Creatives and Business is all about helping you build a successful art or other creative business. I have put together some great resources on this site to help you sell more art and better manage the business side of things. I invite you to check it out and share with your artist friends. Best of Luck! – Neil McKenzie
If you sell your art you are in business! Whether you are just selling your art as a hobby, to make extra income or you are going all out in your art business you need to learn about business. More than likely you went to art school and not business school but don’t worry, the learning about business is not out of your reach. One of the things I have found in teaching business to hundreds of students is that those with an art background did not have a problem “getting it” and in many respects excel because of their creative talents.
Hopefully since you are reading this blog I probably don’t have to convince you that business skills are an important part of any creative career whether you are in business for yourself or you work for someone. The business world has changed and many of the things that have worked in the past may be less effective or not effective at all. Having a good grasp on how business works will help ensure the success of your creative enterprise or make you more valuable to your employer.
How Do Artists Get Business Skills?
In working with artists I have seen some very good artist show cards and some which left a lot to be desired. If you are having a show or exhibition of your art work then make sure you make the most of your efforts. Art show cards or postcards are a direct reflection of your brand and can serve more purposes than having something to hand out at your art show or exhibition.
Some of the uses are:
- Announce an upcoming show or exhibition
- A take-away for visitors to the show or exhibition
- Another piece in your marketing materials portfolio
- Inclusion into a press kit or press release (digital version)
- An addition to your artist portfolio
- Something to show current customers, prospects and others in your network
Remember that your artist show postcards don’t do you any good sitting in a box or stuffed in a drawer. Get them out there so people can see your work and experience your brand – be creative!
The basics of an effective artist show card
In working with artists and other creative professionals I find that they are in a wide range of phases with regards to their art businesses. Some are just starting to think about starting an art business while others have a more or less fully developed enterprise. Many who are selling their art still need to complete some of the basic steps in forming and running a business. Here is a checklist to help you get some of the basics you will need to move your art business forward and minimize problems down the line.
While these items are necessary for starting your art business they are not a substitute for having a well thought out business and marketing plan. These items will not tell you how to do them or what choices you may need to make. I advise that you dig in deeper to each item and make the right choices and appropriate strategies. A good place to start is The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox by Neil McKenzie. The book is available as a softcover and eBook from major book sellers. There are also many articles on the Creatives and Business LLC website that will help you in starting your art business.
If you just started to sell your art or have a show coming up in the near future here are some things you need to address:
Your art business does not exist in a competitive vacuum! Your customers and prospects have a multitude of choices when it comes to parting with their money. As the world becomes a flatter place (a term coined by Thomas Friedman in his book, The World is Flat) not only will your competition come from your local area but increasingly you will see it from around the globe.
You can thank the internet and trade policies for turning the world into one big marketplace of ideas, products and services. This trend could be viewed as a threat to your business but it could also be viewed as an even larger opportunity.
Today there is no shortage of companies providing any and every product/service and that includes art! In order to stand out in this crowded marketplace it is imperative that you think about your brand experience. A good brand experience will set you apart from the competition and get people talking about you and your art business. A bad brand experience will likely will get you passed by and a really bad brand experience will get people talking about you – and not in a good way!
Some examples of a great brand experience
Marketing takes a lot of time, effort and money but you probably already knew that. You need to be as efficient as possible in deciding “the what and to who you offer your art. Target marketing is matching up the right products with the right customers. The opposite of target marketing has been called Shotgun Marketing. Shotgun marketing has its applications but probably not as a basic marketing strategy for your art business.
The first step in target marketing is to define categories to describe what you are selling (your product list). Next define the categories or segments that best describe your customers or prospects (your customer group list. Once you have matched the right product with the right customer group you can then begin to develop effective marketing strategies for each combination – this is why it is called “Target Marketing”.
In this article I will show you how to develop your customer and product lists and how to put them together so you can start to prioritize and plan your marketing efforts.