ART SHOWS 101: Survival Tips for Show Artists and Crafters
Volume 10: Some Advice about......Advice :-)
“Artists should appear mysterious. Don’t wear that hippie dress of yours and “chat” with your customers! Dress in black and act superior.......”
“Your work is SO expensive! If you cut your prices in half you’d probably sell twice as much....”
“Your prices are too low! Triple them and NEVER offer a discount! It devalues your work......”
“You should put up a big sign that says “Super Blowout Sale”. That’ll bring in more quality customers......”
“Wholesale? Don’t give someone a 50% wholesale discount?! Why GIVE your work away when you can SO EASILY sell it at shows?”
“If I were you I’d.....(fill in the blank).......”
Ughh!! Advice! So, so, so much unsolicited advice! Sometimes it seems that everyone and their brother knows how to run your business better than you do; and they just can’t keep themselves from sharing their fabulous ideas.
Listen to their advice, throw in a few educational seminars and workshops on marketing, attend a few networking events, read a few articles online (especially this one :-), and you’ll know everything you need to know to increase your business threefold -- right?!?
Well -- maybe not :-)
In an attempt to increase sales and free myself from the need of side jobs, not to mention financial worry, I’ve been seeking “professional” advice. I overbooked myself this week; three seminars within a day and a half; the quality of which ranged from very good, to forgettable, to really pretty bad.
And maybe because I’ve made no secret of my current seminar attending spree, I’ve been treated to more than the average amount of unsolicited advice from friends and acquaintances.
After a week of listening to “professional advice” and “You shoulds....” I was nearly catatonic! Not only did I fail to find “the answer” to all of my current questions, I started doubting everything that already works!
After taking a giant step back and smoothing down my very ruffled feathers, I realized there comes a time when we have to stop seeking the advice of others and just go with our guts. Because, when it comes right down to it, no one knows our businesses better than we do. Professional speakers are, well....professional speakers. They may have the education and work experience to speak wisely (or not) on topics that may affect our businesses, but they don’t know the day to day reality of what we do. Go to some of these events. Listen carefully to what the speakers have to say, and then separate the wheat from chaff. It is our job to find what works for us, not to conform to the model set forth by a speaker or advisor.
When seeking answers to pressing questions about our businesses we shouldn’t forget to look within. Deep down inside, we know our strengths and weaknesses. We know where we excel -- and we also know the boundary lines we are not willing to cross.
And for all that unsolicited advice offered by our friends, families and peers? Keep in mind that most, if not all of it, is offered in good faith. Listen to some of it, change the subject when it gets to be too much and, if all else fails, smile and nod as you drift off to your happy place.
Until next time -- keep creating!