Panicking During the Holiday Sale Season? 10 Way to Help You Breathe Easier and Sell More Art.

Andrea Rosenfeld - Holiday Trunk Show in Short Hills, NJ
Andrea Rosenfeld – Trunk Show in Short Hills, NJ

Panicking During the Holiday Sale Season? 10 Way to Help You Breathe Easier and Sell More Art.

Did You Procrastinate? We humans (especially creative individuals) are extremely adept at pushing off the “work” for “play”.  So now the important holiday season is here and you’ve got inventory to sell.  Fortunately,  as procrastinators, very few people have purchased all of their holiday gifts by end November or even the second week of December, so there is still time to woo your clients, find new ones and make sales to round into the next year.

Now I know that most of you may still be racking leaves and are busy preparing ready for personal, holiday season so here are our tips to increase holiday sales to make your business life a bit easier.

1. If you have holiday shows planned, make sure you have plenty of inventory, especially “best sellers”.  If your work is seasonal, wearable art let’s say, remember that cruise and spring colors are coming up so don’t create pieces that are too fall/winter color heavy, so you can showcase leftover inventory in early 2013.

2. It’s the holidays and there’s a wonderful “hosting” attitude that prevails.  Embrace that and have an Open Studio.  Have light refreshments, keep an e-mail book handy to get a list of contact information. Also, if you have a new design created, you can showcase it here to get a sense of how well it will sell.  To get more visitors, give a sales discount to anyone who brings a friend and a bigger discount if the friend purchases pieces, too. *of course, give the friend a discount as well. 

3. Check in with your local arts organizations, schools and religious centers to see if you can be included in any of their holiday shows.  If it’s a new show to you, be careful to note whether their clients would be YOUR clients.  You can ask who else is showing, check their product line and price point to get an idea if you fit the show or not.

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4. Contact other artists who work in a different medium than you and have a group holiday show on your own. Ask a local coffee shop or another venue that doesn’t sell gifts if you can set up a few tables.  You can either give them a percentage of sales or ask if you can donate that same percentage to a charity of their choice.  You’ll get people popping in and out all day to buy hot beverages and since some of them stay and chat anyway, you’ll have a captive audience.

5. Please use social media and your website.  I believe that face-to-face sales are best but you can’t reach everyone so keep up with your newsletters/e-blasts, put a sale on your website and get the word out through your social media accounts.  Make sure you have crisp, clear photos of your work and give detailed but not confusing purchasing instructions with links to your website or any other site your work is sold.  Make it easy for your clients to purchase and don’t overwhelm them with stuff to read. Be sure that you add all of the new potential client names you took from your 2012 retail shows into your e-blast list.

6. Set up a Giveaway or Contest through social media. Find a best seller that will suit most tastes so you’ll get more entries and begin promoting. Remember that it’s important that your followers share your account to their followers so add that factor into your promotion.  Have great images ready and keep shipping in mind when you set an end-date.  Be sure to follow the site’s contest/giveaway guidelines.

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7. Your work is in galleries or retail stores?  Wonderful!  Remember, they are busy during the holiday season and may not reach out to you for more inventory.  CALL THEM!  But do it before December 15th, after that it may be too late, unless it’s a store you can drive your new pieces to.

8. At any of your private shows you can have a sweepstakes contest or hand out discount coupons that can be use for a future purchase.

9. If you’ve had your eye on a local shop and want to get your pieces inside, call and offer to do a trunk show.  It doesn’t cost the store anything, you sell your own work and they make money!  You set the retail prices and work out a percentage to give the retailer when something sells (typically wholesale/retail prices).  They ring up the retail sale, collect the sales tax and then cut you a check for your wholesale portion. *Make sure you put everything in writing and get it signed before the show.

10. This has nothing to do with “more sales” but I’d like to add that it’s insanely important to give back when you make money.  Not just because it helps your brand image but because it’s great for the soul.  If you ARE giving a percentage of holiday sales to victims of the storms or a non-profit, let your clients know.

For more business guidance I’d like to invite you to work with me, privately or take our Mind Your Art Business course. Ferndale enrollment is open.

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