How to start your 2009 season ahead of your competition

This time of year is the best time to begin focusing on how you want your business to be next year, what you want to have happened at year’s end, what you want to achieve with your art by the end of 2009, what you want for income, your show strategy, etc. There are several key areas to focus on as you proceed, they include:

  • Vision of your business
  • Your intentions for the coming year both business, personal and spiritual.
  • Marketing and branding strategy
  • Business model

 

map1-400x288 How to start your 2009 season ahead of your competition

 

Something very important to remember is that all of these are dynamic…able to adapt to changing market conditions. Do not expect to have the right answer or the right plan, it is more important to maintain clarity of purpose and direction and be open to adapting.

Vision of your Business

Envision January 1, 2010…in previous posts I have outlined this process so I’ll summarize it here. Take some time out no longer than 30 minutes and move the calendar ahead to 2010, visualize your business and your art. Do so as if you are already there. Now write out what you saw, you can also just start writing if that works for you. Stay focused on the present (01/01/2010). The result is a picture of your business and what you did to get it there. This is the foundation of your strategies for 2009 and it might look this…

” I have just finished the 2009 show season and my income has doubled from ___ to___. I hired a Virtual Assistant (VA) part time to help with  routine business chores I not best  at doing. I also increased my e-mail list by focusing on engaging with my  buyers as a result I have key contacts at each show venue. I found the buyer who really gets me and set her up as my local coordinator in return she is able to have first pick of my work along with a discount.

I also started blog and have used it to stay in touch with my buyers as a result my per show sales have increased. I use the blog in conjunction with other social media tools to keep each segment of my buyers up to date. Now when I go to shows I have a steady stream of buyers who know my work and come specifically to buy from me.”

You get the idea you don’t need to write a book just a page or less, doing this will definitely help you in the next step.

Setting your intentions

You’ll notice I replaced the word goal with intention…there is a reason for that. Recent trends have shown that using the term goal to identify your desired result leaves a lot of wiggle room for never reaching  your desired result. On the other hand focusing on your intentions puts you in the present and creates a mindset of action.

Your intentions should reflect in words exactly what it took for you to achieve the vision you described above. So lets say in 2010 you saw yourself in several high end shows or exhibiting in high end art galleries your intention might look like…

“My intent is to be accepted into the XYZ , ABC, DEF show/gallery.”
“My intent is to travel only to shows within 100 miles of my studio”
“My intent is to engage my buyers developing long range relationships with them”
“My intent is to develop a new body of work and show it at ABC show/gallery”
“My intent is to become computer literate and start writing a blog”

Marketing and branding strategy

These are the steps you will take to make sure you are seen by the market that will fit best with your vision and intentions. So if in the process of developing your brand you identify your primary market as women in their 50s and young newly married women looking for home decor items. Then you know that doing a street fair in east Timbuktu will not likely work.

You will also know that if your vision has you traveling to shows you will need to develop a network of followers at each venue and exactly what tools will work best.

Business model

How do you have to organize your business to achieve your vision and meet your intentions?The business model should reflect how you want your business to function and what you want it to look like…it is kind of like a road map.  It doesn’t have to be a massive volume full of spread sheets and financial projections. It can be as simple as…

“My business is a single person business my income is the result of attending X number of art fairs, developing additional sales through on line stores, workshops, x number of galleries, and open studio sales. I also receive income from my patron subscription program.

In order to maximize my studio time I have a Virtual Assistant on part time to handle my mailing list and keep up with other routine work. I also use a number of services to automate some of the routine tasks necessary to my business.”

Essentially your business model is a  package made from your vision, branding and marketing strategy.

This process helps you tie everything together so you can be as clear as possible and able to respond to changes without disrupting or veering to far from your original vision. If you do have to make extreme course changes the structure is already there, all you have to do is make the needed tweeks.

Something very important in all of this is to have one or more partners to help you, hold you accountable and provide another set of eyes and ears. For example joining Deepak Chopra’s site Intent will help you get support and accountability for your intentions in fact I have found it extremely useful.

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 How to start your 2009 season ahead of your competition
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