Shift your perspective and embrace the fact that you have the ingenuity and creativity to connect with your patrons and fellow artists in a new way. Now is the time to tailor your online presence and be SMART about marketing your art.
Now that you have been forced into creating new ways to reach your patrons and develop a sustainable business online, your attention should be turned to developing goals that are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and tangible.
Specific: The goal is to enhance or create a sustainable online business for your art. First thing to do is a social media audit. Is your information the same across all your social media platforms? Do the links to your social media accounts work? Are your photos up to date and work shown currently available? Is your bio strong and accurate? These are all questions to consider while auditing your social media presence.
Measurable: How is your website doing? Measuring your website’s performance can be tricky. Personally I find the best indicator of a website’s marketing and sales performance is conversion rate - the website’s ability to persuade visitors to take a desired action (sales!)
You need to employ search engine optimization (SEO) strategies so your business can be easily found. If you are not familiar with how to set up or use Google Analytics – click HERE for an easy guide. Make sure that you are using local SEO strategies to optimize your website for “near me” searches. You want customers in your geo-region to be able to find you online quickly.
Attainable: One of the easiest ways to boost your SEO during this time is to add positive reviews. We know reviews can have direct impact on consumer decision making, and ultimately, sales. Ask your patrons to leave you a great review. You can incorporate asking for reviews with client invoices, post-purchase emails or directly on social media. Craft a personal reply as they come in.
Relevant: Rethink how you send your emails. Email marketing produces the highest ROI (return on investment) out of all the social media platforms. According to McKinsey, email is three times more likely to garner a purchase than social media marketing.
Create an email sequence. Saying “BUY THIS” in the first email is not good for relationship building. Your goal is to connect and create patrons.
Send a couple of nurture emails introducing them to who you are and what you are creating.
Share one or two of your core stories – engage your patrons emotionally.
Tell them about what you are currently working on and how they can purchase from you
Tangible: As artists, we are in the best position to move away from selling at an art show to moving our business online. Business Wire data from ACI Worldwide highlights that sales in the home goods industry are seeing a huge increase in online sales.
The connection to our patrons is one of the most tangible asset that we have as artists. Communicating with them has never been easier. There are many free and paid platforms to host online video meetings including the popular sites like Zoom (free and paid plans), Blue Jeans, Google Hangouts and Skype and Facebook live. You need to consider which platform works best for you. VOIP Review has a put together a list of the 11 best free web video conferencing and screenshare apps of 2020. Once you have decided on which platform works best for you – consider booking virtual shopping appointment for your patrons. Have a virtual "trunk show" and reward your host for having new clients at the event.
Artists need to think about the power of their personal brands and use this time to create the platforms that sell their art. Art shows will eventually come back, and in the meantime, keep your patrons engaged, they are reading, watching and listening.