Utterly Irrelevant

Scenario: You're walking down the mall corridor, you see an upscale designer clothing and jewelry store. You whip out your business cards and walk gracefully over to the store manager. "Hello, I'm a handmade artists. I would like to show you my art, would you like to buy any? They are on sale today for 25% off!"
by HeartFeltGiver

Now, most of us won't do that. We know what the answer would be, most of the time. These retail stores might, by some broad chance, accept consignment, but for the most part, they are more interested in escorting you off the premises for soliciting.

Why would you do that with your jewelry 24/7? There is a lot to be said for supporting each other and soliciting each others' work in a community of artists, but we are still soliciting to people who are not interested in buying our hand crafted artwork.  And what seems to be worse, when sales are slow or null, we solicit even more, spamming our friends with a multitude of post about sales, this item, that item. That usually causes them to "unsubscribe" to you.

You're work is worth far more than that.  Don't sell out to low prices and networking in an audience that is irrelevant to your market. You might sell a couple of items, but only to your close friends that love your work because they love you.

In a tough economy, you want to seek out the right audience. The reason most poor neighborhoods lack good health food stores, is the market is bad, and not enough is sold to support the store. Poor neighborhoods are full of people who don't have the extra funds for extravagant high quality organic and imported foods.  They are only interested in the cheapest deal they can fit into their tight family grocery budget.  That is why the local Dollar store thrives in neighborhoods such as this.

Why solicit to other artists who are trying to sell their art also?

So here is my challenge to you: first, identify your market. Reducing your prices may not be the answer. That just invalidates your handmade work. We love to support each other, but it comes down to mingling and rubbing elbows with those who really want quality work and will buy it because the want it, not because they can afford it. A fashionable woman with no mind to the price, will see the low price and not even give it a glance. She knows the good stuff will be worth the price.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1. Who would like my artwork?
Ex: art counnaisseurs and those who hate generic, dime store Chinese reproduced items. Possibly the middle and upper class.  Fashion lovers, soap-opera gossipers, etc.
Swarovski crystal inlaid toilet

2. Where do they live? (demographics)
Ex: big cities, corporate areas, maybe the country and mountain communities, etc.

3. What is the targeted income levels of my ideal audience?
Ex: Middle and upper class

4. What other things would they be interested in?
Here are a few examples:

  • Ex: If you sell aprons, your audience loves recipes, children's toys, stories for kids, crafts, hobbies, cooking tools, home remedies, sewing etc. 
  • Ex: If you sell Stuffed animals, your audience might like kids crafts, home school lessons, baby items, story books, collectors facts, how to tutorials.  Blog articles on what funny things my baby did today, health matters of an infant,  fun online safe games for kids links, etc.
  • Ex: If you sell art jewelry, your audience might be mothers, newlyweds, brides, teens, movie stars, beach lovers, fashion gurus. They would love romance novels, eccentricities(depending on the style of jewelry you make),  fashion magazine, etc. Blog on an idea you read in a fashion magazine. 
  • Ex: If you sell candy, your audience will be just about any adult, but a good part would be men. Women will stop by their local bakery, or make it themselves. So blog on what women want most for Christmas. Tell your male audience what a woman loves about getting gifts from a man. Blog on sports. 
If you have the mindset that any and all people would be interested in your hand crafted art, you need to reconfigure your perspective. 

I know some of these ideas seem out of the ordinary, and odd, but it will bring in an audience relevant to your hand crafted items.  You will find a new following with customers who will come back again and again.

Susan ~ ArtFire LInk
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