5 MORE tips for every artist-entrepreneur
by Jeffrey P. Fisher
Last month I profiled five important tips that you should apply to your own situation. Here are an additional five items that are crucial to your success.
6) Take your message to the buyers
Plop down some change for an ad to promote your new piece of art and people will beat a path to your door, cash in hand, ready to buy your latest opus. Wake up! It just doesn't work that way. One ad, no matter how ingenious will turn an unknown into a celebrity. Unfortunately, too many people waste their cash on such foolish pipe dreams. If any promotions you use don't immediately move more products and/or services out the door, rethink your approach.
When it comes to promotion, you can spend money or you can spend time. If funds are short, you need to get more creative with your promotions and devote more time to them. Usually, these get-up-and-go tactics are more effective and substantially more profitable than simply throwing money at the problem. Don't fall into the easy trap of relying on passive promotions, such as advertising, when what you really should be doing is being more active. Using today's social media tools is the key to building awareness. And in-person still works the best. Just finished work for a happy client? Now is the perfect time to ask for another project or gig.
7) Target: The world is not your market
Would you agree that promoting your industrial band in a country music magazine isn't the smartest idea in the world? Yet, every day there's evidence of scattershot promotion when laser sharp pinpoint accuracy is what works. Our world is deeply segmented and the tighter your focus on a narrow market segment, the better your results will be. It's a waste of time and money trying to reach everybody with your message. Instead, find the people who already like what you do and concentrate your promotional efforts on them.
Do you really know who buys your art? If not, you'd better roll up your sleeves and find out. You must know who specifically these people are, what they want from you, how you can reach them and where, and in what ways that will appeal to them. Start investigating your local scene and build from there. Do whatever it takes to get the information and then use what you learn to advance your own career.
8) Expand: Create complementary products/services and sell other people's stuff
If you sell a service (e.g. band), you should also sell products (e.g. CDs/downloads). If you sell products, you need to provide services, too. Introduce new products and/or services regularly.
Don't limit yourself to selling only the products and services you create. You can sell other people's stuff, too. Recommend other products and services that complement or augment your own work and then figure out how to profit from your advice.
9) Increase sales
Everybody likes to save money, and your fans and clients do, too. Stimulate some sales through an aggressive discount program. Give your loyal fans (or clients, if that applies) exclusive offers, discounts, and advance, discounted copies. Additionally, put together packages that make it very enticing for buyers to spend more money with you.
10) Patience and commitment
Just about the time you get tired of promoting, networking and the other tasks that comprise an active art career is just about the same time people start noticing. Don't give up now. Set goals and devise specific methods for achieving them. Trust you've made the right decisions (and be open-minded to changing circumstances and willing to adjust and adapt.) Commit yourself to all of these steps and diligently take care of yourself and your career.
There you have it ... five more ideas to kickstart and sustain your art life and career!