Why do so many artists dread the idea of selling and business? Some look at selling as stressful and distasteful. Is it because of the greedy stigma attached to some sales people?
When many think of selling, the used car salesman comes to mind. In television and movies this person is represented as a dealer and manipulator. He is sometimes depicted as the con artist who uses his verbal skills to swindle people into buying, without being entirely truthful.
Should artist’s try to do the same? I think NOT! Selling art should be approached in a completely different way from selling products. There is no reason selling art should be stressful to anyone. If it is approached in the right way, selling art can actually be fun and joyful!
Here are some tips to avoid stress and having fun while selling your art.
Shift the Focus to Having Fun Instead of SellingWherever you have your art on display, take the focus from trying to sell to just enjoying the experience and having fun.
Make new friends and connections. Learn what works and what doesn’t. Above all, ENJOY yourself!
John Minarcik shares his experience with us:
My wife and I had our first show this past weekend. It was a wonderful way to start the new show season. Great turn out, pretty good weather and a lot of interest in our work. I also meet some great people (always do at shows) one woman in particular. Very nice young lady, all stressed out because it was her first show. She was in the booth next to us.
We started talking and it became obvious she was so stressed that she was having a miserable time. After talking a bit I gave her my world famous words of wisdom. RELAX. I told her that her mood is always evident to people, never have a desperate look to yourself. That is the best way to spend all day and sell nothing.
She was a good student, she changed her jacket, put on a smile and started talking to people about everything except selling her work (great move) I will never forget the look on her face when she made her first sale of the day. It was priceless. The rest of her day was spent walking on air as you could imagine.
She ended up making many more sales for the day and probably flew home instead of driving. Selling 101, have fun no matter what.
Fun is contagious and can be profitable.
Be patient and persistentSelling art takes time, especially for learning how to connect with people.
John Minarcik also adds this bit of wise advice:
I have found out that being an artist takes a thick skin. I was in outside sales for 10 years, so hearing the word NO provided me with an opportunity not a closed door. ALL PAINTINGS, provided they are technically sound will sell.
The trick is finding your people. I have been to shows where I can not get anyone to even look at my art let alone buy, then I go to a show where I have tremendous interest.
Be patient, persistent and keep painting, you and your people will eventually meet.
Focus on givingAs artists, we should focus on what we can give to others instead of what we can get out of a sale. Of course I don’t mean to give away artworks. I mean explaining to others what your art is about, and helping them understand it. As artists, we provide a service. We bring beauty to the world and enhance our cultures. We must explain our art to people and show it has real value to society or to an individual.
Of course, this takes practice. But, learning to GIVE instead of SELL can actually lead to more art sales!
Learn from Mistakes and GrowNo one gets things right the first time. Consider everything as a learning experience. There will be good days and bad days.
But if you learn from mistakes and grow, the days with more sales will begin to outweigh the days with none.
Make a Game out of Planning for EventsTurning your planning into a game will add to the fun factor, and lessen stress.
Write everything down and plan everything step by step.
Make easily obtainable goals and reward yourself when you achieve them.
Get help from others, such as family and friends, and make it a group effort.
Make selling art a fun and enjoyable experience!
Being an artist can be tough, but I do not think it should always be stressful. Use some of these tips to relieve yourself of stress, and put the FUN back into selling art!
Do you have any experiences to share similar to what John Minarcik shared with us?
What do you do to avoid stress and have fun selling art?