THE INSPIRATION PLACE PODCAST
It’s the Inspiration Place podcast with artist Miriam Schulman. Welcome to the Inspiration Place Podcast, an art world inside a podcast for artists, by an artist where each week we go behind the scenes to uncover the perspiration and inspiration behind the art. And now your host, Miriam Schulman.
Well, hey there my friend. It’s Miriam Schulman here, your curator of inspiration, and I’m bringing you a roundup of Artpreneur flash briefings for the week. So it’s almost time for Halloween, and I want to talk a little bit about fear. Fear, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not being able to keep up, fear of all the things that are standing in your way and might be sabotaging your success.
And if you’re ready to kick that starving artist result and mindset to the curb once and for all and learn to believe in your dreams, you’re in the right place. And my team and I have made something just for you. So in celebration of my book, which is coming to you, coming to bookstores very, very soon, we created the Artpreneur Accelerator.
It’s a brand new curated coaching experience based on the principles of my highly respected peer-reviewed book, Artpreneur that breaks down the five fundamentals for building a successful art business, including plans for production, profit prospecting, promotion, and productivity.
The best part is this experience does not cost thousands of dollars, it doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars. All you need to do, you guessed it, is purchase one book which costs less than 20 bucks because it’s a paperback. And then this life-changing experience is all yours as a special thank you gift.
To learn more about that, head on over to schulmanart.com/book. You can purchase a book from either an Indie bookshop if that’s your preference. You’ll just have to hold onto that order receipt, or you can purchase from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever you buy books and then enter the order number onto the page.
And in celebration of the book, I will be bringing you lots of tips, tricks, tidbits, and all kinds of stuff pulled directly from the book, which I’ll be sharing with you in this week’s Artpreneur flash briefings. So for that, stay tuned when you’re selling in person, body language matters.
In fact, I would even argue when you’re not selling in-person body language matters. One of the tricks that I learned when you are presenting on a masterclass is to act as if you are presenting in person, stand up, and take that power pose. Well, let’s talk about in-person selling for a moment. You do not want to be that artist sitting in the corner with a cup of coffee.
Coffee does help though, just don’t sit in the corner with it. Plan for a long day on your feet. When you stand and meet customers at eye level, you’ll project confidence and come across as more engaging. Some artists invest in director’s chair so they can be seated and still meet customers who come into their space at eye level.
On the other hand, don’t hover over prospects as that’s going to make you seem desperate and creepy. Most people will want to maintain a social distance that feels comfortable to them, but a good rule of thumb is four feet apart. However, if you notice that your customer is taking a step back, recognize that their social distance comfort may be greater than yours, especially given our years of social distancing for health reasons.
Or it could be that coffee breath from all that coffee we were discussing. You want to plan something for busying yourself inside your selling space while remaining engaged. So some good examples include adding pricing stickers to your newest inventory, and rearranging your display table.
And these busy tables should never be so engrossing, such as engaging with your phone that they might make your prospects feel as if you’re too busy for them. And that’s why I don’t do live painting demonstrations in my booth when I’m trying to sell.
I do know, by the way, some artists who pretend to do live painting demonstrations, they’ll basically bring a painting that’s 90% done to bring to their booth. That’s a good idea. And active listening, don’t interrupt your customer. Now I know this can be challenging if you get excited when you talk about your art. If you’re worried about forgetting what you want to ask them next, you can take notes during this conversation and write down your next question.
Also, make sure to keep your mouth closed while you’re listening so you don’t look like you’re about to interrupt them and say anything. This encourages your customers to keep talking. You’re listening to understand, so it doesn’t even matter if you forget what you wanted to say next. Making sales isn’t about what you say.
It’s not about convincing anyone. It’s always about listening. Hopefully knowing that your role is mostly to listen and ask questions while they do the talking will take the pressure off. Bad salespeople believe selling looks like this, “Hello, this is what I’m selling. It costs…” Whatever it costs, “Let me convince you now why you should get it.”
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, “Do you want to buy it?” Then they talk about their product and tell their customers how they should feel about it. Again, telling is not selling. After all, nobody wants to go to a party and have someone talk to them all night.
Most people prefer to be listened to. Instead, here’s what you want to do to prepare for your next sales event, draft a list of questions that lead your prospects to describe what they want. With this process, you can help them figure out why what you have is what they desire. And then just keep following up with clarifying questions.
You’re not questioning just to ask questions, you’re asking to lead them to something in your selling space or on your website that they would like, or perhaps to discover that what you offer isn’t for them after all. And that saves you time and effort. Once you’ve asked enough questions to understand them better, you might ask, “Is this similar to what you have in mind?”
Okay. Here’s why you should avoid auto-responders on social media and why you should never code a bot. Bots are no bueno. When you’re talking with people in your DMs, in your direct messages, be a human and for Pete’s sake, do not code a bot to do this for you. Nothing turns off a prospect faster than getting an automated message. And we can all tell when it isn’t real.
In fact, sometimes I’ve even been accused of my messages that are real, not being real because they are reusing the same canned response and they’re like, “What?” But each message needs to ask permission to take the next step in the conversation. I can’t stand it when marketers send me a three-paragraph direct message.
These are usually sent by their assistant and they’re pitching me on their products or their webinars. Listen, you don’t need to give your prospect all the information in one long message. For each prospect, just give them a little of what they need and then get them to give you permission to take the next step.
If you’re giving them all the information in one long message, this is the equivalent of walking into a department store and getting sprayed by perfume. Allow the conversations to evolve naturally using an authentic back and forth process just as you would respond to what they’re saying in real time.
What’s in a name? What’s in a name? Well, this could be a powerful tip to sell more art. Whether in person or online, introducing yourself is important. It really frustrates me when I go to flea markets and art fairs and even to restaurants, and the people who are waiting on me don’t introduce themselves.
Welcoming someone is just good manners. It also starts the conversation and you can learn why they’re there or why they’re following you if it’s on social media and perhaps how they found you. These details not only personalize your interactions, but also helps you understand what they need.
In addition, if you’re doing this on social media, most of these messaging apps will reward you for direct messaging your prospects by showing them more of your posts in their feeds. Okay. Well, if you liked this tip and all the other ones I’ve shared this week, then guess what?
You’re going to love my book, Artpreneur, and you guessed it, it’s ready for pre-order. So if you think you’re not capable of making it as an artist, this book will convince you that you could do it. Artpreneur is the holy grail, the artist handbook for creatives who dream of evolving into thriving passion professionals, but maybe you’re stuck or plateaued.
And there’s inspiring stories throughout the book to provide proof that the artist’s life can be both profitable and sustainable. I urge you to gamble on yourself. And an abundant mindset is the first step to developing a life of creative and financial freedom.
Not only that, but this book will show you how. You’ll learn how to implement practical marketing strategies, just like the tips I’ve shared all week long that will pave a clear path to success. To get your hands on it, plus be eligible for all the pre-order goodies you want to go to schulmanart.com/book. All right, my friend. That’s it until next time. I’ll see you the same time, same place. Until then, stay inspired.
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