What I love most about the holidays isn’t receiving gifts. It’s giving them.
I love everything about the process: from trying to find the perfect gift for a special person on my list, to wrapping it and watching them open it.
I throw parties and give “lovely parting gifts” to our guests (as if the party wasn’t enough). I decorate envelopes to delight recipients.
The thrill of gift giving is sacred in my book.
Unfortunately, when building a business, giving gifts can be tarnished by the giver wanting or expecting something in return. It’s part of the list-building process.
In return for your email address, I offered 6 free video lessons or perhaps a checklist, special report, or webinar at some point.
These presents are easy for me to deliver because I offer a service. I have loads of content that will help you gain recognition and sell more art.
It’s harder for artists to offer gifts in return for email addresses.
Two things are certain when it comes to pricing your art.
First, it’s a struggle for most artists.
The difficulty with pricing art is legendary. You’re not the only one who doesn’t have it all figured out. Even if you’re confident in your prices today, it’s almost guaranteed that you will question them again within a few weeks or months. You heard it here first.
Second, there’s a good chance that your prices are too low.
Many artists – especially those who are just starting out – undervalue their art. Their work isn’t priced correctly to be able to split 50% of the sale with a gallerist or art consultant.
Artists who price their work too low are making things difficult for other artists who are pricing their work appropriately for the market and who need to make a living from sales.
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you would be happier getting higher prices for your art. Yes?
But you don’t know if your art warrants it or if this is the right time. Right? You’re scared to make the wrong move.
Fear not! Here are 5 reasons to raise your prices and how to do it.
In marketing your art, there are no absolutes. Everything is a test.
Is it better to send your newsletter on a Tuesday or on a Friday?
Will you get better engagement from posting to Facebook at 7:00 a.m. or noon?
Are your Instagram followers more likely to engage with you once or twice a day?
In this article I’m going to focus on email testing. Next week we’ll look at social media testing.
You’ll get a host of different answers if you Google “best time to send an email.” Test them! Track them!
In order for you to understand what works best for you, you have to track your results.
I’ve been testing foods lately to see what is right (and wrong) for my body. I track my weight, basal body temperature, sleep, water intake, and more to see what causes inflammation for me.
Yep, it’s a lot of work to track all of this, but the payoff of optimal physical and mental health will be worth it.
Likewise, your email marketing goal is optimal results for your efforts. You’re looking for more sales, sign-ups, registrations, click-throughs, or engagement. You might also be seeking a higher open rate.
Marketing isn’t something you do when you are done with the work.
You can’t afford to wait until everything else is in its place to promote your art. You must be marketing consistently.
Marketing is more than taking out an ad or sending an email. Marketing is a combination of everything you do to sell or to gain recognition for your art. Everything.
There will be times when you must focus on the work in the studio, which means there is no room in your life for marketing tasks. But something is amiss if this drags on for weeks without attention to your business.
Don’t wait until you’re finished with a body of work before you start marketing it. Think about marketing daily. Actually, do more than think. DO your marketing daily – as you go.
You don’t want to wake up one day with the realization, Not again! I forgot to market my art! By this point, it’s probably too late to get the results you want.
Don’t think of marketing as separate from your art. Marketing is the final step of making: sharing your art with others.
But it’s more than that.
If you want to teach, you need a pool of potential students.
You need a following. And a following suggests there is a leader. If you expect people to sign up for your classes or buy your how-to book, you must step up and be the leader.
You’ve got to position yourself as an expert.
Becoming known for your skills is not an overnight process. It’s a process that you must be dedicated to and in it for the long haul.
I built Art Biz Coach using all of the tactics I share below. I think it would be harder to start my business today because the market is much noisier than when I opened back in 2002.
Your market is also robust. There are more people seeking instruction, and there are a lot more artists who are teaching in their own studios, in art centers and supply stores, and online.
In business terms, this presents both a threat and an opportunity. The threat is that more people are competing for students. The opportunity is that you can differentiate yourself.
The distinguishing characteristics of a successful, independent art teacher are:
At last week’s Social Sharing Savvy training sessions, I received numerous questions along these lines:
“How can I get more subscribers/followers/fans?”
Watch the language you use and the energy around it. In particular, I’m worried about using the g-word: get.
“Get” could mean anything. It could mean that you buy a list or sleazily grab email addresses from people who didn’t ask to hear from you.
To my ears, getting sounds greedy and aggressive. With get, the emphasis seems to be on quantity rather than quality.
It sounds like you’re only interested in the marketing numbers when you should be far more interested in connecting with people who, in turn, want to connect with your art. You don’t just want numbers. You want the right individuals to add up to those numbers.
Stop looking for shortcuts. Start doing the hard (and much more interesting) work of caring about people and connecting with them authentically.
Instead of getting, focus on attracting.
3 Steps to Attracting People to Your List of Followers
It’s a Memorial Day tradition at Art Biz Coach to offer a list of reminders for your art business.
This is a twist on that tradition.
With inspiration from the stage of Copyblogger’s Authority Rainmaker conference, I opened up my notes and share my biggest takeaways with you.
The thing to remember about live events, books, and even online classes is that not everything shared is going to apply to you. You’re either not ready to receive it, you’re past its relevance in your growth, or it doesn’t match your business model.
You have to look for the nuggets in these situations. I find that there is usually at least one thing from each talk, lesson, or chapter that is worth the investment.
Here are some of the highlights worth remembering.
At the mastermind retreats with my coach and mentor, everyone in the group receives a “hot seat,” where we are given the opportunity to tackle one big issue in our businesses.
For my hot seat, I chose to talk about my brand.
I drop a cat photo every so often as I share peeks of my everyday life. Dharma is exploring her new cat cave, but can’t quite commit to being all in. Are you all in on your brand?
To prepare the group, I reminded them of some of the websites and programs associated with my business:
Art Biz Coach (website and business name since 2002) Art Biz Blog (blog since 2004) Art Biz Makeover (live event) Art Biz Bootcamp (online class) Organize Your Art Biz (online class) Art Biz Lift Off (online class and self-study)