Many artists and crafters, me included, are very shy. Our art is a way of expressing thoughts and emotions which are often too complex to be explained logically; an artist can never really explain their inspiration. We all hope that once you experience our work, it will evoke some of that emotion in you but inspiration and translation is a post for another day…
Today, I’d like to talk about marketing. For me, this is the most excruciating part of the process – I have made this beautiful thing and want the world to know all about it. To do that, I must tell the world that it exists.
Where do you find the world? OUT in the BIG BAD WORLD!!
Somewhat confusing isn’t it? To me, any place outside my flat is uncomfortable; I love being at home. However, that is completely at odds with experiencing what nourishes my soul. I love looking at and taking in the swathes of riotous colour in a garden of exotic flowers. I love the movement and control in the body of a dancer. I love goosebumps and spine-tingling emotion aroused by an operatic aria. All these things happen outside my home. They all inspire me and I know that their impact is more potent when experienced naturally and not through TV. Even then, I have never been to the opera!
I was in my second year of university when I bawled like a baby all the way home, after my lecturer announced he had moved me to a new coursework group. I had never spoken to or noticed these people before and it was as distressing a time for me as any I can recall in my teens. But failure was not an option, so rather than wait for them to approach me, I wrote a draft essay which I presented to them the next week. What an ice-breaker! We went on to work together all year and earn good grades.
In much the same way, it is easier to sell an idea or product, when you meet your buyer face to face. Things that are not fully transmitted via email and telephone – the beauty of a product, passion, commitment, confidence, calm urgency, and a general ‘feel’ of the person you are dealing with, can be exploited. This is one of the reasons why most artists will not make it. Not only is it ridiculously difficult to meet decision makers face to face, many won’t even try. I have been tempted to stick to doing nothing more than send emails but my most fruitful interactions have been face-to-face meetings and this has completely changed my perspective. Plus, it gets easier the each time.
So, you see, it’s not about what you can and cannot do, it’s about changing your perspective.
A quote I read recently, comes to mind. ‘Marketing, is nothing more than an extension of your creativity so don’t be afraid to go out and express your art’. Being told ‘No’ is an integral part of business. Not everyone you meet or approach will want what you are offering. That is no reason to hide behind your computer. Get out and be creative about selling your creations. If a situation does not work for you, turn things around so you work for it.
On that note, I am off to make a few calls and send a few emails.
We’ll leave the visits for another day. It’s Friday and the weather’s miserable. I wouldn’t want to talk to me right now, no matter how great the idea is!!