Never Underestimate The Power of a Good Network
Taken from the E-book From Bricks to Clicks
It’s been said that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. In all honesty, both are important building blocks. My first few years in the art business I knew little to no one in the industry. Both galleries and artists alike ruled the AR brand out as a viable business. To this day, I look at that as a very exciting challenge that I welcome it with open arms. That mentality has lead me to pinnacle moments in my career thus far.
In February 2020 the NBA All Star game came to Chicago. Along with it was the branding partnership: NBA on TNT. The company placed billboards throughout the city, but they were also interested in branding using the power of art. They had full access to every gallery in Chicago, they also could have individually selected any artist to work with but they didn’t… they chose us. Did I get lucky? Maybe so, but did I have a network in place to help gain the attention for this massive franchise? YES. While staying in our lane with foresight past the brick and mortar model, we began to create a network of creatives that supported our vision.
Not everyone you meet will have a readable sign that serves your purpose. It’s important to show appreciation and interest to anyone within the creative industry. Even those that don’t appear creative often know people who are. Once the appreciative energy is in the air, the potential for it come back becomes possible. The more interactions you bring to the table, the more possibilities you open.
Being an artist to any degree can come with antisocial side effects. So if you feel you’re not in a position to network on a semi-regular basis but are interested in growing your contact list, then you’ll need to appoint someone to help you with the process. This goes back to the fundamental ideology that an artist is a company. Like any other company, you’ll need employees. The business side of selling art isn’t rooted in hourly, so having the right commission based network in place can be a game changer.
Often times you’ll hear an established artist say things like “My Team and I.” Team building is the evolution of an artists’ independence and the career goals that follow. It goes without saying, dedication and perseverance are needed to build a valuable team but as mentioned above, it’s not as financially draining as it may appear. Before a nest egg is built, your surrounding network can be selected and given the ability to earn what what they put in, not earn from a clock ticking.
This is where the conversation starts, among friends that can help navigate you to prosperity.
A network is an infinite web you can weave to capture all of your leads.