As someone who looks forward to all the Art Fairs, Shows and Festivals come spring and summer, by now I usually have a long list of all the events I’ll be attending. It’s an opportunity to support artists who’s work I may already own. And to see what else is out there.
Living in and around the front range of Colorado for some time and several years spent in Santa Fe, NM, I’ve had the pleasure of attending countless shows and festivals. However, this year with the Covid-19 pandemic in play, stay at home orders, and canceling of large events and gatherings has put the kibosh on all that. It’s important for everyone to stay safe.
Artists spend countless hours preparing their goods for these events. For many, the sales they make at these shows and festivals may be their income for the year. As small business owners, they bear the brunt of times like these. So to say it’s a bummer that these wonderful creative events will not be happening is an understatement!
Adapting During Uncertain Times
All hope is not lost…
In a previous post titled “Helpful Tips for Vendors & Artists at Craft Fairs and Shows“, I discussed different ways to put your best foot forward by implementing the mentioned tactics. Doing so could assist in generating more sales before and after your show or event ends.
While some of those suggestions are not relevant given our current circumstances, some of them still are. And you could be utilizing them as we speak along with exploring other options!
If you’ve taken my previous advice, then you’ve been building an email sign-up list at past shows. Having this could be GOLD right now to stay connected with your customers AND to generate sales!
I’m so grateful to the artists who had email sign-up sheets at events I attended. They have been great with their email marketing – staying in touch, showing they are STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS and sharing new works. I commend them on their endeavors.
These are they types of emails I actually LOOK FORWARD to receiving!
Use Some Down Time to Update Your Website
If you’re doing any type of online/email marketing, then it goes without saying that you should be keeping your website updated.
Have new artwork, goods or products to showcase? TAKE PHOTOS OF THEM AND ADD THEM TO YOUR WEBSITE!!
Now more than ever, this is so important. That is, if you’d like to generate new sales.
I know it’s easy for folks to just update their Facebook page. But as I have ranted before, don’t let your website take a backseat to your Facebook page. Social Media can fail you! Their algorithms are constantly changing – which could limit access to your audience. Plus, if you “break the rules”, they can revoke your access to their platforms.
No one can kick you off of your own website.
However, Social Media CAN kick you off their platforms!
Some of you may already be generating online sales directly from your website, or perhaps an Etsy store. Good for you! For those that are not, now would be a good time to consider online commerce. Get a shopping cart up and running on your site. There are different ways to go about it. There is far more to gain than there is to lose.
Include Videos in Your Blog Posts
If you write blog posts, consider integrating some videos into them. You could showcase your latest artwork, your creative process or what you’ve been up do. The sky’s the limit. Just be engaging with your audience. People LOVE fun video content. Look at all the cats and dogs videos out there!
True story… I commissioned a jewelry artist from a festival I had attended to create some earrings for me. Mind you this was pre coronavirus. Anywho, she video documented the whole creative process and sent me the video! No only did she send it to me, but she was able to use it on her website AND FB page to show other potential customers what she could do! To this day, they are by far the most cherished pair of earrings I own 🙂
As for video platforms, you can go the way of a youtube channel – which if you build up enough of an audience, you may be able to generate $$ via affiliate marketing. Or you can go the way of something like Vimeo (which is my personal preference). Either way, it’s something to consider to stay connected with folks who may really miss being able to see you live at events.
No one Knows For Sure When Normalcy Will Return
There remains a lot of uncertainty with regards to the coronavirus. So many have been affected on so many levels. But you can try to implement some of this tactics to continue to stay connected with your audience and customers. We may need to be socially distanced, but we don’t need to socially alienate.
Nothing can replace actually attending one of these wonderful art shows or festivals. But I’m sure your previous customers would welcome hearing from you and seeing what you’ve been up to!
Written by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Graphic Designer and Nature Inspired Art photographer visually enhancing client’s print and digital media. Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place.