As an artist, you love to create – but, you may not love marketing. It’s a fact of business, though, that if you want to sell your handmade work you must continue to spread the word.
You might have experienced this situation: Your studio is busy, you have orders or perhaps commissions to fill, a show may be coming up, and money is flowing in. You are focused on the projects at hand, and there is no time to do any marketing tasks.
Then, when the orders are shipped, and the show is over, your sales drop off a cliff. It’s like a desert, with nothing happening and no leads. This isn’t uncommon – in fact, it happens even to professional salespeople who get busy and fail to prospect for new business.
To keep your sales even, and your marketing outreach consistent, keep a regular marketing calendar and follow it each and every month. Don’t stop your marketing activities when you are busy. The systems you put into place to market your handmade work are there to feed your business in the future. You will still need sales after the current projects are over.
Keep any ads running that are part of your regular marketing plan. Stay involved with social media. Make sure your monthly email marketing campaign goes out. Return calls from potential customers within 24 hours at the most. Manage your time carefully so that you are still cultivating sales opportunities even though you currently have work to do. This is an important activity for all entrepreneurs.
There are naturally slow periods for all businesses, when you know that sales are rarely made. It may be over the Christmas holiday season, or in the middle of summer, or at other times depending upon your market. When doing long-term planning for the year, take these lulls into consideration.
As you plan your marketing calendar for each month, considering the regular buying cycles for your customers. If your last retail fair is mid-December and you won’t be making sales for a month due to the holiday, plan a vacation or family time, or design new items, and ramp up your marketing efforts before the season begins anew.
Sales often come in bursts, with lulls in between. This can create an uneven income stream that ends up becoming stressful. Consistent marketing can smooth over the tough spots by bring in opportunities for next month, and next season.