'Trust' by Joi Ito
Trust Is Key
As an artist it is crucial that your audience trust you. Trust makes receiving value in exchange for your art easier, working with clients a delight, and marketing almost painless (because your existing fans will do it for you). Before we talk about building it, let's first look at what it is.
Trust is the belief that you will be a good steward of something that's valuable. People may trust you with any number of things, but at the top of the list are their money, reputation, and affection. Show who you are, what you do, and that you care about them, and they'll be willing to offer you more and more.
1. Demonstrate Your Values
Everything you do and display should reflect what you stand for. That includes your art, marketing tools, and customer service. The more you demonstrate your values, the more your audience will realize that they're genuine.
2. Explain Yourself
Your followers aren't just interested in your finished product, they want to look behind the scenes to see how it's made. Use videos, photos, a blog (!), or other ways to invite your fans to better understand what they're enjoying. This turns everything into a story, and stories are the most compelling products of all.
3. Stay in Touch
You want to be the first person that comes to mind when your audience thinks of your style of art, because … you'll get hired more often. So keep in touch through a newsletter, social media, or other methods. Be consistent and you'll get an astounding amount of interest.
4. Delight Your Audience
Give people reasons to rave about you. Greeting cards are good start, but gestures that are unique to you art and style are even more effective. Find creative ways to delight your fans, and they'll be overjoyed to tell their friends about you.
There are so many ways to build trust that it can be daunting to identify which strategies to use. You don't have to do everything at once, but you do need to do something. Figure out the best first step you can take and go take it. You might find that it's more fun than you'd thought.