Ep 3 How to follow up to make more money as an artist

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Welcome to the 3rd episode of… Actually, it’s funny because I changed the name of the podcast so that’s a great tip; things change! I did not search research enough the name of my podcast, and I discovered that someone else had the “Making a living show”! I’m not sure I want to have a similar name, so I called my podcast “Living from your art.” Let me know what you think about this. I think it’s good! I think it says what it says. So, the “Living from your art” podcast and welcome to episode thrrrrree!

Today I actually have something really interesting that I want to talk about, and through my years of coaching artists (and actually any kind of entrepreneur!) to find prospects and potential clients for their business, I realized that most people are afraid of calling, texting or emailing multiple times the same person. And by the way, I’m making this in my car as this is the “Living from your art” podcast that is recorded in my car. So, if you hear lots of sounds, it’s normal, I’m in my car.

Anyway, let’s get back to the subject, for episode 3 it’s actually communicating more often than not, to the same person. And what I mean by this is that, I don’t want to say that it’s your case, but like 99% of the people I’ve coached, to do phone calls or emails or promotion in general were afraid to call multiple times the same client or the same potential client.

Let’s say that it’s a new client that is potential that never worked with, or you never sold your art to.

There’s a saying that says: “Fortune is in the follow-up!” and that is true.

That is true for anything because you have to estimate the effort necessary to actually get results for your business. And if you don’t, then you’ll think that nobody wants to do business with you because you think that it takes one or two phone calls to get a gig or to sell a piece of art. Unfortunately, you’ll become sad and you will quit sooner than later if you think this.

So, I just want to let you know that most of the people I coach, to help them sell their artistic services, actually, they make lots of phone calls and emails because I told them so.

They call back people, and they do follow up in an organized way so that they know when to follow up who to follow up with and why to follow up, et cetera.

I would tell you that most of the new clients that these people get, comes after, on average, between the 4th and the 7th call or email. Just to give you an approximation of the effort required, the amount of energy or the amount of communication that you have to send, this will give you an approximation of how many times you have to contact someone before they actually buy from you. Of course, if you call someone, and you send an email or send a message on social media and they tell you like, “F*** off. I don’t want to, I don’t want to buy from you. Like never call me again.”… Of course you can call them again if you want. But sometimes it’s it’s pretty obvious that they will never buy from you; they’re mean people. I’m not telling you to call back people like this; you call back people that would say something like: “I really like what you do, but right now is not the right moment. We don’t have the budget for it.” or, “I don’t have the time for your show.” or “I don’t know which piece of art I should get for my house. I’m still renovating…” whatever it is. These kind of people that actually show a little bit of interest, but it’s not the right moment.

Of course, if you’re really good at sales, you could sell them right away if you know how to handle these objections but then we can talk about this in later podcasts. 

If they show you some small interest, then you follow up and you follow up with them until one of you die. Literally, you never stop following with someone that shows interest, but is not ready to buy. And that means that anybody that you will talk with, speak with and that will show interest, means that eventually you will sell to them.

So that’s my advice for today and it’s that: don’t be shy and never feel embarrassed about contacting the same people over and over. It doesn’t mean that you call them every day, I would say something like every month, every three weeks, every two months; you decide what you’re comfortable with. And you can even ask the person, if she tells you: “I could be interested in the future.”, you could ask her: “Is that okay if I call you back in a month?” they’ll tell you: “Oh no, call me back in two months.” or “in six months” or whatever it is. And then they’ll let you know.

So be in communication and don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

That will be the main subject of a later podcast: “asking questions”. But for now, this is what I want you to understand and it’s don’t be shy about following up.

You could literally call someone every month, every two months, every six months for one year, two year, three years, without the person being mad at you. And this is a concept that a few people understand, because we don’t like to call people or to email people often because we feel like we’re harassing them.

And fortunately for you, that’s not true (maybe for other people!), but when you are an artist, you have no way of harassing people because you know what? 

You create art and your creations actually help people.

So, if you’re helping people and you’re calling them often to help them, guess what? It’s not harassment, it’s help. It’s a help flow! You’re flowing help or offering help to these people. So never feel bad about this. Never feel ashamed and think like: “Oh, you’re just making this for the money…” or whatever. The people that are telling you this, actually they gave up on their own artistic dreams and I don’t want you to do the same thing.

The lesson you have to learn from today’s podcast is really that you CAN follow up. 

Fortune is in the follow-up and you have to, it’s better to overestimate the number of communications that you send then underestimate it.

That way, if you tell yourself: “I have to call this person 10 times on a span of a year, because they’ll hire me.”, then if they hire you after five calls, boom, you’ll be happy! But if you tell yourself: “If I don’t close on the first call, I’m going to be sad. I’m going to be mad at them. I’m going to going to swear.”

So just make sure that you understand that it takes a lot of calls, a lot of emails, mainly at first, when you’re just starting out. If you’ve been running your artistic business for a while, it will take less calls because you’ll be mostly calling past clients and past clients are easier to close when you call them back.

Today’s podcast was mainly aimed towards prospecting new clients. That’s it for this podcast. I just wanted to let you know this quick tip about the following up and not being ashamed and not feeling that you’re harassing people, with your emails, your calls, your messenger messages. And if people say “no” in a mean way, you can just remove their names from your list and call the next one.

Keep doing great, keep creating. If you want to contact me, you can send me an email at: elie@livingfromyourart.com. I would love to help you If you’re struggling with selling your artistic services and your art pieces. So have a great day, have a great week, have a great month. And until the next podcast be great and talk to you soon. Bye.

Elie Castonguay
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