017: The Holiday Art Marketing Playbook
An overview of the power of holiday marketing with actionable steps you can take to market your art during the holidays this 4th quarter.
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You're listening to the Art Marketing podcast and today's episode is a tripod, of sorts, really.
Yep, got three legs. If you don't like photography, fine by me. You could consider it also a stool at your favorite bar. The beer's extremely cold, and the game is on, and about to start. What are the three legs, then? You get it, right?
Today's episode, I would argue, is right on time, it's late, and it's early. Profound, right? It can't be all three. To which, I want to respond, "Yes. Yes, you can," but I want to explain that. If you've been listening to this podcast for any period of time, or especially if you listened to the first episode, we sort of just launched this thing not knowing what its voice was going to be, not knowing exactly what direction it was gonna be, just knowing that we wanted to make it about hardcore art marketing tactics, not esoteric fluffy business, but hardcore tactics. Learn by practitioners who are in the trenches doing this stuff every day that artists can put to use right away to start selling more art online. That much we knew for sure.
What I think we didn't know, as a result of coming out with the content for a lot of these episodes, and for titling them, and for going through all those motions, is that we would end up, as I suppose a little happy accident, as a windfall of sorts, we would end up sort of articulating what it is that we believe as a business at our storefronts. Like why we exist, what we see is the opportunity for artists out there for the coming years, right? Which episodes am I talking about? What do I mean?
I mean the greatest time ever to be an artist. We believe, as a business, that 2017 and the years to come are absolutely the greatest time ever to be an artist selling art online or any small business entrepreneur. I mean, anybody, just about, right? As a result of all of the disruption, like we covered in that episode, I believe it's episode number 15. All of the disruption that, call it the internet, social media, or the computer we all have in our pockets at all time, has brought. It presents an opportunity to reach more people and more countries than ever before, right? That's a foundational episode to what we believe as a company. We believe it is the single solitary greatest time ever to be an artist.
Okay, I get it, Patrick. I believe that. What's next? What's next is episode number 13 and 14, the collectively, the does-my-art-suck test. Now, that provocative title aside, this was also a foundational episode for us. Why? If you're an artist that wants to run their own art gallery online and believes that it's the greatest time ever to be an artist, the next important step that you need to do is you need to validate that the particular art, the particular niche, the particular style, medium, that you have chosen is something that the market wants, is something that you're going to be able to sell. You work on attempting to sell if offline, right? In those episodes are a bunch of the steps, strategies and tactics you can use to figure out if what you've got is something that the market wants if you're ready to start selling it online, and make that investment, and get going on that phase.
Okay, great. Let's say you've been through those phases and you're ready to go. It's like, what do you do at that point, right? What comes next? That's what brings us to today's episode. Today's episode is entitled, "Art Marketing Playbook" or "The Art Marketing Playbook". I've got to see what we're going to title it, but this is another foundational piece of what we believe is part of our thesis. If you're going to start selling your art online, if you know that the market wants your art, and you're going to be able to sell it; you're then into the active marketing phase, right? In this active marketing phase, you're going to work a daily, a weekly, monthly, yearly at incrementally building your followers, building your email list, building your website traffic, and building that business, right? Building that business.
It's the long game. It takes patience, perseverance, endurance, but bit by bit, day by day you get better. That's a huge part of our thesis. All of that marketing you're going to do, in our opinion, is going to fall into one of two buckets. We believe, bucket number one, is holidays are going to come along. Call that Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, of Christmas, or Valentine's Day, or Mother's Day, or made up holidays, more on that in a moment. You're going to have those holidays where you discount your art and you go for a sale. The rest of the year, bucket number two, is going to be the romance marketing you do throughout the year.
The non-salesy stuff that you put out there to provide value that creates inspiration, that's for entertainment purposes, for enjoyment, for beauty. All of these things that are designed, what we call romance marketing collectively, to increase people on your email list, to increase your followers, but more importantly than that, to develop and build and audience that knows, likes, and trusts you, right? That's inspired by you, that loves your art, that wants to get to know you more, that really appreciates what you do, that loves what you're putting out in the world. All of those fantastic things, right?
The big picture idea is if you do that throughout the year, you've built up, in the bank so to speak, the know, like, and trust, the admiration, the respect, the love, if you will, of your audience. That gives you the audacity, that gives you the opportunity to go back to bucket one, and have a big sale, and ask for the sale, right? That's the big picture thesis of what we do at Art Storefront. What we believe and what we instruct everyone that comes on platform to be doing. You romance market throughout the year, you pick the holidays that work for you, you do the sales, but that's it. That thesis doesn't really change all that much. You're going to just be doing that day in and day out throughout the entire year and the tactics here and there are going to change, but more or less, that's the big picture thesis.
Now, when I was getting ready to record this episode, I read a couple of things that were just too good and I thought dovetailed too well. I want to present them. I found this out by I borrowed this technique from Gary V., Gary Vanderchuck, and his jam was that he goes, and pulls up his phone, I've got a iPhone, and goes into the app store, and looks at the top 100 downloaded apps. Or I think it's 200 in the list. Top 200 downloaded apps, every single solitary day, and I've made this my daily practice too, because I think it's so smart. I go in there and I look every single solitary day.
A couple of days ago, the why is, you want to see where attention is about to move to, right? Constantly, as marketers, searching for attention, where is the attention, what are the new apps, can I get there before everyone else, can I learn how to storytell on that platform, and then can I come teach you guys how to do it, right? Or blog about it, right? [inaudible 00:06:52] called Alibaba Express. I knew what it was, but didn't understand how it was not on the list at all and all of a sudden moved up to number two. Was just like, out of nowhere. I was like, okay. Obviously, this is going to take some delving into, so delving into it, I did it.
For some quick context for those that don't know what Alibaba is, Alibaba started his business a while back to ... Basically, a business to business, a B2B business, that served as the intermediary between all factories primarily in China, but also surrounding Asia and all of the wholesale buyers. Let's just say you had a swimming pool business and you wanted to get 1,000 or 5,000 giant white inflatable swans to sell as swimming pool ornaments. You would need to find a factory in China to manufacture those for you, so you would go to Alibaba and there would be all these manufacturers. They'd say, "Look at my awesome white swan. Put in 1,000 piece order and we'll send them to you for this dollar amount," right?
That's where it started. Since then, and also building on that greatest time ever to be an artist, disruption. Alibaba has realized, wait a minute, we don't need to just sell wholesale and 1,000 pieces minimum order, 500 pieces minimum order, whatever, 10,000. We can also sell direct to consumer, right? They came up with Alibaba Express, which is now a B2C business, a business to consumer business. It's basically their version of the Amazon, right? Looks a little bit different, not quite as sophisticated. Highly recommend you check this out, by the way. Go into the app store, the Google Play store, download Alibaba Express and look at it.
It wants to be Amazon, it wants to take over Amazon, in certain cases it already has. More on that in a second. Downloaded it, checked it out, and started going down the rabbit hole on it. I read this article on Tech Crunch, which I'll put in the show notes, which is artmarketingpodcast.com. This is going to be episode 17, I believe. It's "Alibaba smashes its single day record". We have Black Friday, we have Cyber Monday, we have Christmas. In Asia, they have what is called Singles Day. What does that mean? It happens on 11/11, since then by the way they've stretched this thing out to cover multiple days, as marketers tend to do.
This is literally a nine year old made up holiday invented by a guy, excuse me, named Daniel Zhang, whose now the CEO of Alibaba, but at the time, I guess, he invested he was working for another online retailer mall or whatever. Anyway, this one just went down. It's 11/13 when I'm recording this. This thing went down on 11/11. The stats are that it did $25.3 billion in one day. Let me read that, $25.3 billion in one day. Obviously, that number is crazy, Micky Mouse, big, so we need some context to understand it, right? What do we do?
You're in the U.S., on Black Friday, on Cyber Monday, last year. We did basically, combined, $6.5 billion. Made up holiday, in China, $25.3 billion. Huge holidays established in America, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, $7 billion. $6.5 billion. For how long have we been hearing that China is going to take over the entire world. From militarily, economically, they're going to be the dominant world power. That's always sounded like hyperbole and that's always felt like hyperbole, but now when I read this stats, it's like, whoa. That's a crazy amount of sales volume. My goodness.
Why am I telling you this whole story? The salient detail in all of this though is they're an online merchant at the end of the day, right? Just like every artist is trying to sell their art online. You're an online merchant, yes, albeit, a little bit smaller. What did Alibaba do in this situation? They invented a holiday, they did crazy discounting on the holiday, they had some scarcity, ie., the discount's going to end, and they had a massive windfall of cash, right? The point in that is we can copy that as individual artists and as online merchants. We can absolutely copy it.
What about the Amazon version? Let's just talk about his really quickly because I think it gives some of you more context. Amazon is an online retailer. Amazon's like 500 businesses, right? Amazon, at the end of the day, is an online retailer. What normally happens? Where did the name Black Friday come from? The name Black Friday came from, historically speaking, all retailers would normally be, up until this point in the year when Black Friday comes, they would not be a profitable business, right? They would be operating at a deficit and then Black Friday would come and because of the sales volume, they would move from the red into the black and they would be profitable for the rest of the year. Essentially, they make all of their money and all of their profit in the fourth quarter, right?
What was interesting is that Amazon published its third quarter data and they're a retailer that's not supposed to traditionally crush the third quarter and they absolutely crushed it. They beat their expectations. They blew them out of the water. Why is that? Well, if you delve into the report and you look at, a huge, huge contributor among other 5 million businesses that it has, was Prime Day. What Bezos did is he looked to China and he's like, wait a minute, nine years ago they invented a holiday, look at the sales volume. I'll take one of those too. He came up with Prime Day. Another made up holiday out of the blue. What did they do on Prime Day? Same thing. Discounted heavy, gave it scarcity, and it worked. It worked for Amazon.
The point is that, I'm sure they're probably the two biggest retailers on the world. Amazon and Alibaba Express, if not in the top five. The techniques and the tactics they used, we can all use as individual online merchants and put to our advantage. Today's episode, The Art Marketing Playbook, we're calling it a playbook, is a playbook that we advocate that you run and that you use to handle your holiday discounts. I'm really excited about this episode. We're really proud of it. Where we got this, our Marketing Playbook, too. Fired up just to present it in general.
Now, quick housekeeping, before we get into it. This was originally ... The whole presentation is, just by its nature, a bit visual. Is it going to go over well as a podcast, I absolutely think it will. I hope it will. Is it potentially better as a video? There's an argument there because there is visual and there's some visual assets and resources that go along with it. I'm going to link artmarketingpodcast.com, this is episode number, I think again, 17. If you want to watch the video, you prefer to do that visually to be able to download some of those resources and do all that, just come to the show notes, the video will be there. In fact, I'll just ... Yo know what? I'll link right to the presentation on Facebook Live, so you can just watch it that way.
I'll link to that if you want to go and check it out that way, but let's just get into it and see how it goes. You can let me know from there. We started this thing at the top, right, with this notion of the tripod or the stool. This notion that this episode is going to be right on time, early, and then also late. Or whatever that combination is. Why do I say that? I say that because as I record this episode right now, 11/13, and I've got this handy ... I'm going to put this in the show notes too, but I've got this handy dandy page made with countdown times to when all the holidays are. I think it serves as good motivation to get your butt in gear and get all your Is and Ts dotted and crossed and get ready for these holidays.
Just for context, there's 10 days until Thanksgiving. Right now, there's 11 days until Black Friday. There's 14 days until Cyber Monday. There's 42 days until Christmas. At the time I record this. When you listen to it might be different. The important point of that though, why this podcast is both right on time, late and early is this playbook represents some fundamental steps we believe that you should take when you discount for the holidays. The great thing about the holidays is there's always another one coming up, right? They're constantly coming up.
I want to dive right into this thing and, to do so, I've given you the analogy, right? I believe that holiday marketing can be thought of as a soccer field. Soccer was always my sport, it's my jam, I love it. Just like a soccer game, there's a finite amount of time, right? There's a clock up there, 45 minute halves, once it's done, it's done, the game is over. In the soccer game, the goal is to score goals, right? The goal for you guys is to make sales. Picture a player on the field, right? That player on the field is your holiday art marketing strategy, tactics, everything mashed into one. That's your player, that's what you're trying to do, you're trying to get him to score goals to make sales.
What do most artists out there do? They think that their holiday campaign is Lionel Messi. For context, he's the greatest soccer player of all time. It's disputable, but I believe that he is. What most people do is they just think that their art marketing campaign, their one email, their one Facebook update, is Lionel Messi and he's going to score all the goals for them. The reason that is a flawed idea is that it doesn't take into account the opposing team, right? Stay on the soccer analogy, there's an opposing team on the field. What is that opposing team? It's the holidays and all the craziness that brings. Going shopping, ugly sweater parties, Christmas parties, your spouse's Christmas parties, the holiday plays at schools. It's internet, it's YouTube, it's cat videos. It's everything. It is all of the noise and distraction, which is amplified and magnified times 10 during the holidays, right?
If you put Lionel Messi on the field and think you're going to score a bunch of goals and make a bunch of sales with just one activity, one email, one Facebook update, you're in trouble. You do that, you're going to lose. What do you need to do? You need to put some other players on the field to help Lionel Messi. What those other players on the field are going to do is they're going to work together as a team and they're going to help you score more goals, make more sales. What do I mean? What players am I talking about, right? I'm talking about coordinating your holiday marketing campaign, this is the playbook. Email, Facebook, both organic and Facebook ads, Instagram, both organic and Instagram ads. Instagram stories, YouTube, phone calls, postcards.
Whatever you have at your disposal is your team and how they work in conjunction, is how you actually win, is how you get noticed, right? It's just understanding how to put all those pieces on the board, understanding that they all need to be working together, they're all in the boat, rowing in the same direction. If you do that, it can be insanely, insanely effective. I think what we establish is the basics that you need to be able to run this. You need a proper website, equipped to sell art, take transactions, take credit card.
You need an email service provider, ESP. Mailchimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, Drip, whoever you use. You need an email list, don't worry about the size as long as you have one. Even if there's one, you can run this. You need a Facebook page and an Instagram account. You need a Facebook ads account and then you need your email list uploaded to Facebook. That's what we consider the basics to run this. I think regardless of where you are, why I love this playbook. Regardless of where you are, how sophisticated you are in terms of your marketing acumen, how much of that stuff on the list that you've got set up, you can still use this playbook, right?
What I love about it is all of it takes practice, so you just break off what piece you can, you run what part of it you can. You do it once, you get better, you do it again. Holidays are going to continue coming up. There's more, and more, and more of them. That's what's awesome about it. What I want to do is I want to go through the steps and the why. This can feel really complicated, but if we break this down into the steps, I think we can make it sound easy, which it is. Let's talk about what the big picture game plan is. We know we have a holiday coming up, right now, as we sit, at this moment in time, we've got the fourth quarter, which is the single solitary greatest time to be selling art.
More often than not, we see more art sold in the fourth quarter than sold in the other three quarter combined. If not, it is certainly the best quarter to be selling art regardless of who we are, based on customer data. The big picture game plan is the holidays are coming, you're going to pick one, you're going to create discount, you're going to give that discount scarcity, meaning the discount is going to expire, it's going to be one week, or 24 hours, or 48 hours, we'll get into that in the second. Then the third step is that we're going to do a coordinated email and then blast all channels simultaneously. That's the game plan and it sounds easy enough, right?
There is actually quite a bit of nuance involved in it and I think this playbook, and I'm going to outline it to you, has some incredibly tactical parts to it. More than we could potentially ever cover in more one podcast episode, but I want to really hammer the steps as best as I can to give you the good initial bite of the apple, so to speak. I stay throughout this thing on the soccer analogy. I break this playbook down into stages of the game. I call stage number one, Preseason Training/Off Season Training. This is what you do before the holidays are even coming close. Number two, I talk about the Warm Ups. These are the warm ups right before the game. Picture, you've arrived at the field with your team, you're running around, you're stretching, you're doing all that.
Number three stage is the Offer. This is the actual discount that we're going to send. They call that the game. Number four is Resending Your Email to unopeneds. More on that in a second. That's halftime. Then step number five is the 24 Hour Warning, right? I call this the last minutes of the game. Let me go through what each one of these steps are and what they entail. First, a note on preseason training. The line summer bodies are created in winter, right? Something that you should be doing regularly all throughout the year, we covered this a little bit, is emailing your list romance content, ie., non-salesy stuff. You should be doing this well ahead of the holidays. You should be doing this all year long. It bears mentioning.
Let's focus it to today, right? There's three levels here, so which one are you at? You're either someone that's been regularly emailing your list romance type of content, non-salesy stuff, throughout the year. Let's say at least once a month. You could be somebody that you sent some emails, some romance content, but you've done so incredibly infrequently. Or you could be person number three, you've never emailed your list at all, this is going to be the first time you do it. I want to tell you what to do for each of them. What not to do, and this is critically important, is to have the first time you've ever emailed your list, have it be a buy my art salesy type of email. Don't recommend that. That's usually not where you see the best results.
What we do recommend that you do ahead of sending any offers, discounts or deals is send some romance content. Send some updates about your, or some of your imagery, talk about a new series, talk about what you did in the studio, but do not say, "By the way, 30% off, buy my art today," right? That's not going to work if you haven't warmed up your list. Now, a great way to do this, one of the ways that we like to do this, is tease the fact a sale is coming, right? This is before the sale is even going to happen, you would send an email. I'm giving you an example of the email, that has non-salesy language in it, that says, "Cheers," and I'm just going to say me, Patrick. "Hey, cheers, it's me Patrick. Patricksphotography.com PS: the holidays are coming. I don't discount often, but when I do, it's around the holidays. Stay tuned for future emails," right?
Let's just say it's the month before we're going to have our particular discount. Let's say it's Black Friday. The month before I would send four emails that would just have images of my photography, in all of them, in all four, I would put a PS in there that says, "The holidays are coming, I don't discount often, but when I do it's around the holidays, stay tuned for the future emails." Discounts are coming, they're not far off now, the big sale is coming soon, right? Some sort of a way to tease it. A great way to do that is the PS. If you're ahead of the sale enough, this is something you can do.
For the purposes of the video, that I mentioned earlier, I actually invented my own fictional photography business called Patrick's Glamis Photos. Glamis is this place in the bottom right hand corner of California. It's got sand dunes, it's where that Star Wars with Jabba the Hutt was filmed and I like riding motorcycles out there so I have photos of it. The visual portion of this, I actually go through this entire process and actually author the emails with the subject lines, with the photo, with everything else. I'm just going to keep rolling from the audio standpoint, but for instance, in this email that I did with the actual Glamis thing. Subject line is: Motorcycles, dogs, and sunsets. Dear Steve, the only thing better than a wheelie in Glamis, motorcycles, wheelies, is nothing. Patrick"
I sent a cool image, non-salesy language in the PS. I have, "I don't have sales often, but when I do, the discounts are steep like the Glamis sand dunes. Stay tuned and as always, ride safe," right? If you see the visual example of this email, again you can see this thing in the show notes, you can even download the images in the show notes if you like. You're sending content ahead of the sale, important step of the playbook. You're sending content ahead of the sale, but you're teasing it with the PS. In the PS, you're just letting people know a sale is coming. There's no percentage discount off, there's no 20-50%, there's no buy my art now. The psychology here is important. You're just priming the pump, so to speak. Making people aware that a sale is on the horizon.
I think regardless of where you are, whether you have three emails on your list or 30,000, this is a great technique to do ahead of a sale and so few people do it. Don't just have the sale, have the discount, warm them up. Even if you just do it in one email it's effective, but ideally, you're sending often enough that you can do it a couple of times. That's stage one. Preseason training, right? That's what we believe that you should be doing. Let's talk about stage two, this is warm ups, right? This is where you email your list, and you let them know the deal is coming, and you give them more details about it. Before, it was just a real light teaser, right? Like, hey, this thing's out there, it's coming. Now, it starts to get serious.
In stage number two, and again I want my visual example here as we podcast, "I'm done with wheelies for at least the next 48 hours. Why? I need to get the store ready for the craziest, stupidest, nutsest sale .... " I didn't say nutsest. "Ready for the stupidest, craziest sale I have all year. Some store favorites are available like 'Wheelie Time', here." In the email I have a couple of my best sellers, right? "Speak soon." In that email, I'm letting people know the sale is coming really, really quickly, right? It's going to happen in the next week and I'm teasing it. The important thing is that you have some personality in there, you let them know that it's coming. That's the warm up. That's stage number two.
Now we've got anywhere from 5, to 10, to 2, but at the very minimum 2, emails just letting people know that the sale is about to happen. All right. Now we're at stage number three, this is the offer. A quick pro tip here, it doesn't matter what your offer is. That's not the subject of this podcast. Maybe you're a free shipping person, maybe you don't like discounting your originals, maybe you have sculptures and you would never discount, whatever you do. Whatever you end up doing, 20% off, 30% off. You get your discount available, boom. You let them know the sale is on. You can save 20% off store ... This is what I used in my example, and again, my visual example is, "Start your engines, the sale is on. Hey, Steve, it's Monday. From now until Friday we've gone full tilt. Take 20% off store wide. Use the coupon code 'Wheelie Time'," right?
Again, here, the key is that you have a deal, it lasts a finite amount of time, it's going to expire, and there' a nice discount, right? That's the offer. The next step, the all important step, the step so few people take which is so important, is the resend your email to unopeneds. Most email service providers make this really easy to do. You set them to say, send this email in 24 hours, and only send it to the people that did not open the first email, hence the resend to unopeneds. This works so fantastically well. People are busy, they're not going to open your first email. Most people didn't even see it. They saw the subject line, they blew it off, they were at a holiday party, they had too much egg nog the night before.
You resend again and oftentimes that'll be the one that they open, right? You do this step. You send the email to the unopeneds, right? Step number five is the 24 hour warning, what I call the last minutes of the game. This is the email that you send that says the deal is about to expire, right? It's the last email in this sequence that you send. You say, "Hey Steve ... " I don't even know what I have in my example. We'll say, "24 hours left until the sale leaves the desert. Wanted to send a final reminder that the sale is about to ride off. You've got 24 hours left to lock in your biggest discount of the year." That is an absolutely critical step as well, to let them know it's about to expire.
You'll find, what I always find, is you get the most amount of people to react. We're human beings, we're procrastinators by nature. They always react end up reacting at that last 24 hour email, so if you don't remind them that it's about to expire in 24, 48 hours, whatever it is, you're not going to get there. Let's sum all of that up. You've got five to seven emails, all hyping up and promoting a single offer, right? I would say that alone, that step alone, is more than what 98% of artists out there are going to do. I've subscribed to hundreds of your email lists, I see what you do for your marketing. If you do this part of the playbook, if you do it and only it, just that, you're going to win.
Everything that we went over is free. It's pretty easy to do, but it's also the collegiate level. It's not even the collegiate level, it's the high school level. Let's talk about going pro, right? Why? Why do you need to go pro? This is so important, this is also part of our thesis, and in my presentation I have the cover of a Steven Pressfield book that I think I mentioned on this podcast before, I don't know if I have or if not, but the title of said opus is, "Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t". I think you can figure out what that means. Nobody wants to read your, yes. This is just the truth. Nobody's going to read your email, nobody's going to click your links, and nobody's going to buy your art. They're too damned busy. There's too much noise. The holidays are too crazy.
If you want to have them read your email, to come to your website, to buy your art, you need to be remarkable, you need to make them read your emails. You need to make them read your emails, and to do that you need to be remarkable, and you need to understand the power of coordination. How do you do that? You coordinate all of the players on your team, back to our soccer analogy, to all be broadcasting the same message at the same time. All of those stages of the game that I just went over, all of them are going to have the same language, same place, same time. You get them all working together like that, if you consider them and you think about them, all those players, all on the same team, all moving in formation. You do this and you're going to win.
You are literally at war this holiday season. I am at war. We are all at war as marketers and it's a war of attention. So marshal your forces, get them ready to go, and a line up to attack. You're literally Braveheart and that line of barbarians. That's how you're going to attack, to get the attention, because it's that hard to do. Again, what we're going to do now is we're going to talk about the stages of the game again, except now we're going to level up. One of the things that I thought about doing this, that I presented when I originally did it, is for each of the stages of the game, there is a beginner, there is an intermediate, and there is advanced. This is just kind of how I've broken them up.
The idea in all of this is that no matter where you're at, no matter what stage of the game, no matter your marketing acumen, you can run a part of this playbook. If you just start doing the stuff that you can do, the next time you're going to take on another task, you're going to take on another task, and then the next thing you know you're going to be at the advanced level rather than at the beginner. Warm ups, we're jumping all the way ahead to stage two of the game, because the holidays are right around the corner, your preseason training's over, you've missed it. Depending on when you're listening to this, you can get back to it in Q1, get back to the preseason training.
Now, we're going to talk, we're going to start with stage two of the games, which again remember is warm ups. This is right before the game starts. What does the beginner do? You're going to email your list, you're going to do an organic Facebook post, and you're going to do an organic Instagram post, all coordinated with the same message. When I say organic Facebook post and organic Instagram post, just a regular post which is free, right? You've got the email, this is another one these areas where you really need to have the visual aid, so you guys need to check out the show notes to get this.
You send an email with a certain subject line, a certain language, a certain image. You also author an organic Facebook post. Similar subject line, similar language, similar image, right? You do the exact same thing for Instagram. If you do just that, all of which are free, all of which pretty much anybody can do, you're well on your way. What would the intermediate step be, right? Let's say we just talked about the pee wee soccer team, now we're going up to the high school level. What you're going to do is all of those same things except you're also going to add in an Instagram story, right?
The Instagram stories are so powerful. I've got these Instagram story in front of me again, visually it says, "For the next 48 hours I'm going to be in my trailer," because when you go to Glamis you stay in a trailer, "cooking up my biggest sale of the year. Get ready. Keep an eye on your email." Now you've got an email in their inbox and you've got an organic Facebook post, if you catch them on Facebook, and you've got an organic Instagram post, if you catch them on Instagram, and you've got an Instagram story all talking about this one sale that's about to happen. That's a heck of a way to warm up your list and a heck of a way to get their attention, right?
If you're at the pro level, if you're Chelsea, if you're Manchester United, or if you're Barcelona, one of the best football teams in the world, soccer teams in the world, what are you going to do? You're going to do all of the above. You're going to have your email, you're going to do your organic Facebook posts, Instagram posts, you're going to do an Instagram story, but you're also going to run Facebook ads and Instagram ads, right? Again, whatever you have in your arsenal, you're actually going to run here if you're a pro. You're going to do snail mail, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, phone calls, whatever you have that's specific to you and how you've marketed and built your audience, you're going to hammer all of them, right?
You're going to have all of those platforms firing, all at the same time, all with the same message, all with the same imagery, except you're also going to have ad dollars, which means people are actually going to see your posts because you get throttled otherwise. In my presentation, I go, "Why? Why would you do this?" I've got a picture of Fire Marshal Bill. I used to love Fire Marshal Bill. I don't know if ... In Loving Color, old thing, and he goes, "Let me show you something." What I utilize at this point is there's this viral video on the interwebs of four guys in a circle all with giant ball peen hammers, the biggest hammer you can imagine. They're pounding in this spike for a tent.
They've got it perfectly timed where they're all going boom, boom, boom, boom. It's a miraculous thing. It's one of these things that you need to see it. The point is that by coordinating all this stuff and hammering in all of these various different venues, all at the same time, is how you actually get attention. It is the only way that you can get attention. It's too dog gone hard otherwise, right? That's the magic of the playbook, and understanding this technique, and putting it together. Let's talk about stages number three and four. We just covered stage number two, which is the warm up. In number three and number four, you've got the offer and then you've got the resend to un-opens, right?
I combine those into one stage. Again, the beginner, the intermediate, and the pro is pretty much all the same steps. A little bit more, right? At the very least, as a beginner, you're going to email your list, you're going to resend to unopeneds, you're going to have an organic Facebook post, you're going to have an organic Instagram post, all coordinated, again. Same images, same message. Again, show notes, images of all of this and as I'm presenting this podcast I'm actually looking at the work that we did on this. It's like, you've got the actual email with the subject line and the imagery, and then you have the exact Facebook ad, the exact Instagram ad, or organic post, which eventually become ads.
You're going to do all of that and you're also going to ... If you're intermediate, you're going to do the story. If you're pro, you're going to have the ads running, again, at the same time, right? All of those things all firing, in conjunction, working together. Last stage, right? The fifth stage. The 24 hour warning. Again, beginner, intermediate, advanced. The one nuance, which I would say is relatively new and yet is so incredibly powerful for this one, is the Instagram story portion. You can do this for free or you can do this as an ad, but you should do some combination thereof.
When your deal is about to expire, let's just say you're doing Black Friday and your deal expires Cyber Monday, right? The 24 hours, or 48 hours if you want, before the deal expires, you're going to start dropping tiles in Instagram. It says, "The deal expires in 24 hours. 23 hours. 22 hours. 21, 20," and so on and so forth. You can author these tiles or create these tiles. Photoshop if you've got the chops, if not you can use one of the online editors which also works really well. This is such an incredible opportunity to create scarcity and show the countdown. Look, if you don't want to do the 24 hours, you can do it in 20 hours, in 10 hours, in 5 hours, in 1 hour.
You get time time about how much is left in the sale, you use some of your art, and you kind of countdown however you can. Now, if you're really aggressive, Instagram will actually let you do one of these things an hour and you can just have it go dut, dut, dut, dut, but it just ends up ... It's such a powerful usage of Instagram stories as as countdown clock, a countdown timer. I saw it being used the last holidays by the people that were really good at it and, man, it plays on your sole; especially if you don't want to do the hour countdown with the Instagram stories, you could also do, let's say, you did a limited edition run of 10 prints, just a for instance, you could say, "10 are left." Then pick another moment in time, "7 are left." Pick another moment in time, "3 are left. 2 are left. 1 are left." Every time you're continuing to highlight the art, it's magic. It's magic. Instagram stories is an incredible one.
I hope that translated and I hope that came through. I do encourage everybody that listens to this to check out the video, because you're going to get all the visual aspects of it and you'll really start to see it. This playbook is fundamental to everything that we teach at Art Storefront and it is insanely effective. This thing works 100% of the time that it's tried. It all ties back to the big, overarching concept of attention and it is so difficult to get attention, especially now. The distractions are insane. Back in the say ... When I say back in the say, you can even go back two or three years ago, right? You could get away with sending an email or two and maybe make some sales and do well.
Now, because the landscape we live in, because attention is such a commodity, you have to be hammering in every venue possible that you can, and all at once with a coordinated message. If you understand that concept and you take not just your one email or two emails that you would've sent three or four years ago, but move it up to 10, 15, 20 different content touches, when you think about all of those various different content touches, in all of the various different venues. Quick aside, yes, we're hammering Facebook and Instagram. Most artists out there, that's what they have, that's what they're good at. By all means, if you're kicking but on Snapchat, or Pinterest, or YouTube, or anywhere else where there is attention, hammer the message in there too. Absolutely do it.
That's the playbook. I'll say two things. One, I do some consulting on the side and I ran this exact playbook for a huge sale that they had a couple of weeks ago and used it to a T. They're an e-commerce merchant, but a completely different type of business, and it worked crazy well. I think we more than doubled what they did last year and that's all based on just how much attention we're able to get. It just works no matter what you're doing. Also to sum up, the holidays are going to come, there's always another holiday coming. You do what parts of this playbook you can do. You're not ready to start advertising, that's okay, don't start advertising. Just get all the organic stuff in.
Even if you just get to see how all the pieces work, even if you've got two people on your email list, whatever the case may be, this is the new way to market, the new way to capture attention, and the holidays are coming. I know when you're listening to this, this is a fantastic opportunity to get it going and give it a shot. I think that'll probably be the longest episode. I hope that all worked. I hope that all clicked. If you're enjoying it, I love, love, love if you would leave a rating on iTunes. I think we're up to 32, 33, so we're really rolling. We're really proud of those. The holidays are coming. Use the playbook, run it, hammer it. Good luck.
We help artists & photographers open and run their own art gallery business online.
Ready to continue to learnings? Here are the related episodes we mentioned in Episode 15.
After only listening to a few podcasts, I was able to apply legitimate techniques that were mentioned the following day. One of them was the Instagram DM technique. Thanks to them, I sold two prints fairly quickly. I know it's not much, but I was able to see how effective these techniques were. These guys seem to know what they're talking about and are legitimately concerned with how an artist can be successful in this extremely competitive world!
We help artists & photographers open and run their own art gallery business online.
If we can't teach you, no one can!