Today I want to share with you some of the lessons I've learned since I made the conscious decision to be taken seriously as an artist and as a business owner. I think this advice can be taken by anyone who has ever started their own business or is even just thinking about it.
First things first, you have to start taking yourself seriously. This may come easy for many of you, but it was pretty tough for me! For a long time I didn't outwardly express how important I felt my job to be. Rather than describing the painting business I was saving every penny to start, it just felt easier when asked the question "What do you do?" to talk about the job at the daycare, the assistant marketing director position, the wine & paint parties instructor, or one of the other half dozen part time jobs I had. Each of those jobs were so simple to describe, while my painting business just felt out of focus, something I just didn't know how to talk about yet.
As I'm sure you've heard the phrase "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have" - I learned I had to express this same mentality when it came to talking about my business. So I made a few small changes. Starting with changing my email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. This forced me to talk to others about being an artist. This means anywhere that I would be getting an emailed receipt was an opportunity to talk about my business. Since then, I've shared my work with my doctors, with the bank tellers at Wells Fargo, the cashier at A.C. Moore, the dentist, the list goes on and on and on. At the beginning, I stumbled over my words which were somewhere along the lines of "I make paintings of whatever people want me to paint". But after a lot of practice, my statement has improved to be "I do mostly abstract and figurative work and custom paintings for peoples' homes and offices". This is when people start to take me more seriously and they ask where my work is displayed and I proudly give them my answers.
Changing your email and your website url to something that is simple and to the point is one of the easiest ways to brand to your business and make people take you seriously. Also when people ask about your business and seem genuinely interested - be sure to have a business card or postcard to share with them!
The second tip I'll leave you with, is the importance of asking for testimonials. The more positive statements you have written by others, the better your business will look and the more confidence you'll gain! Those positive words also look great on a business or postcard :)
Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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