How to Psych Yourself Up to Sell your Art

I used to train clients on the nuts and bolts of the sales process on my first call with them. When I did that they would inevitably fail and fail hard. It’s not because they are bad sellers or because they have a bad product. It’s because I trained them how to sell before I got them comfortable with why we sell. 

The biggest issue I face with creators is the confidence to talk with people about their projects. They don’t think it’s good enough. They don’t think they are good enough. They are wrong. 

If you are feeling like that you are wrong too. You can do it. You can do it all. You can be a great sales person and stalwart for your projects. In fact, you MUST be the best stalwart because at least at the beginning there is nobody else that can sell your project as well as you. 

So here are a few of my favorite ways to get comfortable selling, especially when it scared you to talk to people. 

Start with your existing network. 

The people that know and like you will put up with a lot from you. So if you need to practice your pitch the best way is to start with the people you know. They might not be the best judge of your pitch, but they will encourage you to practice and that is more important. Once you are comfortable with them, you can expand out into other networks. Just the simple act of speaking about your product out loud makes you a better and more confident seller.  

Expect to hear a no.

One of the biggest mindset blocks that inhibits people from selling is that they always expect to hear a yes. That’s backwards. You should expect to hear a no. A yes should be something amazing and incredible. It should be something you cherish because they don’t come around that often. The good news is there are 7.4 billion people in the world, so there’s plenty of room to find your tribe. 

It’s not personal. 

You can’t take things personally in sales. The truth is that most people don’t care about your thing, just like you don’t care about most things. It’s not that you hate McDonald’s, you just don’t want to eat there. So when somebody comes to offer you McDonald’s and you say no, it’s just your preference. You’re a Chick-Fil-A type of person. 

It’s the same with any business, including yours. Not everybody is in the market or mindset to buy your stuff. Instead of focusing on them, focus on those people who DO want to buy. 

It’s all about the numbers

Sales is a numbers game. If we know almost everybody will say no, that saying no is not personal, and that we should focus on people that want what we have to offer, now it’s just about finding those people. 

That means we have to hear a lot of nos and we have to deal with a ton of indifference in order to weed that 7.4 billion into the few thousand that will make our businesses profitable. If we find enough yeses we have a viable business. 

Any business can become viable. The question is will you find your profitability point before you run out of money. The more people you talk to the better your chances are or being successful. 

It’s like that guy who always had a date on Saturday night. He wasn’t particularly smart, or fun, or good looking. He just asked everybody until one person said yes. 

Do it with passion.

Nobody knows your brand. Nobody. You are competing in a marketplace, any marketplace, with a ton of established brands that people know. 

In order to shake them loose and be interested in you, there needs to be passion in your voice. They need to know you love your product and would do anything to make it succeed. That passion drives sales.

You are trying to wake people up and take notice of you. Don’t be listless. If your passion doesn’t come through in your voice and attitude, NOBODY WILL CARE. 

Make it about them.

One of my favorite sales techniques is not to sell at all. The more you talk about somebody else, ask them questions, and find out what they are about, the more likely they are to identify with your brand and buy your product. 

After all, Dove isn’t coming to ask about their hopes and dreams. They aren’t talking about Star Wars or football. So if you make it about the customer, engage them, and get them to like you before before you start talking about your stuff, they’ll more likely buy from you.

If you are scared of something, do something even scarier.

This is a rather famous trick, but I still love it. If you are scared to sell, go sky-diving, or scuba diving, or do something that is absolutely petrifying. Once you have done that the rest of your life…it doesn’t seem so scary.

Do you have any techniques that work for you? Let me know in the comments. 

Russell Nohelty is a publisher, writer, and consultant. He runs Wannabe Press ( and hosts The Business of Art Podcast (