What do you want to achieve through your marketing efforts? Set these goals along the way.
It’s a basic marketing principle is that for people to buy from you, they must know, like and trust you. And that certainly makes sense, doesn’t it? But in order to actually close the sale, those customers also must be ready to make a purchase. Since it is unlikely that collectors will run across your work exactly when they are shopping for what you make, you will have to plant a few seeds first that you will harvest later. That gives you interim goals to set for your art marketing.
These four marketing goals set the stage for the beginning of the sales process. Your marketing should work to achieve these goals on an ongoing basis, because marketing is a system that introduces potential collectors to what you make – and hopefully keeps them interested. Your marketing activities will develop leads that turn into customers down the road.
Get eyeballs on your work. Before anyone can buy from you, they must be aware of your creative work. You might be getting in front of potential customers in person, or online, or perhaps in another form, such as sending them a postcard with images of your art or handmade work on it. Marketing is a numbers game, and that means that the more exposure you get, the better. Most people who see what you make will never become your customers. But some will have an interest, and they will become the best potential collectors for you.
Gain credibility. In addition to seeing what you make, your prospective customers should be learning about what you do and why you do it. People want to buy art and handmade work from experts, not amateurs, and this is where your efforts will pay off. You can gain credibility by sharing about your technique, and talking about the materials you use and the unique style you have developed.
Credibility also has to do with recognition. Have you won any awards? Have you invented a new type of studio process? Have you received attention from the press because your work is excellent, appealing, or unusual? Build your authority through sharing your achievements.
Testimonials are also very effective for establishing credibility. Ask some of your best collectors if they would be willing to write a short testimonial for you, telling why they are pleased to own your work. You may be surprised that people quite often say yes, and are happy to help. Learn more about testimonials here.
Another way to gain credibility is simply to be consistent and persistent. As you continue to do your studio work over time, and grow in your ability and in your portfolio, people will come to know that you are the real deal. You have an ongoing creative business, and you are dedicated to it. Stay persistent in your marketing as well, making sure that you put your brand and your work in front of those people over and over. And one way you will be sure that you reach out to those interested prospects is to …
Build your list. Identifying your target audience is important. Getting their names, email addresses, and other information is even better. That gives you the means to reach out with your persistent marketing messages, sharing more images of your work, and telling your story. Your list can be gathered through an opt-in form on your website, in person at shows and fairs, or through networking. List building is incredibly important to your marketing plan.
Follow Up. Without the follow up, all your hard work could go by the wayside. Once you have identified your audience and have their contact information, make sure that you reach out over and over again. Send that monthly email marketing message. Stay in touch through direct mail, invitations, or even phone calls if they are appropriate. Following up is where you will identify those hot prospects that lead to the sale. And when you’ve closed the deal, congratulate yourself on a great outcome from all your hard work!