Lesson #2: On Unsolicited Advice
When I started selling art, the second thing I noticed was….
2. I received a LOT of advice, most of it unsolicited.
I wrote a rant about this last year. Why people feel compelled to randomly say the dreaded phrase “you know what you should do….” is beyond me. Maybe it’s an American thing. That’s an analysis for another post.
What I have learned (and this is true of my own words) is what to do with this advice.
Consider the source.
I cannot emphasize this enough.
CONSIDER. THE. SOURCE.
When listening to advice, whether solicited or otherwise, I ask myself one crucial question:
Is it coming from the mouth of someone who is an artist, a shop owner, or my ideal customer?
If it is, I consider it.
Or is it marketing advice from my uncle who works in a bank and knows nothing about marketing? A co-worker who would never buy my art because it isn’t their style or price range?
I politely ignore it. Perhaps say thank you.
Or agree “that WOULD be a great idea” (as I roll my eyes in my head). Depends on my mood.
Because misguided though it is, what they are trying to say is “I care”.
I’d prefer they gave me a hug or bought me a drink to show their affection. But we don’t always get to choose how people show their love.
And even if the advice is from someone important or knowledgeable, I can still ignore it.
As an artist, I am my own boss.
It’s part of the appeal for me. No one else, no matter how knowledgeable, knows it as well as I do. NO ONE.
I listen to those who have a vested interest in my success and stick around to support me in good times and bad. To those who are knowledgeable about the areas I need help.
Support is vital. To success and to my mental health.
But ultimately, I don’t have to justify my choices to anyone except me. My time and artistic energy are precious and should be used how I feel is most productive.
Want to do large scale art that doesn’t fit in someone’s house? Amazing! Like horror and gory images? That is so metal.
Detest Pinterest? Stay off. Love Instagram? Have at it. Hate conventions or art fairs? Market to boutiques and galleries.
You do you.
That is the beauty of the internet age and all our connectivity. You can find your own avenue to connect with your customers and fit your personality and lifestyle.
More on this in my next post:
Lesson #3: I can’t sell to everyone.
Robin, as always, you ROCK! This is as true as the day is long. Thank you for packaging it so beautifully.