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Improve your confidence so you can sell art

By Jessica Craddock

Oct 28

"So I have a teeny tiny mailing list, like 30 people," she said as she explained her marketing strategies during our first Engaging Social Posts class last week.

I immediately reared up, mama bear style. 

"Hey, that's not teeny tiny. That's great!! I am going to pound this into your head during our time together. Celebrate what you have done. Okay. Getting 30 people on a mailing list is not a small feat. That is awesome. Do you understand me?? I need a nod."

I feel so protective of my clients who have worked hard, but because they don't have the end result they want, they think it doesn't amount to anything.

What you've got to realize is, if you're always focusing on what you don't have, it'll take you ages longer to get what you want.

Think about it. You can come from two different starting places:

  • 1
    I have a teeny tiny mailing list. OR  
  • 2
    Thirty people want to hear what I have to say!
Which do you think you'll operate better from?

From the first, you'll send out fewer emails (if any), put minimal effort into the ones you do send, discount the people you have, and maybe even feel sorry for yourself. <— Not gonna make any sales from this place!

From the second, you'll feel motivated to send emails to your list, care about what you are saying, and value each of those thirty people and their needs/desires.

That's not to say I'm perfect... I occasionally go down that same rabbit hole. The trick is to notice and pull yourself back out. 

But how?

Confidence booster #1: Create an "already done" list. 

It's the exact opposite of a "to-do" list. On this list, you keep track of everything you have done. Every small accomplishment. Every big win. Every sweet thing someone says about your art or the way you manage your business… You get the idea. 

When you see yourself going down the "I'm not there yet" hole, pull out that list and see how many things you've actually done.

I bet six months ago, you didn't think you could do some of the items on that list. Now they're done and no big deal, right?

homework for an artist's online art business

Start your "have done" list by adding your first twenty bullet points. Pick one that would have been hard for you six months ago and take sixty seconds to feel proud of yourself for having already done it.

Want extra credit? Send me your list so I can celebrate with you! 

Don't even think about not sending it because the things on it don't feel big enough. If you need a boost in confidence, imagine me loudly emphasizing: "That is awesome. Do you understand me?? I need a nod."

Once upon a time, a follower told me they wanted to sell art because it would be a huge confidence booster. 

Truth be told, sometimes you need confidence before you can sell the art. 

If you're getting hung up about putting your latest piece in an email because it might not be good enough — how are you doing to sell it??

To build real, genuine confidence, use the past, present, and future to help you make a more complete transformation. In the last section, we talked about how to create a stockpile of confidence around what you've already done. Now we're working in the future, building your confidence so you can become who you want to be. 

For example, maybe you want to: 

  •  
    build a mailing list, which means you can start to plan your first online art event with a focused guest list
  •  
    or you're creating videos and posting them on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to reach a wider audience with less work

This confidence builder to do the things is in the form of a creative writing exercise. I've done this exercise with clients in the past to help them see where they want to go. When that vision gets clear, the ability to change is much more achievable.

homework for an artist's online art business

Write a journal entry as your future self. Include what you're doing, the results you're getting, and how you feel.

Here's how to do it:

  • Write as if you're six months in the future (any further might be too big of a leap to really envision it).
  • The more specific, the better.
  • Write in the present tense (as if you're there now).

As you begin to see your vision and feel the feelings, you'll be so jazzed that any lack of confidence to do the things will start melting away.

Sometimes the thing that’s between you and making a big sale is simple.

Emily wrote me two weeks ago about how impactful creating her “already done” list was. She said she’d been in negotiations with a potential client about the purchase of a large painting, figuring out how to ship it to him, and how to handle the issue of the shipping fees.

She said, "I was procrastinating about sending the next email because I was unsure about it, but typing this list made me do it and it felt so good."

A week later, she updated me again: "The client is fine with the shipping costs, and wants to go forward with the purchase of the painting!”

Having the confidence to do the thing made the difference between her putting off the email indefinitely versus sending it and making a large sale.

Let me make this clear... if confidence is holding you back from doing what’s most important, your sales will majorly suffer. 

But what if what’s most important is less obvious? Like you can’t put the pieces together of where you’re going wrong and why no one is buying?

homework for an artist's online art business

Grab your past "already done” list, your future self exercise, and a blank piece of paper. Put the blank paper in between the two exercises and label it “right now”. What is missing between what you’ve already done and where you want to go? Make a list of tasks you need to start/finish or skills you need to learn.

Sometimes finding the confidence to start is as simple as learning what you need to be doing right now. You might be surprised to discover that when you know your missing link, pushing the start button is much less intimidating. 

If you still can’t see that hole, I can help.  I've got three spots open every week to book a "More Consistent Sales" Strategy Call, where we'll get clear on your vision and learn the #1 thing that's personally stopping you from getting there. They go fast, grab yours by clicking here. 

Selling that large commission piece could be as simple as finding the confidence to send an email!

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Do the work & create your luck,

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About the Author

Jessica Craddock is a consultant for artist entrepreneurs who have started building their following online but haven’t figured who would buy their art. They’re tired of being all over the place and don’t know what to say or how to say it. She teaches them to work smarter and be “authentically them” so they can sell more through their website & spend their days creating beautiful things.

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