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Oh, I do so enjoy getting an idea and running with it.
Like that time I decided that if my daughter and I were going to be plain-ol' witches for Halloween, I'd have to step up my game.
Or the time I decided a raised bed-greenhouse combo design I dreamt up was a totally necessary addition for my garden.
Or the time I decided to remodel an unused space and create a public art exhibition for myself and a friend.
When I get an idea in my head, even if other people think I’m crazy, it’s gonna happen.
That’s just who I am... a “dream it into existence” kinda gal.
Last week I got a “wild hair,” as my Grandma says (which basically means another crazy new idea).
I want to help you sell art this holiday for free. No strings attached.
I'll be honest though. It’s a little self-serving, because when you do what I tell you - and it works - you’re gonna think “mmm hmmm... I wanna work with her” and treat yourself to an art business up-level.
That's what I call a win/win.
So. Ready to make some money? Look for me next Tuesday with lesson #1!
Know another artist that might like to join in? Send them to this link to sign up.
Let's make art "THE gift" to give this year!
My house is 55 degrees right now.
We have a massive wood-burning fireplace we use to heat the house in the winter, but sometimes…
...ok, a lot of times… I hit the ground running in the morning. I don't notice how cold it is until I'm sitting in front of the computer video chatting with a client, and my teeth start chattering.
I'm a fan of self-sufficiency. That includes being able to cut up a dead tree on the property and use it to heat my home without having to worry about the electricity going out.
But doing all the steps yourself can be a lot of work. So can growing an art business that relies on you to do all the selling.
That's why I want you to make it as easy as you can on yourself.
When you are promoting your art for the upcoming holidays, I want you to pick one thing to focus on.
The more specific, the better.
That doesn't mean you can't sell anything else ever again. That just means you have an art product that you can effectively get the word out about using only little 'ol you.
Even huge chain stores with entire marketing departments utilize this idea. I call it your "window display."
Walking down the streets of New York City, every shop has a window display featuring what they are selling that season. It goes on their catalog covers, in their newsletters, in the front of their shop, on their social media… it's their focus.
I want you to copy them.
Feature your window display on your:
Have a focus. Just for a bit.
Choose your focus and plaster it everywhere!
That's all you have to do this week. Simple, simple. More holiday art selling tips next Tuesday!
We had to cancel our family Thanksgiving trip yesterday.
Dog sitting problems, traveling over the snowiest mountain pass in Colorado during a three-day snowstorm, a just-turned-one little guy with a cold… It just wasn't in the cards. We're going to miss the family we aren't going to see - but we're making the best of it.
To cheer up my four-year-old girl, we started making a list of all the fun things we would do instead:
The list was just the ticket. My daughter went from whine-crying to jumping around excited.
Lists can provide so much clarity. That's why for my second "sell your art for the holidays" tip, I'm recommending you create one.
One of the reasons artists have such a hard time marketing is because they don't consider why someone would want to buy their art.
Of course, your art is beautiful and would look great on a wall, but that could be true of so many other works of art. Being able to talk about buying your art in a more specific way is an incredibly valuable trick to making the sale.
Most of the reasons on your list will be pretty uninspired. And it will take you a while to get to fifty, but I promise you, there will be some gold nuggets in this list.
Your job is not to stop until you get to fifty, because most of the good ones will come at the end. When you just know you can't come up with anymore, your brain will reward you with new connections you wouldn't have made before.
You'll know them when you see them. Pick out your favorite three and use these when you are writing emails, social media posts, and website headlines to make your marketing stand out from everyone else's.
Great job so far! Another tip coming your way next week. 🙂
Happy American Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for you.
My husband can see the future.
Not like an oracle or anything, but he imagines every scenario to see problems before they happen.
Sometimes it's handy... "Did you ship the pack n play? The airline you're on usually loses things, and you won't be able to carry it with X, Y, and Z in your hands anyway."
(Why didn't I think of that?)
Sometimes it's a little too "worst-case scenario" for my taste... "Since the power is out, we better go out to eat. I don't want you to light the stove and blow up the house."
Either way, he's great at thinking ahead, and he helps me to do the same.
For your third holiday selling tip, I want you to help your past, present, and future customers by encouraging them to think ahead.
How cool would it be if when everyone they know is rushing around to buy last-minute gifts, your customers are thinking, "I'm done thanks to (your name)!"
Yep, you can do that. And your buyers will remember you for it.
The trick is to offer them something they'd really want for a limited amount of time - aka an early-bird special.
You could do a discount, but I'm going to encourage you to do an added-bonus special instead.
To create an added-bonus special think about this:
What is something you can add to your holiday offer that would make it a no-brainer… a stand-out gift?
Using your top three reasons they should buy, brainstorm some ideas about what they might want to be added.
Heres some prompts to get you started. Can you...
Of course, it shouldn't cost you too much time or money to offer this bonus.
If you have a really excellent idea, consider raising your prices to reflect the increased cost to you. (And don't lower them after the early-bird sale!)
Decide how you can add extra value to your Holiday offer. Brainstorm today and tomorrow, then start advertising it! I'd recommend running the special for one week ASAP.
Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to spread holiday cheer and encourage the rise of art giving this season.
Can you think of a better way to earn money? It sounds like wins all around to me.
I'm a severe introvert.
For real. My husband likes to make fun of me for never leaving the ranch. (Why would I go when I have everything I need right here??)
This last week though, my friend needed me. She had a little girl, and like all new moms, was freaking out a little… so I flew out to Columbus for moral support.
One day we took our babies to a cute little parlor for Midwest Whiskey and Pecan ice cream and marveled about how different life was fifteen years ago when we met.
Instead of putting our babies to sleep every night, we were wearing cocktail aprons, slinging drinks, and raking in the cash money at a local brewery. It seems like a lifetime ago.
Man, we were really good at that job.
I wasn't at first, though. I was shy and just wanted to give the people what they wanted while remaining mostly invisible.
Soon, I learned. If you want to make money as a waitress or bartender, you have to talk, laugh, and form relationships with customers.
Beer wasn't truly what they were after. They wanted a reason to come back night after night. A place to feel special.
So that's what we gave them.
We knew their name and order, asked how their fight with Jo Shmo was coming along and bought them a drink now and then.
I learned to turn my introvertedness upside down during working hours, met some cool people, and made real money because of it.
Since then, I've studied artist after artist and seen the same trend.
If you can go out there, start talking to people, and show them you care about them, you can turn it into a career. If you stay hidden behind your work and are afraid to step out of the shadows, your chances are not nearly as good.
You're probably an introvert too and I don't want to scare you off.
But I do want you to play with this idea of finding your own way to be social during working hours.
Maybe that looks like…
What I'm talking about here is not posting images to social media and praying to the algorithm gods that they get seen.
I'm talking about you having an actual conversation with a real human being.
Pick one way to start conversations this week. Set a goal that is a little bit of a stretch for you and challenge yourself to reach that many people.
(Make sure the art you're selling this holiday is featured prominently so people know what you have to offer when they go cyber-stalk you!)
Even if you resist it hard - please try it.
When you see the difference it makes to your sales, and the fulfillment you get from knowing your buyer, you'll learn to love starting conversations.
I'd be willing to bet on it.
Do the work & create your luck,
Jessica Craddock is a consultant for artist entrepreneurs who have started building their following online but haven’t figured who would buy their art. They’re tired of being all over the place and don’t know what to say or how to say it. She teaches them to work smarter and be “authentically them” so they can sell more through their website & spend their days creating beautiful things.
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