Someone recently asked me if I was a business “coach” for artists.
Because “coach” is a commonly understood term, I’ve used this term to describe my one-on-one services with artists.
I start by helping artists shape their mission and unique value proposition that will serve a target market.
Why start here? Because this is a really tough thing to do on your own. It’s hard to see ourselves.
But I’m not really a coach. I’m really a mentor.
Why? Well, I don’t have a coaching certificate and I don’t care to have one.
I know that what I do works. My artist clients experience measurable results in increased art sales.
A mentor is really a better description because I don’t teach theory.
I base my advice on my very practical and hard won experience in selling my art. This includes my successes and my big fat failures.
I also draw upon the case studies of other artists who I have worked with over the years.
I’m all for formal education but it often comes up way too short when it comes to the day to day reality of establishing and running a profitable and fulfilling art business.
How do I know? I have mentored artists who have MBAs.
They did not learn about the unique demands of marketing and selling art in business school.
Business schools, and art schools, really do not understand how to sell art. And that’s probably why you are reading this post.
This debilitating lack of critical knowledge about selling art caused me years of frustration and that is what compels me to share what I’ve learned.
And that is why I designed an 8-part, sequential, iterative road map for other artists to follow.
Your ability to master each of these eight business realms is as important as your creative talent.
Why? Because your talent is NOT going to be discovered.
When I ask artists why they apply to work with me they all essentially say because, “Because you walk your talk.”
In fact, I’ve made my living from selling my art for over eight years.
Whatever it is that you want to learn, you can learn more from those who do rather than those who only teach.
It’s not that you can’t learn valuable lessons from those who have mastered a subject academically, in theory. You can.
But it’s far more valuable to learn relatable lessons from a “coach” who has run and who has won and lost races, rather than someone who has just read about winning.