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Are you thinking about scheduling a collection release for the first time or trying again after launching "unsuccessfully"?
I'm so proud of you for pursuing your art career.
And I want to give you a little mindset switch that could be helpful:
They're only a piece of the strategy.
But before I get ahead of myself, let me define what I'm calling a launch or release in the context of this blog post: Creating a collection. Talking about them for a month or two. Saying "sign up for early access" on my email list. Picking a date. Saying "they're for sale, ready go!!" Crossing your fingers they all sell.
If you rely on pretty pictures, extra social posts, and an email or two to make your sales for the year, you're probably creating a recipe for disappointment.
What other artists have done in the past and behind the scenes isn't visible. You only see a fraction of what goes into a launch translating into sales.
Artists who I see do launches successfully time and time again:
- 1Have done them many times before and have created their own formula, but are also willing to experiment to stay relevant
- 2Bring new Ideal Art Buyers into their circle regularly (not only through social media!)
- 3Form true fan relationships with their community (usually online and offline)
- 4Have back-up plans to sell the art
- 5Continue to improve their belief in themselves over and over.
Are you doing all of these?
I say this not to be a downer, but to help you see YOU AREN'T FAILING.
Let's say you decide to fit four releases into a year so you can meet your income goals, then the first one flops. You might start believing you aren't meant to work as an artist. (<-- that's where my biggest issue with this method lies. I think they're a great piece of the puzzle, just not all alone.)
What if we flipped the script on launches -- and instead decided to assume they will do terribly?
Again, not in a negative attitude sort of way, but instead:
"I'm going to give this my very best effort while expecting it to fail. This will remove any thoughts around what it means about me or my work so I can see what works, what doesn't, and figure out my own strategy to succeed every time."
That's how you create personal power around launches instead of hoping it validates that you're good enough.
And that's all I want for you. To believe in yourself, your art, your ability to make an income as an artist and make the world a better place through your art. Because you can. (go back and read 1-5 above!)
Now let's look at some ways you can use your art collection launches differently so you get more out of the effort you are already putting into them!
You already know it takes some serious effort/ longevity/staying power to see launches through to the end. Let's milk them for all they're worth.
It's not just about the amount of sales you achieve immediately or during the days you are promoting the launch. It's about making connections, and connections sell art!
1. Reframe the way you think about the end result.
If you are launching a collection and putting all of the validation on what happens by the end of it... please stop!
When you continually launch collections, or do any marketing that is showing up in a big way, it's not just "how many sales did I make by the end of that collection launch?", it's more of a continued effect.
A lot of times people won't buy the first collection launch that they see you do. It might be the second one. It might be the third one, but here's the deal: they probably wouldn't be buying on that third one had they not seen you do the first two.
They know you better by the end of it. They feel a more and more and more increasing desire to buy from you, which doesn't just happen from one launch. Whether it's the first or the third, wherever they come in into your world, they need to see you show up again, and again, and again, so that they can continue to learn more about you.
Because connection sells art! Whether that's:
All of these connection factors are exaggerated when you show up to do a launch.
Every time you have one, you have more and more opportunity for them to find those things that you connect to. And to hear it again, and again, and again. So it's not just this one-off event in your life. It's part of a chain.
As my client put it,
"This collection launch did so much better than my last one! It really sunk in that after your audience sees several collections you release, the more they become invested in you. I think a lot of it is trust, too. You're not just someone on the internet they came across. They see you consistently putting work out of good quality."
2. Create more interaction with your audience.
Use launches to build relationships! There's a few different ways to do this.
1. You can use launches to find more Ideal Art Buyers in your audience!
When tell yourself, "I have 2000 followers on Instagram, but none of them are buyers." You don't know that! It's much more likely that they just haven't bought YET.
Ideal Art Buyers are more likely to connect with you over something like...
If there's connection factors, they're 3x more likely to buy your art. (I've done surveys!)
When you see people interacting with your collection launch, give them a little look-see. Do they have any of those things? Do you feel like you might want to get to know them better? That's a very good indicator that they could be an Ideal Art Buyer.
Start to look for these people in your audience you haven't seen before so you can nurture them.
2. Make invitations to people you have identified as Ideal Art Buyers.
Say, "Hey, Amy! I've got this new collection/live/show/freebie and I'm really excited about it. I wanted to tell you about it because .... (insert genuine reason here)."
Whatever the reason is, it doesn't matter. Get creative with it! Personally engage with people who you have identified around you, that you like, that like you back, that have things in common, especially if it has to do with your art.
3. Collection launches are great opportunities to create more invitations.
Do a live featuring all of the minis, or host a zoom call talking about your process or get creative with your own ideas! Ask yourself, "What is this artwork really about and how can I create something around that where I can ask people to show up and engage?"
Invitations help you find additional Ideal Art Buyers, but also draw people in closer to you more quickly so that you are not waiting forever for them to get really into you, into your art, into who you are. The more interaction you have with someone the quicker they're going to feel that connection so you can actually shorten the time to the sale.
3. Pay attention to what selling method fits you!
You're probably not gonna like this one if you're reading this article... or maybe you're going to love it!
You don't have to do collection launches if they are too much for you.
If you've tried launches before and you've read the first two tips and you're thinking, "They still don't feel good. Please don't make me do it." I beg of you! Please, do not use collection launches.
There is nothing wrong with selling one piece at a time.
To do this, you need ways to create invitations, start conversations, identify your Ideal Art Buyers and deepen those connections through all of that.
So instead it could be that you:
It does not have to be this one business model that has been represented over and over and over as 'The Way' to sell art. Of course, there's nothing wrong with it -- if it is a great way to sell art if it fits YOU.
Is it in line with the vision of the business that you want to create?
If not, that's ok. Let's try a different way.
Watch my workshop!
I hosted a workshop called Claim Your Power, where we talked about three tools for exponential growth in your art business.
Three ways to get what you want faster, more easily, more aligned.
You want some of that?
Sign up below and I'll email you the replay! (P.S. I forgot to hit record for the first five minutes so it jumps right into the meat of it! Oops!)
A workshop for extraordinary artists who want to grow five times faster
claim your power
Three tools to stop playing small and see huge growth
Do the work & create your luck,