Marketing for Artists & Photographers January 19, 2015 07:12
Franklin NC native watercolor artist & photographer Michael M. Rogers
from the Heartland of the Great Smoky Mountains.I have been a watercolor artist my whole life. I have traveled out of state for art shows,
special events & personal appearances. I've had sold out limited editions. I've done trade shows
and sold my work to other galleries. I've done successful one-man shows. I've been a paid speaker.
I do not know another way of life. With the gift that I have been given I have always felt a sense of
purpose to Share the Beauty. I have been blessed. And I have been busy. For many years I have
wanted to have my own online store. A dream that was fulfilled last year. I had many false starts,
but with persistence and patience it has become a reality. I have been documenting the process
to share with those who have wanted the same thing. A way to connect with my family, friends
& customers. A single site where I can share and sell all my creations. I'm here to tell you that
it is possible. I have made many mistakes in my career and no doubt will make many more, but that
is part of the process of growing. To become more than we were before. Isn't that what all creatives
strive for? In time, I hope this blog will inspire you. Thank you, in advance, to those who come on
board for the journey.
First things first:
The last few years have been difficult for all of us in one way or another. The face of business
has changed forever. Forever! Many still won't accept this fact. We, as creatives, have been forced
to come up with alternatives to market and sell our wares. One of the best decisions that I made in the
last 8 years was to learn technology. From photo editing, printing and video to the internet. One of the
biggest online retailers on the internet , whom I buy from regularly myself because of price, reportedly
( if you believe it ) sold $75 billion in goods last year. That was $75 billion that was not sold in stores.
I'm sure many benefited, but where does that leave us. Is everybody just going to shop online?
Well, as I have found out in the last 15 years, the internet changes daily, trends develop & become
the next best thing only to disappear later.
Regardless, I believe that this is the future. A place online where you can create and share it with
the world, or at least those who actually like what you do.
I make it a point to learn something new about marketing every day. Ok, yes parts of this
are difficult, but that is kind of the point. To learn something new and take advantage of it.
I graduated from college in 1979. Back then I had a word processor ( I liked it a lot. It had a name.).
I also had a polaroid camera that took pictures & developed them right before your eyes.) Those
were the days........... Everything I know about computers, photo editing, printing my own work,
websites, email and marketing I learned on my own. It was like going back to school and still is.
Thank goodness I still have some hair left because I pulled a lot of it out trying to figure out
what the technical manual was talking about. Isn't it interesting how every manual you read
assumes you already know how to do what you are trying to find out what to do. Your comments
will be appreciated. You will have suggestions and questions. Let's talk about it.
The internet has made great strides and will continue to change in new ways we have
not even thought of yet.
Once the internet was created, I always wanted an online store. a place where I could sell any
product I came up with; Original Art, Fine Art Prints, Photography, Nature DVDs, Audio CDs,
afforable Wall Art and even digital downloads of eBooks, Photography & Mp3s. It would be great
if this site could link to Social Media, have a Blog with information, photos & video to share
the process of creating the products with customers. Last year I found such a platform.
The thing that made me go with Shopify, the thing that finally tilted in their favor was that
Shopify is their own payment gateway. Once you are a Shopify client, all you have to do is
provide your bank routing number and account number. Money from your sales is deposited 3 days
after you sell it directly into your account. This is quite wonderful. There is a small transaction fee
& a percentage of the sale, but you get to cut out the cost of a third party credit card processor,
thereby actually saving money.
At my age, (56) I am proud to report, that I did not have to call Shopify to set up any aspect of my
store. I did, however, spend hours and hours pouring over their excellent online manual.
I do plan on contacting them in the near future & thank them for creating this (online resource)
and wonderful opportunity for creative doers and thinkers. It will take weeks and months to take
advantage of all the possibilities. Well, what do most artists have the most of? Time....Time to start.
I get up early every morning. Always have. It is early morning as I write these words and I hope
every blog will have useful information that you can use right now, today. So here is the list of
what I use now and hope to improve on in the coming months:
- Facebook - Business Page - to alert family, friends and customers of new products.
- Youtube - Posting videos of painting, hiking and places to inspire artists and photographers
- Google + - I'm still learning this, great place to share blog posts directly from Shopify
- Pinterest - What? Are you not a member yet? Recent changes allow posts to connect to your online store.
- Twitter - This is about to explode for those who have video editing capability. Longer video posts are coming.
- Shopify - Online store and blog platform tailored for the Do-It-Your-Selfers. (Artists, Photographers, Craftsmen, Musicians)
There are also some incredible marketing & blogging advice sites. My favorite so far that I read every day is:
- Quick Sprout - Absolutely essential marketing and blogging advice. Great infographic charts.
When you run a store that is all you have time for. Run the store. Now I can run my store
right from my home studio. I encourage you to Read. Comment. Ask Questions.
Make Suggestions. I'm new to this.
There is a lot of ground to cover. Time to put on my hiking boots. Time to paint again.
Time to be inspired by the possibilities.
©Michael M. Rogers Share the Beauty - Michael M. Rogers Fine Art - Franklin NC