Preparing Your Creative Business for Impressive Holiday Sales

Image Credit: David Everett Strickler

Image Credit: David Everett Strickler

Preparing Your Creative Business for Impressive Holiday Sales

Get ready, get set, GO!!! Let’s face it, there’s MILLIONS of artists, designers and makers clammoring to sell similar artwork so it’s important to me that my DABI members are better prepared for the biggest growth opportunity of the year. With Halloween on the horizon, October is the month where people begin to think about holiday purchases so use September to detail innovative and “doable” marketing strategies.

Customer. As always, it’s necessary to know your customer. Where are they? What state/city? What are their specific needs as it relates to your product/service? Where do they shop? What do they spend on your type of product/service? What do they dislike and like about your competition’s products/services? How are you better and how can you make; their lives easier; them feel better; or save them money or time?  [Don’t know your ideal client? No fret. I can help you with this part of the business puzzle]

Once you have all of that information, use it. Jot down the type of promotions that would work best for your company and your consumer and the words you can use to speak to them. Where will you promote? Social media? Direct mail? Trunk show? All three? Set your monthly budget then begin to detail the campaigns.

The BEST Way to Market Your Business, Use Sneezers

Images. We are visual creatures so clear images that show your business, products, service being used, happy clients, retail facility or studio are imperative. Try not to use stock photos if possible. Your image(s) should be minimum, 300 dpi for printed materials and if you add text, keep the finished design simple. I see too many poorly designed flyers that make my eyes jump around the page so much that I stop reading from dizziness. Also, design using a size that can be manipulated to work across many social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. [Need better designs? I have an exceptional graphic/brand designer for you]

Community. Who can you partner with to showcase your product/service during the holiday months? Are there retailers who would want you to participate in a trunk show? Would a home show make sense for you? If you’re a retailer, what about a “block party”? A service provider can partner with product providers to bring diversity to their offerings. Scope out local or regional marketplaces that would allow you to set up a table. There are always an abundance of local holiday fairs to choose from but make sure you know your consumer well before you sign up. Will your ideal client attend that particular event? What type of vendors have done the show previously? Does this holiday fair align with your brand and price points? Don’t waste your time or money at fairs or festivals that won’t bring you sales or value. [check out my Fairs & Festivals: Step-by-Step Success MP4 for money-making strategies and a detailed checklist]

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

Publicity. What media outlets do you know of that offer shopping guides? Reach out to them with an introduction, now. Don’t wait until November. Would you benefit from being involved in a charity event during the holidays? Maybe you can participate in a community outreach program or collaborate with a corporation, interior design firm, furniture store, gallery or a larger company. Begin to brainstorm community partnering ideas and reach out to begin a dialog. After you set up the event details, design a press release and research the names of a few, targeted journalists. [If you need a Michigan-based, PR expert, I’ve got you covered]

Money. Yeah, I know your business is your “baby,” you’re passionate about what you do and for some of you, aligning your art with money seems “dirty,” but if you don’t make money your business won’t survive, so let’s talk profits. Double check your cost sheets or financial plans to make sure that you’re making a profit from each product/service you offer. [not sure if you’re profiting or how much? I can help you.] If you find an item or two that you can discount, create a promotion around it. What about raising your prices for the holidays? It depends. Are you due for a price hike? If not, you don’t want to gauge people especially because it’s supposed to be a “giving” time of the year. Plus the start of a new year is better for price changes. Why don’t you think about making a gift basket of sorts by combining products/services for a bulk price? Realize that if you do the holidays right, you can stand to make a great deal of revenue which will support your business during the notoriously slow January and February retail months. Also, since we’re talking money, don’t forget that mid-September is tax payment time, for those of you who pay quarterly and check to see if you owe sales tax to your state as well [each state has different rules].

Use the pre-pre holiday time to prepare for your creative business growth. Did my advice spur ideas? Let us know in the comment section below!

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