Times are bad...just listen to the news. Banks are failing, factories are closing, and small business are going under. Congress will be passing legislation to bail out the banks while we are left suffering the fallout.
Sounds pretty "doom and gloom" doesn't it. You know...you can either dwell in the mess and go down with it or you can change your direction a bit and forge ahead. I'm choosing to forge ahead.
The economists say that during a recession business slow to a slow crawl. You don't have to get caught up in this if you're willing to explore new venues and make some marketing changes.
We've all heard these things before...it's now more crucial than ever that you take action. Set aside one morning a week to market yourself locally.
Increase your visibility...sponsor a Literary Contest at your local High School. Get involved in the Chamber of Commerce, Sponsor an award at your local art fair, volunteer at a community outreach, be active in your church.
It's a proven fact that the consumer responds to businesses that support the greater good of the community....you need to be known locally as one of these businesses.
Another thing...we are told that consumer purchases are grinding to a halt. This just isn't true. The consumer doesn't stop buying...but they do adjust how much they are allowing themselves to spend. Therefore you need to adjust the price points you offer by creating smaller less expensive works.
I did not say...lower your prices or discount your art. This is especially true if you are in the higher end of the market. Discounting your art always raises the expectation of receiving a discount again the next time they purchase and lowers the perceived value of your work.
Try offering a 'gift with purchase'. This could be one of your smaller pieces...developed just for this purpose, or how about a Gift Certificate redeemable on their next purchase.
Update your mailing list. This is one of your greatest business assets in good times and bad. It's a proven fact...80% of your sales will be generated from 20% of your customers. It's more important than ever that you cultivate and coddle this 20% while keeping your name in front of the other 80%. If they purchased from you once they are your best bet for additional sales.
If you've let your mailing list slide...get it updated. Keep your name in front of your clients by sending a regular newsletter at the very least on a monthly basis . It doesn't have to be lengthly...give them a peek into your studio, your life as an artist, update them on new pieces and upcoming shows. Always include a photo of one of your pieces and a link to your website.
Consider Teaching...others will pay to learn the techniques you use. For decades artists have supplemented their income by teaching others. Private classes where the client receives one on one instructions are always in demand. for larger classes, contact your local library, class room space is sometimes free to those in the district.
Today's internet makes teaching even easier...if you have a video camera, record your process and present it on your blog via U-tube or Blogger...or make a CD or DVD and retail it. Consider producing an "E Book" that can be downloaded by your customer.
See how Susan Carlin is maximizing her internet exposure using video and Ustream TV.
Finally, I would tell you to GET A WEBSITE AND A BLOG. Yes, I said...BLOG! These are both inexpensive when compared to return. To learn more, read my series It's the Journey that Defines You.
Don't ever say you're too "technically challenged" to have a website. Give FineArtStudioOnline a try...sign up for their "Free Trial", you've got nothing to loose.
I will unashamedly attest to their "extraordinary artist support staff" and their willingness to help you throughout the set-up process.
God Bless this wonderful nation and it's people.
Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques
Your Greatest Business Asset
It's the Journey That Defines You
Susan Carlin's Art Journal
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