A while back I talked about the 80/20 rule but it’s not really a rule or a law it is how things magically work in business.
Briefly the 80/20 rule says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts, translated into business terms it means that 80% of your sales comes from 20% of your buyers. Using the 80/20 rule in your marketing efforts can help to focus your efforts.
Three key stages to always, always keep you focused about your marketing efforts
You want to:
Help total strangers become interested in you
Help them move from interested to buyer
Help them move from buyer to evangalist
OK… So pop those three points into your marketing machine and turn that focus knob to 20%. You are now set to save yourself time and energy.
1. Turning a stranger’s head
This is all about getting attention…no not in the ADD way or the “look at me I’m great” way either. Instead use the easy peasy way…make your value visible show them folks what find you are, how can make their lives an upper. Put yourself where your peeps are most likely to bump into you and use the tools that those peeps are mostlikly to use… It’s a lot better than waving flags and jumping up and down on the street corner in a funny costume!
Catching their eye by putting your stuff out there
Show them the meat by letting them see what you do and how you do it…you’ll need to get over that need to hide your super secret formula thing…nobody cares about that. They do care about you and how you make that cool stuff…so show’em!
Earlier I suggested the Flip video camera, it’s cheap easy to use and even easier to put on your blog (you do have a blog don’t you?). So plunk down the couple hundred bucks and get on with it. Oh…you don’t have to get all Spielburg either because that’s just so not you.
So….what to do with it. Try these and go from there:
Remember: Making art is romantic to just about everybody who doesn’t make art. People dream and fantasize about doing it so give them their fantasy, make them drool by showing just how super cool you and your stuff are. You may think it’s boring or maybe you’re self conscious…well get over it and get on with it your peeps are waiting.
Potter– set that little Flip guy up by your wheel and make a pot, then up load that little gem to your blog and call it something different than “me making a pot” OK? Make it a series and do separate vids of trimming, glazing, and firing.
Glass guy/gal– Glass blowing is uber romantic pretty much on the same level as making pots, because they both seem magical. Emphasize the magic, the fire, the danger and the skill…show them your glass doesn’t just come from China.
Painters– Set that easel up at your favorite spot, put the Flip on a tripod or whatever, and turn that blank canvas into a non-blank one. Show them how you mix colors, how you stretch the canvas (if you use canvas). If you work in a studio give a studio tour. Check out how Robin Maria Pedrero uses video on her blog’s side bar.
You probably get the idea now…the thing is, make something like this a regular thing on your blog, doesn’t have to be every week, can be twice a month but make it regular and interesting. Remember it is like flirting…your trying to catch someone’s eye.
Another thing you can do is share a video story, take that flip with you when you are out and about and share what interests you.
Turn your buyers into celebs
One of the best ways to use this tool to turn a head is at a show, interview some of your buyers let them tell about why they like your stuff and what it does for them. Put the vid up on a special section of your site or in your side bar so people can see how popular you are and most importantly… What they are missing out on!
Don’t want to, or are afraid of video? just use photos in regular posts about how you do what you do, you’ll have to write more, but that’s OK. Show your process that’s what they want to see…that you are a real artist. Show some shots from that trip to mine some special clay, or the trip to that most recent place you painted. Talk about them, why you dug that clay or chose that particular location.
2. OK! I’m interested now what?
This is THE point, THE place, that is THE most important, and is the biggest part of the 20% focus thing, because what you do here determines whether the interest turns into buying and that is called the opportunity cost.
So you have gotten their interest so now you need to do everything in your power to
- Give them the chance to buy if they want and
- If they don’t… give them a way to be reminded of you and your stuff.
Because, and this is a very important “because”, even though they might not buy right on the spot they may later so give’m a way to come back, have a place or way for them to sign up to stay reminded of you. The other important “because” is you never know who they are connected to, they know Michael Kors, or Heidi Klum or just somebody who really, really likes the kind of stuff you make. That person could be someone linked a bazillion other folks…you get the idea…you just never know so don’t shoot yourself in the foot give that current non-buyer the chance to stay with you and in turn tell their peeps how wonderful you and your stuff are.
The other thing is…by just showing up, being there, you build trust and credibility which is the primary reason they want to buy YOUR stuff. They know you so they’d rather buy from you than the next schmuck because they don’t know the next schmuck. They like being in your loop so do everything possible to keep them there.
Tell me a story
If video, pics or any combination aren’t your thing, or even if they are, spending time developing stories around your work will go a loooong way and in turn make that stuff on the walls, tables or closet hangers come to life. The thing is we like to give stuff human qualities, we name our cars, we name our bikes, we develop a story around our favorite coat or sweater. Brenna Busse a mixed media artist who makes magnificent “dolls” tells the story of each on a hang tag, Erika Mock one of the most creative fiber artists I know creates clothing from old sweaters, and considers those who buy them as stewards or adaptive “parents” of each work.
The moral here is we all love stories, we connect to stories because stories fit into our lives. So…name your pieces and not some intellectualized nonsense like “tree in field casting shadow” or “woman in woods” or whatever. Give it name that gives it personality, that tells the potential buyer what you were thinking when you created it and make that the story. Encourage buyers to add their own story to yours by considering them not as buyers but as stewards of a story, so that generations down the road that painting or pot or sweater has a history and hence an identity all its own. Yoiur Great-great-great grand children will know the value of that work, and their part in growing the work’s meaning…and so it becomes more than a painting that you inherited. It becomes the painting that had a name and story of it’s own that great-great-great granny loved and everybody from then on always placed it in an honored place instead of the garage wall!
3. Bringing it all back home
Here’s the thing, the point of all of this… you want as many of those buyers to come back to get more and more of your stuff…because they love it so much! But wait…sooner or later they are going to reach a point where they have enough of your stuff, what happens then? That’s why you want them to love you and your stuff so much that they are telling everyone they know or run into, they turn into broadcast machines telling your story and bringing along their peeps to get your stuff. But, don’t leave it at that…make them feel important, because they are important, they are your foundation, because they already know your, they already trust, and they obviously like you and your stuff. Not keeping them pumped will mean you have to go out and get somebody else and bring them through the whole thing…why would you want to do that?
Take a look at the way Robin keeps herself and her stuff in her buyers mind and she has used tools that could be very tacky and turned them into something elegant and desirable just by adding her art. She is doing what Nike, or anyother brand is doing only in a much more classy way. Another thing this does for her, is give her peeps many options to enjoy her work and keep reminding them of who she is and how wonderful her work is.
Your 20% marketing effort should be focused on helping people get interested in you, giving them the opportunity to buy from you or stay reminded of you and finally lettting them be your cheer leader. There are many other levels I didn’t cover here but if you just focus on these along with the on-line tools I’ve talked about you’ll have a better chance to let the 20% give you 80% of your sales.
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