As an artist, you want to pursue your passion for art, and express yourself in the studio. If you sell your work, you are also a businessperson, so you must nurture and grow business relationships in order to be successful.
How can you grow your business relationships?
– The most basic element of relationships is trust – business associations as well as friendships depend on it. Establishing trust early, and making integrity a core concept of your business is essential if you want to develop your art business.
– Presenting your work professionally gets you taken seriously, and this should be a cornerstone of your marketing. Your display, photography, website and marketing materials should all make an excellent presentation of your work. When artists skip or skimp on this, they look like amateurs. Potential customers may wonder if you are really in business, or will be for long.
– Meeting your customer in person puts a face on your relationships. This is why artist appearances, retail and wholesale shows are so important. Make eye contact and offer a warm handshake to let others know you are serious and confident. Nervous about making that appearance? Do it anyway. The more you step outside your comfort zone, the larger that zone will become.
– Ongoing contact with your customers creates relationships. This is why follow up is so crucial. Get to know your gallery owners and buyers as people as well as clients, and you will become memorable to them. This can lead to referrals, getting testimonials and repeat orders.
– Thoughtful customer service drives relationships. Go the extra mile, even when you are not asked. This type of activity can really cement relationships. Serving your customer is a privilege – they keep you in business.
– Listening is a key component in relationships. There is probably nothing more effective in building relationships than taking a genuine interest in others.
What actions are you taking in your art business to establish that trust with potential clients?
What ongoing business practices do you use to maintain trust?
How are you demonstrating your trust in others?