Connection. It’s the one common foundation for genuinely successful artists. If you’re not building relationships with your clients, you may find yourself quickly fizzling out like so many Instagram or Facebook trends. When you really start making those connections, you’ll be laying the groundwork for people to be interested enough in your work that they’ll want to buy it and refer it to others. And that, my friends, is when the real magic happens for an artist.
People connect with other people. It doesn’t happen through price or size or just because you happen to be there. They connect because what you’re doing resonates in their heart. Sometimes, it’s so deep, they might not even realize there's something visceral taking place when they see your art. Or when they interact with you. Or when they hear your story. Or see the way you create.
Tell Your Story
The most important thing an artist needs to do to start to build connections is to authentically tell your story. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You thought this was about finding clients and I’m making it all about you. But if you aren’t able to genuinely share your journey, you reduce yourself and your art to a commodity.
Being a commodity reduces your work to the lowest common denominator. Your work becomes a color match to a sofa or a budget meeting price point. However, once that connection is made, the price becomes somewhat irrelevant. Utilizing social media, your website, interviews, podcasts, and any other type of marketing to get your story out there is the best thing you can do to make yourself shine.
Be Authentically You
Personally, this happened for me through commissioned works. I would go on to people’s property, choose materials from their surroundings and create them something one of a kind. That was special to people. It created a very personalized service they couldn’t find elsewhere. People are willing to pay a lot of money for that. Because it’s unique, it’s different, and it’s authentically me.
Now, there is more to the equation than simply telling your story. You also have to listen. What are people saying when they come into a gallery or exhibition? What kind of comments are you getting on your social media? Listen for the parts of your story that are resonating with people, once you know where that connection point is, you can focus on pursuing more within that context, enabling people to connect with you on an even deeper level.
That’s not manipulation. That’s not being inauthentic. That’s celebrating the things people love about you. The place where doing what you love meets what your clients resonate with is your sweet spot. It’s there you’ll discover the opportunity to build a great business and develop a really beautiful niche overtime. That’s how you build a brand that lasts.
I hope this has been a big encouragement to you. If this article has been a blessing to you, take a moment to share it with a friend.
Thanks for reading!
Matt Tommey is a world-class sculptor, speaker and author who is passionate about helping artists to thrive spiritually, financially and creatively.