The Art Marketing Blog
Reprinted with permission by our friend and colleague, Aletta de Wal
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Aletta de Wal, Artist Advisor & Certified Visual Coach email@example.com
Do you ever suffer from stage fright?
Today, I can walk into any room and talk to anyone about most anything.
It wasn’t always that way.
My first public presentation was to introduce a panel for a business seminar. I put on my best suit, got a fresh haircut, put my notes on index cards and practiced until I knew the words by heart.
The theatre had 700 banked seats — every one of them occupied by someone who had given up an evening and had paid to be there.
I stood behind a solid, oak wood podium with a fixed microphone. The upside of that imposing fixture was that I could hang onto the sides to keep my hands in check and no one could see my knees knocking.
The downside was the impressive and daunting array of buttons and lights on the flat surface (where I’d planned to put my notes), none of which had been explained to me.
My Worst Fears
I was terrified that three of my worst fears would come true:
The Enemy Within
Beneath these fears were self-doubts, lack of familiarity with the technical system, and the possibility that I would humiliate the panel members or shame myself.
Those underlying thoughts could have derailed me, but adrenaline kicked in. I remembered to breathe and I did my job well because I had prepared the panel introduction so thoroughly.
I learned to continue to prepare myself so well that none of my doomsday scenarios would ever come true.
Is Marketing Just for Extroverts?
I describe myself as an introvert with good social skills. So when I get an e-mail like this one, I understand very well:
“I understand the concept of conversations, building relationships, trust etc. Most of these marketing strategies rely on exposure and extroversion. What advice might you give to an artist who is NOT an extrovert, salesperson, or even remotely out ‘working the crowd.’ An artist who lives in an area removed from cultural opportunities, venues and potential buyers?”
According to Laurie Helgoe, author of “Introvert Power,” more than 57% of Americans are actually more introverted than extroverted.
Feel better now?
Extroverts are not all the life of the party.
Introverts are not all reclusive or shy.
You have the capacity to modify your preferences.
I know. I’ve done extroversion for short periods. But I carefully balance how much time I am “out there” and make sure I have quiet time to regroup.
So – Marketing is Not Just for Extroverts
As abstract artist James Thatcher said in my interview with him
“I was driving with a journalist friend when he observed ‘You know Jimmy – you don’t say a lot, but you have a whole range of sounds that are very expressive.’
“I got into artwork because I was not very verbal. Things have changed and demands have required me to verbalize feelings and thoughts.
“When someone asks, ‘How do you feel about this?’ you can’t say, ‘I don’t know’ because no one else can know for you.
It’s so worth the effort to punch through and not be afraid and find the words for what your art is expressing.”
Be Your Best Self
Being your “best self” is the way to build trust in relationships.
Trying to be someone other than yourself is the last thing that you want to do. (Although if you have any really annoying habits, you might want to keep them in check when you are out.)
Start by thinking about the person or people you are talking to.
You get the idea.
The more you know about them, and the better your connection skills, the more successful your marketing performance will be.