professional development Archives - Side Arts

Researching Calls For Artists

Researching Calls For Artists

Researching calls for artists is an important component of your strategy for marketing your artwork. It is challenging to figure out where to start. Sometimes this can feel overwhelming. To help build your confidence, break down your research into small actionable steps.

Bring The Opportunities To You

Set up Google Alerts for your location. Use this search string: “call for artists” + location. You may include “+ medium” to narrow the search if you for your specialty.

For example: “call for artists” + Cleveland + painting

Sign up for niche call for artists platforms. Find them by searching for: “calls for artists” + medium or + style or + relevant topic. Most niche platforms will allow you to narrow your search results to your preferred locations once you sign up.

For example: “calls for artists” + sculpture + “public art” = Americans for the Arts Public Arts Listings

Sign up for newsletters from your local Arts Council and state Arts Commission. These will include calls for artists collected from local non-profits.

Dig Deeper For Hidden Gems

Sometimes, when you find a call for artists posted publicly, it has already been filled. It’s important to try to get in front of the process not only to make sure you have time to apply, but also in order to have enough time to create the work or have enough inventory available.

Whenever you find a recurring opportunity, add the name and deadline date to a spreadsheet. Include the columns: Opportunity, location, deadline, contact information / URL, and a short description. Start checking for the yearly deadline and new information at least six months ahead. You could also create a calendar alert by adding the event deadline to your calendar and setting reminders in advance (3 months/ 6 months) which give you enough time to plan and apply for the opportunity.

Review call for artists content marketing platforms which offer a range of opportunities, such as Side Arts (our specialty is vetted and trusted call for artists with significant track records of success for artists), Zapplication (juried calls), and Art Fair Insiders (art fair specialists).

Check out their archives and forum sections for information and reviews of calls for artists which align with your goals and interests.

Side Arts only promotes new, active calls for artists – no duplicates.

  • Use the Active category to see current listings.
  • Use the Expired category to see listings which have passed their deadline. Find organizations which offer calls for artists in your area. They may be offering an opportunity, but not promoting it broadly.
  • Use the other categories to refine your search by location, type of call, award amount, and so on.

Conclusion

When researching calls for artists, use free resources to bring the opportunities to your inbox. Join local arts listservs. Create a spreadsheet. Dedicate time once every three months (set up a calendar alert) to do original research. Make it a goal to add at least three opportunities to your list every month.

Next Step

Are you ready to invest in yourself and showcase your artwork? Apply to become represented by Side Arts, a leading agency connecting artists with exhibition opportunities. With limited capacity and a rigorous jury review, Side Arts ensures that your work gets the attention it deserves. Click here to learn more about how Side Arts can elevate your art career and provide you with exciting opportunities to display your talent to a wider audience.

Take the leap and step into a world of endless possibilities for your artistic journey with Side Arts. Don’t miss out on this incredible chance to share your passion and creativity with the world. Apply now and open doors to a bright future as a recognized visual artist. Click here to apply.

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Marketing Art: A Fresh Approach [Official Guide]

Marketing Art: A Fresh Approach [Official Guide]

The tactics needed for marketing art and elevating your creative practice are different for every person. A one-size-fits-all guide that runs through the usual art marketing, eCommerce, website, social media, email, legal, and contract strategies may offer helpful components, but isn’t applicable to everyone. This is because artists and crafters come from so many varieties of experience, socioeconomic backgrounds, disabilities, and adversities to overcome. Express your unique visual art practice with help from Side Arts’ representation and  custom visual artist certified one-sheets.

Marketing Art: A Fresh Approach

  1. Understand your instincts
  2. Define your motivation
  3. Set positive goals
  4. Develop a process
  5. Scale your efforts
  6. Analyze your results
  7. Network for opportunities

1. Understand Your Instincts

What is common in all artists’ journeys is that you FEEL a certain way about implementing these strategies. This is something that CAN be managed and adapted to having a positive experience with marketing art.

So rather than talking about the latest social media strategy, let’s start talking about how you feel about using social media to promote your artwork. Whether you are a digital native or technophobe, your instincts are at the core of how you use platforms to promote your work.

Being a digital native may lend to being over-confident about the potential results. Being a technophobe may undervalue what can be accomplished. It’s best to try to be somewhere in between. Here, it helps to be rational:

  • You don’t know what you can do until you try.
  • Even the smallest results can be a step in the right direction.
  • Be exact and truthful when measuring the results.

The most important step: Before you begin to try something new or view the results of something you have tried, 1) imagine a realistic positive result, 2) remind yourself to accept whatever the results are, and 3) commit to learning something from them. This will help put you in the right mindset to try the next positive step forward for your creative practice.

2. Define Your Motivation

The best question you can ask is, “Why?” It’s a question that children learn early. They are relentless with it! Their young minds are processing so much information. Ours are, too, although we often don’t have the patience or time to work through the reasons. It’s important to keep asking why.

The Five Whys

Ask yourself: Why do you want to create and sell your artwork? Then, ask why you gave that response, then ask why again, and again, and again. Ask yourself why five times to get to the heart of the matter. It’s challenging to be that honest with yourself, but you may discover something important that you hadn’t realized before. This can help inform your creative practice in new ways.

Why can be a tough question to answer. If you’re having trouble getting to the root of the matter, try reframing the question with “What…” Such as, “What is it about this type of art that inspires me.”

The Money Issue

I know. I know. We all want to make money. Some of us more than others, and that’s okay, that’s your right. The important thing to realize is that money is the by-product (rather than the purpose) of a transaction. The transaction is what is important. You have something and someone else sees the value in it. Therefore, the transaction is an item exchanged for validation. How much money is assigned to that validation is an abstract construct.

What Is Your Motivation?

Ask yourself: What do you have to offer and what type of validation are you seeking? It is important to know the answers to these questions so that you know what and when you have accomplished something. You’ll be able to state your accomplishments clearly.

3. Set Positive Goals

Goals are important because they help you understand the work you have accomplished and provide direction for your next steps. How often have you said to yourself, “I just don’t know what to do next?!” The first step in answering that question is looking back to what you have already done.

Try making a list first. Break the list into two columns. One column for things you have tried which have worked and another column for things that haven’t worked or yielded any results. Put this list somewhere you can see it every day. Make a commitment to stop doing things that you know don’t work and start doing more of what is working.

SMART Goals

SMART goals are defined as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Focus first on things that are working (80% of your time) and then on new things that you have not tried before (20% of your time).

Examples:

  • Send out two email newsletters within the next four weeks. Try Madmimi, Mailchimp, or Constant Contact. Focus each on a new piece of work with a description and call to action to purchase.
  • Sign up for a social media platform which you are not currently using (i.e. Tiktok). Post four pieces of content within the next week and measure engagement.
  • Review your Google Analytics account for your website. Identify the pages which have the most visits. Update and/or republish these pages with new or additional content within the next week.
  • Increase your email list by 20% in the next 6 months.
  • Increase your sales by 10% in the next 3 months.

Projected and Stretch Goals

For each goal (try only one at a time), set a projected and stretch goal.

Projected goals are those based on past data. For example, if you normally attain 5 new facebook followers a month, try changing how and when you post and see if you get 7 new followers each month for the next few months.

Stretch goals go beyond your average projections, but not too far (add 10%)! Using the same example as above, try for 10 new followers per month.

Compare Yourself To Yourself

It’s easy to look at others with massive followings and sales and become discouraged. Remind yourself that they started out with zero followers at one point. Rather than comparing yourself to others, look at what you have been able to accomplish. You might be surprised that the difference in results from this year to last are extraordinary compared to the results from five years ago.

Remember to celebrate the small victories. They add up! This might be a good opportunity to spend some time checking your feelings. Review what you have accomplished so far and how they relate to your motivation. Update your list of things you have tried. Having trouble getting motivated? Try these productivity tools.

4. Develop A Process

There is no set path for marketing art as a visual artist, but there is a standard journey for customers. For the purpose of this guide, customers may be clients, patrons, buyers, gallerists, curators, or commissioners.

Attract, Engage, Delight

To attract an audience, you’ll need to put yourself where they are. Everyone consumes information differently and has preferences as to how they want to be contacted. Most are best reached by email. But before you get their email address, you may need to publish content on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or your own website.

Go where you think your audience is. If you paint, go where people expect paintings. If your paintings are about environmental issues, go where people expect to talk about environmental issues. Think broadly about your audience and their various preferences.

Engage with your audience. Educate them about why you do what you do and how you do it. This is more than a picture and one word description. There are so many ways to engage with your audience. Make a list that feels authentic to you and narrow that list down to three to five items. Use these consistently.

Artist engagement

  • Show works in progress step by step
  • Write a story and rationale for each piece made
  • Do product reviews and demonstrations
  • Film short videos of works of progress
  • Studio selfies!
  • Provide lifestyle stories, tell who you are outside the studio

Give your audience a delight that will have them sharing the experience with their friends. This may include:

  • Personalized notes with each purchase
  • Mini-print contests
  • Fan appreciation give-aways
  • Take your packaging to the next level
  • Thank customers for at-home pictures of your work

Engagement Funnel

All of the above components fit within a art marketing engagement funnel. Think of it as a big letter “V” where the top is how customers find out about you and the bottom is making a sale. Not everyone gets all the way through the funnel. It is important that the top of the funnel is continuously fed with new people. Most funnels are structured from top to bottom like this:

  • Social media – introduction
  • Website – education
  • Email – owned communication channel
  • Purchase – validation

Once someone has gone through the funnel, they are likely to go through again. Encourage the process by acquiring testimonials and referrals. This provides additional content to promote and new people being fed into the top.

5. Scale Your Efforts

Once you know what is working, there are a number of ways in which you can increase your artwork marketing momentum. You may want to try repurposing content, paid media ads, and alternate art sales channels.

Repurpose content

Take the communication you have already developed and repackage it in a new way. These can be used for both engagement initiatives and value add sales applications.

  • Create an ebook or art book out of your works in progress and final exhibit / at home images.
  • Teach a class about your process
  • Offer an instructional manual
  • Offer special commissions based on current works
  • Create monthly patron or student webinars
  • Launch a podcast series (limited or on-going)

The key to success is using information and content that you already have with an established audience. They are likely to share with their networks and increase your visibility.

Paid media ads

Ads are most effective when they promote content that is already successful. Always point ads to your educational materials, rather than at a sales page. In turn, the educational material should offer a call to action that leads to your sales page. One way to think about this: “you have to ask me out on a date before you ask me to marry you.”

Value Add Applications For Marketing Art

You can obtain more information that informs your strategy of marketing art by participating in a variety of events. Getting live interaction directly from the source provides the best feedback. Remember that it is not just what they say, but what they do and how they do it that is important to recognize.

Other than direct art sales, consider participating in:

  • Requests for proposals
  • Grants
  • Vendor events
  • Platform sales
  • Licensing
  • Exhibitions
  • Competition

Click here for more information on each of the art sales channels. You won’t know what works best unless you give it a try. Do what is best for your creative practice, time, budget, and community.

6. Analyze Your Results

Take a break, at least once a month, to look at some of the data you have gathered. You may learn something new about what works, when to do something, and who to focus on. It’s easy to look at the data and move on, but it’s more important to make a commitment to make the small changes it suggests.

If you have your own website, set up Google Analytics. It will help you understand what pages get the most traffic and where the traffic comes from. You can determine which pages to target for ads and which sources generate more leads.

Almost all social media platforms offer some analytic data on your account. On these accounts, it’s most important to make adjustments in terms of who is visiting and when.

When using email marketing platforms, like MadMimi, Mailchimp, and Constant Contact, keep track of how many people are on your list, what percent open your emails, and what percent click through from content in your emails to your links. Change the content and / or formatting of your emails based on the highest open and click through rates.

Remember to look back on data from a year or more back to see how much your creative practice has grown. Take a moment to reflect on how you feel about these changes. Are you comfortable with what you have done? Do you feel you need to be more proactive? It might be time to revisit your SMART goals, both projected and stretch. What, if anything, do you want to do differently? Make a commitment, write it down, and plan your changes.

7. Network For Opportunities

If you want your strategy for marketing art to elevate to the next level, then network for opportunities. Many artists have similar opportunities when it comes to setting up their creative practice. There are free website hosting services and website templates, social media platforms with analytics, Google Analytics data, Google suite for managing content, and scalable email marketing platforms. All of these are available and mostly accessible to artists and crafters equally.

Personal networks are unique to each individual. These relationships should be fostered with care. There are many ways to do so.

  • Collect email addresses from anyone that seems interested in your artwork
  • Connect with your contacts on LinkedIn
  • Search for and connect with 2nd degree connections on LinkedIn that may have similar interests
  • Volunteer at trade shows, exhibitions, and art and craft fairs
  • Join a professional association in your field of interest
  • Attend meet-ups
  • Get Certified with Side Arts and join your local artist registries

Have a few high net worth contacts already? Ask them out for coffee once every six months. Set up a recurring reminder on Google calendar for each individual. Keep a few personal notes on each contact. Besides art, what are their other personal interests? You’ll have some easy talking points for each conversation. Ask how you can help them before asking for help yourself.

Marketing Art Strategy Conclusion

Try thinking about your strategy for marketing art as a process of deliberate practice. It’s not about doing the same thing on repeat, but understanding your feelings and motivations, focusing on SMART Goals, and making adaptations. That hard thing is sticking with something that may feel uncomfortable at first or making a change the data supports which goes against your preconceived notions. Small steps first.


Next Step

Are you ready to invest in yourself and showcase your artwork? Apply to become represented by Side Arts, a leading agency connecting artists with exhibition opportunities. With limited capacity and a rigorous jury review, Side Arts ensures that your work gets the attention it deserves. Click here to learn more about how Side Arts can elevate your art career and provide you with exciting opportunities to display your talent to a wider audience.

Take the leap and step into a world of endless possibilities for your artistic journey with Side Arts. Don’t miss out on this incredible chance to share your passion and creativity with the world. Apply now and open doors to a bright future as a recognized visual artist. Click here to apply.

 

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Maximizing Profit: The Best Sales Channels for Artists

Maximizing Profit: The Best Sales Channels for Artists

Calls for artists are indirect sales channels for your artwork. How frequently do you apply to calls for artists and for what type do you typically apply? Where have you had the most success in generating the most margin on sales?

Side Arts can help. Learn more with our official guide, Marketing Art: A Fresh Approach.

Calls for artists include

  • Requests for proposals – Commissions for your artwork
  • Grants – Funds that are available for the completion of a project or growth of a practice
  • Vendor events – Sell your own artwork at a rental space
  • Exhibition opportunities – Agents sell your artwork at a relatively high commission.
  • Competitions – Compete with others for a limited number of prizes

It is helpful to think of them in terms of both direct and indirect sales channels as they relate to the margin on your artwork. In other words, where do you get the most money relative to your efforts.

Margin By Sales Channels

Sales Channels

 

In direct sales, requests for proposals, and grants, you are typically setting the terms of engagement. You know the inputs and there are specific results expected.

Vendor events rank slightly lower. This is because you cover the costs of the booth rental fee. More importantly, it introduces more variables that are outside your control such as rain, advertising for the event, and the attendence levels.

Likewise, platform sales, such as Etsy and EBay introduce flat and variable fees for including your work on their sites. Although they offer extra promotion services, they come at higher prices. Therefore, promotion, which costs time and money, is on you.

When utilizing licencing, the burden of promotion is now on the vendor to whom you have licenced your work. Since they do all the promotion, they take a much higher commission which reduces your margin considerably.

Exhibitions work the same way as licencing. The burden of promotion and sales is on the gallerist or curator hosting the exhibition. If they are not offering promotion and sales support, then it is simply a pay-for-play vendor event. The purpose of participating in an exhibition is to take advantage of the organization’s exclusive buyer’s lists which should align with the type of artwork you offer.

Lastly, competitions offer the greatest risk and least margin for your time and effort. You have no control as to how many others are participating, there are often fees to participate, and there may only be one winner.

Conclusion

Before applying for a call for artists, think through how best it fits with your goals and the risk you are willing to take. Make sure you know quantitative answers to questions regarding promotion, buyer’s lists, and commission percentages.

Most artists looking to grow their professional network and sales opportunities apply to 10-15 calls for artists per year. The average cost of applying is $25-45.

Next Step

Are you ready to invest in yourself and showcase your artwork? Apply to become represented by Side Arts, a leading agency connecting artists with exhibition opportunities. With limited capacity and a rigorous jury review, Side Arts ensures that your work gets the attention it deserves. Click here to learn more about how Side Arts can elevate your art career and provide you with exciting opportunities to display your talent to a wider audience.

Take the leap and step into a world of endless possibilities for your artistic journey with Side Arts. Don’t miss out on this incredible chance to share your passion and creativity with the world. Apply now and open doors to a bright future as a recognized visual artist. Click here to apply.

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Artwork Pricing

Artwork Pricing

Pricing your artwork is an important component of your strategy for marketing art. Artwork pricing should not be an over-complicated procedure in the primary market. (Secondary market sales can be much more complicated.) If you are new to pricing your artwork, there is a formula to determine where to start.

Artwork Pricing Formula

  1. Start with the total costs of the materials used. Use the relative cost of only the materials used.
  2. Track the amount of time you actually spent creating the artwork.
  3. Multiply the number of hours by the rate you would charge per hour as a professional art consultant.
  4. Add the cost of materials and time.
  5. Multiply the result by a multiple based on your overall experience. This is typically between 2 (just starting out) and 10 (top of your field).

Price of Original Artwork = [Materials + (Time)(Hourly Rate)] (Experience)

For example, [$100 materials + (20 hours of work)($25/hr)] (5 years of experience adds a multiplier of 3) = $1800.

Pricing reproductions

  • Highest quality (limited edition giclee prints or high-end reproductions) = 50% of the original price
  • Mid-grade quality (limited edition reproductions) = 30% of the original price
  • Low quality (one-off prints or open-ended reproductions) = 10% of the original price

Next Step

Are you ready to invest in yourself and showcase your artwork? Apply to become represented by Side Arts, a leading agency connecting artists with exhibition opportunities. With limited capacity and a rigorous jury review, Side Arts ensures that your work gets the attention it deserves. Click here to learn more about how Side Arts can elevate your art career and provide you with exciting opportunities to display your talent to a wider audience.

Take the leap and step into a world of endless possibilities for your artistic journey with Side Arts. Don’t miss out on this incredible chance to share your passion and creativity with the world. Apply now and open doors to a bright future as a recognized visual artist. Click here to apply.

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Resume Service For Visual Artists

Resume Service For Visual Artists

Agreed, it’s much more fun to do almost anything than write a resume. How can you summarize what you do all day long into a short phrases? It’s not easy to see all your hard work in concise bullets with no context. It’s even harder for artists who strive to be creative and tell a story. And yet, you need one to apply for a job, to network with peers and colleagues, and to apply for your next award.

Ultimately, the objective of the resume is to highlight your strengths. It gives you the opportunity to move on to the next step.

Resume Tips From Jessica Saragovi

Before you start your resume, I suggest beginning with these questions. Taking the time to answer these questions will ultimately help you with your resume, the interview process and other aspects of the job search process. Write these answers down, revisit them, it’s an ongoing list and will be adapted as needed.

  1. What do you WANT? Is this for a grant application or for a bridge job? A different job will require a different focus and sections. This includes EVERYTHING from commute, salary (what salary structure – base, bonus and / or commission), hours, responsibilities, manager style, office set up. What’s your perfect day like?
  2. More importantly, what do you NOT want in your next role?
  3. What are your skills? These are things you know HOW to do, abilities, expertise, talents, competencies. These include both hard skills (measured, teachable and defined) and soft skills (not-measured, personality based and subjective).
  4. More importantly, what are your STRENGTHS? From the skills above, which ones do you LOVE to do? Strengths are skills that include an element of passion. What lights you when you talk about it? What comes easy to you and you enjoy doing?

The good news is that once you have a good foundation, it’s easy to update with your awards, exhibitions, and additional work experience. It’s important to have clear, legible fonts, the right amount of white space, and eye-friendly headings. A well-crafted, easy to read resume will help you open doors to jobs. It shows that you’re ready to be submitted for the next juried exhibition, grant, award, gallery show, commission, and residency program.

Free Resume Support

For Side Arts members, I offer a 20 minute complimentary conversation to answer questions and provide support for exactly where you are in the job search process. Request an appointment via email at systemichr@gmail.com.

Jessica SaragoviJessica Saragovi is a Human Resources professional with more than two decades of experience across various industries and companies across New York, Miami, and Philadelphia. Jessica’s deep insight into how organizations hire, train, manage, and develop employees allows her to be a skilled resume writer. Jessica partners with clients in developing a resume that fully encompasses who they are, what they’ve done, and where they want to go with their next role. View my profile on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jsaragovi.

 

 

 


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Use Calling Cards To Grow Your Creative Practice

Use Calling Cards To Grow Your Creative Practice

Calling cards, takeaways, handouts, exclusives – no matter what you call them, they help your patrons understand your identity and keep them coming back. They are an important part of your strategy for marketing art. It’s all in the details, the signature things that your supporters find surprising and endearing. Whether you are preparing for a vendor event, exhibition, or an online storefront, try to think about the extras that would make it special for your supporters.

Ideas for Calling Cards

  • Packaging: Consider how you can elevate your packaging and delivery – customize the box (something patrons can use in case they need to move or ship the item), add a personalized and signed thank you note, emboss, gold leaf, and detail the package.
  • Business cards: If you are going to go the extra mile and spend more on business cards, make sure that the concept aligns with your art. Typically, a basic card size is all you need. Include your name, phone number, email address, and website. Remember to include white space to write additional details.
  • Signage: Banners, flags, and table covers are always important. Consider the height, having things at eye-level can catch the patron’s eyes more frequently. Draw the attention to your art.
  • Postcards: Believe it or not, some folks just don’t use the internet or email, use postcards to reach them. You want to be inclusive in your marketing. Even for those that are digital natives, receiving something of value in the snail mail can be a special occasion.
  • Gift tags: Most art is purchased as a gift for others. Make it easy for them by not having to also have to purchase a gift tag, card, box, or bag.
  • Return address labels: If you are mailing marketing or shipping artwork, add a unique identifier to the item. That way, the person doesn’t have to guess who or what they have received before needing to open it.
  • Certificates of Authenticity: Your art is special. Show patrons how special it is with a letter of provenance. It elevates the art and provides another means for patrons to remember you. Remember to include the item’s description and story, your contact information, and personalized signature.

It is especially important to think about things that have value beyond one use items. For example, stamp a business card with a unique qualifier for an online storefront discount. Gift bags and totes can be re-used. Certificates of authenticity can be saved and framed with the artwork.

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Vistaprint

You already have your artwork and know your details. Try incorporating them into your takeaways. Vistaprint has a range of products and services that can help you do just that. Business cards, banners, flyers, and printing services are available. All products have a wide possibility of standard formats to customization. Wizards take you through the process and you can save details for later use and second print runs. Often, there are discounts for return users and special sales throughout the year.


 

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Are You Ready For An Online Store?

Are You Ready For An Online Store?

A majority of art is sold through a variety of online store platforms. You can choose any sales methodology you like based on you strategy for marketing art. It depends on where and how you best reach your audience. You may have to experiment with several platforms and strategies before landing on the one that works best for you. There are many details and options to consider as well as new opportunities and platforms launching regularly.

Sales strategies

Email

A consistent way to connect with your followers is by building a targeted email list. Try sending announcements of new works available to your email lists and provide them a means to buy (either by reply to the email or a payment processing form). Inform your audience about upcoming exhibitions, vendor events, and pop-up galleries.

Social

There are many ways to sell art through social network platforms. The challenging part is keeping up with the platforms’ ever changing features and algorithms. What may work today may not work tomorrow. Staying on top of the trends is important and can make a big difference with acquiring new patrons.

Try promoting new artwork for sale on Instagram. Provide a rich description including title, process, size, price, and inspiration. Add instructions for buyers – the first to comment with their email address will be sent a payment processing invoice (PayPal / Venmo). They have 24 hours to purchase the art. First come, first served after that. Update the description if the item is sold.

Web

You may want to consider selling through a web platform, using your own website, or integrating a web platform into your website. The benefit of having an online store sales platform that you manage is that patrons can purchase at any time. This can often make a difference between an acquisition and someone’s lost interest. Keep in mind, just because your art is on a website or web platform doesn’t mean that it’s the platform’s job to promote it. Promotion is still up to you. Utilize your email and social networks.

Things to plan in advance

Sometimes with an online store, it is best to jump in and learn as you go. Other times, a little bit of preparation goes a long way. You will rarely know everything you need to in advance because situations change from person to person.  Here are a few things to consider:

Photography: A good photo of your work can inspire patrons to purchase. Most mobile devices have above-average photo capability, but stand-alone cameras and photo editing software can make your work stand out. Setting up a dedicated area or having a set process is helpful.

Pricing: Research can help. Knowing your costs and time associated with creating your work is important. The most important aspect is always valuing your artwork for what it is truly worth.

Description: Each piece of artwork should have a unique and rich description including keywords and hashtags. This takes time to develop. The story behind the artwork is just as important as the artwork itself.

Shipping: Visit your local shipping center in advance. Determine what materials you should always have on hand and what needs to be purchased on a one-off basis. If you anticipate bulk shipping, explore what discounted pricing is available.

Taxes and bookkeeping: Consult a certified public accountant to help understand what taxes to account for and how to do so. Determine if you need bookkeeping software to help keep track.

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Shopify Online Store

Check out Shopify as an online store. It has eCommerce and point-0f-sales features including card-readers for when you are online or on the go. Set up your shop as a standalone or integrate it securely with your website. Ready made templates help your store look like it was designed by a professional. Run social media campaigns. Manage orders, shipping, and payments.


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Total Marketing

Total Marketing

What if you could do all your marketing in one place? Forget all the log ins, passwords, am I forgetting to do things? As an artist, wouldn’t it be ideal to have a total marketing art service that does it all? Let’s be honest, perfect solutions rarely exist and one size does not fit all or else we would all be using them. Fortunately, there are a few services out there that bundle together several features that you can use together in convenient and efficient ways.

What is marketing?

First and in order to understand what you may need, what is marketing? There is no single definition which applies to all.

One way to think about marketing is how you attract and retain those that might be interested in what you have to offer. This is different from sales where they are already interested and you negotiate a transaction involving a trade of money, products, or services. In both cases, the process is educational and transactional. Although in marketing, the action is suggested, while in sales, the action is explicit.

In marketing, the outcome is engagement or how often someone interacts with you. In sales, the outcome is financial whether direct (a trade of money for products or services) or indirect (a trade of products or services for a relative equally valued products or services).

One goal of marketing is to increase engagement (interactivity) in order to increase sales. Total marketing is valuated based on the ratio of dollars spent marketing to net profit.

Marketing activities common to artists

You might want to think about marketing as asking for the least to the most amount of effort. Another way of looking at it is the least to the most amount of privacy given.

Most start with social media. Choose a platform or two with which you feel comfortable. Measure engagement by the relative number of clicks, likes, and shares to your current number of followers.

Depending on your goals, having a website can help build a following. It can be a landing page, a profile page on an eCommerce site, or your own dedicated art website. There are any number of  ways to measure engagement, but a good place to start is the number of pageviews per month and, if there is an eCommerce section, the total sales generated from the website per month.

Social media and web searchability is good, but you are still at the mercy of the platform’s algorithms. Collect your followers’ email addresses to take control of your how and when your content is seen. A great place to start is by sending a monthly newsletter. Measure email engagement by taking the average percent of your followers who open and click through your emails.

Total Marketing - Banner

Mailchimp Total Marketing

One total marketing platform that combines social media, websites, and email is Mailchimp. It’s a favorite among artists and crafters because it is relatively easy to set up, has clear tutorials, and you can pick and choose which options work best. It integrates with many other utilities, sales platforms, survey tools, social media ad management. There are so many great features  to integrate, often in a few clicks or less.

Mailchimp has reports for measuring engagement and customizable email templates. They have flexible plans for growing your creative practice. Give it a try!


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Email Addresses – Collect ‘Em All

Email Addresses – Collect ‘Em All

It’s great to grow your social following as part of your strategy for marketing art. Even better if followers click through to your website. Often, followers won’t buy on the first visit. That’s why collecting email addresses is important. The more times visitors see your social content, visit your website, and read your emails, the more likely they are to buy your artwork or see your exhibit.

The great thing about email is that you are your own social algorithm. No need to worry if a social network is limiting who sees your views or what you need to do to increase the chances that you’re found in a search query.

Email Address Collection Strategy

First things first, collect your follower’s email addresses in an organized manner. It’s a much easier ask for an email address than for sales or donations. It’s a good place to start when thinking about growing your creative practice.

The first step is manual: collecting email addresses in a single location such as a notebook, journal, or spreadsheet doc.  Most email lists start with the obvious… friends and family. Think about asking colleagues, sign up lists you’ve used previously, patrons, and others who have collected your art. Try posting an email sign up list at events you’re vending, outside your studio, and alongside public exhibitions of your work.

Make It Automatic

The next step is automatic: What if you could collect and save email addresses without having to be present? Try adding an email collection modal window to your website. Modal windows can be added to the header, footer, or a central pop-up that can be closed at any time. For example, check out Pop-up Domination. Customize every aspect of email collection: where it displays on the screen, when it appears, how frequently it appears, color, text, and size. Pop-up Domination not only connects to your website, but also to whatever email marketing service you use (such as MadMimi, Mailchimp, Constant Contact).

Try Pop-up Domination free for up to 14 days. Remember to post new content and share it on social media during the free trial so you get a sense of the difference when traffic is being driven to your site.

Email Addresses

Basic Guidelines

Remember that you should have a thoughtful strategy for growing your email addresses and creative practice. The process is different for everyone, but there are some basic guidelines to follow if you are not getting the results you want. Most important is to always be creating more art. Share snippets of the details on social media that link to your website or sales platform. Provide additional detail on your website or sales platform. Collect visitor’s email addresses. Share email updates which educate your followers about why your art is special. Continually drive followers back to your website. Provide a means for followers to make a purchase or support your art in some way.


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Freelancers: A Little Help From A Friend

Freelancers: A Little Help From A Friend

Sometimes the task ahead seems a bit daunting. There is unfamiliar technology or risk in making changes that might have unintended consequences. That is when hiring professional freelancers with real world experience comes in.

The default is to go find a friend, but even that has risks. What happens if something goes wrong? Often, friendships can be seriously harmed. It’s even worse if the helper is a family member. Just to be on the safe side, steer clear of friends and family as contracted helpers. Rather, keep them as your personal support network.

Freelancer Strategy

Hiring freelancers can be a challenging, new undertaking. With careful planning, risk can be averted. There are many qualified online networks that make the process more approachable. The first step is developing a road map for the work you want to do. Define the goal you want to achieve with the work undertaken. Then, define the individual tactics needed to reach that goal. These things can include:

  • Setting up a basic website
  • Adding eCommerce to a website
  • Integrating Google Analytics
  • Setting up business email
  • Designing web and print graphics
  • Updating a resume or CV
  • Photographing your work
  • Creating and editing a video

Working with someone new can be stressful. You are giving them access to your personal work and online credentials. The benefit of using an online platform to hire freelancers is that there are contracts and procedures built in to protect you in the event of anything going wrong. They also provide rating systems so that you can find out how they have worked out with other clients.

When starting out with new freelancers, mitigate risk by only giving them a small job to do first. For example, instead of hiring someone to rebuild an entire website, have them redesign one or two pages. Instead of an entire re-branding update, start with a postcard or business card. If you like their work and they communicate well, then continue with a larger project.

Freelancers

Networks

Get work done faster with Fiverr or Upwork, and with confidence. Hire graphic and web designers, digital marketing experts, and music and audio professionals. Find any service within minutes. Find a freelancer with the exact specifications you require or post a request for work and have them bid on the job. There are flat and hourly rate options all handled by the platform.


 

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