Tell us about your marketing journey…how did you start?
I learned a few things from my mother who did PR for our theater group, when I danced and sang in musicals. Her example taught me to be fearless about just asking or sending something in to the press, radio or TV stations.
When did you discover that you needed to market?
When I moved to Florida in 1988 and began painting portraits for just $25, word of mouth spread the news. Now my portraits are $1200 – $5500, and people who bought my early work are collecting new work from me. My next move took me away from the community who knew me as an artist. Now, I had to work at building a good reputation as an artist all over again in a new place. I started by landing a show, joined groups, and participated in central Florida art events. As you grow your business you expand your territory. The relationships that you build will carry your business around the world especially if you use social network media.
Do you have a marketing plan, strategy if so please summarize?
My strategy is perseverance and sharing. I never stop working. My goals inspire the marketing I pursue. Most marketing is event and project oriented, building my brand, which is my name, my art. I might be unusual for an artist because I find the business of art fun!
Do you use Social media online alone or do you combine it with off-line efforts?
My first thought is if it is free and I can do it myself I use it, both online and offline. I have paid for ads in magazines, art guides, newspapers and radio broadcasts, yet my own efforts to build and maintain contact with my collectors personally are the most fruitful.
What has been the reaction to your making your work available in non-traditional ways, like mugs, jewelry etc?
Has it been successful?
As a new endeavor, I had hoped for more sales, yet I haven’t focused on marketing the products extensively. I would really like more venues to pick up the products. Would I recommend it? Yes of course! Low overhead, easy shipping and the items make great gifts for my collectors at the touch of my fingertips!
Have you seen it effect sales of originals or prints?
I have had people buy items then later buy originals. I see these items as another form of advertising as well. When products are used they are a conversation piece.
Where do most of your sales come from?
80 % of my sales come from 20% of my collector base. I adore my collectors! It saddens me when I don’t get to know who bought a piece, yet as my sales increase in galleries sometimes that occurs. I do ask my galleries to share a handwritten thank you from me to my new collector.
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