Monday, March 28, 2005
Marketing I: Week I
Playtime is over! I started the next class in my Entreprenuership Program.
Homework assignments for this week:Killer Phrases: What are negative comments people make about my artwork?
Oh, a "Starving Artist" eh?
If *I* only had *your* talent, I would [make ______, be a hit, market _____, be sucessful]
My [friend, sister, neighbor] is an artist and I never understood it, he/she will never make any money at it.
Oh you're an artist! Could you make me a ______? for free?
You're so *talented* you just have to find a way to be more *marketable*
You can't make your stuff so "out there" that people won't want to buy it.Two Goals to be completed within two years, and five objectives to be completed within one year to make those goals happen
Goal 1: Identify or Create a Target Audience
Goal 1 Objectives:
1. Survey who has bought my work in the past.
2. Note trends regarding who has bought my work.
3. Research competition: Who are they marketing to?
4. Identify the sort of people I want to work with and sell to.
5. If there seem to be differences in people who are interested in my work, find things that connect them.
Goal 2: Develop My "Brand" or Marketing Image
Goal 2 Objectives:
1. Unify all of my promotional materials.
2. Tailor my materials to complement the style of my work.
3. Maintain interest by incorporating new gimmicks.
4. Send out materials regularly.
5. Take advantage of all possible channels of communication.Two more channels to market my product
Be a presence at gallery openings
Partner up with a fashion designer or interior designer
I also need to e-mail my professor with my area of focus, and choose a time each week to devote to marketing ... and plan to stick to it for a year.*
For the sake of accountability, Wednesday is Marketing Nite.
*stick to it for a YEAR?! ... this woman is apparently unaware of my many pressing social engagements! tee hee!
Thursday, March 24, 2005
As I contemplate alternative venues for selling my wares, I am thinking about e-bay as an option.
Here's what Alisha Vincent, a sort of artist's coach says about e-bay>
Here's what Art Business News
says about e-bay (this is the article Alisha Vincent refers to)
Here's what e-bay says about selling on ebay
I think the trick is to advertise my product outside of just posting it on e-bay, because, as we all know, there are about 859 kabillion things listed on e-bay, including this
. Actually I'd really like to have that optigan, but that's beside the point. The point is, without advertising, my items would be lost.
I don't think, as Ms. Vincent claims, selling on e-bay will devalue my work. In addition, it may help move some of the inventory that doesn't do the best at shows, because it may seem like a better "deal" on e-bay. I will continue to do research this week and post more articles as I find them.
All this, of course is partially in preparation for my marketing class that starts next week!
I'm working on my new website. Well, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that my husband is working on my new website. I decided that there is way too much stuff happening on the old one (see for yourself
). My hubsie is such an overacheiver. It's so fancy that, unfortunately, it looks like total crap in anything that's not Safari because his programing skillz are way beyond the yahoos who built internet explorer, which, regrettably 90% of people use because they are denial that macs are so very much better than their lame-o PCs. I'm feeling so mature today.
Seriously, my husband is awesome. He sees me clunking around on dreamweaver and he asks ever-so-quietly, "do you think maybe I could work on your webpage some?" and he does what I was trying to do much more efficiently and makes it work much better than I could.
I'm going for a new design, that hopefully will reflect my renewed inspiration to make things. and money.
This weekend's goals:
* take care of inventory
* photograph & rephotograph a bunch of things so that I can put them on the pages.
* research e-bay selling
Hopefully I'll be able to work on some of those in the midst of Easter and TAXES and dancing.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
I'm cranky: Or damaging little comments.
I have mentioned this before, but as my day job, I am a temp.
I was chatting with someone who happened to come into the office where I was working and she was asking me if I was looking for permanent work. I said not really, and offered that I am an artist and temping is a great way for me to invest more time in my artwork and have some flexibility if I need to prepare for a show. Here is how her side of the conversation went from there:
"Oh! My sister-in-law is an artist, too - she does ceramics. When she decided to do pottery I tried to tell her, 'You know, you're in for a life of destitution,' but she gets by. She doesn't have much but she's happy. She supports herself by taking care of an elderly lady. But,you know, that's great if you want to do that, it's a tough life though."
Oh, comments like this make me so angry! I hate that the stereotype of the "starving artist." Even more I hate that many artists do nothing to dispell this myth "Boo-Hoo, I'm so misunderstood" or "Alas, I am an undiscovered genius. I'm waiting for the Whitney to call." Get off your butts, artists, be proud of what you do, and try to make some money while you're at it.
Admittedly, this woman was well-intentioned. She was making pleasantries, but when the first thing I hear after I say I'm an artist is "Oh! My ________ is an artist and he/she is SO POOR!" I feel like my work is immediately devalued, before I even show it or explain it. I think non-artists just don't know what else to say to artists. Like we some alien life form. Some really impoverished deadbeat lifeform.
I didn't give my whole elevator speech though, maybe that was the kicker.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Today was the last class of Business Basics I, the first installment of the Arts Entreprenuership Program. Now is when I look back and see how I did.
I think I made more progress in the past six weeks than I have in the past year, as far as my business goes. I've been encouraged, and I've come to see the value in what I do. It's very difficult to start a business, and to fight to make it work, and then to be rejected from shows, have slow sales, and be discouraged at every turn. It's easy to not try anymore.
In six weeks, I have met my main goals for that particular class: I have established exactly where I want to be at the end of the program, I have identified what I want my business to be like, and I am ready to move on to more detailed parts of planning and marketing.
I do see now that I haven't maintained this weblog the way I would have liked to. Some of the entries are better and more thoughtful than others. I don't know that they would be terribly helpful for other people either, so I think that I'd like to add some questions that I have asked myself over the past few weeks. I'm sure I will need to revist those questions myself. Look for this space to be more constructive, more cooperative, and not entirely about my little brain trying to puzzle out my own little problems.
Our professor had us write goals for ourselves, and she is going to mail them to us in three months. Here is what I wrote to myself:
* establish a more efficient way to manage my inventory
* create a more detailed financial plan
* update the kitschen website
* select at least one date to sell at the Eastern Market
* apply for at least one juried show
* concentrate on marketing
* expand mailing list
* maintain web log of business development
* enjoy my studio
* continue to edit and use elevator speech
* befriend at least one other artist I might to work with
Please don't beat yourself if you don't get all of these things done. This is a very difficult thing to do, building a business. Congratulations for how far you have come already! You are talented and brave for working so hard to be the girl you always wanted to be.
Friday, March 04, 2005
One of the excercises my professor had us do was to come up with an "Elevator Speech" -- that is, if you are introducing yourself to someone, you should be able to say what you do and what your business is in the time it takes to ride up a few floors in an elevator, in such a way that it makes some one want to come out on your floor and learn more about it.
Let's give it a shot. I'll probably come back and edit this page about 5,982 times.
Hi! I'm an artist and maker of things. I sell beaded jewelry, paintings and other accoutrements through my business, Flissy's Kitschen -- that's K-I-T-S-C-H as in fabulous!
I am an Artist & Maker of Things.
Visit my shop at Etsy!
I'm on MySpace
Books to Check Out
Print & Color Affirmations! Fun!
In the Fridge
Art & Small Business Links
Small Business Administration
US Patent & Trademark Office
Artist Help Network
The Kitschen's Favorite Weblogs