(THIS POST IS PART 2 OF 10 ON THE 10 SUCCESS PRINCIPLES FOR ARTISTS)
SUCCESS PRINCIPLE #2 – Integrity
Local artist Joe Tilly* came into our studio asking us to refer him out should any surfboard painting commissions come up. His art sales are down, and he desperately needs the money.
In this surfing town of San Clemente, an artist could make a good living just by painting surfboards. People will pay big bucks to have their surfboards personalized.
My husband Drew is known for pioneering a certain technique of painting surfboards many years ago. It’s common for people to ask him to paint their surfboards, and when Drew has time in between other painting projects, he’ll do it.
Drew has taught his surfboard painting techniques to many artists, one being Joe Tilly. Joe is talented and his work is very good.
So when a potential client asked to commission Drew for a surfboard painting that he wanted done right away, Drew said “I’m leaving town for vacation tomorrow. But give Joe Tilly a call – he’s very good.”
The client said “I’d rather give you the work.”
“But I won’t be able to start it for two more weeks” Drew said.
“That’s okay, I’ll wait. The last time I hired Joe Tilly for artwork, he let me down.”
Integrity is what builds your reputation. Having integrity means that you:
DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO, WHEN YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO IT.
It also means BEING HONEST and UPFRONT about your limitations.
You only have one chance to impress a potential client. That impression will stay with them forever, and they’ll tell others about you.
We have always been upfront with a customer if we can’t meet their deadline. But once we agree to a deadline, Drew will stay up for three nights straight if that’s what it takes to get the job done.
Integrity has been one of the things that keeps our clients coming back year after year.
On the other hand, once you don’t meet a deadline, or tell a client that you can do it in a timeframe that you can’t, or just flake altogether, you’ve lost a lifetime customer.
*Joe Tilly is not the person’s real name, but is a real person.