Build Your Business Relationships

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.


Trade Show Booth


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.


Dale Carnegie Quote


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?


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  1. I love that Dale Carnegie quote!! I believe it to be very true…a lot of men accuse me of asking too many questions, but i always say if i wan’t interested i wouldn’t ask. There are sooo many fun things to discover about your clients. This is how I’ve built lasting relationships with my clients…asking them about their lives…i already know about mine!!!

  2. great and agreed kathryn!
    i am actually enjoying chatting with my customers, they are always so fascinated when i share my making process with them, sometimes surprised i am open to letting my ‘secrets’ out…. this then usually leads to an initial bond, i can then ask about little thing about them and the ball gets rolling…. 🙂

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