LEARNING THE SALES FLOW The last two years were really educational. Learning how to market the work I was producing was a task. Don;t think its a walk in the park. It requires time and effort and real work. IT IS like a full time job, and putting 15 hours plus a day was the norm Monday to Friday. I did have another downslump (healthwise) toward the end of 2015, which saw me giving up residence where I was. The inability to produce new work also leads to art sales drying up...and then bills can't get paid.
Eventually, I packed up the apartment and moved to relatives. What was supposed to be a four month stay has turned into almost a year, as health issues and other things prevented me from producing often. But this blog is not about that.
SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS
Yes it does. But there are some "must do's" if you really want it to work:
1) Open a Facebook Page. - The information this gives you is very important. You get stats to tell who where your audience is, their age, their gender, and the time of the day they are online most. VERY CRUCIAL information.
2) You must post daily - Work in progress, finished paintings, where you are, what you are doing. The work is important. The process is important. Glimpses of your lifestyle are important.
3) You must know the right time to post- Your page stats will tell you this. Respond, interact, answer your messages.
4) Multiple platforms also help. - Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google plus..... yes. Yes.
Understand the Sales Process
You can start with the friends on your Facebook profile. Understand though, that at some point your potential clients from that group of friends will dry up. You need to widen your "prospect list." (That list of people who need to see your stuff in order to decide if they like your stuff.) Many artists are afraid to have their digital images online for fear they may be used without permission. You can use a drawing program to place a watermark over your digital image. But your images must get out there. If people can't see them how would they know they are there?
1) Gather your prospect list.- Collect names, email addresses, what's app numbers. Interact with people, network....get out there and meet people. I try to be out twice a week to interact. People ALWAYS ask "So what do you do?" Insert Sales pitch here....... Well I paint blah blah..... let me send you a link to my stuff. Boom!
2)Send sales offer - Which can mean a link to where your art is posted. Please include prices, that settles half the objections usually, especially if they immediately realize they CAN afford you!
3) Include contact information of course.
4) Make it EASY on the potential buyer. I don't have a gallery/studio that people can visit in my work space, and I don't feel comfortable letting strangers into my home. Instead, I arrange an appointment with them, and take the paintings to them for viewing with NO obligation to purchase. People need to see the art....to interact with the thing they love. They need to hold it and imagine it hanging in their space.
*DON"T LEAVE YOUR ARTWORK. I write this because a gentleman once asked to "borrow it for the weekend" so that he can see if it "fits his lifestyle" ......LOL
5) If the client purchases...great! If not don't be discouraged. You have just met someone who likes your work. They will purchase at some point. But meeting them face to face also gives you the opportunity to ask about what kind of work they like etc. or what they were looking for. I sometimes even suggest artists friends if I realize that MY style is not what they prefer.
It takes a lot of work to get a flow going from the above suggestions. But once a flow starts, be careful to maintain it, especially the daily posting; to keep your work top of mind.