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Chapter: Other Helpful Ideas
Donating to charity
At some point you may be asked to donate some artwork to a charity, usually for a silent auction or some other type of fundraiser. If you have a website or blog, you can count on these requests rising exponentially. While this is an individual decision, I would suggest saying “yes” to as many requests as possible. If necessary, come up with a small reproduction print run, or packs of note cards, or personalized promotional items that you can donate to such causes. Each and every donation should have the following attached to it: your business card, flyer and/or artist bio and statement, and any other marketing materials you can think of. Even if you are not approached first by the charity, consider volunteering an art donation anytime you see the opportunity. It is a win-win situation. You are helping others and you never know who will be attending these fundraisers–it could be your next big client!
Remember to ask if the charity event will have a program or printed guide. You may be able to secure some free advertising in exchange for your donation of artwork. You can also offer one of your creations for use on the program cover in exchange for a credit line and possibly free advertising in the publication.
Often times we get caught up in looking for answers and trying to solve problems. How to market, how to sell, what to do... ?
I have found that the most productive approach to marketing is simply paying attention–at all times and in all places. What you are doing is listening and watching and thus creating a state of awareness that is almost magnetic. Marketing and selling opportunities are attracted to that state just like metal to a magnet. Choose your intention, and then pay attention.
Here is one example: Say you have decided that you would like to offer custom portraits/paintings of people. First you “pave the road of success” for the business yet to come. You do the preliminary work, like making up business cards, printing informational flyers and getting together a portfolio of previous work. You create a contract and decide upon an appropriate down payment and terms. You have painting supplies in stock, or at least a supplier picked out who has what you need. You take advantage of blogs, free advertising and any other marketing avenues that are appropriate and in the budget. But you have no orders–now what?
Pay attention. You have decided what you want, and you have taken appropriate action. Now pay attention. When you go to a party or gathering, spend more time observing and listening than evaluating and talking. The same goes for a visit to the dentist, standing in line at the grocery store, a casual chat with your neighbors, etc. Before you know it, someone will mention something that is the equivalent of a loud bell ringing. They will mention a new business down the road that wants to decorate with paintings of the family members in the business. Or someone in the grocery line will be talking about an upcoming birthday or anniversary where a very special gift is desired. Or a posted flyer or news article will reveal a call for portrait artists.
Finally, if you haven’t done so already, consider taking up the practice of meditation. This is a wonderful way to clear the mind and place yourself in an attentive state. Dropping negativity and anxious thoughts becomes much easier when you train yourself to tap into this space. Having trouble dropping anxious thoughts and negativity? Try starting a gratitude journal. Each day write down three things for which you are grateful, and one positive thought. You’ll be surprised at how much ground you can make with this–effectively training yourself out of negative thinking. Don’t take my word for it–try it out. These tips are simple and free to try out!