Points to Ponder - Marketing Skills

  There is always things to do in Marketing, as every Artist knows, here are some of my 

Points to Ponder 

Winter Marketing Workshops are over for this year but I will set up Private Sessions for Artists or Artist Groups


To set up a session or get more information see www.artbywendy.com - workshops

H.  Does Social Media eat up your Time??!!


You want to be in your studio,  

You don't want to spend your day on the computer!!

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Blogging, . . 

Yes, promoting yourself on Social Media takes a lot of time.  And to be effective you must post consistently and actively comment, like and share with others.  How busy is it; Twitter moves very fast - the average lifespan of a tweet is only 12 minutes!!  One Tweet a day is not doing anything. 


So you know you have to be out there!  What should you do? 

Start at the beginning, your Marketing Goals.

First of all:  Where are you going with your art, what are your priorities?  Are you heading for Gallery representation or as an Independent Entrepreneur?   Do you do Commission Work?  Each of these answers has an effect on the direction you are going with your marketing and how much time to devote to Social Media.

Secondly: What are your Strengths and Interests?  Do you enjoy writing or public speaking?  What are your hobbies?  Gardening?  Jogging?  Horseback riding? Keeping these skills in mind helps you choose a path that you will enjoy and be able to maintain over a long period of time.

Thirdly: Where is your target market?  Have you identified who likes your work and the kind of lifestyle they have? This knowledge gives you a direction to aim your marketing efforts.

Now take a close look at each of the Social Media tools - they all have wonderful ways to maximize your business online.  But realistically you can’t do it all.  Pick one that appeals to you and work with it for at least 3-6 months. That will give you a real picture of whether it is working for you.  Choose one that appeals to your strengths and interests as this makes it easier to maintain your presence.   For example, if you like to write, then Blog. This gives you an opportunity to build on your interests as well as  gives you lots of opportunity to get your work out there, link to your website and promote your activities.  Being aware of your target market helps you craft your online presents to their interests.

So don’t try and be all things to all people, pick your spot and jump in.  

Don't Forget to Share!

G.  What do you do?

An easy question, 
we can all happily chatter away for hours on the things we like to paint, why we paint, what materials we use, our influences . . .

BUT . .

Unless your audience is trapped in a locked room, most will not listen for long!!

When we meet new people first impressions are important.  In the fast paced life of today that can mean a very short time. Alyson Stanfield, a Marketing Guru on the net, says 10 seconds.  Malcolm Gladwin in his book Blink, says 2!! And he says we only get one shot!!

Where does that leave us?
We like to paint and draw many things.  we love to experiment with texture, medium and colours.  One day we are a realist, the next an abstractionist!  Our influences come from nature, the Old Masters, the light, music, . . .
BUT . . .
Can we tell it all in 2-10 Seconds!!!???
Of course not.

This becomes our struggle.  What do you do?  Simple but complex.


To answer this question requires a soul searching experience.  You need to study your work, what is it about, what is the overlying theme,  feeling, idea you are expressing?  Encapsulating your work into a 10 seconds speech or 10-15 words shapes your answer, shapes your Marketing.  


"Wendy Mould, Bringing Nature to Life"
Does it mean you can never paint a pink elephant?  No.  It just means the majority of your work is about something else.  

So tell me, What do you do??


F. As an Artist You are a Celebrity!!

Well not exactly the Angelina Jolie or Ryan Reynold's notoriety
But . .

in Your Art World 
You are a Celebrity!!

How can this be?  She is crazy!! You are thinking, I know, 
But. . .

When a person buys your original piece of art, they hang it with loving care in their home, they cherish it,and then they talk!!

Yes, they talk.  The talk about their new piece of art and they talk about YOU!!

They will have company in to show off their new picture and of course tell your stories about the piece.  "The artist was hiking on a trail north of Pender Harbour, when she . . ."


Connecting with the artist is very often an important element with original sales.  Collectors are buying the picture because it rings true to them.   But also feeling a connection with artist and the experience that resulted in the creation.  In turn, they also feel a connection to the process. 


This has many implications for artist: 
a. making valid connections with people is an important part of the sales process
b. having ready, interesting stories and/or  emotional content about each piece (A note of caution: keep these short, not a a 5-10 minute story)
c.  writing artist statements/biographies/etc. that give a few good interesting insights into you and your process


Yes, you’re a Celebrity!!  

E. Can Artists Compete with Walmart Pricing?

You've seen them, big canvases 30 x 40, bright splashy colours, interesting graphics, and only $49.99!  

Sometimes even less!!
How do you compete?  

Planning, supplies and execution - takes time and money! 
  As an artist, you can’t sell your work for $49.99.  

Why carry on?

But wait, you are not selling the same product!
Your work is original! 

It breathes; It has an energy to it!  It has its own unique qualities.  Textures, brush strokes, colours, things that are unique and special.  Not mass produced.  

Hunt & Peck - Watercolour
An original piece of art reflects the soul, the struggle and the mystery of its creation.  The owner feels this bond and his soul and spirit are nourished by it.  No such relationship is built on mass produced prints.  


There is a sense of prestige in owning original art.  It has an aura of success; one has reached a “certain level” to be able to own original art.

You are an artist. You create these works that are treasured and loved.  You need to continue and to value what you do.  Make those feelings show in everything you create.


So next time you look at those bold prints remember, they are just wall paper, not a masterpiece!!

D. Small Can Be Better

Would you like a salesperson who knows you and your work and is very enthusiastic to sell it?  Sounds like a dream but it can be true.

For many of us, galleries are not always an option but that can work for us.  In a gallery you are in a stable of 20 or more artists.  Yes, they will sell for you but their priority is to sell art. It doesn't have to be yours!! 
There are businesses that would love to feature your art, exclusively!!  They recognize the value of interesting art decorating their walls that enhances their business environment and is revenue producing.  The key is the art enhances the environment.  For example: Florals in a Florist; Landscapes or Abstracts in a Furniture Store, Portraits in a Salon.  Middle and High-end Gift Shops are pleased to include local artists’ work in their inventory. 


In order to find your spot it is important to first do your research.  What type of business is it?  If you were a customer what kinds of art would work you like to see in that setting?  Do they feature an artist now? When you have found a spot, prepare a presentation and introduce yourself.
Hints of Summer Show at Awesome Blossom
A selection of HINTS OF SUMMER, my show at Awesome Blossom

Do the research, Find your spot!


If you live in the area see what this is like, I am the featured artists at Awesome Blossom, a florist in the Willowbrook Mall, Langley until April 30. 


Want more Marketing Skills, see my Workshop and Classes Page for Upcoming Marketing Workshops or Private Sessions. 

C.  What to do with 500 Business Cards??


That is the Challenge!! 

For many artists, the cards are designed, ordered and delivered; but they are still in the box.
 “I don’t want to be pushy.  Not sure when to hand them out.  I am not really comfortable bringing them out.”  
These are just a few of the comments that I have heard from artists, and truth be known, it is not just artists that have trouble handing them out.  Darcy Rezac has written a whole book on the subject “The Frog and Prince: Secrets of Positive Networking to change your life”.  With tongue in cheek humor he outlines an approach that helps one work the Lily Pond, passing out cards and with the goal of one day becoming a Prince! 


The first step is carry cards with you all the time.  Not just one card but 5-7 cards, whatever fits conveniently in your wallet, purse or bag. Keep this cashe full, when cards are taken out, more should go in immediately.


The second step is to talk with people; wherever you are.  This will become a wonderful habit as you will begin to meet lots of very interesting people.  Through talking you begin to connect, this is what is needed first before that card comes out.  Connecting is more than just exchanging names and jobs, it is learning about each other, finding value in the relationship.  Darcy describes it as being able to help the other person in some way.  It may be as simple as connecting them with a resource or an introduction to someone.  But through this assistance, the connection is made and given value.  There is now a reason to keep the card and to refer to it (you) in the future. 


The third step is to set some goals: maybe two connection a week; three connections at a meeting; or five connections at a show. Remember quantity isn’t the game; it is the quality of the connection which makes it work.

So, open up your box, get out the cards, set some goals, and start talking.  You will be surprised how much more fun you will have the next time you stand in line, attend a meeting or stage a show.



B.  The Business Card - Is it still relevant?

This little card started its life in the 17th Century, how can something that old still be relevant in our high tech digital world?? 

The card is a symbol.  It is a tangible connection with you and your contact.  It is a 'leave behind' that carries everything about you and your Art Business: contact information; sample of your work; a reminder of the new contact. 

When we first meet with others, there is a flurry of exchanges: names; businesses; addresses; contacts; chatter.  It is hard to remember all the details. The business card, pulled out later can rebuild that connection, with all the relevant information front and center, complimented by an image of your Art. 

Major businesses still put a lot of emphasis on the card, producing more and more each year. With a nod to digital age, they now come with a QR codes (Quick Read Codes).  This little symbol can quickly load all your contact information into their system or drive them immediately to your website or a campaign you are running.   Some QR Generators will even let you track and analyze what people are doing with your code.

So my answer is: Yes, I feel the Business Card is still very much part of the Marketing World today.

Any thoughts?  Certainly a Point to Ponder!!

Resource:
How to Create a QR Code in 4 Quick Steps: This site gives a clear description of things to think about when setting up your QR Code and links to different QR Generators.


 A.  The Power of Connecting


Technology has changed the face of marketing in the Art World but one fundamental truth is still in place, people like to buy art from people they know and like.  They want to buy an experience; make a connection with the artist and the product. We are part of the product we sell.  So to sell art we need to connect with people, lots of people, we need to network!

This is not an easy task for artists, by nature we work alone.   To market our art we need to learn how to get out there and network.  Not in a ‘here’s my card, buy my art’ mode but through discussion establishing a common ground and an interest in each other’s worlds.  A sharing of information and ideas, this is what gives value to the connection and builds its strength. This is how we move out beyond the base of family and close friends.  Opportunities to network are everywhere: clubs, special events, standing in line and even walking the dog. 

Networking is not just an offline activity; to be successful one has to move into the digital world.  The internet offers many opportunities for networking: special interest groups, blogging, forums, and social networks. There are certain etiquettes to follow, blatant advertising is frowned upon, it is the sharing of ideas and information that will build positive connections.  

People wanting to buy art, want to connect with the artists, the more connections we make the more opportunities we will have to meet our future clients