6 simple ways to improve your art/ design business
For visual artists and designers with big names, getting art and design commissions or raking in sales might not be a big deal. The Onobrakpeyas of this world might never have to break a sweat anymore. But if you are like me, chances are that your name isn’t a household one yet and you still have to find ways to sell your creations.
So does that mean that you have to get a manager? Not necessarily. There are a few hacks that can help you negotiate significantly better deals for yourself, by yourself.
Let me share a few with you.
- The best kinds of meetings/ negotiations happen face-to-face. This way, you can monitor your client-to-be’s expressions and body language and adjust your strategy accordingly. If you can’t get a face-to-face, the next best way is via telephone. Whatever you do, try to avoid negotiating via bbm, whatsapp, email and other e-platforms. They give you less control of the situation.
Face-to-face > Phone call > Everything else
- If you are going to negotiate face-to-face, your appearance counts. A lot. First impressions are everything. This is an old saying which still rings true. The reason why you have to look good is because Human beings, despite our mind-blowing advancements in science and all deep issues, are very superficial when making quick decisions. Sergey Brin of Google says that he decides whether or not he is going to employ an individual within the first few minutes of the interview. A lot of people are like this, and instead of lamenting at the fickle nature of Man, a better decision would be to upgrade your wardrobe.
I’m not asking you to dress to kill, but you do have to make sure you don’t look hungry.
Use this trick : Before you step out of your home/studio, ask yourself, “If Dangote happens to walk in on me, would I be able to approach him dressed like this? If your answer is “Yes”, then you are good to go. If “No”, then please go and try on a new apparel. Please, please and please, don’t go and do Mark Zuckerberg. He has billions. You don’t.
- Ensure that your words are as consistent as possible. If your client-to-be gets to know that you aren’t being truthful or that you are trying to rip him/her off, it reduces the chances of him/her doing business with you, then and in the future.
- Ensure your artwork or design is really good. Ensure you give your craft your all. Selling is so much easier when your craft wows people. Put your best foot forward everytime, all the time.
- Try to wrap up negotiations in the first meeting, regardless of how long the meeting takes. This doesn’t mean that you should put the client under undue pressure to make a decision. That might be counter-productive. All you should do is to leave it all on the table, without keeping anything for future negotiations. Don’t be shy. Don’t be timid. Believe you are the best and sell yourself as such. Don’t sell yourself short.
- Go into negotiations with two figures in mind. The first should be the amount you intend to attach to your art/design. The second amount should be the lowest possible amount you’d agree to offer your product/service for. When calculating the lowest possible amount for your product/service, ensure that you are still left with a healthy profit after deducting the production cost from it.
Always keep your profit in mind, as opposed to your revenue. Profit is what will keep you going.
Now, go out there and be awesome!