by guest blogger Mckenna Hallett
Are you ready? The holiday season will be here in a snap. Are you going to bundle up some great gift ideas, put together a campaign, and capture multiple sales for your art business? You can do this.
You may think that you can’t compete with the giant chain stores with their millions of dollars spent on massive ad campaigns, but you would be wrong. There is a growing movement to buy original and handcrafted art from North American Artists. And buying from local small businesses has its own shopping day, Small Business Saturday. Consider having an open studio on that day!
This movement to support small businesses is growing and is even gaining some traction in other countries around the world. And while that day is not as well known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is easy to get yourself on the shopper’s gift buying list with a little brainstorming and planning. It could mean many hundreds of dollars for many of you reading this.
It never hurts to try. If you have anything that would qualify as “gift priced” that can be replicated easily and is easy to ship, you should pull out your calendar and if needed, put in a call your webmaster or cyber-mentor.
What is that price? For most of you, it’s the same amount you are likely to spend on your friends and family: $35 to several hundred dollars. Yes, that is a big range, but if parents are willing to spend $500 on an X-box, who’s to say they won’t spend a few hundred on your art for their spouse?
Let the shopping begin! Holiday shoppers are in thinking mode and putting their loved ones on lists and setting up budgets. You know this because you are probably doing it, too. Certainly, many are waiting for certain purchases when the sales hit the big boxes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t want more personal and meaningful gifts to give this year.
Not sure if you have that “gift” price point? You might have time to put something together:
- Giftwrap – consider using cloth/light canvas. But more affordable is hand painted paper or paper printed with your art. That becomes a gift all on its own!
- Judaica subjects (Chanukah starts Dec 16th 2014)
- Smaller original paintings
- Open edition prints
- Calendars, gift cards, and other accessory items are hugely popular as gifts and also get your work exposed to an entirely new network who might want to own your originals. Hurry to your local printer or online producer.
This is a very short list. But you don’t have time to read the long list of possibilities. At the time of publication, Thanksgiving is just three weeks away. Get your email lists together. (This is not a Facebook project, nor can you tweet this kind of personal invitation.) Your subscribers are thinking about gifts and you have gifts. Don’t let them down. Be on their radar. And be in their inbox. You can follow up with social media, but start with your email list where your collectors have volunteered to hear from you and you can have their undivided attention as loyal subscribers.
But first, get your holiday gifts page up and running on your website. If you don’t have one, get a shopping cart set up. (My favorite is Square Market – it’s free and very Fine Arts and Crafts oriented.)
Curate your collection and be sure to include your higher-end work as well. If possible, have a cross section of price points, different age groups and so forth. Your collectors may have a big list and you might be able to fill several gift needs. There is a growing trend among couples to not shop for each other. Many now indulge in a “Household” gift to enjoy together and to avoid the “who-bought-who-the-best-gift” syndrome. One of your collectors might just finally want to indulge themselves in a more valued piece from your studio.
While smaller price tags are the focus this time of year, anything is possible when you are in a trusted relationship with your collectors. They want to buy your work. They want to support your career; it’s why they remain as subscribers to your emails! Honor them by making sure they hear from you at least three times between now and the New Year and help them find the perfect gift. They will be grateful for your contact especially if they can just click and buy!
Are you ready to get started with your email marketing program? Or do you have an email marketing program now but need to ramp up your message and results? Check out our popular new e-course on Email Marketing for Artists, available now, and get started before the holiday rush.
Artist and Marketing Guru Mckenna Hallett has a successful studio business. She works with artists to supercharge their marketing and grow their businesses.