The business of Fine Art can be tough, but it is even tougher if you can't tell people what you do.
Imagine meeting someone in an elevator who asks what you do for a living. "I'm an artist." "Oh, ok. Cool." That's the end of the conversation, right? You give them nothing to follow up on, no intrigue, no specifics. No sales leads.
When salesman learn their craft, they are taught to simply continue the conversation. If the conversation ends, they lose the sale. If they keep it going, their chances increase dramatically. That is what I want you to learn to do.
Instead of, "I'm an artist", we are going to put together a quick few sentences that will draw in your new acquaintance. Maybe they aren't particularly interested in what you do, but they know someone you just HAVE to meet. Networking is a powerful thing!
If they do seem interested, handing them a business card with a link to your online portfolio is a great way to stay fresh in their minds. Ask for their email address so you can send them some images if you are feeling confident. Don't forget... always try to continue the conversation.
I am a _______ who creates _________...
Easy, peasy right? If not, it is time to give this some serious thought! You wouldn't open a store-front business without knowing what it is you are going to sell, would you? (If you would, we have a lot of work ahead, but don't give up!)
PRO TIP: Not everyone understands art lingo. Have a backup speech prepared for those folks using descriptive language instead of jargon.
If you don't know who you are creating for, see How to Choose Your Genuine Target Market. This step may require some decision making, but will make your elevator speech 100% more effective. Don't get too stressed about this. You are allowed to change it later.
(I am a _____ who creates_____)... for ___________.
This is the hardest of the steps, but can easily be the most compelling. Your "why" can be just about anything. Think about it as a random fact you would share about your business in a "get to know you" game. The more interesting, the better.
If you just can't come up with anything, revisit How to Choose Your Genuine Target Market, and brainstorm what your audience might be interested in. If they are awed by anyone with artistic abilities, maybe you can create packages of matching art for them. If they are activists, maybe it is a donation to their cause. If they are computer nerds, maybe you integrate social media.
You could put together any combination of the above examples, but here are the ones I chose to illustrate my point.
Jessica's college experience was spent falling in love with getting her hands dirty. She showed her paintings at art galleries all over the city, but kept waiting to "make it". After the galleries took 30-50%, she would never be able to pay the bills. Determined to learn where she was going wrong, she took a job at a marketing firm where she managed over 50 projects at a time for three years, then ran her own web design company for the next three. Combining all of her unique skills, she opened The Artist Market Co. to teach artists techniques to create a thriving online business from their craft.
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