Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
You ever get the emails?
Most business owners get them all the time.
Most start out like this…
“Hey my name is Mandrake and I own an SEO agency. I was looking over your site and see lots of room for improvement. Did you know you could be getting 10k visitors a month with a few simple tweaks. I would love to speak to you about this incredible opportunity. Please respond and lets set up a time”
Well pass me a pancake Mandrake and let’s do it.
Other times, it’s an agency that somehow gets you on the phone. They are working with local businesses and want to alert you to the amazing potential of Google search ads or Facebook Ads or even Pinterest and the amazing stuff going on there. They sound pretty good on the phone… you are even considering it.
Or what about a conversation with a friend. You two are causally knocking back a few IPA’s when he tells you about Jim.
“Did you hear about Jim? His business is blowing up. Spends a thousand a month on Instagram and he is killing it. You gotta get on it!”
Perhaps some of you have even hired these folks. Or taught yourself some new skills like FB ads and gave it an honest shot, and now your hands are up in the air because it’s not working.
Most of the time it doesn’t work though does it?
Bottom line, you are too damn busy either running your business, or making your art.
You have neither the time nor the desire to become a top digital marketer. It’s not what you do.
Guess what… you are not alone.
It’s a common theme. The online art world and digital eCommerce is exploding and everybody is trying to figure it out.
In our switched-on 24-hour information cycle culture, the shiny objects pop up all over the place and it takes some serious focus to not go chasing after this tactic today and that tactic tomorrow.
So what should your strategy be?
Where do you begin?
What’s important to focus on and in what order?
There is bad news and good news.
The bad is that it’s pretty complicated. Selling art online is a big task and guess what…. If you want to be successful, you either have to be extremely lucky or you have to learn a bit and do the work.
Ehhh…you mentioned good news?.
The good is that, like any big bad task, if you break it down into smaller, easier tasks and you do the work, it’s really not so tough.
Approaching the monumental task of selling art online should start by focusing on what will give you little wins.
Your SEO gets a bit better. Your traffic picks up. You start collecting emails one at a time. Then you start running some FB ads and get more emails. You optimize your homepage and your bounce rate goes down. You start to get some sales here and there.
You keep your head down, and the next thing you know you wake up, some time has passed, and you are punching above your weight, you have some momentum, you are rolling.
Things get easier.
You feel like the wind is at your back. Yet you keep working and keep stacking the small wins.
They turn into big wins, and that’s the game.
It’s no different for us selling software than it is for you selling art or printing.
You know where I am going… we are gonna talk about the plan.
Before we do though, I need to mention something.
In fact, it’s something that grinds my gears as Peter Griffin would say.
So many reasons that statement is true.
Part of it, IMHO is that the true “artist brain” overlaps very little with a true marketing brain (a theory of mine anyway).
Yet it’s also more than that.
Art is hard to sell online. Many have tried and failed miserably. They are pissed about it, looking to vent, and are all too ready to assign the blame to everybody and everything but themselves.
Many artists cups, well, they sadly are already full.
They know art does not sell online. They have failed. As such they are unwilling to even consider it was not them or their art but rather it was their plan.
Or better still, they are experienced marketers of art online (just ask them and they will tell you!) and they know exactly where to focus. They have sold so much art, in fact, that they are just gonna stick to their plan and do things their way. They sell SO much, in fact, that they have all the time in the world to tell me they know everything there is about marketing and what to do.
Curious what that might look like? Just look at a few of our Ads on Facebook (I know you are seeing them :D). Look at some of the comments and our responses. It’s pretty hilarious.
We have literally heard it all.
So let me address all of that right here and now with a few facts:
- Here at ASF we have an experienced marketing team with years in the trenches at digital marketing and eCommerce. We are good at it and getting better everyday.
- We also have something no other marketers in this space have. We have the data from thousands of artists on our platform. We look at their traffic, their sales, their tactics. We get to see what’s working and what’s not working on a large scale.
- We are constantly contacting our customers and getting their proxy to run our tests on their sites. We run those tests. Sometimes we fail miserably and sometimes we win. The wins find their way back into both the software and the plan. We start new tests.
It is those three elements (there are others but..) working in combination that have created this plan.
Is it perfect? Nope. Far from it. But we believe in it, and it’s a plan that’s getting better with each test, case study, update, and revision.
I also might add that you are not gonna find a whole lot of other ecommerce software providers offering one and for damn sure not in this niche but lets stay focused.
If you are an artist or printmaker whose cup is already full, think we are completely full of S%^&, or anything in between, then feel free to stop reading and hit that back button. It’s available at anytime.
Perhaps even hit the FB page and leave a know-it-all trash-talking comment on your way out. Happy to have you vent a bit if it helps you feel better.
Depending if anybody feels like blowing off some steam on our team you might even get both barrels in a response. Cathartic for everybody.
Yet if you have read enough of our content to think we might sorta know what we are doing and talking about, then let’s get into the details of the plan.
What is the Success Plan?
The Art Storefronts Success Plan is an aggregated list of strategies, in sequential order and in step-by-step format, that are known to work with art sellers on the ASF platform.
We keep it constantly updated based on best practices. It is a private guide for ASF Customers only, and we consider it to be an essential document for those looking to make the very most of selling art online.
It’s More About What NOT to Do than What TO do
What many of our customers quickly come to realize is that the Success Plan is more about what NOT TO DO than it is what TO DO.
After onboarding thousands of customers on our platform, we’ve learned that there are literally thousands of different marketing strategies being attempted by our customers. However, very few have proven to work.
The Success Plan is a huge advantage for ASF Customers because it empowers them to stop wasting time trying things that are already known to not work. As such, it allows them to immediately execute on proven strategies within hours, rather than years of unscientific trial and error.
For example, you might come across some talk on the internet about strategies that art sellers could try to use on Pinterest.
Pinterest seems like a cool platform, right?
The only problem is, we have no proof yet of a specific Pinterest marketing strategy that is bearing fruit for any of our customers. In other words, there is not a single ASF customer that has proven this yet with real, repeatable sales.
Therefore, you will not find Pinterest as a strategy we are recommending in our Success Plan (as of July 2016 – this may and probably will change at some point in the future). But hopefully you get the point.
We won’t put any strategy in the Success Plan unless we have solid evidence of its performance and have subsequently repeated the results with several ASF customers.
Furthermore, when a new proven strategy emerges, we usually optimize our software and add any necessary features in order to maximize success for our customers. We then release educational material on how it should be executed on.
This is a key aspect that makes the ASF platform extremely unique. ASF is not just a feature rich platform that will make you look cooler than you did yesterday. Rather, it is a platform that is thoughtfully designed and optimized based on what is really working right now on the market.
Why is the Success Plan so Valuable?
Overall, the Success Plan serves the following purposes:
- It removes years of trial and error, leaving you with a set of strategies that have been proven to work with ASF customers.
- By empowering you to immediately execute on what is working, it dramatically shortens the amount of time it will take to achieve success.
- Whether you are a marketing person or not, it is easy to follow and is something you can delegate to someone who works with you.
- It focuses on and maximizes every FREE marketing opportunity possible, so that you don’t have to outlay any further money to bring in new customers.
- While you save time and maximize execution speed, your competitors are still stuck doing trial and error.
- By leveraging an expert marketing department 100% focused on the art & photo space, it allows you to offload this responsibility and focus on areas we don’t already cover.