Friday, February 11, 2011

Where do you draw the line on sharing with competitors?

Social marking has taken the world by storm and many of us want to  ride that wave of success found by being seen by thousands of people on social networking sites. Many people set up FAN pages hoping to grab some customers, and they post their offerings on a regular basis. They may join some groups and have some contests, but when it comes to sharing w/the competitor the network can get sticky.  For there are no norms set or rules set for what is proper etiquette.
Wikipedia - Etiquette
8x10 watercolor work in progress

I am a pet portrait artist, and this is a very popular art form that appeals to a broad audience.
Yet, in a weak economy the number of collectors or clients may be difficult to find. So, what does that artist do? Should they join other pet portrait groups - and possible have the client have the opportunity to compare? What about the FAN page, should they allow other artists to post their "Link"? Many people struggle with where they should sit on the fence, or if  they should hide behind the fence - hoping that their pet portraits are the only ones that shine on the FAN page so that  they can maintain client base.

I don't have a fence - I run free in the fields of artistic expression. No, I don't spam other pet portrait pages, but I welcome them to my page.  I have several of my FB buddies listed as a favorite on my  their comments - links and photos to my page and often times help them build their client base from my  hard work in establishing over 5,000 fans.

You may ask, why the hell would I allow other people - who offer pet portraits in the same medium on my page? Am I crazy!! - No, I'm not crazy. I feel that this is social networking at its best. Sharing links - profiles, and art together in the Facebook world brings good Karma.  I am not afraid that I will lose a customer because my friend paints great memorial rocks, or fantastic pencil art - or pop art. For all of our art is different, and we all should be seen so the client can get the very best option for his or her personal needs. I can't provide every option, though I do try, with my arsenal of pens, pencils, paints and products. The reality is I can't be the "ONE" for everyone - and if  I can allow my client the liberty to see what my friends offer, I am respected and offering good customer service.  I have no fear, for if they choose my friend over me, it is because they liked what my friend had to offer over mine. Art is in the  eye of the beholder. My husband doesn't like many of my portraits, but that doesn't make them not wonderful to my clients. They are a fan because I offer something they want at a price they think is of good value for the service rendered. Art collectors don't purchase on price - they purchase from who they know and trust. My clients know me, and I know them, so if they need a product I don't offer, I  might have a friend who does. Social networking to me is just that - social. If I only wanted to sell art, I would not be on facebook. For me it is about learning, sharing, and caring about all of the people you allow into your little virtual world.


  1. wow sound like a saint or something...again I'll stick to what I said before.You are in a much better position with your life. you need to be more understanding of others that this is their very lifeline to eating, paying rent or whether the electricity gets paid. I have a fanpage to earn a living. I would love to be so come what may about who buys or doesn't buy my art. I too love being an artist, feel blessed but my situation is very precarious...I never know if I'm ganna get any sales from week to week or if my rent will be paid. It tends to color how you deal with Facebook and competitors. We are not all fortunate to have another full time job or a husband. I don't get a sale I don't eat..If it wasn't for this wonderful opportunity I do not know where i'd be..with my unemployment running out. You sure sound good...but us artists don't hide behind a fence to be petty or have bad's called survivng and paying very different than your lifestyle...maybe one day I'll not have to live this way but for now I'm not cut throat..I've never ever been described as that but a very caring sweet natured selfless person; but even I know how to make it in this cold world these days

  2. yes, I have a job,that I would love to quit, but I help others promote their work so this works for me. So if you post on my page you are not in competition with me you are benefiting from my fan base, I see this as good karma for you and for me. I am very understanding of artists trying to make a living on art - that is why I share what works for me and what links I follow that give good advise on how to sell art using social media. I don't think artists that are afraid to showcase others are cut throat- they are doing what they believe works best for them. We all have different values and norms. My norm is to allow people to post on my page and to give them advise and share my fan base, it doesn't hurt my sales - and it just might help them get sales.

  3. Pam, You are a wonderfully talented artist and a blessing to animals!
    The world of art & artists is so much the better for your being here with us!

  4. awww, thanks for the kind comment- as I said before we all can learn from each other if we only open up the doors and our hearts. : D
    Always love seeing your cheerful work Sherry,
    and if anyone is not familiar with Sherry's work just scroll down, and find her zazzle store on my blog on the right.

  5. Wow anonymous. No wonder you wanted to stay that way. I too am a fellow artist who will one day have my own fan page, but I agree with Pam's humble attitude. I don't want to be THE ONE for everyone to have their art work done by either. That is why I'm choosing not to have the exact same services she does but to be different with my art so people will have a choice whom they would like to do their commissions. Pam you are a great artist. Keep doing what your doing. Some day I'll be right there running along beside you with the same goal in mind. Trying to help animal charities with my art too...


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