|Eric painting at Old Tucson|
Eric started with something to the effect of "you've been marketing and maybe had a little success ... now what?
His reply to his own comment was "don't go into coast mode." This is something that happens to many artists... success can lead to some sitting back and then you lose momentum. So, to get back on track he said you need to ask yourself some probing questions such as: "What was making me successful?" But, also, you don't need to just keep on doing the same thing. A good strategy is to keep reinventing yourself. You need to eradicate the concept of the starving artists. Many artists fall into this trap of believing it is true.
|"Dunes Tree" Oil 5"x7"|
And, sometimes you need to keep the perception of being the "Best" and help others believe it. I took this as a don't make comments that undermine what others think of you or your work. Be positive, and you don't have to share the down side to some of the life of being an artist, or even the parts of your painting you are not so thrilled with.
After this pep talk, he started talking about a new plan he has. It is a 12-Month Marketing Plan in a box which he is selling. I believe you can order this plan, so check out the Plein Air Convention site.
|Things an Artist Needs to Do!|
"One and done doesn't work!" He said you should lay it out for the year. And, no negative thinking. He wants you to ask, "how can I make this work for me?"
There are "five reasons for failure." (1) Not really being in touch with customers, not understanding them, (2) no market differentiation - you need to stand out. Don't use the same old photos of just paintings, but think of things that are a little different. Show yourself in your studio painting, or on location painting. Show your tools and discuss them, (3) failure to communicate clearly - make sure terms are understandable, (4) there is a breakdown at the top, in the leadership, and (5) an inability to have a profitable business model with proven revenue streams.
|"Cypress Dance" Pastel 24"x20|
And, "why do you need this?" So you can have (1) predictable income, (2) freedom and flexibility, and (3) a big advantage. What you would get in this marketing plan in a box: Monthly Components, Weekly Components, Twice a Year Components, and Quarterly Components. This plan is more "what to do vs how to do it." You get guidance, discovery, a marketing calendar, and components of what goes on the calendar, listing every strategy you plan to use (advertising, social media, and notes. You will assign dates, assign duties, monthly and weekly. This really was a sales pitch for the plan, but if you listened closely, there were jewels of ideas on how to do it if you were organized and motivated. Many artists are not! They want someone else to do it for them. This was a compromise.
He did offer many slides of the parts of the "marketing in a box" that were teasers. It did make me think about "do I want to buy this?" I decided I am pretty good most times at marketing, but I am not consistent enough. It just made me want to become more consistent and do it myself. I want to be as he said "market differentiation - stand out" .... be different. I didn't want my plans to be just like the ones that would purchase his plan. I'm sure it is a good one and will work for those artists that follow through and do it just as he has it laid out. And, you do get 4 phone calls, he called them "implementation calls" with Eric and his crew. Here is a shot of the screen that tells all you get in the box.
|The list of what is in the box|
|The system components|
Here are some of the points you can do yourself. Eric talked about how to get back to direct mail as it still produces. We don't need to just rely on the internet for email, social media and newsletters. Create something that is different, have a theme, stand out. Even do a "killer offer". Don't forget to have great "killer" Headlines... very important to grab their attention. The mistakes made are (1) not having a "call to action" (2) nothing to differentiate you, and (3) not having a deadline. The offer needs bullet points, a great name, a hot title, to pull them in. Draw them in by using the entertainment factor.
Have something special for your clients, offer a deal that is more social, have a reception or small dinner, a small private cocktail party, give them a small gift such as a print (the $5.00 type). The client needs to receive this offer by direct mail, using a nice oversized post card with good graphics, too. A great headline, bullet points, the offer, and a deadline to respond (the call to action). Show your artwork in small images somewhere. Here is one of my paintings I like to use when putting on a card. It always sparks interest and questions!
|"Willeo Park Misty" Plein air pastel, 16"x20"|
He said the #1 rule ... the key to crushing it ... don't always make an offer, but when you do, they can't refuse. Identify what's in it for them, describe it clearly, add scarcity, add a bonus, and describe the call to action ... but not in a sleazy sounding way! He commented how do you get this going fast? Spend 2 days thinking, then 2 days creating your theme, create templates you can use, etc. This is designed for local strategy, but may be used nationally. Offer something and get people excited about it. Pick one thing! Make it entertaining and exciting. Stand out!
|"My Ride to Work" Pastel 16"x12"|
My take-away from this third session ....
Keep a marketing calendar, 12 month one, put dates on it for each thing you are going to do. Have someone you can use as an accountability partner. And then use it! Show your clients you care. Know them, and know what can work for you. Make it as easy as possible to keep going on your plan and don't make it overwhelming.