Attention was hard to get in '19 and it's gonna be even harder in '20. In this episode: What the smart artist is gonna do about it, and I proffer up a New Years' Resolution for you.
'19 is just about in the books as I record this.
That means a whole lot of things...
One being both the end of, and start of, a decade. That is pretty awesome, don't usually get to say that all that many times in one's life.
Regardless of the decade though, everybody is talking about it, you are likely thinking about it, I am, it's New Years' resolutions time.
What wonderful life item are we gonna work on this year and likely stop working on some time a few weeks into Q1?
Of course I love the fitness one.
Always one of the most popular.
Always makes me think of a story...
I have this one buddy that has been saying he is gonna open a gym for years. His plan? His unique value proposition? It's gonna be the monthly fees.
His idea is to charge like a thousand dollars a month per membership.
Here is the hook:
Each time you come in your monthly fee goes down. Do it enough and your monthly fee goes to something super nominal like $30 per month or whatever. No exceptions to the rule aside from being able to pause your membership with verifiable airline tickets or other related travel records. Otherwise if you no show then you pay the full amount.... not a bad idea actually, might even work.
Hilarious idea either way, right?
The fitness one is so profound though, one of the reasons I love it, it has to be regular and consistent. You can't just work out for a few months and reach your goals. No.
You have to stay at it consistently all year long.
Same holds true for our art marketing practices. If you want to achieve your goals, greatness even, then you have to commit and stick to it all year long.
Click the blue button and we will follow up in Messenger.
Not gonna stop ranting about this one in the new decade.
Fact is, it's getting harder to get it and keep it.
I saw artists in '19 that took this to heart and did well, often times better then they even imagined. And I saw artists that didn't and they paid the price.
As I was thinking about this episode, and attention especially, it's crazy to me how much it mirrors our online businesses and follows the same rules.
What's the rule with new business; there's only three ways to grow one:
Let's apply that to attention.
Only three ways to get new attention (new emails or social followers or phone numbers or addresses or Messenger subscribers - it's all attention).
The third way is what I want to focus on today: how do you get repeat business from your customers? How do you get your attention coming back again and again and again? All year long?
More than one way to do it of course, but for our purposes today I want to laser in on one particular strategy I call "moving the attention around" – from one channel or venue you own to another.
This is a strategy that you'll be leveraging all year long - it's no different than going to the gym. You hit the gym to be fit for the summer, and you move the attention around all year so you're ready for your biggest Q4 ever later this year.
So let me articulate the strategy for you. Before I do that, one last word on attention...
When I say it's getting harder and harder to get it... well it is.
I mean specifically FB ads are not getting cheaper, email open rates are not going up, your organic reach on any social platform is not gonna grow in 2020 or the next decade.
So let's start moving the attention we do own; the email addresses, phone numbers, addresses you own currently + the rented attention; your Insta followers and Facebook followers and messenger subscribers and YouTube subscribers and Pinterest followers etc etc.
A strategy in 3 parts:
Let's start with an example and two channels I imagine most everybody out there listening has and is active on (or should be) then I can get back to the audit:
Email and Instagram.
You send a normal email.
You are a photographer and you went tropical for Christmas, you just got back from Isla Holbox just north of Yucatan peninsula in the beautiful Mexican state of Quintana Roo. You and your hubbie even swam with the whale sharks. It was a great trip.
You get back and you are update your followers with your best shots from the trip and let them know they are gonna be in your store.
You write your email...
Hey Patrick, Feliz Navidad from Quintana Roo. Here are a selection of my best photos from a wonderful Christmas in Mexico. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. (The email has a selection of the photos and ends with) Cheers, Katherine.
That was the old way. No lets take a look at the same email except this time we attempt to move the attention from email to Instagram.
Cheers Katherine — lets say her husbands name is Juan — So Cheers Katherine... P.S. To see some of the behind the scenes photos from the trip and one AMAZING photo of Juan and a whale shark then follow me on Instagram.
Before you would of just had an email, some photos, and some links. Some might still click on those too but now you have a direct and focused ask to have them follow you on Instagram.
Perhaps you do that and you move 3-5 people from your email list to now being Instagram followers too.
That is a HUGE Win
Just like one session at the gym or running or biking or whatever, its not gonna give you ripped abs, or a perfectly sculpted and toned dairy aire, but its a start.
When you do that all year long its gonna add up to be a huge huge win and almost NOBODY does it regularly.
So we start with an audit.
What channels are you marketing in currently?
We list them out; I have an email list and FB fan page and an Instagram account and a snail mail list.
Ok great. Now we know what we are working with.
Next step is we commit to at least once a week at taking a shot at the attention you do have on one of those platforms and you move it around.
Your encouraging your FB fans to follow you on Insta. You encourage your email list to follow you on FB. You snail mail your list and let them know you are sharing your best on Insta. You DM your insta followers one by one - the things that don't scale - and encourage them to get on your email list
The how you go about it —one day your run stairs, the next you ride a bike, the next you do Crossfit, the next a long walk with the dog, the next a swim — matters not. What matters is being intentional about it consistent about it, and doing the work.
After you are committed and you start doing it, you measure... by which I mean you attempt to measure... you do your best to see which workouts are work best for you
Is it exact science knowing which people came from your email list and followed you on Insta... no no its not. But you can look at your new followers and make a rough estimation of how you did... so document it.
Lets say you post an Instagram story and you tell people to get on your email list... hard to know for sure right... how many came form the story and got on your list... but document it.
Some are harder then others.
If you link from a FB post to messenger lets say then you know exactly how many new followers you picked up.
The key here, without making it burdensome, to loosely document what you did and how it went, so you have at least a sense of which techniques are working best for you so you can repeat the ones that do and drop the ones that don't.
That's it. That's the strategy.
Lets talk about why I love it, and why you will too.
Why You Will Love This
Both rented and owned at the end of the year will dictate, is directly proportional to what your q4 sales will be. That is just fact.
At a macro is your greatest hedge at attention becoming both harder to get and hard to keep because it gives you the ability to get so so much more out of it.
Committing too and running this all year long will help you get so much more ROI out of the attention you do have and more importantly attention busted your butt to get or perhaps even paid for $ with ads. You owe it to yourself and your time to maximize the ROI
I have one for you, me, and your art-selling cousin is Poughkeepsie.
I want all of us to commit to doing this once a week (at a minimum) all year long. (What you find by the way is once you commit and start at once a week you end up doing it all the time anyway as it becomes habit and practice).
Use whatever calendar app you prefer to track it.
Look at 2020 and schedule at least one "Move the Attention Around!" reminder per week, every week for the entire year.
Schedule it, execute on it, and attempt to measure after the fact.
All that matters is you schedule it, do it, and measure it
So that's the resolution and that's the challenge... are you game?
So what about food?
I do enjoy practicing what I preach. It is, what I hope, makes this podcast authentic although certainly at times, pedantic.
I really want you to do this. So how can I help in that regard?
Here's where my head is at: I am also in the business of selling memberships for Art Storefronts - our total art selling platform, so how can I do that?
And while I'm at it, how can I best clearly teach this strategy with concrete examples so it's easy for you to follow and execute on.
Here's what I came up with:
How do you do that?
You click this link right here and our bot will take care of the rest. ("but Patrick I don't do Messenger..." ok fine. Follow us on Insta and send me a DM and I will send it to you.)
Let's put it into practice and make 2020 an epic decade. If you just follow the plan and do the work you are gonna get results like @dsutter6 did
We help artists & photographers open and run their own art gallery business online.
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!