There is a place. Like no place on Earth.

A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger!

Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.

Which luckily I am.

~The Mad Hatter

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Art Marketing ~ Life on the Dark Side

7 Things Network Marketing Taught Me About Marketing Art . . . or Anything Else!

Mention Network Marketing at a party and watch the fur fly. It's an explosive subject. Folks either Love it, Hate it, or just don't understand it. I am not going to debate any of that. I simply will comment on the skills I developed while building a Network Marketing business and how it helped me to improve my art marketing.

The term Network Marketing is commonly associated with a type of home-based business opportunity like Avon, Mary Kay, SendOutCards and Tupperware. But in reality, it encompasses any business that is built on relationships.

First, What is Network Marketing? I found the most accurate definition on
A sales strategy in which a salesperson attends meetings of organizations whose members are likely to be interested in a particular product or service in order to develop a book of business. The three major components of network marketing involve prospecting (finding sources of potential customers), following up with inquiries from interested parties, and selling the good or service to the prospect. Once prospects are cultivated, the salesperson will try to use his or her relationships with the prospect to get in contact with other individuals that the prospect might know.

Yes, Dears, we are Network Marketers. We must find people that like what we do, build relationships and follow up, and sell our work to them. That is the basic 3-step plan of (any) business building model. Simple, but not easy.

Here are the seven things I learned:

1.  You need unwavering belief and commitment to yourself, your artwork, and the value of your craft in the marketplace.
  • You: You need an unwavering belief & commitment to Yourself. Do I need to repeat that?
  • Your Artwork: Is it any good? Technique, Skills, Uniqueness. Are you constant working to improve and grow?
  • The Marketplace: Who is interested in what you do? Who already uses what you do?  There are Riches in Niches. Belief that there is a real market for what you create. Did you know DaVinci, Renoir and Warhol all did commercial work.
2.  It's a big world outside of your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to explore it. Get out of the BOX and Stretch!  Network, Volunteer, Go to shows and TALK to people. Networking is critical! Meeting people, developing relationships, then staying in touch. Hundreds of books are written on this alone. I really, really like Bob Burg. Both personally and professionally. Bob Burg is truly the Master of Networking.

3.  Have your One-minute speech committed to memory. Hey, You never know who you might meet or WHO they can lead you to! Don't forget to Always ask for their card First then hand them your business card. The key is to stay in touch!

4.  Develop your listening skills. This is the one that trips me up every time. I get so excited when someone asks about my artwork, that I'll forget good manners and dominate the conversation with me, me, me, meeee. I have gotten better at catching myself - hopefully before they are lost to me. 

5.  Nothing Happens Until Something Moves. Develop an Action Plan and work it everyday. Plan, Do, Review. Then Rinse and Repeat.

6. It's all a Numbers Game. I've written about this already, but it bears repeating; You have to get a lot of NOs to get to the YESs. You just have to keep putting it out there. The more you do, the more things happen. Some things will work while most will not. Don't beat yourself up. Review Number 5.

7.  The Master is Always The Student. Never stop improving your people skills, your communication skills and most of all your creative skills. My dear friend and mentor Jim Briggs, taught me the mantra of Continuous Improvement. Never stop learning. Never stop working to be a little bit better everyday. Both your skills and your head.

Hundreds of books have been written about each of these aspects. In the months to come, I'll discuss what has worked for me and a few other artists in more detail.
One fails forward toward success. ~Charles F. Kettering