This next little tidbit not only applies to the artistic world, but to life in general as well...
Be appreciative and grateful for evrything you have. The moment you begin to take anything for granted or get into the mindset that you deserve whatever you have or that it is owed to you is when things start to go awry. It's true that whatever comes into your life you have attracted to it, good or bad. If you are good at marketing, manefesting or are just a positive person who invites good things to happen then naturally you can predict a positive outcome through either good sales, good friends or what some might just call good luck. It is important to take a minute and actually say Thank You. As we all know life has a way of kicking you in the ass when you are down. Sometimes over and over and over! The repeated over and over and over is generally because when you are down you are focusing on the negative so that's what you get more of. When I look back in my past I can see a pattern that emerges with the ass kicking times and this pattern starts when I lose my focus on appreciation. I had taken for granted success and good times only to be followed up with some seriously dark and financially lean times. Some might say that is the artists path... I say that excuse is just a cop out for taking personal responsability. Each time I managed to turn things around and get them on the up and up can be attributed to changing my focus and taking stock of my life and appreciating all the good things I had going... then, miraculously more good things kept coming and the bad things all fell to the wayside. What does this have to do with being an artist you may ask??
As an Artist it is valuable for you to be grateful for even the most minute success. Every sale you make from an art card to a masterpiece is a gift to you and you need to be grateful. There are millions of artists in the world and millions who are probably better than you and I, but if someone decides to by a piece of your work then you have defied the odds and gained that persons attention enough for them to want to support you on your path. And for this you MUST be appreciative. If you just assume that people will like your art and that since you painted it you deserve to have it sell and make money from it then perhaps you are in the wrong business. Your art should be an expression of yourself. How you see the world or what is important to you or captivates your attention so much that you have to recreate it in your own eyes. When you are truly creating from this point of passion some of your best work will come out... but this doesn't always mean that someone wants to buy it. If you can maintain that Attitude of Grattitude for any and all attention and sales that you get then you are tuned into that frequency on the radio of life and you will keep that radio station playing the tune of success for you. That is until you change the station of your focus.
I could totally start geeking out now and begin talking in depth about Quantum Physics and electro magnetic attraction... but I will save you the fine details on that and just break it down nice and simple. You are a magnet for life and whatever you conciously chose to focus on, or charge your magnet to, gets attracted to you. The simple act of being grateful for all the good things in your life and in terms of art, your sales and success, attracts more of the same to you. Think of every piece of art you have created as an extension of yourself, or another piece of your magnet. If you are grateful for every one of those sales, everyone of the people who have bought a piece of yours, even everyone who checks out your website and focuses their attention on you instead of any of the other millions of artists in the world then you are positively charging each of those by being grateful for it. If you have all of those things out there on the planet positively charged by your thoughts and actions, do the math, your signal is greatly amplified and you are attracting way more of that goodness to you from all around the world and wherever your art travels. This is definitely a good thing!
Maintaining that Attitude of Grattitude is not only important in your mind, but in your business practices as well. Letting your customers know that you appreciate their support is huge on the priorities list. Think back to any purchase you have made in the past. Is there a time you can remember when you decided to hand over a big wad of cash for something that you really liked? Can you remember how the person you bough it from reacted? Did you get a handshake and a smile and a big thank you? Or did they just take the money and move on to the next customer? When you walk away after a purchase you are taking a piece of that 'magnet' away from them and however you mentally view that transaction charges that magnet in the direction of your perception. If you are happy with the purchase and you felt your were treated well and appreciated then you have a postive charge on that and you are more likely to spread a good word about the company or individual which in turn attracts more business their way. If you had a negative experience and you feel that they took advantage of you or perhaps were just another face in the crowd or dollar in their bank account then you will probably have a bitter taste in your mouth and your magnetic attraction to that event or that person turns negative and actually repells business away from them.
OK, enough Quantum Physics type stuff. What can you do about this in order to attract more business your way? Lots of things! If you have really seized the modern age by the reigns and are selling stuff online and shipping it all around the world, or even just the province, it is really simple to just slip in a little note in the package as a personal touch saying "Thank You" for the support. I just have a little slip I have made up, super simple, that I write a short little note with a signature to the purchaser. I really do appreciate every single little sale so it's not like it is a pain in the ass and having that personal note and that little extra attention and appreciation really sends a positive message to the customer and makes them feel good about their decision to support you.
As I mentioned in previous blogs having a good spread of items to hit all the price points is a wise business move so why not chuck in a little card or small print for a large purchase?? If someone buys a big piece from you then giving them a little something else to say thank you is a great way to let them know that you really do mean Thanks. Sometimes you will get returning customers that just want to have all of your stuff on their walls and they keep coming back and buying more. These people are amazing and you really need to let them know that. I have a number of clients who keep purchasing my work for themselves and for gifts and I am SOOOOOOOOOOO grateful for them! Thank you, if you are one of those people and are reading this!!!
Another really effective way of saying thank you is by offering some kind of reward points. Think of it like airmiles points with your credit card. This takes a bit of actual business savoy because you will need to actually keep a good record or set up some kind of database that keeps track of this for you. I am working on getting that set up on my website now with my web guy Jon V. As I mentioned before, having a great webdesigner on your side will get you light years ahead of the game... Thanks Jon!!! If you aren't quite as tech savoy as that then another good way is just giving "Thank You Bucks" for purchases. Kind of like Canadian Tire dollars. This is a little easier than keeping a database, but would require the customer to either come in person or mail in the voucher. Even simply offering discounts from time to time like a seasonal sale is a good way to say thanks to your customers.
Being an artist yourself I'm sure you can come up with some creative ways to say thank you to all the amazing people that have supported you on your path and I encourage you to come up with something unique that is very 'YOU'. A lot of the stuff I have talked about in this blog series has been kind of business oriented and not totally seeming like the free flowing stereotypical artist way of life. But if you understand the way the game works you are able to play it better and have more fun while doing it. Remembering to be conscious of your focus and be grateful for everything in your life will attract even more awesome, more success and more freedom into your life. So for all of you who have taken the time to read my blog and support my art and my vision...