Plan for the New Year by Building on Your Current Success

By Carolyn Edlund

Are you thinking of business strategies for 2011? There are many different ways to publicize, market and sell your artwork, and you might want to try a few new avenues to sell your art in the new year.

Prioritize by reviewing your business plan, and set goals for each quarter of 2011. This will help focus your energies, and allow you to be accountable and measure your progress. Do you want to set up a Twitter account? Does your website need serious updating? Are your current sales methods less effective due to the sagging economy? Choose a couple of goals; don’t overburden yourself with too many projects.  SMART goals are measurable and achievable. Being overwhelmed just leads to frustration and failure.

One of the most effective strategies for growing business is to focus on the clients you already have. Look over your existing customer list, and determine the people who have given you the most, and repeat business, during the last year or two. This will generally be about 20% of your customer base. Staying in contact with existing customers is a major driver of future sales – in fact, acquiring a new customer is 5 to 10 times more expensive than selling to existing customers. Build on your current success by continuing to sell more work to those clients; asking for testimonials and referrals, and communicating with them by email marketing, newsletters, direct mail and even phone calls.

Courtesy Judith Heartsong

Take a look at this article from Inc. magazine  for ideas on how to keep in touch and sell to your base. This may sound geared towards corporations, but in fact it applies to anyone in business. If you are an artist wanting to sell your work as a full-time career, that’s you.

Building on your current success also means strengthening relationships you have already made over the past year. After you make a sale, or participate in a show, do you just move on? Think of how you can grow that connection into a more permanent business source.  Relationship marketing is increasingly important; advertising is less effective than it used to be, and word of mouth referrals are just about the most powerful sales tool you could have.

What are your New Year’s resolutions and plans for growing business? Who would you like to make a connection with to grow your art career?

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  1. Thanks for the great advice! This year, I decided to put all my business goals up on a corkboard in front of my easel, so I’m reminded every day of where I’m heading in 2011.


  1. […] Lots of New Year advice, of course: how to set up your illustration business, from Escape from Illustration Island, and building on your past successes from Artsy Shark […]

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