Are you an artist, crafter, designer, or Etsy shop owner?
Awesome! So am I :-)
In addition to my expertise in marketing, I also happen to love coloring books, and a few years ago I started my very own business called Curious Custom, LLC. Yes, I have an LLC for my art and so can you (but that's for another post)!
At first I thought it was just a flash in the pan trend, but after 2 years in business (working an average of 2 hours a day) I've made more money each year on coloring books than I did at my first full-time job out of college in two thousand cough cough.
And so can you (that's in this post)!
I whole heartedly believe that the ONLY reason I have been able to generate so much money from my coloring books is because of the marketing systems I have in place. Google "custom coloring book" and I show up on the first page of Google (and that ain't no accident!).
Here are my 5 tips on how to run a successful art based business:
1. The hardest part of the conversion funnel is getting that very first sale. To get your prospect to move from lookie-loo to customer, deploy a DSG offer! That's a "deal so good" they can't refuse :-) This offer should be the most affordable entry point for your customers. If you're a painter, perhaps it's a print for only $5! If you're an illustrator, maybe it's a digital download for $1! Whatever the offer, it better be utterly irresistible. Because once you have them on the hook for a $1 or $5 purchase, the jump to a $10 or $100 purchase isn't as far.
2. Make it useful. Not that art for art sake isn't useful, because I agree that it is! But an easy way to generate some sales it to make your art utilitarian in some way. Turn it into a tote, or shirt, or tool, or mug or something that people can USE. If you can put a verb before the noun, then you have a utilitarian product!
3. Build your email list. There's so much you can do with an email address these days that goes beyond just sending an email. So start cultivating your email list by offering something of value for free! Perhaps you offer a free digital download, or a free pattern, or a free resource guide on XYZ. Don't just say "sign up for my newsletter," because that's the #1 way to make sure no one signs up for you newsletter. You MUST give them something of value!
4. Throw events. I've found that an awesome revenue stream and lead generator (get those emails) has been throwing live events like my coloring clubs. If you could get a group of people together in a room, probably with some alcohol, what could you do with them that would be fun? Maybe it's a painting class, or a coloring contest...get creative! As an artist it's what we're best at :-)
5. Offer a custom item. As an artist you are constantly creating new work. So, why not create new work for a specific person and charge a premium $$$ for it? We are living in an age where customization is KEY and people are willing to pay more to put their name, or even better, their FACE on whatever they can. But, it takes more time? So charge more $$$ to make it worth it! You may be surprised by what you can get!
Now go make some art and some money!