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Sales may begin to decline for any number of reasons during the different seasons of business. Although it’s nice when sales are booming, these slower times don’t have to be all bad. Change your mentality and find new ways to grow your business using these five simple tips.
1. Dive Deep in the Numbers
A decrease in sales means more time to look deep into your analytics. There are three main areas that you should focus on: Money, Time and Clients.
First, you want to see where money is coming in and where money is going out. Locate your main revenue streams and start to brainstorm strategies to expand those areas. Do a quick audit of your spending chart and categorize your expenses. Assign each expense to a revenue stream and find ways to increase your bottom line. Incremental changes in spending can add up and save you big in the long-run.
Next, evaluate where you spend your time. Often, as small business owners, we get caught in a rut of using the same processes over and over again, but not checking for better and more productive uses of our time. Are certain activities taking more time or costing more money? Every so often, I recommend that artists time their different projects. Learn where your time is going and create a list of processes or tools to get it back.
Finally, study your customer. Use your website, email, and social media channels to learn where they are, who they are and when they are coming to your platforms. Make a list of the best times to post, send emails, release a launch and anything else that may be helpful moving forward.
This information will help you grow and streamline sales both in slow and busier times. After studying the numbers, create a plan of 3 actionable items to save you time, make you more money, or attract more customers.
2. Explore in the Studio
Take time to get creative again. Often, artists get so busy with commissions, projects for galleries or collection launches that they don’t leave time to just play in the studio.
Inspiration develops when allowed time and an open mind. Give yourself the freedom to just create without deadlines and boundaries. Create a mini challenge or side project for yourself and see what you come up with! I like to browse the new products on Blick Art Materials website. Recently, I purchased a set of watercolor colored pencils and they were a game-changer.
3. Update and Evaluate Your Processes
Your website, social and email lists are your storefront to the world. Evaluate each and check that your info, addresses, photography and testimonials are up to date. Post an update about new work or share content about art that inspires you.
When you feel that your sales channels are accurate, then it is time to check in with the systems you use to run them. Could you batch create social media posts or create a preset to save you time editing photos? Consider hiring an intern to assist in areas that are major time thieves.
Apps and websites can solve many of these problems. I personally am a huge fan of Tailwind for Instagram and Pinterest. Social media generates about 50% of the traffic on my website, so why not use a tool to make posting easier? I now batch all my posts at the beginning of the week and have saved hours! Plus, the consistency has allowed me to grow my following as a much faster rate. Click here to test it out for free today!
Another great tool is Canva for creating graphics for anything from social media to emails. They have a great free option that I highly recommend!
For more money and time saving tools, sign up for my art coaching newsletter. The monthly emails include my favorite tips and tricks for artists! Sign up here!
4. Enhance the Client Experience
Purchasing and receiving artwork should delight your customer. Have a friend navigate your site and watch where their mouse goes. Is it easy for them to find what they are looking for? Simply watching someone else on your site may help you find small changes to enhance your site’s ease of use.
Evaluate every touch point of your business. Send your self a test email. Click through your Instagram bio. Practice purchasing artwork. Find areas that don’t align with your brand and find ways to better them.
Often artists are so busy looking for new clients, they neglect their current customers. Demonstrate your talent and your ability to provide your buyers with exactly what they need, and those clients will become repeat customers and your best cheerleaders.
Enhance the experience of these clients with small thank-yous. Do you work with designers? Send them ornaments at Christmas. Send repeat clients a 10% off coupon as a thank you for their continued support. Brainstorm different ideas to remind these clients of your appreciation.
What are 3 things you can add, change or enhance today to make the client experience that much better for your new and existing clients?
5. Create an Exclusive or Scarce Offer
The Scarcity Principle in economics is a theory that says when a product is in limited supply and demand is high, it creates a mismatched supply and demand equilibrium. A.K.A. we value products that are exclusive or scarce more than those in abundance.
What does this mean for you? Look at your work. Is there a style that performs better than others? Paint a select few of those pieces or just simply take a few pieces off of your website. Make your customers aware that you only have a few pieces available in this collection.
A single day Instagram studio sale or offering a coupon with work purchased by a certain date are other great options to implement the Scarcity Principle. The possibilities are endless, but brainstorm a list and determine what works best for you.
I will warn you not to be too pushy or sound too desperate. Make your customer the offer, let them know it is in limited supply, and let the scarcity principle work its magic!
1. Check the numbers and create an action plan to save time, make money and gain clients
2. Create, create, create
3. Update and evaluate your business across all channels
4. Find ways to improve your customers' experience with your company
5. Create exclusivity with the scarcity principle
Now don't waste time! Create your list of to-dos and start making an action plan to improve your business today! For more tips and tricks join our art coaching newsletter here.
Photography by Color Creative Co