In Part 1, I told the story of my first summer job as a delivery boy for a small local meat market where I learned to Show Up, Shut Up, and Help Out! Now for the rest of the story!
4. Be Flexible – I learned that sometimes you just had to be flexible with people. Sometimes, a customer wanted a special delivery or that they forgot something in their order and they absolutely had to have it for a dinner party that evening (which meant a special trip). The meat market was located next door to a super market and many times you were asked to go over there and pick something up and include it in the order. Was that part of what a meat market should do? Yes, if at all possible and why not? The customer could rely on us and we were helping them out with higher than expected service.
As an artist, sometimes we are asked to do something that is considered to be an extra. Do you disagree, argue and shut down because of a request for extra service? If it is a reasonable request, why not do it? By doing this, it helps to build goodwill and repeat art business.
5. Be Visible – I found out after my first summer that it is good to be seen by the client. Since the business was located in a wealthy resort town, most of the meat market’s customers employed maids, cooks and other service personnel. When making a delivery I would be required to go to the “service entrance” or what is known as the back door. I did not meet too many customers or owners at the back door. At the end of the summer, when “end of season tips” were being handed out, I found out quickly that the service personnel do not give tips and that I should have gotten to know the customers better.
Be visible to the right people, whether it is a gallery owner, art buyers or art reps. Be out there, engaging and be someone that has a memorable personality. Do not be a “faceless” artist. This also holds true when networking and other personal appearances too. On the internet, in print and other promotions, be visible. This should be true in all of the marketing of your art that you do! This is the art business!
6. Be Thankful – At the end of the summer I learned that I was lucky to have the job and I was paid very well for the time that I actually spent delivering meat. I learned to be thankful as I was able to afford to do things with the money that I earned, while my friends could not and for that, I was very grateful!
As an artist, we should be thankful that we are able to do something that we love doing, that we can make money doing it and that we have the skill and creativity that most people want, but cannot have. We are all blessed and we should be thankful to be artists. Being a delivery boy taught me a lot about being an artist and the art business.
About the Guest Author
John R. Math is a successful art photographer based in Florida. Mr. Math began his professional art photography career in 2006 and since that time he has had more than 85 exhibitions, sold his art through art galleries and to private collectors and now markets most of his artworks to the corporate art & hospitality markets. You can learn more about John and his art marketing program at Art Marketing Strategies.
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