High Hanging Fruit (Clint Watson)

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High Hanging Fruit


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Once upon a time, there was a magical oasis in the desert where a grove of giant apricot trees grew. Merchants from the nearby city often trekked to the oasis to harvest the fine apricots for sale at the bazaar. The merchants only harvested the low-hanging fruit, for the trees were so plentiful and productive that there was no need to work any harder, and each merchant could harvest apricots more quickly by simply taking the ones within reach. The trees were so bountiful that the merchants soon grew lazy, and came to expect that the low-hanging fruit would always be there for them.

One young ambitious boy also sold apricots in the bazaar. Each day he visited the oasis and would climb to the top of the trees and spend hours harvesting mostly the high-hanging fruit. His apricot harvest took longer than the other merchants and it was always much smaller. Consequently, his "harvest" of gold at the bazaar was also small. The other merchants would marvel at the boy's stamina and athleticism, which they surely did not possesses. Even so, they would laugh at the foolish boy and often wondered why he didn't just take the easy, low hanging fruit like they did. After all, they could all afford the finest things in life and didn't have to work hard at all.

One year a horrible drought came over the land and the oasis shrank considerably as did the harvest of apricots. Suddenly the harvest of low hanging fruit was tiny, and not enough to support the opulent lifestyle of the merchants. The merchants sat and tore their clothes and gnashed their teeth in despair, praying to the gods for rain. They complained that factors beyond their control had made business impossible. While the merchants were busy complaining about the state of things and "the economy", the ambitious boy climbed the trees as he always had and continued to harvest the high hanging fruit from every single tree in the grove. Soon the boy was the only apricot merchant in town and became very successful and wealthy.

Since the "economic collapse" in 2008, I've been told that many galleries have gone out of business.


But I do know of a select few that are doing quite well.


What's the difference between the ones who have closed their doors and the ones that are thriving?


I used to own an art gallery, so I have a theory about the difference.


To a gallery, especially those in resort towns, a customer who walks in the door, money in hand and ready to buy is "low-hanging fruit." And, when the economy entered this downturn much of that "low hanging fruit" dried up.


"High-hanging fruit" means maintaining detailed contact lists, keeping track of customer interests and nurturing relationships. It's learning to send paintings out of town "on approval" and learning how to sell over the phone. It's utilizing photographs and an up-to-date website to keep prospects excited, even when they're not on vacation in a resort town. A gallery that pursues "high-hanging fruit" makes sales even when customers don't walk in the front door. I know. My gallery was nearly impossible to find if you didn't know its location. "Low-hanging fruit" almost never walked in our door, so, consequently, we never relied on it.


But many galleries grew reliant on the low-hanging fruit and when we entered the "drought", they, like the rich merchants in the parable, didn't know any other way. But the high-hanging fruit it still there for those with the skill and tenacity to go after it.


For artists who aren't in galleries, here's the thing: There usually is no low-hanging fruit. [1] Most of the time, you will have to be willing and able, like the boy in the parable, to climb to the highest branches and harvest your bounty. But make no mistake, there is a bounty to be had.


Sharing Art Enriches Life.


Until next time, please remember that Fortune Favors the Bold Brush.


Sincerely,

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Clint Watson

BoldBrush & FASO Founder / Art Fanatic

www.FineArtViews.com



[1] On the rare occasions a "gimme" falls in your lap, by all means, make the sale and thank the heavens for it. But, for most artists, there isn't much low-hanging fruit, at least in the early days of marketing.




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