Want to foray into the world of selling wholesale and become a smashing success? Avoid these major mistakes that can take your art business from dream to disaster.
1. Poor booth display. Meeting buyers in person at a trade show is a huge opportunity. You get to present your entire collection. Buyers can see, touch and handle items. Speak with your prospects, shake hands, and learn about each other. This is one best ways to start building those all important business relationships. Your booth display speaks volumes about you as a business person, so make sure your presentation, lighting, signage and layout work for you. Scrimping on your booth display can lose sales for you. Plan carefully to make your display the best possible presentation of your art or craft work.
2. Lack of marketing materials. You can’t depend on your booth display alone to draw in buyers and make your show successful. Brochures, line sheets, postcards and other marketing pieces that show your line to its best advantage are crucial. Send them before the show to invite buyers in. Use them during your presentation, give them to prospective buyers (in exchange for their business card) and mail them after the show. Make your line memorable with professional marketing materials, and use them on a regular basis. They can drive pre-show and after-show orders, as well as repeat business.
3. No website. Some artists are intimidated by the thought of putting together a website, but the truth is that in today’s marketplace, you need a web presence to help represent your work. Buyers frequently look online after they have spoken with an artist, or they may find you through search engines. This is your 24/7 catalog, artist’s statement, marketing machine and even shopping cart. Whether you have a highly professional site created by a webmaster, or do it yourself with one of the many artist website providers available, make sure you are online where you can be seen. Lack of a website means lost opportunities.
4. Ignoring your network. Selling art can be as much “who you know” as “what you know.” Becoming part of an art community in person, and also online, can enhance your contacts and help you meet people who can be beneficial to your art business. Joining a guild or arts organization is a great start. Get involved with social media, on Facebook groups or in LinkedIn discussions, where resources and opportunities are often shared. Don’t be an artist who works in isolation and wonders why business is slow.
Need mentoring to get your own art business on the right track? Check out ABI’s personalized consulting for artists, which focuses on your business, your needs and your goals. Don’t fight those challenges yourself! We work with artists every day. Check out our services here.