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This is pasted from my other thread on the ISFJ forum, someone suggested you were the guys to talk to:


ok so i have a question and no idea whom to ask, Im tempted to ask on FB or craigslist but i feel really ignorant on the subject.

I draw, paint and do crafts at home in my spare time, i would like to sell these things and make a very small business. This seems to work for some people through ebay or etsy, but local work seems like a better idea.

So basically i was searching through companies locally that were looking for workers to assemble or create things, since i have most of my previous work experience in customer service and i really want to get out of that... but it occurred to me that I would prefer and could also possibly thrive on working independently.

If i could find people interested in any of the many things i have made or do, i could make a modest income (which is all i realistically am looking for). The problem is that i am not good at sales or being social, i dont have any connections or desire to interact with strangers so my question is ... Would it be possible/feasible to find someone to act as my manager or go-between to find clientele and promote my items? How would i go about finding someone to do this and what is expected of me?
 
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The internet is a very interesting place. Possibilities are abound and it only takes a bit of effort to truely start up something special. I know several artisans who have branched out in many areas. I have a love of photography myself and while I probably could make it pay if I put my heart and soul into it I am too busy with other projects to dive into this passion too deeply.

Etsy is certainly a good starting point. Creating a catalog of work is qutie possibly the first step in a task for creating work for sale. Spend time organizing your work and putting it here to start. Organizating this and getting things lined up can help you get organized in terms of what will and what will not actually sell.

The timing for this new found venture is about perfect because there we are nearing spring time which will ensure several markets will be available for you to do BASIC networking. People buy art from people. People market for people they like. I do realize you are an introvert but in order to get into a community and start getting serious about what you want to do you will have to step out of your box a bit. 50% of my art buying habits revolve around the people I am buying art from. For instance I am in the process of acquiring some art from an artist I have done business with before. She intrigues me and her work is a reflection of my intrigue... I could literally buy art from anywhere but I return to buy from her because I like her work and her.

Go to art shows and get involved in not-for-profit events that are sponsoring a cause you are interested in. Offer your art up as a donation. Write off the value the donation yields for a tax break for a short term gain. Getting your name out is really the only way you can build your name. Go to local markets and meet with others who are selling art in the area you focus on. Try and chat with them to understand what they are doing and what products are selling.

Once you build a name for yourself you can start doing some minor shows and putting your items out for others to see and buy. As you gradually build you name you can begin charging more and more for your pieces depending on their popularity. In the art world it is about who you know and not necessarily about how "good" your work is. This is why you find that most artists have "persona" that they put on which lead to the value of their art. A deaf, blind, armless painter who uses his mouth to paint scribbles would fetch an amazing sum because of the story AROUND the piece. Strange how that works em? It's all subjective and speculative based on the background story. People want to be motivated, shocked, as most forms of art have been done before.

Should you build a basic name for yourself through coffee shops, showings, and Etsy, etc you may begin to branch out and get dealers and galleries to house your goods. I honestly do not know what style you are in so depending on your area of expertise there may be quicker means to the end.

Long story short you need to network with people and find those who appreciate what you do.
 

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The internet is a very interesting place. Possibilities are abound and it only takes a bit of effort to truely start up something special. I know several artisans who have branched out in many areas. I have a love of photography myself and while I probably could make it pay if I put my heart and soul into it I am too busy with other projects to dive into this passion too deeply.

Etsy is certainly a good starting point. Creating a catalog of work is qutie possibly the first step in a task for creating work for sale. Spend time organizing your work and putting it here to start. Organizating this and getting things lined up can help you get organized in terms of what will and what will not actually sell.

The timing for this new found venture is about perfect because there we are nearing spring time which will ensure several markets will be available for you to do BASIC networking. People buy art from people. People market for people they like. I do realize you are an introvert but in order to get into a community and start getting serious about what you want to do you will have to step out of your box a bit. 50% of my art buying habits revolve around the people I am buying art from. For instance I am in the process of acquiring some art from an artist I have done business with before. She intrigues me and her work is a reflection of my intrigue... I could literally buy art from anywhere but I return to buy from her because I like her work and her.

Go to art shows and get involved in not-for-profit events that are sponsoring a cause you are interested in. Offer your art up as a donation. Write off the value the donation yields for a tax break for a short term gain. Getting your name out is really the only way you can build your name. Go to local markets and meet with others who are selling art in the area you focus on. Try and chat with them to understand what they are doing and what products are selling.

Once you build a name for yourself you can start doing some minor shows and putting your items out for others to see and buy. As you gradually build you name you can begin charging more and more for your pieces depending on their popularity. In the art world it is about who you know and not necessarily about how "good" your work is. This is why you find that most artists have "persona" that they put on which lead to the value of their art. A deaf, blind, armless painter who uses his mouth to paint scribbles would fetch an amazing sum because of the story AROUND the piece. Strange how that works em? It's all subjective and speculative based on the background story. People want to be motivated, shocked, as most forms of art have been done before.

Should you build a basic name for yourself through coffee shops, showings, and Etsy, etc you may begin to branch out and get dealers and galleries to house your goods. I honestly do not know what style you are in so depending on your area of expertise there may be quicker means to the end.

Long story short you need to network with people and find those who appreciate what you do.
it sounds like that is a little bigger than i am realistically aiming for. Id like to find someone that could handle some of that for me, ideally that would be the best option because my anxiety is keeping me from doing alot of that already. I just dont know how or where to go about looking for someone and what to expect them to ask for.
 

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it sounds like that is a little bigger than i am realistically aiming for. Id like to find someone that could handle some of that for me, ideally that would be the best option because my anxiety is keeping me from doing alot of that already. I just dont know how or where to go about looking for someone and what to expect them to ask for.
You are looking for an Art Dealer. You are still going to need to show your work some how.
 

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personally, if i knew i am good at something, have a vision, and determination, i don't need someone managing me.
do you think you need a manager? do you trust yourself?

only benefit to management or whatever is networking. but you can do that on your own... some people can.
 

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personally, if i knew i am good at something, have a vision, and determination, i don't need someone managing me.
do you think you need a manager? do you trust yourself?

only benefit to management or whatever is networking. but you can do that on your own... some people can.
i do know me, and its because of that that i know im weak in the selling area because i dont feel comfortable bragging about my work nor do i enjoy the feeling of not successfully selling things or talking to strangers.
 

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I do think the3rdPower gave a great answer - he definately knows his stuff, but if you feel like social anxiety can pose a real problem your best bet is to join forces with someone you know and trust. Do you have any extraverted friends or family members, they would be a good start and would probably ask for a negligible amount of money. Another good idea is to go into independently run shops and ,with your partner, pitch your artwork to the manager. Hopefully someone will be happy to buy your work and sell it in their stores.

Also, maybe look into setting up your own website - there are lots of guides available on the internet such as How to Set Up a Website
 
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your best bet is to join forces with someone you know and trust. Do you have any extraverted friends or family members, they would be a good start and would probably ask for a negligible amount of money.
this occurred to me too, i have a friend that a while back joked about managing me, i think im going to give her a call and see if she really has the time or desire to be my front woman. Although someone i dont know could be a better option since it wouldnt cause any rifts in my personal life, i dont want anyone to later suggest that im unfair about their cut or that eventually doesnt enjoy doing this anymore.
 

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Don't get friends involved in business unless you're willing to deal with the possible repercussions of that action. I'd also say that if you're looking at staying small scale that you need to learn how to do this yourself and stay away from having a front man. In the long run having a promoter is only beneficial if you're planning on growing. Humans are greedy by nature and they always strive for "more". The only way to control the pace of that "more" completely is to keep things reliant on only yourself. If you don't like interacting with people on a personal level then sell things on the internet and stay ambiguous. It'll save you from actually having to have face time with you're customers. If you want to do things on a more "real life" plane then target art, and craft supply shops in the area to start out. MOST of them sell local artists work from inside the store and only take a small percentage (and that way you only have to deal with the people who work at that shop). Another possibility would be to find craft shows in your area and sell your goods at ALL of them. the real trick is to find a few YOUNG family members (or the children of friends) and pay them like 10% per sale. They'll do all the interaction for you. Some of them will even get ambitious and walk around the craft show selling things on the move away from your booth.

So there you go. That's my 2 cents. Take if for what it's worth.
 

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How much money are we talking about here per piece? I'm guessing up to a couple hundred bucks. No sales person is gonna work their ass off for such little money. You HAVE to start off by doing it yourself, or no one is going to do it. Once you build a name for yourself and you have won the right to charge a few thousand or more fore your work, then you might be able to convince someone to put the work of selling your stuff.

How much do you really want to be successful at this? Unless the answer is "more than anything else in the world" you're most likely going to give up after a couple of weeks or months. You'll still be making crafts and such, but you'll have given up on the business side of it.
 

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if you want to create something... like a business
you have to know that there is not only the selling aspect wich can be a problem... there are few aspect you have to take care:
- money management (your cash flow)
- your comunication
- law (what you can do)
- how to sell? (who? what? when etc..)
- your team ( don't team up with your friends... its a really bad idea!! trust me... even if i knew it was a bad idea; i tried, because i trusted them... but when it comes to money it could be a bad idea to mix your friends with business)
- the leadership (who is the leader? who take decisions? because when there is no leader; everyone is figthing for there ideas.... and it is very painfull)
- administration
- your product
so you have to take care of every aspects.

said that; you can do it!! it's not so difficult.
at the very beginning you will have to do everything, because only few people have the courage to begin something new.
and if you don't know how to sell because you're not a good comunicator, you can sell your products on internet (like psyphon said).

i propose you this book: "4hour work week" by tim ferriss
a really nice book. it probably will give you a lots of ideas.

good luck
 
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