Question :
We would love marketing direction to grow our business. My husband Alvin Pankhurst is an artist. We have had our own ( 4th) Studio Gallery in Parnell for 12 years. Alvin was the first NZer resident in NZ to be chosen for the London Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2001. Our new partner Grant Levarre-Waters, and computer expert, has just placed some of our high quality prints online under shopify. We don’t know how to market the site. We were the first artist in NZ to have a website in 2001 and the only one to sustain a gallery in a main city in NZ. For NZ’s international exposure and a cultural record Alvin paints Maori carvings carved by the great Maori carvers over the last 400 years. The warriors, chefs, wakas an mythological characters in real NZ settings. We welcome suggestions on how else our images can be sold. Alvin facilitated for the 1st time NZ’s entry into the 2019 Beijing Biennale where 100million Chinese saw a 10minute interview every hour of him  on the opening day.  Covid has held up follow through plans. Some time ago we found out that Alvin’s earlier flower images were on place mats in Canada. We were not able to track the source. Look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards,Ephra and Alvin Pankhurst alvinpankhurst.com. Email: alvin@pankhurst.co.nz mob: Alvin 0212594306.

Question submitted 07/08/20 @ 12:49pm
Industry: Business Growth
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    Hi Ephra and Alvin,
    Not sure if anyone else has contacted you direct but here we go with a reply on the Manaaki site.

    First of all congratulations -on both your wonderful work and on your pioneering connections.

    Selling art is an interesting challenge! I love New Zealand art and get a lot of pleasure from being surrounded by my favourite pieces everyday…while also wishing to win Lotto and buy the Bill Hammond of my dreams!

    My key thoughts are as follows;
    – it seems as if capturing the contact details of everyone who visits the gallery and creating an regular communication with them such as a monthly newsletter is key. I am sure there are some other galleries you follow and you could look at how they approach those communications to get some ideas
    – you would then need to work out how to build that email database over time. Maybe through collaborating with another body you could create some evenings to get interested parties along? Working with the Chinese community in New Zealand. There are lots of ways you could consider …
    – so let’s assume you can create a database of interested parties your halfway there. Next step, find reasons for them to regularly engage with you. You could run a series of events through the year, capitalising on your unique experience. A 11/11 show? A Chinese new year show?
    – Social Media: I see other galleries such as Gow Langsford making significant use of Instagram particularly. Feels as if a presence in social media would be really useful in attracting new fans. That is a whole topic by itself. If you use social media take a look at what other galleries and artists are doing to think about some ideas

    Hope that’s useful and look forward to seeing more of your work, Vicky


    Kia ora Ephra and Alvin,

    Agree with all Vicky’s advice, building a database is really key these days so that should be a focus. I notice you have a newsletter sign up on your website at the bottom of the page…perhaps you could consider moving this to be a pop up so it has more prevalence on the page (your developer could help you with this)

    Having regular events throughout the year would also be a good way to engage with your customers, particularly in the next 12 months (Covid allowing) as Kiwis are keen to get out and experience what their city and country have to offer, and there is also a real desire to support local.

    And growing your social media presence would also be a great way to maintain regular contact with your customers and market yourselves to potential customers. Have you applied for any funding through the regional business partners network? If not you should look at doing this


    They provide funds up to a certain amount with their registered businesses, and one of those could help you put a plan together.

    I would be happy to chat further if you need more info, please let me know and I will touch base with you.

    Nga mihinui,

    Mihi Blake


    Thank you so much. We appreciate your interest and comments. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply There is an upside to covid as I can get a breath and catch up ( not for too long!!) Best wishes Ephra and Alvin


    Kia ora Ephra and Alvin

    You’re getting some great advice above.

    We did a study of some of our most successful ecommerce clients and there were some common themes which we’ve covered off in a blog and video here: https://www.rocketspark.com/blog/post/254/Ecommerce-secret-saucethe-9-simple-essentials-of-ecommerce-success/

    I recommend checking out Sofia Minson’s site and see how she has a blog to tell stories and build engagement with her audience: https://www.newzealandartwork.com/. The blog articles are shared on socail media to draw people to the site to see the full article.

    I hope that helps.

    Kind regards



    Hi Ephra and Alvin

    I agree with Vicky, it is crucial to be able to get some email marketing done with a consistent newsletter. With your platform as Shopify, Shopify makes email marketing easy for the store owner. An app I would recommend within Shopify is Klaviyo. I personally use Klaviyo for my Shopify stores and it is so helpful. I have automatically set it up so I don’t have to worry. That’s the amazing thing about apps within Shopify. I have attached a link below with more information regarding this.

    Email Marketing and Automation Platform for Shopify


    I also think Social Media is key. Nowadays, people want to be able to look at images which might then spark interest in the artwork. Finding out your target age range would help with this in order to know which social media platform would be more beneficial. From there, depending on where you primarily want to advertise, you could use Facebook Advertising using creative images of the artwork to attract interest and potential sales from people within your target market. Facebook Advertising is budget-friendly and also automatic once it is set up.

    Hope this helps, any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out 🙂

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