Introducing Yourself to New Clients

 

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Share Your Experiences!

How do you introduce yourself to your potential clients? What works best for you? What mistakes have you made when meeting new people? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

 

Starving to Successful

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In his Amazon.com best-selling book, Xanadu Gallery owner Jason Horejs shares insights gained over a life-time in the art business.

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About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of ARTsala. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business. Connect with Jason on Facebook

29 Comments

  1. I can introduce myself as an Artist very confidently now & talk about my Artwork but this hasn’t always been the case… I love making my living as an Artist & want to communicate that message with every new person I meet. It has taken a lot of work for me to arrive at this place but is is worth it so much & people respond to it very positively.

    1. I really enjoy this statement Terence, and some days I feel the confidence. Other occasions, I dive in with both feet in my mouth. I have to remember what you say here, I love making my living as an artist. It really is wonderful to be able to share the journey with people who enjoy my work as much as I enjoy creating it.

  2. I usually say thank you for enjoying my art. and explain I am a nature and wildlife
    lover. I also live on the Big Island of Hawaii and that is apart of my art too. I am also the gallery manager for the Firehouse Gallery in Waimea, Hawaii
    check out our Facebook page Firehouse Gallery , Hawaii if interested

  3. I share my experience with those that express interest in my art flow. I engage them interactively and ask them what their interpretations are of the painting in front of them. Its exciting to listen to different perspectives as I enjoy telling stories in my paintings.

  4. I am an artist and have a studio/gallery in a train depot on a highway with a lot of drive by traffic. Because it has been a challenge for me to “rave” about my work, I find it easier to thank visitors for their positive comments and talk about the many beautiful scenes in the area, and then explain how I am trying to convey these scenes to them as the viewer. I also explain how these views are also the starting points for my abstract work. This approach has served me well, as many people are coming to lake homes in the area. It has become very comfortable for me to share my art in this way, and also point out places they could visit while they are in the area.

  5. I have been doing okay with introductions for a while but the name memory is always tough! I do wonder now in this day and age of elbow tapping and fist bumping, do you still offer your hand to shake? I heard that some people and even cultures can feel a bit intimidated by this and wonder what your thoughts on this are Jason. I am a bit old school I think so when it is someone my age or older I still offer my hand.

      1. Hmm. Sorry for the glitch reply. Meant to say that it helps to gain a visual link. Since I do commissioned paintings, I ask about the viewer’s loves or pets. Plant fans love that I am also a gardener of a bird and butterfly garden, and pet owners latch on to our common love of animals. Find that common interest, especially if you can redirect conversation toward the art.

  6. ~ Interesting discussion of a topic thats so important – as I have found a special energy appears in the creative process of my work when meeting someone – learning about their interest and thoughts and the connection in my own life and work. When working in a gallery at one time it was a daily event I really enjoyed – and now with this age of the www messaging or posting has been a wonderful experience too. When I was contracted with a web-site named PaintingsDIRECT.com out of N.Y. the CEO had created a page for each artist where collectors or those interested in the work could communicate. This was a real plus for the serious artist to learn and grow – and Hmmmmm! – I think thats what ‘life’ is all about. . . Thanks – Jason for the opportunity to add my thoughts here . . . https://www.facebook.com/carole.orr.50

  7. Brand new in the art world, but I can see right off the bat the importance of remembering people’s names. That one aspect can totally solidify that connection! Thanks!

  8. I deal mainly with curators of art museums and curators for special collections libraries. I also mail to photo galleries, but I do galleries without much expectation of success since my work is not the type of work they normally sell. For some reason people like to keep photo postcards, so I send them out to galleries as guerrilla to broadcast my photography.

    Here is a post I wrote about postcards…

    https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/do-you-think-printed-promos-are-effective-for-marketing-your-work/

    Beside postcards, I do lots of direct email. For pitching special projects I used to send out mini letter size portfolios or hand-printed bound portfolios, but I had to cut back due to $. Now I just send out a letter and offer prints / disk if they have interest.

    All this work is to give it away for free, not to sell it. The general rule with museums is…if you solicit them, they think donation. If they solicit you, then you may be able to make a sale.

  9. Hi, Jason–Excellent presentation. You know, it’s very inspiring and as simple as watching you show us how. I notice how you are alert, not over-eager, have control over your hands, and readily smile. I try to do all those things and can remember names, but must write them down asap afterwards. I will try to be a little bit more take-charge in future meetings.
    Thank you again and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    Chet

  10. Hi, Jason!.. and thank you for sharing this!
    I wonder how you are able to handle several unrelated visitors coming in at once or in quick succession. E.g.: is it not a little off-putting for a previous visitor to hear you go through the same introduction and promotion with the next visitor..?

  11. I just had an opening reception for a solo show. The three hours flew by. I made the mistake of catching up with old friends and family, and getting into half-hour or longer conversations. I should have worked the room, making sure to introduce myself to new faces. I saw too many people come and go without getting a chance to meet them.

    1. Hi Sonny;
      Most important is that you noticed your time spent with the wrong people at your show. I tell all the quest artists to quickly thank friends/family for coming. These are the folks that fill the gallery and make you look like a rock star. However, it’s the people you don’t know who you need to meet. These people are attracted to your art and are there to see it first hand. If they show good interest then try and get them to sign the guest book or better yet swap business cards.
      Good luck, you are definitely on the right road to success.
      Angel

  12. My millennial son (in the video/animation field) told me that after an introduction he often asks if he can add his contact information to their phone (!!!) They hand it over and he quickly adds his contact info that pops up with a pleasant photo of his face. He says people rarely forget a face. That’s bold. But it works for him. I am working on not fleeing the gallery.

  13. I struggle with a short-term memory deficiency, so I readily admit to being extremely visual when meeting people. They are often happy to help me have a visual word link for their name, or to supply the meaning of their given name. My name is a challenge for many people, since both the first and last names are unusual. When I explain the meaning of my name as being “light” and “cooper” or “carpenter”, that allows me to refer back to my paintings, drawings, and jewelry creations. I bring “light” by making art and bending metal. A lively discussion usually is the result. I ask for business cards to help me remember a name, and am often given contact information to stay in touch about our common interests.

  14. I am going to have a show in 2 weeks and really appreciate this reminder of basic networking techniques. Thank you! I also find that many people at an opening like to sign a guest book and to join my mailing list. The guest book helps a bit with recording, if not actually remembering, the names. I assure signers that I offer an infrequent newsletter for those who leave their email address. I send out about one newsletter a year sharing new exhibition invitations.

    1. It’s a great idea to add people to your mailing list at every opportunity. I would also suggest that you could see a much better engagement with your clients if you were more frequent in your contact. Sending out a newsletter with new work and events on a monthly basis will keep you on your follower’s radar when they are ready to buy.

  15. I am one of those artists who merely asks let me know if you have any questions. This will be a help. I do have to say though, that I really don’t like people asking my name. I find it pushy, so I don’t do this to others.

    1. I understand what you’re saying about the name Melissa, but with practice I’ve found that my sales staff can get the names without it being pushy and it really makes a huge difference in establishing a relationship.

  16. Thank you Jason for your excellent videos and posts. This video and several comments, are timely. I am having my next solo exhibition, all of April, cellibrating my 80th birthday. Since I will be having quite a number of people I already know at the opening it would be too easy to spend most of the time in friendly conversations and not circulate properly. I will also encourage them to leave details in the guest book.

  17. I love the topic, video, and Jason interacting with his commenters. There’s always tips that can be learned to be better at something. I hope the article helps those starting out and anyone else that has experience selling their artwork to leave their thoughts for others to learn from.

  18. Thank you for an excellent video, with really good advice.

    if you want to succeed as an artist today, you have to be a marketing expert and “sell” yourself the right way. One of the most important aspects is how to introduce yourself and your art to potential new clients.

    BR Michael
    https://artbylonfeldt.dk

  19. Very helpful video! I am an artist at a co-op Gallery in Juneau, AK. I am not very outgoing and find it very awkward to introduce myself. I really appreciate your words and will strive to come up with a way to approach people more often. I really like your blog…great information! Thank you for sharing your experience!

  20. Thank you so much for your great blog as I have just discovered it and there is so much useful information from someone who knows!!. My question is when you are engaged in a conversation with someone and another customer walks up and wants to speak with you, I have difficulty breaking conversation with the first one. I need some advice as to how to meander over to the second with the first could keep talking and talking or you may not be quite finished in gathering their contact info, etc.

    1. I just try to take control as much as possible. “Please enjoy looking, I’ll be back in just a moment” if I want to move from someone I’m talking to someone else. “If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll be right with you,” if I need to finish a conversation. People are usually understanding if you just let them know what to anticipate. Sometimes there’s a moment of awkwardness, but it passes quickly if you keep a smile on your face.

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