Episode 001 – The Ultimate Meet and Greet

May 30, 2016

galleryHey there everybody, I want to thank you so much for checking out my blog and for (hopefully listening to my new podcast!)and tuning in again and in to Rockstar Mentor podcast and we are in Episode one. I am your host Sonya Paz, I am a professional artist, entrepreneur, marketer and designer and I have been creating art, branding my own art business for almost 20 years and I’m excited to bring you Episode 001 of the Rockstar Mentor Podcast and Blog!

This episode is going to focus on meeting and greeting meet for the ultimate meet and greet. I’m talking about meet and greet of other artists, movers and shakers in your area, specifically your local area. I understand and realize that some people don’t live in an area where there might be a lot of people in a highly populated area however there are smaller artist community in most every local town around. I also understand and know that a lot of artists are introverts and aren’t necessarily up for meeting other people… however if you’re tuning into this podcast or reading my blog it means that you’re really want to learn what is going on and who to meet and who to greet and how to really capture networking and the essence of personal relationship building in your artist community. i’m pretty much a no nonsense, get on top of it move it and tenacious individual. Not a lot holds me back and I know that’s not true for some artists but I’m going to teach you tips and techniques on how to be remembered and be seen in your art industry.

I’ve been in business long enough to where I know that it’s really critical to have face-to-face communications with people in your area, you really want to connect with other artists, you really want to meet and greet other artist regardless of what their level is or their expertise or how popular that artist is or their artwork. Regardless of their level whether it’s just starting out or if they’ve been in it for a while. Everyone was a beginning  artist at one point in their career, that’s a fact. And this meet and greet doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be a beginner, this is going to benefit you through the long run in so many ways at so many levels. If you want to be the ROCKSTAR in your industry, then the Episode001 is step 1 into making it happen for you!

Here are 5 basic rules on how to have a successful meet and greet in your artist community

Attend art gallery openings of your peers. Go to the local art walks go to art association meetings attend art festivals in your area see what others are doing, meet them, introduce yourself. Let them know how excited you are to meet them. I’m not talking smother them with a handful of business cards and asking them to look at your art, be humble simply introduce yourself tell them that you’re an artist in the area and that you really admire what they are doing because, there’s going to be a day where this comes full circle and others will come back remember you admire you and connect with you on so many different levels.

Join local networking, maybe this is your local Chamber of Commerce, or a business networking meeting in your area, local merchants association in a town where you are near and want to engage with other people in all areas of business.  (For the ladies out there …There are many women entrepreneur business groups that will take one Woman in that specific line of business that would love to have a creative individual in that group.)
Join a group that you feel comfortable with and I suggest that you probably start with a smaller group with anywhere from 15-25. Members. Don’t go full force and join a group with over 100 members, you will get lost, the meet and greet will be diluted…start small and smaller groups are more intimate and likely to have better networking connections will retain the information that is provided to them and not become so convoluted that you may forget who you met and what you spoke about.

Perhaps you live in an area where there isn’t a lot of art groups that are established. Well…. Who’s stopping you from starting your own group? One of the best groups that I could recommend is start a meetup group in your area, start reaching out to others and inviting them to join you on a weekly or monthly basis to where you discuss your artwork and where you are, …..maybe you’re a watercolor artist and you want to connect with other watercolor artist, start a meet up group for that perhaps you are a jewelry maker and you want to get a group together so that you could talk all facets of jewelry, (no pun intended) or perhaps putting together a show or a fundraiser to enhance the visibility of your group. The possibilities are endless!

Perhaps you are just at a level right now we are not really ready to meet face-to-face, and baby steps are OK. Look for local online groups in your area, perhaps on Facebook. I started on a wonderful I joined a group back many many moons ago called EBSQ, it’s an online art community that is very inexpensive to join and you are surrounded by visual artists, this group started when selling on eBay was in its infancy (somewhere in the this was in 1999, 2000 timeframe . In fact I believe I was member number seven when this group was started by John Seed an artist out of Southern California way back in the day. He wanted to make a difference in how people were’s buying and selling art online. This group made great strides for artist who were selling to auction sites like eBay and John worked closely with eBay at one point to really
establish the categorization for self represented artist, he worked with them and is responsible for having these categories benefit self represent self representing artists and it may not have seemed like a big deal at the time but it was huge. Artists who were self representing and getting out there and selling their own was an amazing feat. Nothing like this has ever been developed before. That in itself really catapulted how we are selling our art today and I must applaud him on such a great levels and feel so fortunate to not only have been in this group and on eBay selling during this giant strides but have been in contact and have the proud opportunity to call  John my friend and to know through what might have been small efforts at the time, change the way that artist sell their work online.

EBSQ has changed over the past several years and is now owned by Amy and her husband Amie Gillingham and her husband Bill to continue caring the flame for artists to have a place to go to and embrace other artist online.
Its great support for so many artists to overcome fears and to get their art out there. You’re able to have a small you’re able to have a portfolio online and share your work, and again this is not only benefiting artist who are just getting out there but this is benefiting artist who are new who are not new at creating the new of getting a work out there for the world to see via the Internet. It’s evolved over the years but it’s a great resource. Perhaps you sell on Etsy, there’s a community forum there as well that you can get yourself into and start networking with people online. But I can assure you that making a difference in your local community as an artist with other creative individuals is one of the best starting points out there.

Now, so let’s say you’ve gone ahead with number one and have joined a local group in your area, what do you take with you, first and foremost great positive attitude, go with the attitude that you were out there to not only meet others but to tell somebody a little bit about yourself. have I mentioned baby steps???
Don’t take an entire suitcase full of data like an excessive amount of brochures, your profile book of images, iPad slideshow, your portfolio etc. You’re going to drown yourself in telling each member your history of what you do as an artist.

The best tools that you need to have with you when going face-to-face to online groups, art exhibit openings, networking with other artists, is a business card, don’t go unprepared! Have business cards to hand out that have your pertinent information, your name and contact information on how you wish to be contacted. If you have a website, get it on there and most importantly have an image of one of your favorite pieces of artwork, or jewelry or sculpture or whatever your artwork is, have an image on there …..I cannot express enough how frustrated I get when I receive a card from an artist and there’s no image of it. Critical, make that the beginning of your brand!

I have also been in business long enough to where I see people making the ultimate mistake when meeting with somebody, before you give them a business card engage in some conversation, have a quick chat about what they’re doing, what business they are in and even though you may think that there’s no connection there, they will remember you because you have offered interest in their business. And most importantly, Business cards and marketing collateral can get pricey. If you do enough events and you start meeting and greeting others you will go through these rather quickly so only provide one business card to one person, don’t think that you’re gaining popularity by handing them an extra 2-3 cards and asking them to pass on your name. Big giant fail. I’ve seen it time and time again those cards will get left at the networking event. It’s a waste of money and they will remember you as being the overzealous artist who’s desperate to get their work out by asking others to get their name out for you. Don’t do it.

Relationship building takes a long time, think of it as a first date, you’re basically getting to know one another and don’t expect miracles or marriage proposal on the second date. Be humble, be kind, and be generous.

So, Rockstars, this is the first of many informative topics that will help you overcome fears and have you walking the walking, talking the talk in no time. The goal is to kick butt and be inspired.If you want to be a rockstar then gain the confidence by tuning in, subscribe, download, and give us a good review on iTies, Stictcher Radio, Google Play etc …the more insights we receive on how much you enjoy this and our other exciting and energetic topics The more we will be able to provide to you and inspiring interviews and important tools and support. I have several artists friends that I have the pleasure and honor of knowing for several years, who have been in the art industry that will also share with you what has worked with them and what hasn’t through upcoming and inspiring interviews.

Ok Rockstars, I know you know the rock group “Journey” song “Don’t Stop Believing” this is one of the best energy driven songs suitable to celebrate this podcast. so just remember this when you feel low and you feel you are having a hard time moving along, keep your head high, keep that paint flowing or that glass glowing and be sure to tune in for the next amazing Rockstar Mentor podcast adb blog entry. If you’d like to learn more about me, your host, Sonya Paz you can see my artwork at SonyaPaz.com. If you’d like to learn more about Rockstar Mentor, more podcasts on the horizon, subscribe to some free downloads that I’ve prepared just for you … Or to join our Rockstar Mentor Mastermind page on Facebook, then visit again here at RockstarMentor.com

We look forward to your questions, ideas, that you would like to have addressed and read on the air then go to RockstarMentor.com and click the ask a question tab and will hope to see you and will hope to voice your question here on the air.

Thanks so much for tuning and everyone have a great creative day!

Rock on everyone!

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