We introduced you to Stephanie Hill-Ross, Artist-Owner of Producktion Central, in "Climb the Ladder of Exhibit Spaces." This week, you can read how Stephanie continues to actively market her art to a captive audience in her Salon Tour.
"As the customers came in and got settled before their appointments, I was able to introduce myself and enlighten them about the pieces that were on exhibit in the salon. I was also able to access the shampoo areas and talk to some of the customers while their hair was being washed while handing out my promotional information.
"Then, I went over to the dryer area and found some of the clients were already browsing through my catalog. After their drying times were over, I came back to them to discuss what they saw in the catalog and obtained their information for my client listing.
"After working the salon floor, I went down to the lower lever to the newly opened barber shop and took my portfolio with some actual print sample pieces that were not on display. The barber on duty liked what he had seen earlier when he had assisted me in bringing the pieces from my car when I initially delivered them to the salon. He stated that he was interested in purchasing a couple of prints for Valentine's day. I gave him my pricing and a coupon and advised him to place his order on line at the website, and I can come back next week to pick up the money once he's made a decision.
"There is also a retail boutique on the upper level from the salon that is owned by a famous gospel singer named Vickie Winans. I stopped in there and left promotional material with the manager who used to work in the salon downstairs so she was familiar with my work and advised me that she would forward the promotional materials to people that could have solid interest in my work and could possibly purchase them...
"From the 4 hours invested in meeting with the customers at the salon, I collected a total of 20 new potential clients to my listing plus increased my exposure. The majority of the customers in the salon all attend the same local church, so who knows, word of mouth is sometimes better.
"In closing, I've enclosed the photos I took on Saturday for you to share with the rest of the community. I will continue to keep you updated with the results and thanks for your guidance and wisdom."
Again, Stephanie is doing a lot of things right. Here are four more lessons you can apply to your art business:
√ Marketing is a series of conversations designed to build a bridge between you, your art and your audience. Stephanie "worked the salon floor" methodically. She got out from behind her "booth" and followed clients around the salon. She focused on times when she had a captive audience.
√ Your mailing list is the shortest distance between an event and possible sales. Stephanie built her mailing list so she can stay in touch with her new connections. Building relationships is the bedrock of making sales.
√ Network, network, network. Stephanie seized the opportunity to go beyond salon clientele to neighboring businesses. These people are all part of a larger community at the local church. She is building a local sales force by networking.
Well done Stephanie! Being entertained with art and conversation sure beats reading about entertainers in People magazine.
Maybe the local hair salon is not the venue for you, but there are captive audiences everywhere. Where are yours?
Please share your success stories here.
P.S. A.C.T. Mentor and fine art photographer Bruce K. Haley, Jr. is another example of how to grow an art business by night while being employed by day. Diversification is one of Bruce's ways of attracting more sales. And you don't have to be a photographer to learn from his examples. If you are, that's a bonus. How to Attract More Art Sales and Generate Cash Flow