Artists - taking your business digital?

Updated: Jan 21

Start with needs

Every successful business is based on fulfilling a need. Don’t be fooled into thinking art is different. It isn't, we are emotional creatures and we buy largely for emotional reasons. We buy products or services because they make our lives easier, they make us feel good, they make other people feel good etc. Sure there are some purchases which are more logical than emotional say if you are buying a new mop but you are far more likely to buy the bread you love rather than the 35p loaf unless you don’t much care about bread.

We are in times of unprecedented change for everyone. There are no experts anymore, we all have to adapt our knowledge and skills to move forward. Now, This current position hopefully won't last too long, but some of our previous normalities will most likely change some may even be gone forever. I know we are talking today about taking the physical digital, but I think we need first to take a look at fulfilling those needs. I recommend we approach it like this

Starting with a 3 stage why question

  1. Why did our client buy from us before Covid 19?

  1. Why are or aren’t they buying now?

  1. Why will they buy from me in the future?

The first two questions are mostly based on information we have. The last one is our best guess at how the world is going to look. Take some time to work this out. Once we have this information we can make a plan or change our existing plan. We may have to rethink what we offer because the need has changed and we may well have to have to rethink our distribution strategy. Once we have those 3 questions answered we can easily find ways to make it work. All we need to do that is determination.

But now let's take a look at a few ways we can tap into the tech.

Art merchandise.

I’m sure some of you are doing this already, but can what you do be put onto or become something people want to buy? Then it's just a question of production and distribution drop shipping may provide a solution here, getting your sales channel right will be key too.

Can you Teach a skill?

Do other people want to do what you do and are you willing to teach them? There are some great platforms out there such as Skillshare where you can earn from your skills, there’s a major issue for our young ones right now if you can be ready quickly.

Sales & Distribution

These factors may be your only issue and this is solvable. There are lots of good selling platforms out there, and great couriers too.

Hands free interactions

Be present with your art when you’re absent. I have a blog post AR for SMEs which explains AR usage much better than I can in the time we have today. Adding qr and ar codes to physical products, especially art is a game changer. Some are fun and some are serious. The net result is you can draw in and track your audience interaction by doing something once. Good planning will mean you can change your message without changing your print. For example your client is standing outside your closed studio and wants to get in touch - what can you do to maximise the opportunity that you would generally be unaware of?

Check out the image below. I recommend you put a qr scanner app on your smartphone if you don’t have one already, this is going to be a very useful tool. Then if you bring the image up on another device such as your laptop or tablet you can see how the different types of codes work. The reason you can’t do it from your phone is you’ll be using it as a scanner.

Let's take a quick look at the 5 different types of qr codes in turn. When you scan them with your smartphone come at them from the outside - away from the screen. Your phone is hugely powerful and it will pick up the first one it sees - it’s irritating if you keep capturing the same one!

Let's start with the small green text message top right. This one is perfect for fast short interactions. Your mobile number is programmed in with the message you want to receive which the enquirer can then add to before sending. Think about if you are able to answer this within the enquirers expectations and to your convenience. Picture the scene, you have this type of code on your high street door, the high street has a great night time economy. Do you really want potential clients messaging you in the evenings when you're busy elsewhere, plus if you don’t answer they are going to be disappointed. That’s a big no no. Better to choose another code in that scenario. One where this would work really well is when clients are visiting and you are not sure where you will be on the site. You are waiting for their text and can go meet time when it’s received.

Next let’s look at the dark blue code top right. This is an email code. It’s perfect if you want to have an open ended conversation where you can attach documents, links etc. Please be sure to follow GDPR rules -take a look at our blog GDPR,SSL and Google for more information or check out our compliance quiz.

The large blue code bottom left is your business card. This puts all your information directly into the users phone. No more looking for your number, it’s directly in the gadget that they engage with more than any other - an average of 20 hours each week! It’s great for those occasions where you run out of business cards too. We offer an aluminium business card service with codes built in. You hand your enquirer the card, they scan it and hand it back. It’s better for the environment too because we use much fewer cards.

The pink one in the middle goes directly to a URL of your choosing. I recommend you send this to a specially set up webpage that way you can change the page information as often as you want without reprinting. We have the perfect platform for this and we believe this will be a private social platform or channel for businesses in the future.

And finally the little red one, bottom right, this gives a secret message when clicked. It can be worked into your art in whatever creative ways you guys come up with. The codes are printed on flat substrates such as wood or metal for you then to work your magic. It could even be a limited addition tracker, providing more information without impacting too heavily on the work.

QR codes are cost effective, fast to produce and more flexible than ever before. We can produce them often on the same day as your request.

If you are looking for a more elegant solution then AR codes are amazing but are much more costly to produce. Don’t forget to check out our blog page on this one. There may be funding available for AR projects in the form of R & D tax credits provided the criteria for innovation is met.

Finally This is our practical application of a code it’s an aluminium door sign for shop, studio etc. Can be used indoors or outdoors.

How we can help

That’s about it from me. Just to say Sometimes we are too close to what we do to find the answer so I’m offering a free half hour session to anyone who’s struggling, to figure out the answers to these questions and we have our half day workshops running too. There is a wealth of information on our website under our marketing for SMEs header. Please feel free to email me at any time. Oh and if you want to purchase aluminium business cards or door signs. They are shipping now.

Stay safe and stay awesome!