Life is so good.
This week I met with several artist/members of Gallery 65 on William Street in downtown New Bedford (my hometown!). I serve on the NB Beautiful Committee and we had a “Deck the Door” decorating contest this past holiday season and Gallery 65 won the best store front decoration. As a winner, they received a donated 2 hour consultation with me to discuss and create some actions for a profitable 2014 and beyond.
It was a great meeting – lots of discussion about the challenges they face as artists, as a collaborative of artists, and as artists who are finding their way in the marketing and social media world that we all live in. The artist struggle has similarities to the designer struggle: selling your talent and services and pricing it fairly so that it will sell and sufficiently so that you can make a profit. Plus, how to market yourself to attract new clients and customers. It was my intention to listen intently and to provide direction and specific actions that they could take away and act on now that will have them reap new benefits this year, such as:
1. Aim high. Make your goals worthwhile and BIG – ‘breaking even’ isn’t big enough nor is it inspiring to those who are participating and to those you wish to attract.2. Make your goals measurable and put dates for achievement on them.3. Set an action plan that includes a marketing plan – of which social media is a part but not all. It also includes maximizing your database and partnering with others in your ‘community’ to broaden your reach and appeal.4. There are only 3 ways to increase revenue: Increase opportunities (contacts, traffic, phone calls, etc), increase your close ratio (the number of sales divided by the number of opportunities), increase average sale (either sell more expensive products/services or sell multiple items).5. Create an action plan with time frame and communication structure at every meeting, so that there are take away actions that move you forward to your goal.
Also joining us was Heather Bentz, the Assistant Dean of UMass Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts. As an artist herself, and as an educator administrating to college artists, she offered an interesting perspective and contribution as well as took away ideas for herself and her students. I am working with her and Charlotte Hamlin at UMD/CVPA on a project “UN-Starving Artists” to work with undergraduates, grad students and recent graduates to help them with the same issue: how to be a self-supporting and profitable artist. Look for more on that in another post.
Here are some links to the artists who show at Gallery 65 – I am sure you will find something lovely for yourself or for that special someone for Valentine’s Day. I did!
Brian Weir – www.brainweir.net
Laurie Bullard- www.lauriebullardphoto.com
Pat Warwick- www.patwarwick.com
Nancy Alexander- www.bluemayadesigns.com
Gallery 65- www.gallery65onwilliam.com