The Seven-Word Rule: promoting your work


The single quality you should cultivate in order to become successful as an artist would be boldness.

That isn’t to say that your art must be bold. You don’t have to produce solid-gold skulls, 10-story installations, photographs of valleys full of naked people, or art fences that join nations. Whether or not your art needs to be bold is a separate question. The bottom line is, whatever art you do — bold or serene, new-fangled or old-fashioned — you must be bold if you want to sell it.

So, how can you become bolder? On a tactical level, you effectively become bolder just by communicating with strength, clarity and brevity.

For this, you might want to adopt the seven-word rule: speak your mind in seven words or fewer. This will prevent you from apologizing, meandering, dithering and in other ways weakening yourself!

What might employing this rule sound like? All of the following:

• I’d like to show in your gallery.

• I’ll be leaving our cooperative gallery.

• Please tell everyone about my new show.

• Can you help me promote my show?

• My painting style is folk expressionism.

• If you buy two, there’s a discount.

• Put me in your February group show.

• Can you help pay for the framing?

• Do artists on this site make money?

• Please write an article on me.

• Please tell your collector friends about me.

• Can we meet when I come to New York?

• My new work is particularly strong.

• Can you take more of my paintings?

• How will you promote my show?

• Will you come for a studio visit?

Of course in some instances you will have to use a few more words than seven, but you get the idea. The more you can train yourself to speak in short, crisp, powerful sentences, the bolder and braver you will become. Give it a try!

Eric Maisel’s latest book for artists, Secrets of a Creativity Coach is available on Amazon here.

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