnt be here) then its important to build a quality, engaged audience.

It doesn’t matter if you get positive responses or not. If you only post to get comforting, reassuring responses, then you’re not really growing your business. You’re really just posting to feed your ego!

But feeding your ego doesn’t put food in your belly. Nice responses can’t be traded for heat and water, clothes, or new art supplies!

A quality, engaged audience is made up of people who really want to see your artwork, interact with your posts, and most importantly: buy from you.

Even if your goal is to show and sell your work through art galleries, you still need to work on this aspect of your marketing. Galleries love it when they can see that people react positively to your work and there’s already an interested market.

Unfortunately, far too many artists post and post, but get no reactions and become discouraged. They give up... and thats a huge mistake.

So let’s talk about ways to increase your audience numbers and get them to interact with you.

How to grow your audience organically

Organic – meaning unpaid – growth doesn’t cost money upfront, but it does mean you need to invest quite a bit of your time. To be successful, you need to consistently post quality content and encourage follower engagement.

Engagement drives your audience growth. If the algorithms see people responding and commenting – good or bad! – then your content is shown to other people.That’s just how social media works.

Think about what kind of content resonates with your ideal audience. Maybe that’s showing off your final pieces, your artistic process, or inspiration you find during the day. There are also plenty of options for the type of content you post… pictures, video, podcasts… you name it!

Consider creating a content posting schedule.

Avoid the feast-or-famine approach where you are silent for months and then suddenly post 8 updates in a row.

First of all, people get annoyed when their feeds are suddenly filled one person’s posts. Second, you run the risk of losing their interest by the time you get around to posting again. Posting good content consistently – whether that’s once a week or once a month – lets your audience know what to expect.

The next challenge is getting eyes on your content and strategies differ for each platform.

For example, you might use relevant hashtags on Instagram or Twitter, but keywords on Pinterest. It’s important to make (and tweak!) your strategy so you aren’t posting for no reason.

Don’t just assume people will come to you though – you need to go out and meet them! Try following hashtags on Instagram that are relevant to your work, and then comment on other peoples posts. Join Facebook groups of people who match your target audience. Join conversations with something interesting to say. By connecting with others, you’ll create a community of people who want to follow you.

Finally, consider how to motivate interaction with your own posts.

The more engaged your audience is, the greater your reach becomes, and your numbers start building on themselves.

There’s plenty of ideas out there – ask questions about their likes and dislikes, for opinions about photos (black and white or color!), make them laugh… the ultimate goal is to give them a reason to comment or share! Use clear calls to action to let your fans know what you want them to do. And don’t forget to respond to comments people leave for you!

Organic growth is often slow, but hard work will make this method pay off.

I have two more strategies I want to talk about, but I didn’t want this post to get too long. In my next post, I’m talking about paying to increase your reach, and how to make the most of this approach.

What is one thing you could implement today to organically grow your audience? Let me know in the comments!

Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and  find the support + community you need!

6 Comments

Make your work STAND OUT at your next art fair

4 Comments

Make your work STAND OUT at your next art fair

Preparing for any type of art exhibition, art fair, or studio show is nerve-wracking for most artists – no matter how many times they’ve done it before! I regularly receive questions about setting up the space, choosing which art pieces to display, and how to interact with potential fans or clients who come to visit.

Well, I just returned from Artexpo New York – an art fair where both galleries and independent artists showcase and sell their work to collectors and market influencers – and it was such a fantastic learning experience. Not only did I get to meet some of my online clients in person and discover new artists, I also got to check the current pulse of the art market and preview emerging trends.

At the same time, I pick up information and notice things that can benefit YOU!

So today, I want to share three lessons I learned from the Expo about effectively showcasing your art and interacting with potential clients at a showcase event.

Less is always more

Every artist I’ve talked to struggles with deciding how many pieces of art to display. This is definitely a circumstance where fewer pieces make a bigger impact!

The best booths at the Artexpo were the ones where I could step inside and still breathe. There was plenty of white space around each piece, giving me a chance to appreciate and absorb the artwork without being distracted by other pieces.

The takeaway: It’s your artwork aesthetic that attracts visitors to your booth – but they won’t have a chance to appreciate that aesthetic if you don’t let each of your pieces make an individual statement.

There’s no need to display every piece you’ve ever made. It is far more important to display a consistent body of work so that visitors recognize your style and aesthetic later on, even after the fair is over.

It’s a good rule of thumb to maintain ⅓ of your overall wall space as white space around the artwork. So if you know how much wall space you have, you can compare that to the total coverage of the artwork you want to display, and add or drop pieces accordingly.

Engage your visitors, don’t overwhelm them

There is a fine line between engaging visitors in a conversation about your artwork and sounding desperate to make a sale.

Too many artists didn’t know when to stop talking. They offered to make the piece in other sizes, colours, or mediums, or talked about other pieces they had available – without me asking or having a chance to enjoy their artwork in the first place! It was kind, but completely overwhelming.

The takeaway: First, DO greet EVERYONE who visits your booth. Say hello, present your work and let people know what is interesting about it, but dont ramble on and on.

I’ve mentioned before that no one wants to be the first one to buy from you. So don’t talk about what you can do for them, talk about what you have done before. This gives legitimacy to you and your work.

Finally, don’t eat or sleep at your booth. (Yes, I saw this happen!) It looks incredibly unprofessional and you just don’t know when the smell of your chili cheese fries will cause a potential client to avoid your booth altogether. Get a friend or family member to take over while you refuel or run to the bathroom.

Show genuine interest in the person you’re talking to

My best conversations were with artists who were engaging AND interested in who I was and my interests. Although I started off by asking questions about their artwork, the artist would quickly shift the conversation to me… asking who I was, where I was from, what I do, etc.

This kind of conversation isn’t nosy, it’s about learning what the person in front of you likes, dislikes, and what they’re likely to connect with. The better your emotional connection with a visitor, the more likely they are to walk away with a piece of your work, sign up for your mailing list, and continue following your progress.

I did end up buying a piece over the weekend – not because I felt pressured, but because the artist took the time to discover my interests and then left me alone to make a connection with his work.

The takeaway: If you’re using a one-size-fits-all sales pitch, your chances of connecting with the person standing in front of you is very low. After your introduction, ask them a few questions about themselves, and then leave them be. While it’s important to stay alert for any questions they might have, it’s also critical not to hover and let them commune with your work on their own terms.

Whether you’re preparing for an art fair, a group or solo show, or any other kind of exhibition,  these are all good tips to keep in mind. Keep your display simple, your conversation light, and remember it’s not all about you!

If you liked this post, you’ll also like the one I wrote a while back about my experience at Art Basel in Miami Beach!

Want to increase your sales and grow your creative business? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "7 Steps to Increase Your Sales Cheat Sheet" and get a proven method to create a simple yet effective plan that will lead you to getting more sales in your creative business. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and  find the support + community you need!

4 Comments

3 Tips to Help You Set Yourself Up for Success

1 Comment

3 Tips to Help You Set Yourself Up for Success

Wow, it’s been an exciting couple of weeks here at The Artist Entrepreneur HQ!! I’m so grateful for the new cohort of talented and driven artists who have joined The LAB and who are ready to take their business and life to the next level.

I know you are committed to growing your art practice (otherwise you probably wouldn’t be following me) so I thought that today, I would share with you three simple steps to help you set yourself up for success this spring!!

Yes, it’s already spring! Hopefully, this new season is inspiring you to take action and reach new heights in your art business.

Here it goes…

1) Visualize your desired outcomes.

I’ve noticed that when I talk about goal setting, many of you get back to me saying you’ve tried and failed at it BIG TIME. I’m always surprised to hear that, because there is no winning or losing at goal setting, it’s merely a tool to help you stay focused on your end-game and inform your decision-making process. If this is you, then I suggest you practice letting go of judgment when you do this exercise and instead focus on your desired outcomes.

Get started by setting a date, let’s say June 30 for the sake of this convo, and picture yourself on journaling about your progress and wins over the last three months. What is making you proud? What happened in your business that moved the needle? Get clear on 1, 2 or 3 (no more please) desired outcomes for the next 90-days, write those down and put them somewhere you can see them every day.

2) Identify your gaps.

Visualizing and writing down your desired outcomes will take you so far. You’ll also need to take action on them. So what’s been keeping you from taking action in the past? Is it because you lacked strategy or training? (If you said yes to this, then make sure to read until the end because my surprise is for you.) Is it because you need accountability? Is it because you keep self-sabotaging yourself every time there is a chance you’ll get closer to the success that you want? Be honest with yourself and figure out what’s been missing from the equation and commit to taking the necessary steps to fill in the gaps that are keeping you from reaching new heights.

3) Focus on what you control.

When you get down to it, there are only two things that we control, what we do and what we think, and those are the only two things we should focus on, period. Why waste any energy on things we can’t control? It’s the most efficient way to lose your motivation and entrepreneurial mindset! If you notice that you tend to find a bunch of reasons why things won’t work for you, then go back to your desired outcomes and identify one thing you can do to get closer to the results that you want today, and take action.

It’s as simple as that.

I hope this post has motivated you to set yourself up for success this spring! Now that I’ve given you tips and tools, the rest is up to you!!

What will success look like for you this spring?

With love,

Catherine

Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and  find the support + community you need!

1 Comment

Want to make a real impact and grow your art business in 2018?  Here’s what you should consider…

2 Comments

Want to make a real impact and grow your art business in 2018? Here’s what you should consider…

Saying that the art market has dramatically changed over the last 10 years is a considerable understatement. Although it used to be that getting representation and the freedom to just focus on creating art was the holy grail of an artist’s career, that just isn’t the reality of today.

While I know and work with artists who have representation, sometimes by multiple galleries, I also know that the number of sales they get from that representation keeps shrinking.

That’s why now, more than ever, artists need to consider these 3 trends if they want to “make it” in the ever-evolving industry that is the fine art market.

#1. The retail crisis we are presently experiencing is also affecting art galleries, which means they will continue to close and consolidate locations in 2018.

As a contemporary art lover, this makes me sad. Although I strongly encourage artists to take action in their business and not wait for a gallery to represent them, I still feel that galleries have a role to play in the art market.

However, too many galleries don’t know (or don’t want) to adapt to the new reality of online sales.

They want to continue with their old ways, ignoring the fact that worldwide online art market sales reached an estimated $3.75 billion in 2016, up 15% from 2015 (according to the Hiscox Online Report), and this trend is growing faster each year.

So here is your opportunity to shine!

Artists don’t have the baggage, overhead, and the “we’ve always done things this way” attitude that’s costing galleries right now.

You are lean, mean, and creative, and you have the advantage here.

You can easily shift your strategy and adapt to new market realities, and use the tools at your disposal, such as the internet, to sell your art.

But selling online isn’t as easy as setting up an online shop and hoping “if you build it, they will come.” You’ll need a robust business strategy, a strong implementation plan, and a growth-oriented mindset to make it happen.

#2. Artists who are making it on the internet know that their personal branding is now more important than ever.

Serious collectors are browsing Instagram, looking for art and that “next great artist.” This means that you need to make sure you are bringing your A-game to the table.

Collectors want to invest in work by artists who not only create remarkable art, but who also have a brand that stands out, a track record of consistent sales, and who also heighten the collectors’ credibility as art buyers.

On that note, brands and businesses are also using social media and the Web to see what artists are doing and develop collaborations.

These brand partnerships can lead to new income opportunities, heighten visibility, and open up new market segments.

Which leads to the third trend I want to share with you…

#3. Developing new streams of income through partnerships and collaborations is going to be key to artists success in 2018.

The art world is going through a huge transition. Artists who are willing to be innovative and see the present turmoil as an opportunity, not a threat, are those who will emerge successfully when things correct themselves, because they’ll have set solid foundations for their businesses.

As the saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.” Too often we wish we’d started working toward a goal, invested in a project, or started saving for a lifetime opportunity years ago. Don’t waste one more second thinking about what could have been. Instead, choose to invest in something that’s guaranteed to give you a return this year: YOU.

Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and  find the support + community you need!

2 Comments