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Marketing Monday: The Offer

Review The first two installments in this series we talked about the importance of knowing your Bizmodel and how the normal retail model doesn’t fit artsyfartsy bizs to well. We also described why they are …


The first two installments in this series we talked about the importance of knowing your Bizmodel and how the normal retail model doesn’t fit artsyfartsy bizs to well. We also described why they are different and why an artsyfartsy biz model needs to keep this specialness in mind when customizing their bizmodel.

The offer

The first part of the artsyfartsy bizmodel is the offer...basically what are you selling? And what are you selling it for? So you might think that this part of the model is pretty easypeasy

You sell stuff you make to get $$$$$ right?

Well there is a little more to it than that…so let’s take a look first what that simple thing does. See looking at your artsyfartsy bizmodel  as a way of selling your stuff to make dough for whatever reason breaks the all time do not ever break even if your life depends on it cardnal rule of selling artsyfartsy stuff. That rule is:

Thou shalt not commoditize thy stuff!!!

Of course you can but in the process burn out, hate your life, and head off to never-never land to escape the craziness of feeling like a factory. See when everything is all about getting dollars there is no time or energy to get to know who your buyers are and why they buy your stuff. In other words there is No Relationship. And guess what? Those swarms of buyers who are pushing and shoving each other to buy that dodad of yours will probably never buy another one because they are only interested in one thing…price, and maybe a momentary impulse to have your do-dad.

Do you see what’s happened? This easy as pie gimme the dough business model did a couple of things:

  • It put the focus of the sales process on price;
  • Your handcrafted thing into just a thing a commodity.

    So what’s the big whoop about that?

    Well, in fact, some majorly stuff that could keep you stuck as a human production machine.

    First and really important is  that when price is the primary consideration all you really think about is whether you are charging to much, it is very easy to under price your stuff because those swarms of buyers are only concerned about price so you’ll easily fall down that slippery slop of keeping your prices down which in turn make sure your profit ends up being peanuts. So when you do need to raise your prices you end up obsessing over every penny being the one that will drive everyone away and you into the street.

    Second and this is also very important to understand… The real buyers, the ones who will come back again and again won’t be showing their smiling faces any time soon, because they are more interested in finding the solution to their problems. They may buy your thing but only because they thought it was cute or whatever. Their attention and focus is on getting that one problem solved…that is their mission.

    Third, all this craziness can also lead to no marketing at all “because it costs money” or to becoming one of those salesmany types always telling your buyers how cheap your stuff is. Most artsyfartsy types I know would rather stick a fork in their eyes than give away free hot dogs in order to sell their stuff. So they quietly sneak back to their studio to continue on thei happy journey of denial.

    So what is the artsyfartsy biz offer?

    129_ask_show071208-copyWell at first glance it doesn’t look like much but if you take a second look it changes the standard bizmodel by adding a little heart, which makes sure that all eyes focus on more than just that do-dad. The artsyfartsy bizmodel starts the following chain of events for your buyer:

    • Her problem is happily solved
    • She is now a happy buyer
    • A happy buyer buys more of your stuff
    • She happily brings her friends to buy your stuff

      When your focus is on happy buyers by understanding what problem your stuff solves, who it works for and what it is that makes them happy you change as well. Your focus shifts from “getting” to delivering. Or, what do you really need to make sure you can deliver the goods to keep those buyers happy and make them want to tell every other person like them how wonderful you are.

      Now the money

      At this point you may be starting to see the light that dollars are most important when they are looked at from the point of view of delivering the results you want to deliver. Say you want to be the one who makes art that makes people think or takes them to another place. Being focused on making sure your stuff actually does make people think or does take them off to dreamland will make it a lot easier to

      • Keep the sales process tuned into the relationship part of the sale
      • Almost guarantee that eyes won’t be looking anything else like price or the corner of the kiln you stuck that pot.

        The magic of it all

        Yes, it is magical, when you as an artsyfartsy biz owner changes your point of view. It’s almost like you just got new glasses, because you can now start to see your business as an organic whole and just a bunch of weird pieces that you can’t figure out how to work. Pieces are just pieces they may each have something they can do but alone they can only do that one thing.  So the marketing piece only does the marketing and can’t do it all that well on its own, and if it is joined by the the delivery part ( the part that is focused on happy campers) the two can support each other,

        Now, you’ll be able to not only learn what problem your stuff solves you’ll also know how to make sure the folks with that problem know you are the one who can make them happy because you have the solution! Having the solution helps those newbies to your stuff be happy and tell others like them about how happy you made them.
        In the end you sell more stuff or higher end stuff not because of its price but instead because of the solution it offers, because of the results the folks who buy your stuff experience.

        Finally, you start to see that your artsyfartsy biz is not selling stuff, it is selling particular solutions to problems your vision has seen as important for a certain group of people. Because that do-dad is not just a do-dad it is the sum total of your vision, your values. Your experience and everything else you have run across in life that brought you to this point. Without any of that you wouldn’t be able to see the problem in need of solution, you would’t be able to see how you have the answer or who has that problem.


        Related posts:

        1. Marketing Monday: The Artsyfatsy biz model What exactly is a business model and why is it…
        2. Marketing Monday: The Holy Grail Just so you can understand how this approach to sales…
        3. Marketing Monday: how to use the Y-Factor Have you ever wondered how you could steer more buyers…




        By TheArtistsCenter

        Bill Weaver is an award winning photographer, visual artist and designer. Bill has worked as an artist, designer, teacher and photographer beginning at a very young age. His mother was a prolific painter and his father was an architect/engineer and inventor. Bill began photography at the ripe age of 8 when he successfully talked his father into letting him use one of his WWII “liberated” cameras from then on he has seldom put a camera down. He was recently informed by his 89 yr old father that the circa 1930 enlarger he used through college was still available! He also started drawing and painting at an early age using everything from watercolor to charcoal. He combined his visual awareness in graduate school where he first learned his love of design.

        Bill Created The after 15 years as a working clay artist and photographer led him to question the standard ways artists market their work. In 2004 along with 3 other artists, Brenna Busse, Erika Mock,and Frank Barr, he explored ways to educate the public about the value of hand made work and fine art. Brenna and Erika are contributing writers to The ARTISTScenter.
        He also can be found on his photography blog and his photography site