Art Marketing Advice: The Art of the Follow Through

In her autobiography, Beverly Cleary tells about a middle school incident where her classmates were all excited about a writing contest. Everyone was planning to enter, talking about their ideas for the competition. Cleary won the contest, finding out that it wasn't necessarily the quality of her work, but that she was the only one who entered. She said that experience helped to strengthen her work ethic, teaching her to follow through on opportunities.
Last night I went to a village council meeting to present my work to the council members. They are looking for a source for the different gifts and donations they are sometimes required to give for various functions, and had sent out a call for local artists and artisans. I was the only artist who came to the meeting.
Today, I received a call with their order for a piece of artwork - a print of the painting above, and the potential for future sales. I made good connections yesterday with a group that is in a position to buy, and it would not have happened if I hadn't been intrigued enough by the initial email to get more details and attend the meeting, paintings in hand.
Maybe you have seen the bare walls of your favourite coffee shop and just haven't gotten around to asking if they'd like to exhibit your work. Maybe you think the cover of that regional magazine could use a local artist's art to jazz it up. Maybe there's a group whose interest (tractors, gardens, antique china) happens to match your subject matter and your donation of art to their event could just introduce you to a whole new group of buyers. Maybe it's just that you've always wanted to enter that art competition but have just never gotten around to sending in that application. Follow through! Follow through! Follow through! Because you just never know.