I’ve rounded up a bird’s eye view of what it looks like to play fully as a professional artist in 10 key ways. It’s a journey and it’s not a get rich scheme, but I’m here to support you in your dream. Because the world needs great art, great work, and beautiful things!
Do you see yourself playing full out, practicing like you play, and making each day the real show and not the rehearsal?
7) Know Your Bottom Line & Forecast Your Profits
I covered a little of this in the last article, but it can’t be said enough.
Key #1 – Know your costs… all your costs.
So many artists don’t account for their overhead because they work out of their homes. It’s still a business expense and should be accounted for. Why?
What happens if you grow your business (have success), need to get a real space (you need employees) and don’t have all the real costs of doing business accounted for in your profit and loss formula?
When you don’t plan for growth, you might find yourself not being able to make a profit because your expenses are too high. Ideally your profit and loss per product should be able to stand on it’s own with a relatively similar net profit for each item.
Otherwise you may find yourself needing to adjust your prices significantly,which could effect your accounts, and ultimately sales.
Key #2 – Forecast Your Profits
Do you forecast out your sales for the year, and your expenses, so you have some idea of your year end profits?
You should be doing this for even smaller scale events throughout the year (ie a show booth). I’ve encountered many artists who are going to exhibit at a show and ask how many pieces should they bring? This shows me they haven’t done any forecasting of their sales to determine if the show is even feasible.
They should know how many pieces or how much total they need to sell in order to cover materials, labor, overhead, show costs and profits.
Knowing an approximate of your total expenses for the show is a must (advertising, booth fees, insurance, electrical, shipping, drayage, employee wages, portion of display costs, hotel, flight/gas, mileage, etc).
Your booth has become the gallery. So it’s necessary that you always mark up your work to compensate for the retail markup which covers these expenses. This is above and beyond your overhead.
Forecasting out the entire year will help you determine how much you can spend on advertising, on doing shows, on training etc, and still be able to provide your company with a net profit.
Key #3 – Don’t forget to account for net profit. It’s your “savings account” to grow your business, replace tools, get training, etc.
8) Spiderweb Your Marketing
Increased Touches = Conversions
It used to be that someone would only need to see you, meet you, hear about you, or read about you 7-10 times for you to then become top of mind enough for them to buy your product.
Now that we are in the age of information overload, this number of touches has sadly risen to 10-30 times before your product or service is top of mind. We are drowning in a sea of product/service availability, access to variety and prices.
So how will you stand out. How will you become top of mind?
If you can get them to your website your goal is to keep them there. Have your shopping cart there.
If you send them to Etsy, they will shop around and the likelihood that they will buy from you decreases significantly. There are too many other options there and it becomes a logical purchase not an emotional one.
If they are on your site you have the opportunity to share who you are. People buy from those they know, trust or like. By having a blog or social media accessible on your site, they can then check out your posts and articles to get to know you better. This results in emotion and story becoming a key in their buying process.
Your social media post they read, then is hopefully linking them to the article you wrote back on your blog. That blog post links to a product that inspired the article, etc.
Shazam! they are right back to your shopping cart. Your strong call to action (invitation to buy) is laid out well enough that they now make that decision to own your masterpiece.
Take a good honest and constructive look at how well thought out your shopping process is online. What are the steps prospects take when they check you out (from whatever initial source), check out your work or open themselves up to the possibility of owning one of your pieces?
How well are you spiderwebbing your marketing?
I would really love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment and let’s connect!
Join me August 23rd for part 5 of this series!