Guest blogger: Alyson B. Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. Alyson is teaching a fabulous marketing workshop in Pennsylvania on May 11 & 12.
Are you one of those artists who passes out business cards willy-nilly? Stop it!
In the case of business cards, it’s much better to receive than to give. It’s in your interest to be the recipient of others’ cards rather than putting a stack on the table and gloating when they’re all gone.
Simple! When you hand out your business cards without much thought (without people really asking for them), you never know what happens to them. They can turn the corner and throw them in the garbage.
But when you have someone else’s card, you’re in control. It’s in your hands–literally–to take the relationship to the next level.
When someone gives you a business card, they have usually established a certain level of trust in you. This is good. In their book Trust Agents, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith write, “Thank people for their cards. They have committed an act of trust at that moment.”
business cards (image via Crafting an MBA)
I’m often asked if business cards are still necessary. Absolutely! If you’re running a business (and your art career IS a business), people expect you to have cards. Much self-promotion is done online these days, but in-person meetings can help seal a deal.
As an artist trying to grow your business, you should be attending art openings, artist lectures and meetings, and getting out of your studio as much as possible. You do this not just for the networking opportunities, but to stay healthy and vibrant. The studio gets lonely. Besides, art has always been nurtured by the energy of a society. You need interaction with people to grow as an artist.
That’s why I’m going to urge you to attend my upcoming art-marketing workshop (May 11-12, 2010) near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You will be in a room of 50 artists (young, old, established, emerging) and be thoroughly invigorated by their presence and the interactive dialog. You’ll leave the workshop with new ideas and more importantly a plan of attack to implement.
If you want to boost your art career with tons of practical information and a plan for moving forward, come to the workshop on May 11 and 12. Just be sure to bring plenty of business cards.