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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
I am a full-time artist who makes acrylic paintings and printed merchandise beginning in 2003. I am fully dependent on my art income and have been so for years. Probably about 70% of what I produce has been going offshore with visitors to New Zealand. I need to make changes. I need a sounding board to help me make them. I like to run my art career without taking from the public purse through funding for the arts. Have I come to the right place? 

Question submitted 06/05/20 @ 10:42am
Industry: Sales
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  • Kia Ora – thank you so much for reaching out for guidance. Your question is a really good one. What we are is a place for business owners to ask questions, seek information and find answers hopefully that make a difference to you. All I can promise is that we provide these – whether that leads to you concluding whether you have come to the right place or not will depend on how you align to the guidance. Here goes for me.

    1. Pivoting your business – there are two options for you to consider. First, do you keep producing the same types of of art that you have historically and just find a new distribution model? Second, do you have to now product different types of art or products given your historic customers have come from (a large part) international visitors. The 2nd question is much more challenging for you as it is really a double pivot.

    2. ASk your customers who love you – to start with, do you have the contact details of your historic customers who have purchased from you? Can you reach out to them to ask them how they are, and whether they would be interested in you selling them some new products – if you go down this path, make sure you have set up your website with new content and imagery and the ability for people to buy, order from you. When you ask your customers, think about the questions you can ask that also might give you some insights around what else they might be interested in – this could be new pieces of art, it could be prints of the existing art they have, or it could be prints of your most popular art that you have sold over the years.

    3. Think about ‘who are you sweet spot’ customers – what is unique about them, or not – and then think about where else are there people like them around NZ and around the world – can you find them on Facebook etc and then can you market to them?

    4. Ask your existing customers to link you into anyone they know who they think would like your art.

    5. Can you partner and collaborate with other artists to get a bigger voice in the market – where you collectively reach many more customers – you could do Zoom Calls, you could do virtual exhibitions etc.

    6. Finally, when you think about ‘doing new things’ – you may need to be quite lateral if there is really a challenge in getting sales from your existing art pieces. This comes down to how you can apply your expertise into different forums or pieces – that could be quite fun.

    I hope this helps – what in essence is the opportunity is to get your voice into new customers, new users and that will best come from recommendations for the people who already love you and respect you – just ask them for help! All the best, Andy

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