How to get the word out about your project
So you have a project, an idea, a prototype, or a new line of business you want to get started. It’s fantastic. You know all the inner working, all the machinations, and now all you have to do is get the word out and the monies will start rolling in and piling up.
For this example, I’m going to use a question a friend posed on Facebook this week. How to do you tell people that you are open for art commissions? I’m going to use this for an example, but trust me this can be used for just about any product, whether it’s art related or business related.
Now, most of this is going to be about your pre-launch strategy because frankly if you set everything up right before you start than the launch is the easy part.
STEP 1: Set up a Web Page.
The first step to any strategy is to make sure you have a website, or at least a webpage, where people can buy the thing you are selling. Most people start posting on social media or handing out fliers before they even have an end game set up. The thing is, this is really easy. You don’t even need to use your own site (though I recommend it). You can set up a PayPal page, or an Etsy store, or a Storeenvy page. But you need to send somebody somewhere in order to complete the buying transaction.
The reason I recommend using your own page is because you then have control over the layout. With any page, you want to create a sort of sales letter. These would be the reason that people should buy from YOU instead of one of the other thousand people that are doing the exact same thing.
Now, you might be saying “Russell, I already have fans. They already want my stuff. I don’t need this.” To which I say that you might have fans, but very few will immediately buy from you. Those diehard fans you will probably be able to find without any other work. It’s the people on the fence that will want to see what you have to offer.
Thus the web page. You are going to want to show your best work, your best art, and convince people why you are the one they want to make a commission for them. Not everybody is going to buy at first, which is why you will also need a mailing list pulldown from somewhere like Sumome or MailChimp. This is something you can only do on your own web page, but a pulldown with some free wallpaper or other free stuff will help get a base of business. These are people who aren’t ready to buy, but they are interested in what you do.
STEP 2: Find where your audience is.
This is going to take a little digging for some of you, but you basically want to find out where the people that want your product already are on the internet. For some people it’s Pinterest. For others it’s Snapchap. For artists, it’s surely going to be Instagram. Instagram is the best place to find people who want art, bar none. That is one of the main markets for art. So for an artist, you are going to need to set up an Instagram account and load it up with at least 20–50 images before you start pushing hard. You can find a lot of awesome hashtags like artvsartist that can help expand your intended audience.
STEP 3: Set up a publishing schedule
This is the last real step before you get to the selling of stuff. You want to make sure you have some content ready for these social sites, and you want to make sure you can keep creating for these sites on a regular basis. Whether it’s once a week or once a day, having a schedule is key. That schedule is going to keep people coming back to your content, and it’s going to get more people coming to your content over time as your audience grows. The more people that go to your content the higher it will rank and the more people will come to your page organically.
A Note About Sales Funnels: This is all about the sales funnel. You are trying to get the most amount of people to know about you so that some of those people will like you, some of them will trust you, and then some of those will buy from you. The most people at the top of your funnel, the more people at the bottom.
STEP 4: Find your ardent backers
So once you have your bases set up, you want to find your most ardent backers. These are the ones you know will want some art from you. You probably already know a few of them right now. You’re probably thinking about them as you are reading this. Those are the people most likely not just to buy your work, but to talk about your work with others. And that’s what we are going for. You want people to talk about your work so other people find it. So what you do at this point is offer them a steep discount on your work as long as they refer 5–10 other people to you.
STEP 5: Maintain your presence
Once you have these for systems set up, it’s about maintaining them. Once you have that initial rush of people wanting your work, it’s normal for a lull to happen. It’s normal to fizzle out, but you can’t. You have to keep up your mailing list. You have to keep putting up new work. You have to keep engaging the audience. You need a top of people at the top of your funnel in order to whittle their way down to the bottom, who are the buyers. Once you get that first trickle of people coming in as new business, all you have to do is keep feeding the top of the funnel and you will get more and more. The trick is in keeping the stamina. Most people will quit in a month or two when they aren’t getting the returns they want. However, the longer you are at it, the easier it will be. The higher you will rank on platforms and search engines, and the more work you will get.
And that’s how you get the word out and continue to get the word out over time. There are little tricks specific to your industry, but that’s the overall layout of how you build a social strategy. If you want to learn more about your social strategy, head on over to www.thebusinessofart.us/consultation and book a free strategy call today.
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