The Lucky Thirteen C’s (Components) for Promoting, Marketing and Selling Your Artwork

One of the best things I have come across to help business owners to understand the differences between promoting, marketing and selling is the following quote from an unknown author.

“If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying “Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday,” that’s advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed, that’s publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations. If the town’s citizens go the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that’s sales.”

In a nutshell that should give you a clear visual description of the important aspects of being in business and making a success of it. To consider promotion, marketing and selling all at once is a tall order. However, I have developed a checklist approach that I call, The Lucky Thirteen C’s (Components) for Promoting, Marketing and Selling Your Artwork.

1) Career Commitment

It is important with any career, but especially crucial for a professional artist, to achieve a level of commitment and purpose that supersedes most all the other aspects of his or her life. Making an all out commitment to having your sole income be derived from producing and selling artwork is a risk, much like any other business. However, it is a risk that you must be willing to take on with eyes wide open and with some minimal financial reserves to see you through the start up phase of your business.

2) Creative Spirit

It should probably go without saying that an artist needs to be a creative, open-minded individual who has a sense of beauty and the stamina to sustain a life of ups and down and good times and bad times. Not all artists can ride the wave of success to the degree they desire. Creative spirits must know themselves well and be in touch with their inner child who delights in the wonderful things life has to offer.

3) Character Development

People perceive a person’s character through the actions and deeds of that person. If a person demonstrates that he or she is honest, forthright, and caring, the vast majority of people will be won over. Most people are in tune with who has integrity in business dealings and who does not. Don’t use deceptive tactics or hidden agendas in the business relationships that you develop, or you will soon find yourself standing alone.

4) Confidence

There is a difference between confidence and arrogance. There can be a fine line between the two. It would be worth your while to have someone be brutally honest with you when you cross that line from confidence to arrogance. Many times a person that is more quiet and shy comes off as arrogant because he or she is not the demonstrative type. People may take that more inward person the wrong way. Work on being able to confidently talk about your work in a professional manner.

5) Communicate

Communication skills are a premium in any business. Being able to address small or large groups of people to tell a story about your art techniques or a specific piece of artwork is a skill that is so valuable. People want to hear about what inspired your creative spirit and what the significance of certain symbols are. They also will know if you are genuine or are just saying things to impress them. Brush up on your skills and be sincere in your dealings with people. Remember that communication is two-way, and you must also be an active, attentive listener.

6) Create a Website

Yes, it is the technology age. A few years ago people were not asking, “Do you have a website? What’s the address?” A web presence is becoming more and more important. You could use some of the basic website builders and do your own. However, a better idea might be to leave it to the professionals, providing you have the resources to make that happen.

7) Community Involvement

Getting involved in your community and local events may not be as applicable to artists who have already achieved a national level, but it is a must for local artists who are looking to expand their following. There are many ways to become involved, and there are many organizations that could use help or donations of any kind. Get your name out there, and at the same time feel good about what you are contributing to your hometown.

8) Collect Contacts

As a person goes through life there are a myriad of ways to meet people. If you are looking to meet people who are potential customers, you must be at events that art buyers attend. This may not be an event where you are able to directly sell something on the spot, but you can certainly meet people who may be potential buyers. Events such as Chamber of Commerce Mixers is an example of one of many opportunities to establish business relationships.

9) Consider Commissions

Many artists are vehemently opposed to doing commissions. Some feel that a commissioned work may have too many strings attached and may stifle the creative spirit. Others welcome working with an individual customer who has specific needs for such things as decorating purposes. It’s one of those things that can be labeled, “Take or Leave It.” But think about the cost in the long run.

10) Charitable

Throughout a community there are numerous fund-raisers always going on that requires solicitations of donations for this cause and that. Most are very deserving and are very needy. One way of contributing to the community and also a good way to get your name out in the public eye is to be an eager contributor to it. If you decide to donate a piece of artwork, don’t give them something that you consider a reject. Offer them a substantial piece that will give you the attention you deserve.

11) Converse with Consultants

Talking with a professional consultant or art agent may be just what you need to help with promotions and public relations. The cost of contracting this kind of assistance could more than pay for itself in the long run. Make sure any relationships you establish with a consultant are based on his past performance and on a like-minded plan on which you can both agree.

12) Consistent Pricing

The kiss of death for any artist might come about if you are not aware of inconsistencies in your pricing structure. Buyers do notice those kinds of things. Everything that you put up for sale should be kept in a log with specific descriptions that can be used for a reference in pricing future pieces. Yes, it is okay if your prices go up, but there should not be significant discrepancies in what appear to be like items that are selling at the same time.

13) Customer Satisfaction

Always follow up on sales. You don’t want an unhappy buyer bad-mouthing your work or your sales pitch. If someone isn’t happy with their purchase, think about the damage that you can cause by digging your heals in. Be liberal with your thinking in terms of returns or trades. You want happy customers because they could be return customers. Never forget that unhappy customers have big mouths.

There are certainly more than “The Lucky Thirteen Components…,” but this will give you some basics for consideration as you think about promotion, marketing and selling. Remember the rule of finding out what your customers want, and you will be on the right track by following that lead.

Trade Shows As A Marketing Tool

I’ve tried almost all the ways to market a business offline and I just got totally exhausted trying to make each and every technique work. Nowadays however my business is doing better, and I only use a handful of marketing techniques to promote my business. But if you’re not really in a dire situation, but you’re looking to make big money soon, then your best bet will be at a trade show.

With a trade show, you can invite guests from all over to sample your newest products and services. I used to work for this major corporations and I worked in the IT department of the company. We played a critical role in making the trade show a success because everything was done via laptop.

I was told that the trade show the year before ours, the IT department did absolutely very little to help with the trade show. This infuriated some staff members, and wanted them all gone. This is how I got hired. But anyway, enough about me. You can definitely make some money with a trade show.

Just make sure you’re not doing it yourself. You will need a team of crew members to bring the campaign to life. There are all kinds of members that you will need if you want to make your business a success, if there is something that isn’t going according to plan, seek out the person responsible and ask them to fix the problem immediately.

With a show, just think of how much new customers and clients you can gain. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you can do a trade show once a year. This is similar to the marketing technique of having a seminar every year. People come in from all over the world to hear money making advice, and the value that they get from these seminars are unbelievable.

You can make your trade show memorable in the same way also. Don’t only promote your products and services there. Make it a point to get food prepared for guests so that they don’t grow hungry and leave. This is something that is very important.

If you wish to do trade shows, simply follow the tips in this article. At the end of the show, hand out your business card to everyone who attended, and make sure your card is designed to generate a response. On the back of your card include testimonials from people who have used your services, and were delighted with doing business with you.

This is just one way to market your business. And depending on how large your company is, you can definitely put on a show that can be a success, so keep that in mind. Make sure all of your employees know what they need to be doing to make the venue a success. You may even want to equipped them with walkie-talkies just to ensure that they’re in the right place at the right time.

Good luck with using trade shows to make more money in your business.

Top Tier Direct Sales Vs MLM

Top Tier Direct Sales or MLM, what’s it gonna be? While both fall in the category of the Direct Sales industry, they are very different business models that both carry advantages and disadvantages. So, for the purpose of this little piece, I’m going to help clarify a few things for you. Maybe after this you will be able to decide which is the best direction for you.

Top Tier Direct Sales: If you’re simply a sales person, this is for you. If you’re used to being paid commission only and your income is determined on your production only, this is for you. Do keep in mind, however, that a good majority of Top Tier Direct Sales companies do offer a residual incentive. The residual incentive is not going to be the bulk of your income, your straight sales volume and commission will be the determining factor of your success. The reason it is called Top Tier is simply because of the price of your item. This ranges from anywhere on the low end of $2,000 up to, and possibly over, $20,000. If you are someone who is involved in MLM this may seem like a very high price to get involved with an opportunity, especially if you’re having difficulties selling $40 bottles of vitamins. I want you to keep in mind that it is just as easy, if not easier, to sell a $20,000 item as it is a $20 item. I’m serious! You’ve already done all of the Marketing and Advertising. If your sales process is well thought out and effective, it becomes the same game only with more zeros!! Also, most Top Tier Direct Sales companies pay great commissions. For instance, if I sell a $20,000 item, I have the opportunity to walk away with over $10k. Not bad for one sale. Now, think about turning up the advertising and Marketing and averaging one or two of those a week and you begin to see the draw towards this business model.

MLM: Now, with this business model, the payouts are practically complete opposites. Your largest up front pay day might be $50. And let’s face it, that’s pretty much paid out to gain enthusiasm and recoup some up front costs. Your residual on the other hand can grow to be an absolutely staggering amount of money. It is not uncommon in this industry to see Top Earners in MLM companies making 6 figures a month from residuals. If you’re planning to go this route and have your dreams set on this type of business model, you are going to need to have a system in place that duplicates your success. The fact is 80% or more of your team will do little to nothing. So, you have to be an extremely good leader and motivator to enable your teams success. Get yourself 5-10 great leaders on your team and you’ll have yourself one heck of an organization. Simply do the math… If each of you can personally sponsor 50 people per year, your business grows to 250-500 people based on the amount of leaders you have. If you sponsor this many people and have that many leaders, I promise you your organization will be much larger than just 500, it would probably be closer to 5,000 or more. At this point you’re walking on stage and becoming a star in your company.

So, the decision is yours. What sounds better to you? Making huge up front commissions and smaller residuals, or making small up front commissions and huge residuals? There are many factors to think about when deciding which direction to head with your Direct Sales career. Keep in mind, whether it’s Top Tier Direct Sales or MLM, this industry always rewards leaders and those wanting to work to build a big business that generates a lot of Volume. I hope this helps you on your Journey. Until next time, Happy Marketing!