Tomorrow at 12 noon PDT (3 pm EDT) is my next Ask J’net Q&A. Please join me for a lively discussion of all things ‘licensing’ and make sure you send in your question(s) to be answered. There is still time.
Here is a link to register for tomorrow’s live event. The morning before the event you will receive the Dial-in Number and Access Code to join the class, so watch for it in your email. I look forward to answering as many questions as possible in the hour, and as always, the Ask J’net Q&A is FREE for everyone who registers. Don’t let your questions go unanswered!
- Not Understanding the Licensing Industry – anytime you even consider opening a business you need to understand its related industry. Knowing your market and marketplace is vital to running and growing your business.
- Not Knowing that Your Web Site is One of Your Most Important Marketing Tools (and Treating it Like One) – Overlooking the importance of your web site is a critical mistake you want to avoid. Your website is your 24/7 sales hub, and unless you know how to convert web visitors into buyers, you should find a professional to design your site.
- Not Realizing that Mock-Ups are Critical to Your Success - Manufacturers have a lot of choices for art, characters, brands and properties these days. So what used to be a bonus move on your part, is now the expected form of presentation. You really need to go the extra step to help manufacturers envision your creativity on their product types and, if possible, their exact products. In today’s competitive world, being a product designer is critical to your success.
- Not Getting Good Advice – You will come to many forks on the road to success, with critical decisions to be made. Decisions can be made through guesswork and intuition, but also getting good advice at the right time WILL save you time and money along the way. Early on, you need to identify who you can go to for various types of and levels of advice.
- Not Knowing Who Your Audience is – I find over and over again that coming into the licensing arena artists are very confused about who they should be targeting. If you don’t know who your target audience is for business-to-business efforts, not to mention your consumer reach, you are throwing your efforts away.
- Not Spending Time Selling – If you know who your audience(s) is, but you refuse to spend time selling to them, then your business will not be successful. Frankly, many artists are looking for help with agents and other professionals, so they can spend more time ‘being creative.’ And while I agree with this, you can’t spend ALL of your time on the creative aspect of your business. It’s still a business, and you need to spend time ‘selling’ to get an agent and then to support and manage them.
- Forgetting That It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint– Many lists of ‘mistakes to avoid’ contain this axiom, but that’s because IT’S JUST SOOOOO TRUE! If you are in it for the long haul to achieve maximum results, then decide how to pace yourself.
- Not Knowing That Timing (and Luck) Matters– Sometimes you have to recognize that the right idea at the wrong time, just won’t fly.
- Not Building Relationships– All-in-all, licensing is a relationship business. Make sure you are doing everything you can to build and maintain relationships. Licensees, those manufacturers, sponsors and retailers, are your business partners, just like your agent. So time invested in the relationships is critical to your business growth.
- Not Trusting the Team You Have Chosen – If you’re hiring people to help you, trust their advice. You chose them for a reason, I hope, so take advantage of their expertise. Look for someone with a good track record in the industry who understands the market. Then let them do what you’ve hired them to do, otherwise, what’s the point?