Bang! Pop! Pow!
Is that the sound of July 4th fireworks I hear? Or is your art business on fire?
I would love to hear that it’s your business – that you are Hot – Hot – Hot for what you have to share with the world.
If you’re only hearing fireworks outside your walls and not inside your head and heart, there are four things you should do – and keep doing – to ignite the passion for your art business.
©Frances Vettergreen, One Hundred. Oil and wax on panel, 36 x 36 inches. Used with permission.
1. Embrace your role as CEO.
When you decide you want to earn money as an artist, you are no longer just making art. You are building a business.
As soon as you accept your role as CEO of your art business, you will experience a dramatic shift in mindset. You will understand that your talent is bigger than you. It’s the basis for a dialogue you were intended to have with the world.
Along with this comes the responsibility of ensuring that your business is run professionally andprofitably.
What’s not to get excited about?
2. Schedule something big – with a deadline.
Everyone who owns a business needs something to look forward to. We want to experience the momentum resulting from a new venue, an open studio, or a commission.
Without events and deadlines on your calendar, you risk wasting time on Facebook or neglecting your studio work.
Don’t wait for things to happen to you. Create your own opportunities! OWN them!
3. Use your list.
You didn’t work so hard to get all of those names and let them rot in cyber-storage. Use your list!
People signed up to hear from you. If they haven’t heard from you in awhile, they’ll think one of three things:
- You aren’t doing anything worth sharing.
- Your business is too disorganized to get a message together.
- You don’t care enough about them.
Or, worse, they’ll forget about you altogether.
Staying in touch with your list is a major component of your dialogue with the world.They are your community. Sharing with them and listening to their responses is rocket fuel for your art career.
Create a plan to use your list regularly and then do it!
4. Follow up with people.
Pay attention to signals. Opportunities are often abundant if you listen and act on them.
Did you catch that condition at the end of the sentence? You have to act on the opportunities.
If someone says they like your work, do you just accept the compliment and move on? Or do you ask if they’d like to be on your mailing list and receive an invitation to your next event? Or invite them to your studio to see more?
I’ll bet that lack of follow-up is one of the biggest mistakes artists make. I don’t think it’s because you are lazy or too busy.
I would guess that most artists don’t follow-up because of fear. There are fears that the opportunity will be too overwhelming, or that nothing will come of it.
Neither of these is an acceptable reason for avoiding follow-up. You might be busy right now, but you never know when the well will run dry.
And if the opportunity leads to a dead-end, so what? At least you will have taken the chance.
If you don’t follow up, you’ll always wonder, “What if . . .?” or “If only I had . . . “ Nothing takes the sizzle out of your momentum like regret.