I am in my sixth month of making a living in the Arts after quitting a job in retail. The purpose of this blog is to keep myself motivated, on track and to provide knowledge for those looking to make a similar decision.
THE THINGS YOU LEARN WHILE YOU THINK YOU ARE FAILING...
April was my busiest and most diverse month yet. I created 7 technical illustrations, a series of web icons, filmed a teaser commercial for DesignByHuman's new line of officially licensed Star Wars apparel, as well as a Kickstarter video for another Hemp clothing company. I even talked to 3 Butte College film classes about my work in stop-motion animation.
Of course nothing really beats working on a Star Wars project, but the next best thing happened in April when I won the Award of Excellence in the international Best Shorts Competition for my movie The Spaceman. I was shocked.
All of this got me thinking about the eight years I felt I had wasted working at a job I hated. At the time I felt every hour I wasted there was preventing me from reaching my goals. The reality is I learned a lot of skills from my bad situation in sales that I am directly applying to my art. This is what I learned from the corporate world:
The 6 Step Sales Process - I’m sure every company has their own form of this process. Having to go through these motions with over 20 customers a day for 8 years built a habit in me that is directly helping me with my leap into self-employment. I slightly altered the steps to work for my new line of work but I hope it can be useful to you.
1. Greet – Be friendly, smile, and make a good first impression. If your first impression is through email be sure to be as friendly as possible and proof read your email a few times before sending.
2. Build Value – Listen and find out what they need through many open-ended questions and learn as much about their needs as possible to eliminate miscommunication and bad experiences.
3. Offer Solutions – Take everything you just learned from the client and tell them how the services you offer will help their specific needs.
4. Ask for the Sale – This one is simple but a lot of people don’t do it. Ask them for the sale. The worst they can do is say no.
5. Do Your Best – Always do your best to exceed both your expectations and the clients. By always doing your best, you will grow as an artist and enjoy your work more.
6. Thank – When you are done working on the project make sure to thank them. Even if you didn’t enjoy your time with them be sure to end everything on good terms.
By following these steps I have had 5 returning clients since January. If you are stuck in a place you feel is holding you back, look around and try to figure out what you can learn. When the time is right, take that information and move on.