Tag Archives: marketing

Virtual Assistants Give Artists a Break

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As an artist participating in Art Festivals there is a lot of clerical work to keep up with.  From applications for the art festivals, website updates, social media and other marketing materials you can find yourself spending more time on the administrative side of your business than you would like.  If you want to streamline your business and get back to what you love to do, creating the art, it is time to think about delegating some of the clerical responsibilities.  In the past hiring an assistant involved dealing with all of the headaches of employment, benefits, labor laws having a space for your assistant and paying the employee whether you had the work or not. Another option became available with the advances in communication and the internet, the virtual assistant.

A virtual assistant works out of their own home office and uses modern technology to communicate with you and share information.  You can hire them to do just the tasks that you really need help with and control your budget.  Virtual Assistants are available to help you with a wide range of tasks from accounting, social media, research, marketing and more.  To get started utilizing a virtual assistant sit down and write out the tasks that are taking up a lot of your time that you can easily outsource.  For example, you have had on your to do list to research printing companies to print out postcards for your Summer Tour, you want the best price to print 1,000 cards, then you have a bunch of receipts you want to have scanned into your computer and added to Quickbooks, and you need to follow up and make sure you paid your entry fee to the Summer Shows and you want to upload your new photos to your Facebook fan page.  Now that you have an outline of your projects you need to look for your virtual assistant.  You can research online or check out the International Virtual Assistants Association or Elance.   There are a number of virtual assistants who work with artists exclusively you can also look into Merrick Management & Media Services,  Moretimeinaday.com, A Virtual Edge. Once you find a few options make sure you check their references, and interview them on the phone.  You want to make sure they have compatible computer programs and skills to match what you need to have done.  Make sure they are a good fit and if you prefer to communicate via telephone, email or Skype that they are on the same page. Expect to pay anywhere from $10 – $50 per hour depending upon the project and work required, you can also bid the job on a project basis too.  You can try it out with one project and if you find it is a great arrangement for you establish your VA on a monthly retainer for a set number of hours. Many artists are finding this to be an ideal arrangement, they get the extra help they need to stay focused and creative.   Have any of you used a virtual assistant?  Tell us your experiences, we love to hear your stories!


 

 

Resolve to Dissolve Ineffective Marketing Habits

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It’s a New Year, and a chance to start 2012 off by committing yourself to employing the very best marketing techniques to connect with customers, capture important information, and increase sales.

Buying a piece of art is an investment. The sale of your fine work far exceeds a financial investment on behalf of the patron. The purchase is also an investment in a relationship. Fostering good relations with patrons is crucial to not only making a sale, but to gaining a long-term customer.

Before each show, make yourself a marketing checklist to ensure you are getting maximum exposure during the show. A few minutes of prep time can make a huge difference.

***On the Thursday prior to the show, log on to www.artfestival.com and find your space number.

***Post a photo of your work and your space number on our facebook page www.facebook.com/HowardAlanEvents so that people know where to find you.

***Send out an e-blast to your mailing list telling them the show dates, times, and where to find you.

Make sure you bring your marketing tool kit that includes:

  • A contact sheet with room enough to capture the complete contact information of patrons that visit your booth. (To encourage people to sign up for your mailings, consider a gimmick. You can have a monthly raffle for a piece of your work or a discount coupon, use your imagination.)
  • Business cards that include all pertinent information: your website, facebook page, email address, telephone number, and your medium.
  • A stack of connoisseur guides (we provide these for you to distribute to patrons so that they know what shows you are participating in)
  • Plenty of pens and paper

When you are at the show, be engaging. Answer questions, explain your process, foster a warm and inviting environment where patrons feel welcome and at ease. Always remember that patrons are there to see you and your work. Don’t miss an opportunity to build your client base and increase your sales!

A lot can happen between a patron taking your business card and the time when they are ready to purchase your work. Be proactive in gathering their contact information so you can remain in control of the conversation. By sending out emails that include information about your work and what shows you are participating in, patrons are more apt to attend if they know you will be there.

Example of Contact Sheet

Have something to say about this post? Join in on the conversation on Facebook & Twitter!

Don’t Just Make A Sale, Build a Relationship

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Each week, we receive phone calls from past patrons looking to connect with an artist that they saw at a show in an effort to purchase work from them. The impact each one of you makes on the visitors you interact with each weekend at a show is truly incredible.

This got us thinking…are you maximizing the time you spend with potential customers at shows? We wanted to share a few ideas for maximizing your face time with potential customers and garnering a loyal customer base.

Contact Information

  • Do you attach your business card to each bill or receipt?
    • Putting your contact information on multiple places increases the chance that your customer will keep it.

Advertising

  • Are you tooting your own horn enough?
    • Passing out fliers that list your upcoming shows is a great way to garner repeat business.
    • Make sure your fliers are on brightly colored paper or include an eye-catching design to ensure it doesn’t end up discarded.

Sales

  • Are you spending time getting to know your customers and forming relationships with them?
    • Asking your prospective customers specific questions is a great way to start a conversation that can lead to a sale.
    • Be approachable and friendly, customers want to buy from people they feel a connection to and trust.

Social Media (It isn’t a dirty word)

  • Are you communicating with your customers electronically?
    • An email list is a free and easy way to communicate with a large number of people in a quick manner.
    • Have you considered a facebook or twitter page to update your customers on show dates and showcase new work?

Nurture your relationships

  • Stay in touch with your customers, call them to follow up and see how your piece is doing. A follow up phone call to eventually lead to the sale of another piece.
    • Business cards can be easily misplaced, but by you taking the first step in continuing the conversation, you will be fresh in your customers’ minds.

Don’t be a stranger

  • Have you updated your contact information with Howard Alan Events and American Craft Endeavors?
    • Making sure we have your business phone, website, email, and mailing address is crucial in case a patron contacts us in search of you and your work.

We hope some of these tips can help you increase your customer base and help you create long lasting relationships with patrons at all of your future shows.

Happy Customers

If you have any questions about this post – please don’t hesitate to contact us at 561-746-6615 or info@artfestival.com!

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter for all the latest information about our art & craft festivals.

Cheryl Summers: Marketing Pro

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Cheryl Summers has been known to think outside-the-box with her marketing ideas. As a successful artist, it is very important to be savvy in other areas besides your artwork. 

We wanted to go ahead and show you an example of how Cheryl Summers is a “marketing pro”. Perhaps it will give you an idea of what you can do to promote you and your artwork!

See below:

Cheryl Summers

Cheryl was kind enough to send us a postcard from our recent show in Alexandria, VA. This is a wonderful idea to announce to your followers about a particular show. In addition, if you read the complete postcard, you will see the type of deal Cheryl was offering to her first 20 customers.

Not only does this method announce to her customers where she will be next, but also it gives them the incentive to be one of the first 20 customers to receive a free print with a purchase of $50 or more!

Kudos to Cheryl Summers for this!

What innovative techniques have you used to get customers to your booth at an art festival? Please share with us!

If you have any questions about this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 561-746-6615 or info@artfestival.com.

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter for all the latest information about art & craft festivals.

An Artist Who Knows How To Market Himself: Ron Leep

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We wanted to share with you Ron Leep, who impressed us with his marketing skills. When Ron Leep arrived at the 9th Annual Downtown Aspen Art Festival this weekend, he brought more than his artwork. He brought along materials to market himself and his masterpieces.

Ron had post cards made that included his contact information along with his upcoming shows. Most importantly, everything was up-to-date!

Take a look below:

Front of Postcard

Back of Postcard

(The originals were in color.)

This type of marketing is a little more effective than the business card, because it allows the patrons to know where you will be next. Perhaps a patron needs time to “think about” an expensive piece of artwork. Knowing any future art festival you will be participating in, may attract customers who have seen your work in previous shows!

Additionally, Ron mails out these cards to all of his customers before an event!

Kudos to Ron Leep!

We have also seen artists who send out email reminders to their mailing lists, as well. These are all great ways of attracting new and old customers at an art festival.

What has been most effective for you? Share with us!

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Kansas City Art Fair Billboard

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We wanted to share with you the The 4th Downtown Art Annual…Kansas City Art Fair billboard! We know the picture is a little small, but you can take a look below:

Kansas City Art Fair

We are looking forward to a phenomenal show this weekend, and we cannot wait for you to join us. If you have any questions about this show, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (561) 746-6615 or info@artfestival.com.

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter for all the latest information about our art & craft festivals.

Marketable Crafters: John & Debra Branning

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We wanted to highlight John & Debra Branning, who exhibit in many American Craft Endeavors Craft Festivals, because of their marketing efforts.

In today’s world, it is important to use different marketing tools to keep your business afloat. John and Debra have utilized the internet to brand their artwork. They have branded their business with the classic sea turtle design, which is a favorite amongst their customers. Additionally, you can find them actively on Twitter and their Blog. You can follow them on Twitter HERE, and you can check-out their blog HERE.

Additionally, they will be present at the 19th Annual Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival this weekend (February 19th & 20th, 2011)! We are looking forward to having them in Dunedin with us!

Now, here is some background information we would like to share with you about the talented duo:

John and Deborah Branning developed their Batik-style clothing while living and sailing in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Their sea life motifs have become even more popular with the current awareness of our fragile ecology. Year after year, festival goers return to their booth for the hand-dyed, hand-painted signed limited edition clothing. The Branning’s call Florida home where their fine art can be seen in exhibits and galleries.

John & Debra Branning: Clothing

John & Debra Branning: Clothing

John & Debra Branning: Clothing

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Leave a comment below, call (954) 472-3755 or email info@artfestival.com.

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