You think you're doing artists a “favor” by “giving us exposure that we can't get ourselves.”
You want us to pay a monthly fee for your nothing-else-like-it (ha!) online art gallery, enter your art competition for exposure, design your new logo for free, or purchase booth space at your event. You promise “exposure” in return for our art or our money.
Artists are all kinds of tired listening to lines like these. We know how the world works and we know you're trying to make money by – in part – using our art.
Let's Be Partners
We're trying to make money, too. Acknowledge that. Acknowledge that we have something you want in the form of talent and ideas. Acknowledge that we are valuable to you and your business. Acknowledge that we have gifts.
Don't pretend we can't see past your motives.
Don't present your idea like you're doing us a big favor in the form of “more exposure for our art.”
You're using artists to help you make more money. That's fine, but be honest about it.
Why not try something radical and create a partnership?
Why not treat us as equals as you would with other business relationships?
Instead of: “I've got a great idea that will give you lots of exposure for your art” . . .
Opt for: “I have this great product. I'd like more people to buy it and I think you can help me. How can we work together so that we both benefit? What do you need right now?”
This is not only an honest approach, it's a keystone for a stronger relationship. If we like you, we'll help spread the word. If you're just another salesperson, we'll figure it out.
A lot of people want our money or talents and we seem to be disappointed more and more frequently. Signing on for “promised exposure” hasn't yielded great results to date.
We're tired of it. We're not dumb. We see through the marketing speak.
Give us the numbers. You want our money, art, and talents? We want cold, hard facts.
We'd like to see a screen capture of your Google Analytics in detail.
We want to see your click-through rates from your email marketing campaigns.
We'd like to know exactly how you're going to promote your art competition: advertising, mailings, frequency, etc.
We'd like to talk personally with 5 highly satisfied customers.
We'd like to know precisely how many people walked through your doors during your last exhibit and how much art (in $$) was sold.
Any other smart businessperson would demand these statistics. We are smart businesspeople.
Stop making promises. Start showing us results. If you don't have the results, be up front. Tell us why we should take a chance on you. Make your case.
Let's Talk About This
I'm feeling feisty and hope this post starts a conversation. I receive these pitches just like you do. They come to me when people want access to you via this blog. They want me to write about their great new product or service for artists that will give you lots of exposure.
Most of them are well-meaning. They don't know what they're doing. They don't understand that I've heard it all before and get pitched to several times a week.
Others are just bad at what they do. They've obviously never looked at this blog. They just know it ranks high and that it has “art” in the title.
One poor, genuinely nice guy last week got an earful when he pitched his idea to me. Normally I wouldn't even bother responding. But I sensed authenticity in his email. I just told him he needed a different approach – that artists are tired of hearing about promised exposure.
Was I right? Are you tired of hearing about promised exposure and not seeing results?