Your art is more than a way to make a living. Your art is your passion and your purpose. It’s why you are here and it’s what you were meant to do.
But, at the end of the day, you still have to keep food on the table and a roof over your head. And that means that your art is still a business and you are still a business owner as well as an artist. Ensuring that your artistic business grows, thrives, and survives takes time and effort.
It requires you to be not only a creator but also a business strategist, chief marketer, and expert customer service provider. That’s a lot of hats for one person to wear, but there is a way for you to fulfill all the roles your artistic enterprise requires while still taking care of both your customers and yourself.
No matter how gifted an artist you may be, no matter how dedicated you are to your craft, the reality is that your career would not survive without your clients. And that means customer satisfaction must be a top priority.
The good news is you don’t have to compromise your artistic vision to ensure that your clients have an exceptional experience with your business. You can offer your customers the white glove treatment through the provision of perks and benefits that the general public isn’t privy to.
The key to understanding what will engage and pleasure your best clients lies in the effort to build rapport with your customers, in taking the time to get to know them, what they expect, what they need, and what they want. Once you understand what drives your clients, you can tailor your service strategies accordingly.
For example, if you have a V.I.P. collector who enjoys networking with other collectors, then you might offer a private viewing of a new work exclusively for a handful of your best customers, affording them the opportunity to meet and engage with one another. On the other hand, if you have a patron who is a bit more introverted and eschews public gatherings, you might offer a private viewing of your latest work at the client’s own home.
Ensuring that you’re offering your best customers the white glove treatment helps you build those lucrative and long-lasting relationships on which your business depends. But that’s only half the battle. You also need to focus on continuously expanding your market reach in order to maintain a steady flow of new customers and prospects.
The good news, though, is that it’s easier than ever for an artist to raise their brand awareness and connect with prospective clients all around the world. Marketing your brand successfully takes time, effort, and strategy, however. It’s best, for example, to focus on a range of media, including blogs, podcasts, and social media platforms. This way, you can engage with an entire global community of art lovers and prospective buyers, showcasing your wares through online portfolios, social media posts, and podcast promotions.
Ideally, a strong digital presence will enable your prospective clients to connect with you more easily, and the more you are able to connect with them, the more you will care about and for them!
When you’re a creative professional running your own business, it can be easy to forget about taking care of yourself because you are so busy taking care of your customers and your art. However, if you aren’t able to maintain your health in body, mind, and spirit, not only will your art suffer but so will your business–and your relationships with your customers.
At the very least, taking the time each day for physical exercise, such as taking a daily walk through a local park or around the neighborhood, is a great way to boost your immune system, build muscle strength and agility, and support cardiovascular functioning. Best of all, when you get your blood flowing and your body moving, you’re going to reduce your stress, clear your mind, and spark your creativity.
Being both an artist and an entrepreneur isn’t easy. However, with a bit of effort and commitment, it is possible to grow your business and care for your customers while also taking care of yourself!
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn't writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.