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Some defense of marketing


#1

Hi everyone, I Just finished 5 weeks of meeting with a marketer and
I was angry and confused most of the time when I talked to her. To
sum up her advice. She said my work was very beautiful, creative
and well crafted but it was only appealing to a very small,
exclusive percentage of people and if I didn’t somehow regularly
cross paths with those people I was not going to make money (and
she’s right about that). Her advice was to watch trends very
closely, see what is selling and find a way to incorporate those
things into my work. Though I protested loudly, that I could not
get into shows with that type of work, so on and so forth. She would
chide me not to always come back with “stops” and “negatives”. I
think her advice not to get too attached to any particular way of
working because it buries you in your own little nice hole was not
really bad advice. The problem is finding a way to do those things
and still keep your artistic integrity - Finding a way to do those
things and then maybe finding different venues to sell them in. For
instance, what is a media kit and is that what you need to approach
stores or boutiques?? Bottom line for me is I have to make money.
I have galleries calling me for my work , but what good is it for
them to have it if it just sits there.

Any thoughts on this dilemna are very welcome.

Grace


#2

Is this the same person who posted about the marketer and teen
magazines? I’ve never heard of freelance marketers and now – two
postings in one week.

As I said before, pick your expert carefully, make sure they know
our industry. (Well, on this list, we have more than one
industry, but I meant contemporary crafts.)

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Certified PMC Instructor
@E_Luther


#3

Grace,

You need to get out of the studio and broaden your sphere of
influence. The more people you know the better off you are. some
examples- When was the last time you went to a gallery opening that
was not yours or related to jewelry? When was the last time you
admired someone’s jewelry that they were wearing, introduced yourself
and handed them a business card? When was the last time you donated
a piece of jewelry to a non-profit fund raiser and spent the evening
working the gala or fund raiser? These are just a few of the things
I like to call personal marketing. The old clich=E9 of “it is not what
you know it is who you know” is a clich=E9 because it is true. If you
want to sell high end designer jewelry to a private clientele you
have to travel in those circles.

I also try to sell in galleries , but have found that the demand on
resources to supply galleries on consignment does not always justify
the income derived from them. I usually try to have a couple of sales
a year in my own studio and invite my clients to come and see my new
work. Obviously Christmas is one time and the other is in the spring.
I also tell each new client that part of the price of the piece they
have just purchased is to refer me two more clients. This is right
from the salesman’s hand book. Make a sale and ask for referrals. I
do not advertise as a rule and that is the only way I can continue to
grow. Sometimes the customer comes through and sometimes they do not.
It does not hurt to ask.

My client list at this point is well over 300 people that I have
acquired in the last 6 years. This is an active list with no dead
wood. My best advise is to search out the non-profit organizations in
your town, both arts and social services. Go out and volunteer or
donate. These organizations can be a great means of contacting the
type of client you are looking for. You also are putting something
back into the community that you are asking to support you. Not all
of your donations will be fruitful from a personal income point of
view ,but all will be fruitful in the long run. Just a profitable
example. I can trace over $75,000 of sales to referrals from a
customer that bought his first piece from me at a silent auction
that was an arts fund raiser. Not bad for a $100 investment. The
opposite is I have donated to a local aids support group for five
years in a row and have never received a single new client. They
however have raise over $4000 for aids research from my donations. My
2 cents and advice. Frank Goss


#4

I think that it is OK to make things that only appeal to a small,
exclusive group. The thing is, you may want to devote time/energy
to defining the characteristics, behavior and habitat of that group,
so you can go where they are, speak their language and sell to them.
You may also want go gather contact about your current
customers, both to aid you in this endeavor and so you can continue
to cultivate them. Do sell directly to your customers? If not, how
do you know who they are and what they want?

What are some common characteristics of your customers? Social
class? Education? Gender? Special interests?

Why do people buy your jewelry? Some buy jewelry in order to
conspicuously display their wealth, some buy to display their
artistic sensibilities or taste, some buy because of a percieved
spiritual or metaphysical connection with the piece, etc. If you can
define the motivation, you use that in your marketing.

Trying to ape percieved fashion trends in one’s work does not sound
like it would be fun for you (it wouldn’t be for me, either,) and
it would tend to work against your developing a recognizable style
and body of work. Better to find out what kind of people buy your
work, why they buy your work, and where/how you can meet them.

My 2 cents from someone who should be doing more of this himself :slight_smile: