Art businesses can be such an emotional roller coaster. It is, I believe, the most vulnerable type of business around.
Make a thing that represents who you are, what you’re thinking in the moment and then lay it out for strangers to look at, judge and hopefully buy. It’s kind of like holding out your heart in your hands and asking for random feedback.
And we all know who LOVES to give feedback. (Hint: they live under bridges and are total jerks.)
But, it doesn’t have to be like this. With a few systems set up in place, you can remove your emotional vulnerability from the equation so that you get things done.
I’m not talking about making you into a robot, as cool as that might be, but shifting your mindset a little bit outside of your art creation.
For example, if you want to sell your work, and you’re scared to post it online with a price and ask for sales, then this emotional state will prevent you from doing what needs to be done. Every moment of marketing will feel like you’re being stripped raw and let’s face it, humans don’t generally enjoy being in any kind of pain so you’re going to end up avoiding the very things you need to be doing.
The first thing you need to know is that it’s impossible to be objective about your art. You created it. It has special meaning. Ideally you put your heart and soul into it.
But, your journey with your art, ends when you finish the piece. It’s like raising kids, you want them to grow up and leave home because that was the intention behind having them in the first place. Go out in the world and do good.
You can love your art, and you should(!!!), but you should take one emotional step back from your art once it’s done otherwise selling it will be a nightmare.
Next up, you’re going to turn your mindset around marketing from feeling vulnerable into doing a job.
So let’s set up some priorities so that you can create the sexy AF art business you dream of. You know, the one that not only pays your rent but also gives you the freedom to go on vacation, work from anywhere and feel really amazing when you don’t have to choose between food and canvas.
Priority #1 every work day is to spend time in the studio. If you aren’t making, you will quickly go stagnant. It’s the easiest way to level up your skills, and also have things to sell. Work on art that is driven by you. This isn’t client work unless your business is solely client work.
Priority #2 every day is to work on your business. In this case, it would be marketing actions. Social media posts. Videos. Sharing. Building your audience.
If you are also looking to show locally, this would be the time you’d be making connections with local venues to show your work. Don’t settle for one show, make sure you’re booked in for a show every month of the year. Become the most widely known artist in your area — everywhere people go, there you are.
Priority #3 would be to work on client related work. So, if you take commissions, do the commissions. Answer client emails. Close sales.
If you don’t do commissions, but do have shows going on, this would be when you do your show related prep work.
If you’re like me and you prefer to batch things out, then set aside one day per week or per month to plan your marketing activities. I know, reading this it can feel like you suddenly have so much to do now each day but the reality is, some activities take less time than you think.
The thing is, when you lay out your daily and weekly priorities, art starts feeling like a job. Hopefully not in the making of it, there should still be the alignment and the zone, but definitely in everything else surrounding your business.
You aren’t some loser begging for someone’s attention, you are a business adding value not only to the venues you’re contacting for shows (if you choose to) but you’re adding value to your fans and followers lives by sharing your work and giving them an opportunity to buy.
Make sure you claim your power when it comes to selling. Show up like a business, wearing that mental mantle, and you will so rock this.
Paula Mould is a fine artist, published author and business coach for Leigh & Paula. They emancipate artists from sitting under the doctrine of the gatekeepers who keep them chained to a life of failure and starvation. She also swears, mostly on purpose.
Their book, Sell MORE Art is now available on Amazon worldwide.