Wishing you a healthy, prosperous, and creative 2019!
Speaking of having a prosperous year, a few artistic resolutions may be in order. Clear and attainable goals will help you increase sales, reduce costs, and exercise your creativity.
Connections: The new buzz word term these days is social connections. Essentially, this means repackaging the traditional methods of keeping client contacts by creating more regular personalized engagement. One tool to help you this year is social media manager software. These programs allow you to tailor your message across platforms and keep track of engagement. PC magazine has created a detailed list of the best products on the market for 2019 that you can find here. Social media interaction is a key component in consumer spending. Artists who have shifted to a robust social media strategy are able to reach potential buyers at and after the art festival.
Know Your Clients: You now have the software to help you reach potential clients but do you know who your buyers are? The truth is that within the broader market, there is a niche of people who are going to be interested in your work and who are going to be able to purchase it. The more you know about this niche, the better you will be able to target the clients and the shows that work best for you.
Building your patron base is still very old school. It takes time and organization. Get clients' emails and physical addresses to maintain an inclusive email marketing list (anyone who expresses interest in your work) as well as a dedicated snail mail list (those who have purchased from you). These separate lists allow you to personalize the information about yourself to different buying groups that is not just a sales pitch.
Organize Your Finances: Know how much is coming in (easy task) and how much is going out (the hard part). Your financial records should guide all of your business decisions, such as when to hire staff, expand inventory, or invest in equipment. But your decisions will only be as good as the information you have.
If your books are a mess, take time to get them in order. It's a hole that may seem difficult to dig out of, but this is absolutely necessary to your business. If this task is too overwhelming, consider hiring a bookkeeper. Bookkeepers can help make sense of your current records and set you up with a system for the future, regardless of whether you end up hiring them long-term.
Audit 2018: What worked and what needs to be changed? Start with taking inventory of what you have and a hard look at what you need. Move on to what sells and which size or design has been "hanging" around for a significant period of time. Take the time to clean your studio - it is cathartic to throw out or, better yet, donate materials that have been taking up space.
Set Realistic Production Deadlines: Personally, I am the perfect procrastinator as I always find the new idea more fascinating. I need to set achievable deadlines to keep my productivity on track. By sticking to a reasonable schedule it helps reduce the amount of time available for self doubt and changing plans.
Whether this is a deadline you set yourself or something you arrange with other people, you can curate this experience to not only fit but enhance your practice. For example, you could aim to finish a painting in a month, try to teach yourself something new in two weeks, or arrange to hold a collaborative exhibition in a year's time.
Be Kind to Yourself: Most of us are our biggest critic.
Become aware of your own achievements and give yourself recognition. One of the best ways to show yourself kindness is to take good care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat fruits and vegetables, and get some form of exercise on a regular basis.
Wishing everyone a very happy, creative and prosperous 2019