Friday, August 14, 2009

Making Money With Your Art - Promote Yourself Silly

This subject can go on and on forever....but Im going to highlight just some of the basic things that I use that are very budget in FREE FREE FREE or ....okay well not totally free...there is a time commitment and time is money. However, once you get the ball rolling it pretty much runs itself with just a little effort.

In the last article I wrote. I mentioned the word - confidence. You must put your "confidence" hat on and never never never allow anyone...or yourself especially the ability to take it off. You need confidence in two areas:

#1: Believe in yourself and your work - my motto "if you don't - no one else will!"
#2: Believe that you can do anything you set your mind to do. This means you don't have to be
techy smart, you just have to have the ability to "want to learn" and apply yourself and
accept help and constructive suggestions.

Let's talk about #1 - YOU! How do you build confidence in yourself? You put yourself out promote yourself take are not afraid of are not afraid of allow others to compliment your work and you say THANK YOU...instead of .."'s nothing really"...never ever downgrade yourself. When you hear "NO" that simply means "not at this time" and most of all tell yourself YOu are worth it!

Now .... #2 Believing that you can do anything you set your mind to: This part is not so easy because in this day and age we have the internet and the internet scares lots and lots of people. You will have to learn some basic techy skills, but believe me even though at first some of this won't make sense, none of what I am telling you is's very easy.

My biggest pet peeve...and it's a people who sit back and say.."I can't, I don't know how"...well by golly...neither did I at one time...If I can learn can you! Today, we have this great little word called "GOOGLE" and you can search and learn about nearly anything you want. Have you ever tried googling "ways to promote your website, blog, yourself" and add the word "free" in there too...You'll be amazed at all the websites that you come up with. Not all are relevent, but some are.

Maintain an Emailing list
When you are doing an art show one of the simplest and most effective ways to advertise your upcoming shows is to create an emailing list. Most email programs will allow you to add names and save them as a "group". This is free! It only requires the time it takes to add their email address to your contact list. Be sure you constantly email them - a month before, a week before, a few days before your event. Keep yourself out there and visible. Remember, they signed up to receive your email so this is something that THEY want to know about...and you are really doing THEM a favor!

Send a monthly newsletter. This doesn't have to be lengthy. It can be simple and to the point. But in your newsletter - you might tell them what's new....a little bit about what's been happening in your studio....a short little article on the latest trend...and remind them of why they need to buy your it "graduation time", someone getting married?? Let them know you can help them solve their "problem of searching for a gift" by giving "this unique one of a kind item" to your "graduate" or "bride" get the idea....
Create a need to buy...then fill the need....pretty simple huh?

Keep yourself in their face consistantly....I dont mean get obnoxious with it...but think of how many times the same commercial comes on in an hour....that company really wants you to remember their product....well...dont you want people to remember yours????

There are many email blast sites out there that charge a fee - some will give you 60 days free and then charge anywhere from $5 to $15 a month based on how large your contact list it. My favorite and one that I used alot was Constant Contact (please tell them I referred you). They create professional looking newsletters by using online templates. YOu do not have to know any just have to plug in information and pick out a template lay out. This could be an option for you as your business/email contact list grows. Constant contact is great because the recipients can email the newsletter or promo to a friend and they can join allowing you to grow your contact base.

Business Cards/Post Cards

Business cards are one of the least expensive ways to advertise. I know this may sound like a given, but do you realize how many times I have asked artists for a business card and they reply..."oh..I dont have one..." or "oh...I forgot them..." Seriously?? They don't have one??? Im speechless....You should give these out like candy! Where's your confidence??? People WANT you to share your artwork with give them that opportunity to see it!

I wont go into alot of detail here on what your card should look like. But it should have some basic elements - in easy to read type - don't use pretty scripty swirly curly fonts for the important information. It needs to have: Your name, phone number, email and website. I leave the address optional. When Im giving my card out to people who I dont know, sometimes I leave off my can always write it down later. This is just a safety precaution.

You can also add a small blurb about what you do.." commissioned work" or "designer" etc. You don't have to put your whole resume or list everything you can do on will get confusing and lose the readers focus.

Speaking of business cards, I do have a funny but effective story to share.:

My first craft show back in 1991 was in the local Mall...this is the same show that I used my last $500 on. My dad asked me if I had business cards and I did not. He did me a favor and printed me some on his computer. The only thing was........well.......he only had bright hunter orange paper I'll give you one guess as to what color my business cards were? Yes I was on a shoe-string budget (not even sure it was as big as a shoe string) and when I saw them...I least it's something. They did list my contact information (had no email back then or website) and I did give those out like candy and made sure everyone who purchased received a card and everyone who talked to me got a card....

Months later and after I had done several craft shows, I was beginning to receive calls for orders. After a few calls, I got curious and began to ask these people how they found me. And the majority commented that it was that hunter orange card that I had gave them. See...although it was stuck out like a sore thumb and everytime they saw it in their wallet or purse, they thought of in the long wasn't such a bad thing. I did not however, choose hunter orange as part of my "business color" or future logo.....

It does show the effectiveness of a card and a little shameless self promotion......

See...I told you I could go on and on with this subject...and because this post is getting quite lengthy...I will let you digest this information for now....but do stay tuned for part two as I will share some more ideas on blogging, social networking..and whatever else I remember.....

If you have ideas...or think I've left anything out...well...let me know...I'm always willing to learn!

except now.....Im off to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

1 comment:

~~~ M ~~~ said...

Excellent, yet again! Right on the money! Promoting is really, really important.

Over the years, I have always used bright paper for self-done biz cards because it does garner attention. If it fits, I will put a short synopsis of what I'm selling, too, because there are folks at craft shows who do nothing but collect biz cards. Then they go home to think about what they want. If a card is too vague, they may not remember what they liked in your booth, such that they requested a card.

I also have tried using 2 kinds of cards. One "regular" one, and one that offered a token discount on future purchases if they presented the card. That discount one was given to folks who bought from me at the show. Whereas the regular one was for anyone who just asked for a card. That idea worked, for the most part. I did get return buyers. It's amazing how long some folks will keep your card, just to get a small discount later!

But in today's technology, the e-mail list is so important! Never underestimate! People will gladly sign up for a list. Esp since "everyone" has e-mail these days.

Keep up the great posts, Linda!


Click on a post

Related Posts with Thumbnails