Now is the time to start thinking about your next seasons shows. It is also a time to start taking action to move away from what I call “random acts of buying” and start moving into a position that starts to reduce the random nature of your sales cycle.
Here are 3 key points to help you reduce those random acts of buying and review your past year from a more holistic point of view:
Look at your sales history
- Use the 80/20 rule– Find what part of your inventory accounted for 80% of your sales. Try to determine if it was price point or the character of the item. How can you develop other items in your inventory that can also fit into that category. What was the ratio of other sales to the 20%…what was their price point, what did they represent? Are the lower sales of your high end work supported by the 20% sales of your hottest selling items?
- Identify the high points and the low points – Look at the details of the peaks and valleys, try to describe their characteristics. Use a checklist of predetermined factors such as item, price point, geography, demographics,weather, your impressions of the buyers (the crowd). Try to describe, in relative general terms, the buyers that accounted for both peaks and valleys. For example did you have returning customers, try to describe their characteristics.
- What trends do you notice– Now is when you take the information from the last two points and step back to a broader perspective. Try to find patterns that can relate to specific shows and look for relationships between patterns. If patterns do show see if you can find what is behind the pattern.
- Review each show from the past year– have a rating system that will help you rank the shows against specific criteria. Also look at other more subjective criteria like what the quality of work was compared to yours, what were the people attending like where they shoppers, lookers, or…
Define your ideal
Recent research into neuro-psychology is showing that indeed the degree to which we achieve our life vision is determined by where we put our attention. The Law of Attraction also says that where you put your focus, your energy, determines what you attract. So by having clarity around the elements that make up your business vision you will have an image in your mind each piece of your business puzzle and how well it fits into the whole of your vision. The more clarity you have around these elements the more focused your intentions can be and hence the easier it will be to navigate through the year.
If you place the descriptions and images of your perfect buyer, perfect show and perfect season side by side you will be able to have a better image of what you want to attract. Moreover, describing these three elements in physical here and now terms makes them real and slowly merging them into your consciousness. Many, I mean most, really successful people use this approach, they include: Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup For the Soul) Brian Tracy, Napoleon Hill ( Think and Grow Rich), Steven Covey and Andrew Carnegie.
Define the perfect show
Just as we develop profiles of our perfect customers during the branding process you can also apply the same approach to shows. Write out a list of the characteristics that you want in a perfect show. Keep this in mind as you develop your profile:
Here are a few ideas to get started
- Demographics– these are the objective descriptions of the show, things like location, age of attendees, genders, income, logistical factors like load in and out, etc. What types of other artists will be there what mediums
- Psychographics – look at the show as if it were a person ( it actually is a collection of people) List the motivations the promoters would have, do they match yours? Does the show appeal to a specific lifestyle or value that may be important to you like greenness or sustainability…. What are the attitudes, values and opinions of attending artists. What are the attitudes, values and opinions of the potential buyers attending the show.
- Problems– think about the issues, challenges, needs you want the show to address for you to want to apply for .
- Attitudes and treatment– how do you want to be treated at your ideal show, are there amenities, what factors would put the show as your absolute must.
- Accessibility – what would the load in load out look like, think of availability of help, of traffic management, of parking etc.
Remember the shows that you left feeling like you had just been through WWIII. While great learning experiences they sap your energy and chop away at your confidence. Having an image of a show that would cause you to leave revved up and excited can help you recognize the ones to re-apply for.
Define your perfect season
Just as it is helpful to define a perfect buyer so we can recognize them or make sure we go where they are, it is also helpful to do the same for shows, like we did above, and for our sales cycle or season. Now the equation above looks like this:
Perfect Shows+Perfect season=joy+profit+community
- Travel-How much do you want to travel? How far are you willing to travel? Do you want to travel groups of shows? Does your inventory allow it?
- Sales– What were the high and low points of your sales over the season? Use the information in the last two points to describe what accounted for your peaks and your valleys? What is the 80/20 breakdown
- Building your list – How many buyers and potential buyers did you add? What approach did you use? What was their response to your request for their information?
- Shows– How many shows were you juried into? What were your submissions? How did they fit into your ideal preferences?
- Community– did you build any close relationships with buyer? With other artists?
Believe in yourself, trust your process and don’t look for perfection
- Focus on your own power to succeed by keeping your intentions in your consciousness.
- Trust in your ability to engage your buyers and your ability to build a following.
- Maintain a mindset of abundance and keep that vision always by your side.
- Do not hold out for perfection, doing so will all but guarantee that you will continue to stay where you are.
Finally our equation looks like this:
Abundant Mindset+Perfect buyers+Perfect Shows+Perfect season=joy+profit+community+abundance
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