Season 5 – epiBLOG 8:
One of the requirements in building a successful entrepreneurial artistic career is knowing how to build strong and lasting business relationships.
Many artists cringe at the thought of having to come out of the abyss that is their studio or home office, and actually connect with people. However, it has to happen if you would like to do things like eat, have a home (renting or buying), buy clothes, and pay other bills that support a lifestyle that makes you content.
That’s right – if you want to make a living doing what you love, you have to build business relationships with others. You can’t just be a creative genius in your parents’ basement without communicating with other humans.
Today’s topic is on how to build business relationships in order to create a solid foundation for your business as an artist.
I know that some of you are already waiting for me to use the word “networking,” which turns many of you off. I get it. Networking automatically conjures up images of business suits, phony smiles, and handing out business cards that you’re proud of, but could barely afford printing.
First of all, with relationship-building, you have to come from a place of sincerity when you want to build with others. Be authentic. I can’t emphasize authenticity enough. Being deceptive will not help you in the long-run, and oftentimes doesn’t help you in the short-term either. People can see right through a dishonest person, which will cause them to not want to work with you. Additionally, keeping up with multiple lies takes more effort than it does to simply have integrity.
Secondly, always be your own best representative. How you show up in the world should be consistent in person and online. Your personality and brand should be clear and consistent with who people digitally meet on social media and the person they get to meet when they shake your hand. Consistency goes a long way with relationship-building because people develop a sort of expectation when it comes to their interactions with you. You begin to be a trusted source. People want to work with people with whom they trust. For example, let’s say that you have a vlog, blog, or podcast. You post your work consistently once a week for six months or longer. You’re going to begin to develop a following of people. Your following knows that they can trust that you will continuously deliver content to them. They will be loyal to you for that alone.
Thirdly, you want to be yourself at all times, but you want to be the best version of yourself — specifically when connecting with others. Whether you are attending industry events, industry parties, or simply attending a networking mixer or group, put your best foot forward. When reaching out to people on social media, you not only want to be sincere and consistent, but you want to be professional and passionate about what you do and what you’re all about. People gravitate towards authenticity and passion.
I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with Business Strategist Shaun Cassidy. This has been an amazing opportunity and experience for me. Not only did I learn how to connect more effectively with people through social media, but I was immediately able to apply my newfound knowledge simultaneously.
I felt like I was a pretty open-minded entrepreneur before meeting Shaun, but he just opened up this whole new world by helping me to expand my network. One of my greatest take-aways from having worked with him is the emphasis that he made on the fact that building a solid network of people will keep me from having to hustle for work all of the time. When your network is big and continuously expands, you always have opportunities that come your way.
What You Should Know Before Approaching Prospects:
- What does your business provide in terms of services or products?
- What can you contribute to others?
- And how does beginning a business relationship with another individual mutually benefit you both? There’s nothing wrong with going into relationships with a “win-win” mindset. You want to be able to contribute to the other person as much as you want them to contribute to you. These are the healthiest relationships in business and in our personal lives – ones that are mutually beneficial.
You want to be clear with the above three bullet points. The only way to be able to articulate yourself effectively is if you take the time to clearly define your business and how you provide solutions for others.
Today’s LESSON is to consistently connect with others.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: If you’re struggling in the area of relationship-building, I would suggest you take the above advice that was suggested in this post and I would suggest you work with Shaun Cassidy to help you to strategically and consistently grow your online network.