Online connections have their place in marketing your art, but most in-person experiences can't be duplicated in the same way on a computer.
I'll go one step further: certain in-person opportunities would never arise if you relied only on the Internet.
Last week I was reminded of this during a 3-day Florida workshop in which I participated.
Here's what I got in person that I couldn’t get online.
Warmth. The positive energy is palpable when you are in a room full of people seeking the same thing you are.
Looking into people’s eyes, you will see that they care about you and want to help.
Hugs. Forget the handshakes, I'm a hugger. Just try giving a hug through the computer (or is Facebook selling hugs these days, too?).
Movement. Sure, we sat a lot at the workshop, but we also danced – at a dance party and when the deejay got us moving.
When we're home alone on our computers or in the studio, we often forget about how good it feels to get up and move around. And it doesn't just feel good, it's good for our psyche and creativity.
Vibrant discussions. You talk about things one-on-one that would never come up in an email or a Facebook comment.
It's stimulating to discuss business strategies at the table over lunch, on a break with a cup of coffee, or after a meeting with a glass of wine.
Over the course of the three days of the workshop, I had meals with:
- An instructional designer to talk about my online curriculum.
- Someone who also serves creative businesses.
- A midlife reinventionist.
- A landscape architect and chiropractor.
- A woman who serves young people seeking their paths.
I would never have come across these people sitting behind my computer in my office.
I came home with business cards from an M.D. who is literally saving lives around the world, a dentist coach, a copywriter, a voice coach, a very successful branding strategist, a dealer in Scottish Terrier collectibles (who knew?!) and much more.
And I gave away many of my business cards to people who said, “I know an artist who needs you.” I told them to be gentle with their artists.
You should have been there, too. Know why?
All of these people have the potential to buy your art! Every new person knows about 150 other people and will enrich your life. Chances are good that you wouldn't come across them online.
So don't stick to art and artist events. Branch out! Get out!