029: Your 4th Quarter Marketing Audit
The (surprisingly short) list of tools you need to be ready for our 4th quarter playbook, thoughts on getting attention during the holiday rush, and what this all has to do with the Kardashians.
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Coming up on this edition of the Art Marketing Podcast, the fourth quarter is coming. What you need to know to sell more art this year than you did last year. And we cover how to perform an audit of your marketing style. So let me start with a question, where are you at? To which my mother would promptly reply, never end a sentence in a preposition. But it doesn't matter. If you're just getting started, if you're picking up steam, or if you are literally on fire in your art business and especially as it pertains to your marketing acumen. Regardless of where you are, I'm pretty willing to bet that wherever you are in your journey, making more sales this fourth quarter, the fourth quarter, is probably something you're interested in doing, right?
So, good. Guess what? We're pretty good at selling photography and art in the fourth quarter. We have playbooks, I mean step by step guides, on how to do just about everything. And last year our customers sold more art in the fourth quarter in the complete history of our company by far. And you wanna venture a guess why? They worked on their marketing, specifically that they ran whatever version of our playbooks they were comfortable running and that they had the acumen at that point in time to pull off. Guess what else? I bet we more than double, maybe even triple that figure this year, and that's not just because we have more customers. And the answer to that, why is that gonna be the case, and it's because our customers ran the playbook last year.
And again, in whatever truncated, pared-down version they were comfortable doing, and they picked up that level of experience. That level of experience with the ads and the copy and emailing and all the various different aspects of running the playbooks. They leveled up, they got that experience, they're gonna be able to build on that experience and run a more advanced version of the playbook this year. And that very same level of experience, that's what I want. I want you, all the loyal podcast listeners, no matter where you are in your business, to get a level, some level, take some steps in the right direction this fourth quarter. I mean, you guys are going to be photographers and artists for the rest of your lives. There is no better time to get started in that, in that marketing and running the playbook for these types of deal situations than today. Take your first step and you get going on.
So, all right, fine, we're done with the rah rah. The good news, in this episode we're gonna cover some advice regardless of where you are in your business journey. And again, just getting started, picking up steam, on fire, right? More good news is the advice is largely the same regardless of where you are with some nuance, some trade crafts and extra bells and whistles thrown in here or there. Even more good news is you can get the majority of this set up for completely free if needs be, up to investing a very small amount up to those that are spending big bucks on their marketing stacks as well as their ad stacks. And finally, there's still time to get this done. It's August, and so this will probably get released sometime this week, August 23rd, August 24th, something like that. We still have some time, right? Summer's over, it's winding down, kids are going back to school, it's time to get serious. We have September in front of us, which is a great month to get everything prepped and then October's here. The end of the year's coming and it's game time. So, plenty of time to get things started and it's just a perfect way, it's the perfect way to close out the year and then set yourself up for success in Q1 of '19. That's crazy to say, 2019, isn't it?
So, lastly, everything I'm gonna cover here, it's really not that much. It's pretty simple, actually. They are the basics we're gonna lean on for the rest of our teaching on the fourth quarter and other strategies. What I'm gonna cover today are the basics. So, better still, I would imagine that most of you likely have all of them in place, if not the vast majority. So, the fourth quarter, she is a comin' and the good news is that according to our data and all the data that's out there, more art will likely be sold for many. Not only, then they did, in all the other quarters, but oftentimes more than the other three quarters combined. And so, people's wallets are out, they're ready to buy art and whether or not the photography or art they buy is yours or somebody else's, it's all going to hinge on how effective you are at getting their attention this holiday season.
That's the good news. The bad news is there's gonna be a whole lot of other folks looking to compete for those wallets that are out for that attention. As I was doing my morning reading today, I always check this site called Techmeme. Every morning it gives me a nice little update on my nerdy tech stuff, and right there at the top what did I see? Some headline about how Fit Bit had released the new watch, whatever Fit Bit thing they put out, with the screen and this bell and that whistle and ooh and aah, just creating the fomo, oh my gosh I gotta have this new gadget for Christmas. I don't really care about Fit Bit, but the point is that everybody's gearing up for this fourth quarter and it is going to be incredibly apparent in the coming weeks.
Now, it's game on. It's the fourth quarter. Shocker, I wanna talk about attention. It's the game, right? How effective at getting your buyers and potential buyers and future buyers attention is going to determine how well you do this fourth quarter and pretty much every fourth quarter. I find myself feeling the deep need to go on a side rant because I've been reading some, but what do you think of when I bring up the word, the famous family, the Kardashians? Yup. The Kardashians. I know, I know. Trust me, I'm aware the utterance of that name tends to produce rather visceral reactions from plenty of people and I would say regardless about how you feel about them, it is impossible, I think we can all agree, to argue with the level of success that family has achieved. Defined as financially benefiting, in this particular instance.
Most people easily [inaudible 00:06:10] as good-looking people with the help of surgery, they act slutty, make porn videos, or whatever, right? They're completely vapid. You would not want your daughters to grow up like these people. I get all that, right? But I would also say those are some easy, cheap shots to take and I think there's a lot we can learn when you look and see how good they are and you get over the fact of accusing them of not being the paragon of probity, I get all that. But one thing I think this family gets better than just about any is about how important attention is, how to get it, and what you can do with it once you have it. And the answer to that question is anything and everything, or that statement rather.
I mean they get the attention, they move it around from venue to venue, in their case from TV to social to print back to TV to social. They're constantly moving it around everywhere. And it's not just what they do tactically that is so impressive, but it's what they've been able to achieve with the level of attention they've amassed, right? Lots of people for lots of reasons, good and bad, have amassed plenty of attention and have not figured out how to monetize it like this family. And moreover, not only are they all dangerous individually, but this family combined plus the various different rapper boyfriends, husbands, athletes that they're dating and all the attention that comes with those guys as well, yes the good and the bad, it's like Voltron, where all the little mini robots combine to form one massive robot and one massive, mega attention-getting robot.
But the bottom line about bringing them up is they've mastered the modern game of attention and I believe that the aspiring photographer, the artist out there, can take pages from their playbook without getting any surgery or dating a rapper and still win. And I think moreover, as photographers and artists, you need to be aware of the fact that attention is the modern currency of our world. Good news is there's a ton of it out there just waiting for you to grab and the world is more interconnected than ever before. Even more good news is you don't need a Kardashian level of it to grow a thriving business and really achieve your dreams that you have for your business. All you need to do is just be aware of the game.
And as a side note, there's a famous VC that's worked at all the top tech companies. I think he just left Uber, the guy's named Andrew Chen. He had this really interesting series of tweets. You know when they put the tweets out on Twitter and they number them like one slash, two slash, three slash, that seems to be a common theme these days. Anyway, he did a nice little series talking about how smart they are and it's pretty enlightening when you read it, so I'm gonna include that in the show and and you guys should take a look.
Just to tie a bow on it, whatever the youngest ones name is, is it Kylie? I don't know. I know very little about them except for their results. But the youngest one has taken the attention, and I don't think she's even 20 yet, and I read in a Forbes article, I'm surprised I can't remember her name, that she's now worth just a little bit under a billion and she's not even 20 yet. I mean, that is amazing any which way you slice it, so a lot we can learn there.
So let's say, okay, Patrick you rant about this in every single episode, attention is everything. Let's just say you're on board with the attention piece, good. Good. So before we spend the next few episodes of the podcast, which is the plan, teaching you all of our tricks on how to get as much attention as you can in this fourth quarter that we have approaching. We need to start with an audit of your marketing stack, by which I mean I wanna talk about the tools you have in your marketing arsenal that we recommend all photographers and artists have and use to get that attention.
So, let's start by going over the basics. And the good news is that it's pretty simple. I like to start at the very top with some housekeeping. The easiest attention to get, really the easiest attention to get, the easiest customer to get is the one that you already have. So what we want to do is start with the attention we do have. What do I mean? I mean your contacts. I mean your email list, your customer list, your friends, your family, your neighbors, everybody you know and have ever come in contact with that likes you, that likes you. Now everybody is gonna have slightly different circumstances here which is okay. What we wanna start with though is getting this list in order in whatever shape it is, and a little organization goes a long, long way in this capacity. It's sort of like spring cleaning without the physical cleaning part. You're just gonna get things organized and this is just a great thing to do yearly no matter what size your business is. Just getting started, picking up steam, on fire, doesn't matter. A little audit of what we do can and have been a great thing, a good exercise for all of us to engage in.
So, let's about this attention you do have. You're gonna gather up your friends, your family, your personal contacts. You're going to comb through your personal email inbox, going back years if you can, and you're gonna grab all of those emails. You're going to audit that box of receipts that you have from your days in the show circuit. It's in that little attic-y part above your garage. You're gonna pull that baby down on the triplicates and you're gonna get all those names and addresses and zip codes and everything else. Let's say you're a wedding photographer. You did weddings for years. Now you're selling fine art prints of your drawn photography, your new hobby you wanna make into your new side business. I want every bride and groom you ever interacted with going back 25 years if you can, get their data together. Perhaps you ran a contest and forgot to put the emails into your email service provider and into your list. Everybody has different circumstances here. What I want everybody to think about is the attention you do have is the easiest one to get again and again and again.
And so the idea is that so many artists and photographers out there don't think they have attention but they've had other businesses, they've had other relationships, they've lived long and fruitful and creative lives. Trust me, you all have people that you can find that you can get into a list that will help you get more attention. So, just about everybody can clean up, gather, and organize their data and most, if not all, likely do not have everything where it needs to be. Art Storefronts doesn't. I have to run this same process for Art Storefronts.
Let's talk briefly about the data format, okay? Yes, of course, the email is the most valuable. Guess what though? Even if you don't have the email, if there's no email address at all, what you do have is still valuable, and I wanna get into the why of that more in a moment, but for now let's just stick to the data format, okay? And what we're looking at as we gather the data, as we get all these contacts together, as we get the kitchen sink into this list, is the following. And look, if you're working out, if you're in your studio, you're painting, or you're out in the field photographing, wherever you listen to it you can just listen to this passively because I'm going to put together a sample spreadsheet that has all of the columns all formatted correctly, all how you want it to look for our system that you can just download and use as a template. So just listen passively. But this is the data that we want, that we need, that we can use: First name, last name, address, city, state, zip, country, and yes of course, email address.
Now, for those who are playing at a high level, I would throw in their messenger ID number, if you're marketing on messenger. If you've got messenger marketing bolted into your stack. And also, for those with existing sales, we even want the total value in purchases each and every customer has ever made with you. No number too big, no number too small, not kidding. If you sold 150000 dollars worth of art to one person, that needs to go into this spreadsheet. If you sold 29 dollars of art or photography to one person, that needs to go into the spreadsheet. I'm gonna do an in-depth episode on that, so more to come on that later. But this is the stuff that we want to gather together.
So, we wanna get all of this data in order, into our spreadsheet, and ready to work with. And with that in hand we can move on to auditing the marketing stack. That's the spring cleaning to get your data in order, right? Now again, don't worry, hit the show notes, get the spreadsheet, [inaudible 00:14:24] with that thing. It'll be a Google Doc. You can share it, make a copy of it, download it, put it into Excel, put it into pages, work on a piece of graph paper by hand if you have to. I don't know why you'd do that, but you know what I mean.
Okay, so let's audit your marketing stack, what we think, the players, the pieces that you need to have in place, our recommendation to run our system, to run our playbooks, for the upcoming fourth quarter and it all starts with your tried and your true ESP, your email service provider. Now, all of you should have one if you're serious about selling your art online and off. And you can get one for free. That's the great news. If you don't have one, now is the time to start one. For the Art Storefront's customers we recommend MailChimp. We like MailChimp, great system to start out with, three plans, robust features, easy to use, et cetera, et cetera. I think they still have a free plan. I'm not positive about that, but I think they do.
Now, if you're more advanced in your marketing setup, then you probably have a more advanced system. Perhaps you have something with a little bit higher level of marketing automation. Okay fine, you're set. You're already good to go. Now what's important here is to have one in place, to get one set up, to go through the steps of setting one up, and be ready to start sending emails. Don't say okay, I'm gonna take it serious this year. I'm gonna get started. Patrick, you've motivated me, I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna set up an email the next week. I'll start the ESP this week. No, no, no. Let's get that baby all dialed in, all sorted out and done. Let's do it, August, September, great times to do that.
Now, what's next? Where's my notes? Okay. So, you're set up, you're ready to set up emails. Once your spreadsheet, what we just covered, is in proper order, what we're gonna want at the very least is to import everyone's first name, so you can personalize email to these folks, if you have it. If you don't, that's okay too. Plus their email addresses into your email service provider and get that ready to go.
Now, I know what a lot of you are saying Patrick, are you serious? You just had me add my friends, my family, my colleagues who I haven't spoken to in years. I just simply do not feel comfortable emailing all those folks out of the blue. There's just no chance I would do that. To which I respond, get over it. Get over it. You're gonna do it. I'm just kidding, you don't have to do it. Of course not. Of course not. Whether or not you do have emails that you want to send email to or not is irrelevant for step two, but step one, look. If you've got people on the list and you're gathering everything up and you trust me and you think this is a good idea, all you need to do is add one column to your spreadsheet and just put "Do I want to email this person?", and put no and then just don't import those people into your email service provider or give them a tag or [inaudible 00:16:53] merge fields, more on that later. I'm not saying that you have to email all of them, just stick with me on this, okay? But get everybody up and get everybody in because we can use that data later.
Now, also, if you're really, really just getting started, like you have a tiny list, like 25 people or 50 people or less, let's say 30 people or less, and you don't even wanna bother setting up an email service provider, you don't have to do that. You can just use your private email client. Because your list is so small that actually gives you the ability to really privatize a lot of these emails. Look, if you're only sending 20, you for sure can take the time not setting up the email service provider to put those emails all in one at a time, put in a nice little lovely note and send your marketing messages. So, more on that later.
Okay, that's your email service provider, the biggest piece, step one, the home base to our operation, right? Number two are gonna be your social accounts. Not to keep things simple, it really just comes down to two, Facebook and Instagram. Technically it's one company, Facebook owns them both. So, do you have a Facebook page for your photography or art? And also, do you have an Instagram account? You do? Good. If not, yes, you need to start both and get it done right now. It does not matter if you've got no content or if you're gonna start with zero followers. How are followers built? One at a time, right? One at a time. You start with one then you work on two.
Now, what is more important than just having the accounts is if you have not already, it's time to start an ads account with Facebook. Don't let it scare you, it's not scary, there's nothing scary there. It's really, really easy to do. It's really, really easy to do. Facebook owns Instagram as I made mention and so you can show ads on both in one handy little ads account, makes it pretty simple. And bonus, you can start the account for free. You can upload that list that I'm having you work on, the complete one, the one I referenced earlier with all of that data, everything that you've got, the kitchen sink. And by the way, it doesn't matter how incomplete or complete, you just throw everything in that you have and that's what you do. For free, you can take that list, you can upload it into the Facebook ads account and it will go and it will match the data you have on these people to their Facebook accounts.
And, as I made mention earlier, a couple of things. One, they've gotten so good that if you don't have email addresses, if you just have first name, last name and address, even if it was a known address, sometimes that's enough for Facebook to go and make the match. So, don't let the fact that you don't have an email put in your head why would I do this? Also, for all of you that said I've got all these people that I don't wanna email, there's no way. I shot this guys wedding 25 years ago, I'm not gonna just all of a sudden email him out of the blue and say hey, I haven't heard from you in 25 years, buy my art. Obviously I'm not suggesting you do that. That's the beauty of Facebook. You know what you can do? You can show that guy an ad, or show that gal an ad, or show that couple an ad and that's pretty non-invasive and they might just click on it because they're like huh, I haven't heard from that guy in years. Wonder what he's up to?
Okay, so you're gonna upload the list. We have an in-depth tutorial on this. It starts with the spreadsheet template I gave you and I'm gonna put that in the show notes and like I said, Facebook's gonna match this list, even without emails, to the folks on Facebook and Instagram. So you can show these people ads when the time comes. Now, what's awesome is once that audience is ready to go, it's ready to show ads to. It's an amazing thing. It's an absolutely amazing thing. And even if you don't plan to show ads this season, I would still do this step because it puts you one step closer and in the right direction.
Now, for those that the concept of running ads scares you to death or even the thought of investing a couple of bucks in your ad scares you to death, give me the chance, stick with me, give me the chance in the coming episodes to dissuade you from that sentiment. Please, give me a shot. You can do damage, especially with a small email list, for less than 100 bucks for the whole fourth quarter. You really can. Five and ten dollar spends sometimes are awesome and get the job done. This is the type of experience I want you to level up with. I'm gonna teach you. I'm gonna teach you. It's actually really, really easy and there's varying stages of difficulty along the process, but you take it one step at a time. It's no problem at all.
So, more to come on ads and yes, for you advanced folks, even the LTV, the lifetime customer value audience that I made mention to earlier, which is where you input how much art and the dollar amount you've actually sold to people, originals too, even if the sale came offline, doesn't matter. More on that later.
So, in addition to the ads account, what creating the ads account does is gives you access to what Facebook calls the Pixel. In simple terms, it's a tiny little line of code that you place on your website and when people visit your website, Facebook puts those people into an audience and then you can show ads to them. So that's a great next step. It's something that you need in your marketing stack and it's relatively easy to install and get set up with.
Now, I couldn't possibly speak to all the different various website platforms out there. Obviously if you're a customer we make this so easy, it's crazy. It's one of my favorite features of the whole thing, I have them program just for me. So, if your an Art Storefronts customer, you're over there. For all the rest of you guys, it doesn't matter what platform you're on, I've got a buddy that can help you get this done in two seconds. His name starts with a G-O-O-G-L-E, your website platform, how to install the Facebook Pixel. Very simple. There's gonna be just tutorials everywhere because this is such an important step. So, get that done.
Now we've got the Facebook page. Now we've got the Instagram page. Most likely you already had it, right? We're gonna start the ads account, especially if we've never started an ads account before. It's not gonna be scary. Yes, they're gonna ask you for your credit card, but they're not gonna charge anything until you turn the ads on, so it's free. Free to get started, free to just touch and taste, get your email list up there, and then as a next step get the Facebook Pixel, get that baby installed on your site.
Okay, so let's see what's next on the list. Let me just see this, go back to my notes. Oh that's right. That's it. That's it. That's really honestly it. If you wanna follow our advice on how to best market art this holiday, in the fourth quarter, that's it. Email, Instagram account, Facebook account, having your email list up so you can show them ads, and then eventually running the playbooks. That's it. That's really it. With just that, the amount of damage you can do, the amount of attention that you can get in this fourth quarter is going to be profound and significantly more than you were able to achieve last quarter. I've seen it happen too many times.
And so, we're gonna follow up on the podcast, on the coming episodes, for this next little fourth quarter sprint too. We're gonna walk you through step by step what to do. How to run the various different playbooks and how to incorporate everything that we just covered in those playbooks. You get this portion done, you are gonna be completely set up, you're gonna do your audit, you're gonna have everything in place, ready to go. So that's your job over the next coming weeks is to try and get as much of what we made reference to above, sorted, in place. Then comes the fun part, which is actually doing the work, but don't stress. Don't stress if you can't do it all either. You do what you can do and you get better. You do more of it the next time around and what's so important are just taking forward steps in the right direction.
I got to see, this last year especially, we have a wide base of customers, okay? Some are older, some are younger, some have an incredible level of tech acumen, some are just getting started, and you know what? Sometimes you struggle and it doesn't make sense and you're so angry and you wanna throw the computer through a wall, but guess what? You survived it, you learned how to do a few things, and now this next season you're gonna be better. You're gonna be better, you're gonna bolt on these next few layers and it's just digital marketing. It's effective digital marketing and there's no shortcut to learning how to do it. Good news is once you've got it it's just so smooth, so nice.
So, now, that's that, right? So, we're somewhat clear, I hope, on the job over the next coming weeks to get ready for the fourth quarter. Now, many of you are listening to this and you're like, okay, you did not tell me anything I didn't know, what a waste of the 15 minutes, I listened to your stupid rant about the Kardashians, what's in it for me, right? And let me tell you, don't worry. It's not it, okay? If you have messenger as a part of your marketing stack, congratulations on that move by the way. You know I love messenger. You know I'm extremely bullish on it. Well played. I'm gonna teach you how that integrates in to the playbooks 'cause it's part of updating the playbooks.
If you've got browser notifications built-in or you have a heavy Pinterest following or you're an old school and have a big mailing list, if you've got smoke signals, messenger pigeons, or even ravens, shout out to Game of Thrones, don't worry. I'm gonna literally include how to use anything and everything you have at your disposal this fourth quarter to get more attention and make sales. That's it.
So let me wrap it up. So that is that. We ID the attention, we go to where it is, we make sure we're there, Facebook and Instagram, have a Facebook account, have an Instagram account, and we put everything we have at our disposal that we can pull off to get as much of that attention as possible in a time of year when the wallets are out. And if it sounds simple, it is. It is. So, for the show notes and anything mentioned in this episode, you can of course just Google the Art Marketing podcast, you'll be able to find this episode. It's episode number 29. And get the spreadsheet, get any of the resources I mentioned, the tweets, whatever else. Or, if you're into messenger, if you like the bots, you can just pull that phone right out of your pocket, search for Art Storefronts, and you'll see our bot. You can get in there just like that.
So, that's it. In the coming episodes we're gonna deep dive. We're gonna give you the updated playbooks. I'm gonna give you every single solitary tool we have at Storefronts at our disposal to really help you make a serious push for sales in the fourth quarter. The wallets are out, I want you guys to win, let's do this. Thanks for listening and have a great day.
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We help artists & photographers open and run their own art gallery business online.
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Brought To You By Art Storefronts
We help artists & photographers open and run their own art gallery business online.