How do you view competition?
Competition? Huh? On the surface the art market realm of life does not appear to be a place of competition, and in one sense it is not. But art is viewed as a luxury, rather than something fundamental to simple joy in life. And when the word luxury slips into any conversation another element slips in – that is the idea that resources are limited, and prioritizing how resources are used is critical. Every penny counts, and every purchase is no longer impulse, but strategic, planned and often involves functionality, rather than frivolity.
So how do you handle the presence of another person who works in your medium setting up in that art show? Cold Shoulder? Anxiety ridden silence? or make friends, and get to know them?
The best strategy is to say hello, introduce yourself, and get to know them a bit. As you chat you can develop a friendly rivalry. Steve does this often when there is another soap maker in the crowd. He compares notes, and get into talking about processes, recipes, what is selling, and what is not…. and as they compare notes is clear that each have a different style, a different product, and a different method for packaging, and marketing their work.
We love the opportunity that several soap makers at the same event will bring. Customers will visit each booth, and be drawn to either their soap or ours. Often we hear that people come back to us because they like the fact that our soap smells great, and each bar is wrapped. You would not imagine how many people comment on the wrapping.
Here are a few things to think about your work versus that of your competition:
- What do i do that is unique from others work?
- What can i learn from others working in my medium?
- What problems are others having with their work/medium?
- How does my work differentiate itself from others work? What makes my work unique?
- How does the quality of my work compare with others?
- What can I improve to capture more of a market?
Healthy assessment, and then market the difference. Differentiating your work from others will carve a special niche in the market of art buyers. Always Always be respectful of others… And never speak disparaging words against you. Kindness, Professional and well crafted art is noticed, and often that is what differentiates you from others, and garners the sale.