|STELLAR IRIS - 4" x 4" Canvas Panel - $40 tax and easel included|
This information came to me by email and I couldn't find any other way to share. The author, Chris Wilson's link is at the end of this blog. There are some valid points useful for artists who use the post holiday season to re-tool.
It’s hard to get a perspective on our art businesses when we’re in the midst of drawing, painting, working on projects, marketing, budgeting, and all the other things that take up our time throughout the day.
How much of what we are doing is actually helping our art business? It this next post on Facebook really going to help generate revenue? If I change the color of the font on my website is it going to increase the amount of people to sign up for my newsletter?
When I was getting my first illustration clients and art sales online, I started paying attention to what daily tasks were actually helping me grow my business and which were not.
Basically, I wanted to make sure the things I spent time on were helping my art business grow.
For example, at first I was spending five hours a week on Facebook trying to grow my followers. But then I discovered my art newsletter and email art launches with partners were generating way more art sales than how many followers I had on Facebook – the catch? I was only spending about an hour or two a week writing my newsletter and managing partner email art launches. So I quickly scratched my Facebook efforts.
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with all the tactics out there to market our art
Tactics are great, but without an overall system that ties them together, they’re useless.
There needs to be a reason for everything you do. All your smaller art marketing tasks should be a piece of the puzzle to help with the next task, and on and on.
So, rather than trying to aimlessly experiment with a million different tactics and feel like you’re just walking around in the dark and leaving everything up for chance, why not tie them all together with an overall system. I’d like to share a bird's eye view of the systems I’m currently using in my art business.
01 SYSTEM FOR SELLING YOUR ART
Telling your story
Understanding how you want others to perceive you and your art will help you in every other part of your art business. From the way you design your site to the voice you use in your content, your personal brand story is at the root of your art biz. It’s your job to make sure people describe your work the way you want them to. Don’t leave it up to others to brand you.
Building your online brand headquarters
This is the center of your creative universe. This is where anyone from anywhere in the world can learn more about you, your art, and how to collect it. All your promotion efforts should funnel your target audience back to your site and onto your email list where you can take them deeper into the world behind your art.
The “general public” and “everyone” isn’t your audience. I always hear from artists saying, “If I could only get my art seen by MORE people I could sell more art!”. It’s way better to have your art seen by 50 of the right people in your target audience rather than 10,000 random people. Think of who your art would appeal to based on either who you are and what your personal background is OR based on the subject matter of your art OR the creative problems your art solves for a specific group of people.
The root of your exposure is the content you create and share with your target audience. Your content is the shiny object that attracts the right people to your art. From your sketchbook drawings to the pictures of a messy table in your art space, share your process. It may not seem like this would be interesting to others, but to "non-artists" it is!
How you share your content depends on your preferences and communication style. Would you rather take 20 photos and write about what you're working on? That’s fine. Are you more comfortable making a time-lapse video of your drawing, that'll work!
However, once you create your remarkable content, you still have to hike out into the world and put it in front of your target audience. Leading them back to your site where they can sign-up for your art newsletter. There is a group or online community for everything.
Even if someone LOVES your art, the chances of them ever coming back to your website OR even buying something immediately after landing on your site is SLIM. That’s just how people behave online. They need to be reminded to come back and spend some time getting to know more about you.
Social media isn’t any better. You can expect 3 - 5% of your social media audiences to see your posts. While social media is a great way to engage with new people, just remember you have to direct them back to your online headquarters where your content lives. Your blog.
Once they get to know you more on your blog, you'll make it easy for them to sign up for your art newsletter. Where you can expect at least 40% - 50%+ of your art newsletter subscribers to actually see your content.
Being able to communicate with your audience is so important. So many artists worry about getting immediate sales, that they'll just post a link somewhere and get a purchase immediately from a stranger. While this does happen, a majority of your art sales are going to happen after you’ve made multiple points of contact with them.
Having a great lead magnet (reason for someone to sign-up for your newsletter) can amplify how well you grow your email list too.
Launching your art is nothing more than a guided storytelling conversation that leads up to an opportunity for your audience to collect your art. Launching IS the “multiple points of contacts” I mentioned in the previous step. Rather than blast an announcement saying, “Buy this!” you’re using email to share your creative world and grow a bond with your audience over time.