These days it’s not just fellow creatives we need to stand out amongst. . . the internet makes it easy for everyone to set up their own shop, reach worldwide audiences, and sell everything from junk they no longer need to beautifully crafted art for huge sums.
So how do you stand out amongst all of that?
Well, here are 5 ideas that might boost your profile, your pocketbook, or at the very least inspire some creative thinking along these lines. . .
1. Add a personal touch to every sale.
Whether its a single greeting card or an original piece of art, what can you include in the sale that will make the recipient feel special?
A discount off their next order, or a handwritten note of thanks to show your appreciation, would be reasonable for the card purchase, whilst a print or two could be included with the purchase of the original.
Make sure the prints feature your other images of course. . . the buyer might like them enough to consider a second purchase! Making your customers feel special is an ideal way to turn them into returning customers.
2. Make use of national celebrations or holidays.
Prior to the day itself, create art within the theme and offer discounts or specials during the time of the event.
Think outside of the box, too. Christmas is obvious, but next year (here in the UK) it will be our Queen’s Golden Jubilee as well as the hosting of the Olympics. . . so whether it’s a cartoon, inspirational art, or portraits you create, how can you adapt your art for these types of events?
Remember, it’s not just prints that can be produced online these days—cards, mugs, greeting cards and t-shirts are also available. We’ve just had a Royal Wedding, and people were able to buy things they may never use again. So have some fun and join the party!
3. Create postcards of your art and send them.
How many of us go to the post dreading the bills or junk mail? All of us, right? Well how delightful would it be to receive something cheerful without expecting it? Add an inspiring quote, or funny phrase onto the front of your postcard and they may even hang it up in their kitchen or at work.
The idea is to put your art in front of people and keep it there 365 days a year—adding a quote will give you the chance to tap into their hearts or humour—they will engage with it and will be more likely to keep it around.
(And don’t forget to add your website URL or blog address to the back.) The idea is to show them you care and that you’re thinking about them. In the end, it’s not all about us and our art.
4. Announce special offers or freebies.
Could you afford to send something to your top 1, 2 or 3 customers, as a freebie? Perhaps it’s something YOU received for free, like one of those “Spend XX amount and get an extra XX free” offers that we always come across.
If you only have one or two things to give away, perhaps put up a raffle prize. New people who sign up to your mailing list could be entered into the drawing (they may unsubscribe later if they don’t win, but then again, they may not).
Look for opportunities like these to gather new subscribers, gain new fans/buyers, and build interest in your art. Rather than just see the extra items that you’re getting for free, think about ways in which you can make them work for you too.
5. Try out every new idea for at least a month.
Make sure you give each idea long enough to work, and see if more orders or commissions come through as as a result. For example, announce that you’re offering free shipping for a certain length of time. If you generate more orders during that trial period, you may find out that you can offer it permanently.
In the end, you’ll only know which ideas work if you put them into practice, so choose a time when you can stand the cost and see how you get on. As the saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” right?
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