Deep Thought Thursday: Mistakes

They say we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes. So . . .

What is the biggest marketing mistake you've made?

If you don't like the word "mistake," substitute gaffe, boo-boo, error, misjudgment, blunder, oversight, or miscalculation.

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9 comments to Deep Thought Thursday: Mistakes

  • When I first began marketing my paintings, I became overly enthused. I thought everyone would want to know about my art since I was so personally excited about it. I took a list of local emails off the top of an incoming email that someone in my community sent out. They did not know how to to use the BCC function. I then proceeded to send an email invitation to them to sign up for my monthly newsletter to all these people that I didn’t actually know. It was before the spam etiquette was well defined. And before I knew better myself. Only one person complained, but boy DID they complain. I felt like crap, with tears and guilt too. Like I had stolen something from someone else. I am not perfect, but I would like to think that I am not a thief. I called and apologized to the sender. But things were never quite the same between us after that.

  • Being unprepared for a selling opportunity is one of the biggest missteps I’ve made so far. I did a show one time not too long ago and didn’t have my mini-portfolio of paintings with me. There were lookers and buyers but I could have made more sales if I had been able to show more than the 20 or so paintings that I brought to that venue. Since that time I ALWAYS pack my book that shows my more complete inventory.

  • Biggest marketing mistake? It is such a constant , I wouldn’t know where to start with the list…I go from one blunder to another…It seems that if you like to try out new things, your list of mistakes will be long…(but Ive learned alot…)

  • When you have a great idea that you have finally followed through on, in my case an idea for a website that I finally finished, it’s easy to skip steps and start marketing it before you are fully ready. I still needed and still do need to do a lot of writing and flesh out my operating procedures, get my press kit ready, etc., so that everything is organized and ready for a proper launch. I had people constantly in my ear asking how me how my website was going that I ignored my own methodology and put out advertising before I had my act together. Now I have had more important people, the one’s I want to attract to my site, asking what is going on. I will never again advertise something before I am ready to give a through and timely response to any and all who may ask about a product or service.

  • My worst mistake — early on, I entered a large painting into a prestigious show that I had tried to get into before without success. Then the painting got to my booth at an outdoor show by mistake because of extra family help that weekend. I put it up thinking oh, well, proabaly won’t get in anyway. Well, a buyer came along and wanted the painting. I told him it might have to be lent back if it was accepted into a show I had applied for. Not only was the painting accepted into the show, it was used in publicity for the show, and the buyer refused to loan it back, even if credited as owner at the show, even when offered any additional painting in my studio free, even when I begged. The curator was furious. I learned so much about professionalism and credibility from that experience. Ouch!

  • Biggest marketing mistake so far? Doing shows just because they were convenient and not too far away last Autumn. I hadn’t learned yet to focus on my target market.

  • Mary Richmond

    This question just made me laugh out loud! In 30 years of business in art related business….I think I’ve made all the marketing mistakes at one time or another. The biggest mistake I still make? Remembering to replenish the supply of business cards in my wallet! It’s more than embarassing at this point in my career and I still do it. Sheesh!

  • One of my first galleries went out of business rather suddenly when the owner had a stroke and could no longer run things. This was after I’d been with the gallery several years and had sold quite a bit of work. For some reason it did not occur to me to immediately go looking for another gallery in the same city–I just felt crushed, picked up my work and retreated. Several years later I did talk to another gallery in the same city, and to my amazement that gallery owner recognized my name, knew that I had been with X Gallery, wanted to see my slides, and I’ve been with her ever since. So although I lost a few years in there, the story had a happy ending, but it still amazes me that I didn’t see the situation for what it was–that I’d made some gains in the first gallery, had my name out there a bit, and I could use that in approaching another gallery right away. It goes along with realizing that gallery people tend to all know each other in a particular city…that is definitely something good to realize.