CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan): Outline Tactics to Achieve Goals

1 02 2017

outline-tactics-to-achieve-your-goalsHere is where the rubber hits the road, so they say…or the art hits the product.  You need to take the time to carefully write down all the tactics, the exact and detailed steps that you must execute to achieve your marketing goals.  Now if you have been following along, you may remember that ‘Prioritizing Your Products & Promotions’ is really where you need to focus your objectives, and therefore, your tactics.

So how will you spend your time to meet and exceed all those targets? And here is a key fork in the road, because if you don’t know what to do to achieve those goals, you need to get help and some answers.  A bit of mentoring, coaching or colleague advice at these critical points can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Spend a bit of your time and budget to know you are doing the right thing to get to this year’s finish line.

Once you know what you need to do (and in most cases, your tactics will include times you know what you need to do and some where you needed help figuring it out), then get them down on paper and jot down any related timing and budget issues. It is also important to consider any assistance, and other factors necessary, to complete the tactics.

Here is where you can consider themes to entice new audiences and reconnecting with existing licensees to expand your business.  Also make sure you plan for time to market existing successful collections to new manufacturer licensees.

If creating your own product which you sell to leverage toward future licensing deals, then get those details on your tactic list.  Remember that each item needs to start with its conclusion, so you can work backwards to create a time frame for achieving the goal and incorporating your budget items.


Create Your Money Map (Marketing Action Plan)

9 01 2017

create-your-own-mapI am always asked by artists how to develop a marketing plan.  And more often than not, it’s prefaced by something like, “Why can’t it be simpler and still do the job?” I actually agree; many marketing plans are unwieldy. What you are really looking for is an action plan that takes into consideration who you are, what you can accomplish, and what you must do to achieve your financial goals (and stretch goals).

With this in mind, I created a MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan) that is designed specifically for artists who want to license their art and accomplish as much as possible this year!  I recommend you sign up for our daily RSS feed (button on the right), so you will get the All Art Licensing blog each day in your in-box, so you won’t miss a step of this vital plan.

My MONEY MAP is a great way to create an action plan that is thorough, but not as extensive as a full-blown marketing plan. It’s a simplified (and manageable) marketing plan.  Follow along daily, as I reveal and explain components of a MAP, so you can create your own.

The best way to create a Money MAP (Marketing Action Plan) is to begin by answering the core questions I will outline in the following blog posts.  Then at the end I will show you how to apply those answers to a schedule or calendar format. This is your final marketing action plan (MAP) – how you plan to take action and create money.

November’s One-A-Day Q&A – Question #13

14 11 2016


Q: I have developed a portfolio of very cute animals, no stories, just whimsical animals. Where do you suggest I start trying to license them? 


A: It really depends on your audience and if the whimsical animals are for kids or for adults. You have to start by identifying your target audience. Then develop a list of products that would work well with the images. Make sure to choose products that will allow the characters to live and have space. For example, a pencil doesn’t give a lot of space, but a backpack, t-shirt and blanket do.

Once you have a strategy that includes who your target audience is, and the best products to start with, then you know where to focus your efforts. I always recommend starting with three product categories in which each category may have many specific types of products.  For example, stationery products includes everything from greeting cards and stationery to stickers and notepads (to name a few).

Keep in mind that there are some products, such as wall art and paper products, which are easier to license in the earlier stages. Another important element is to have your whimsical animals available for manufacturers mocked up in designs, including patterns and borders. These designs should highlight your imagery on the manufacturer’s specific type of product, say, infant décor and layette, rather than just offering the characters alone or in scenes. Sometimes including them in designs with holiday themes can help get them on products faster. Just remember, the strategy comes first, then you can determine what would be the best venue for licensing your whimsical animals.



November’s One-A-Day Q&A – Question #11

9 11 2016

Q: With the understanding that it is the design on the product that one is pushing, would it be wise to send a manufactured product to a company, if you already make the product instead of using Photoshop?november-q-a-final

A. Most creators do mock-ups, of course, and they are created for a sales presentation with Photoshop to showcase their art on products produced by that manufacturer. That is the best way to promote your art and get the manufacturer to envision producing their products with your art on it. If you want to send an actual product, it’s important to make sure that you send your design on a type of product that they produce; do they produce tee shirts, mugs, aprons, flags or what?

If you have manufactured products that you now want to license, then yes, you can send a sample to a manufacturer. I wouldn’t go and have a product manufactured to send to a manufacturer, because they are going to find too many things wrong with it. But, if you happen to have it and you want to send it to them, it could get them excited.

I am going to give you some cautionary thoughts, because the manufacturers are going to come up with a lot of questions as to why you sent them an actual product.

A manufacturer may wonder why you’re seeking a licensing partner if you’re already producing the product. Will they be confused? Sometimes at trade shows, if you put the product in your booth, I know a manufacturer might walk by thinking you’ve already licensed that product and they don’t need to talk with you.

Maybe they are going to want the sales numbers because they know that you’ve manufactured and sold this product already.A re your sales good enough to share and keep the manufacturer interested and sell them on licensing your art? Also, will they be satisfied with the quality of the product, or are they going to think that their product is better, and why did you do this?

Just be prepared to answer these and more questions, if you want to send a real product sample, whether P.O.D. or manufactured. Since you can get a manufacturers’ attention by doing mock-ups in professional presentations, whether sent by email and by regular mail, perhaps it’s not worth the time, effort and risk of confusion?


November’s One-A-Day Q&A – Question #5

5 11 2016

Q. I don’t want to seem desperate, so how much is too much when it comes to sending emails with my work to potential companies or agents?november-q-a-final

A. I always feel like there is a fine line between staying in touch and being a nuisance. I think that you need to begin by separating the type of follow-up that you are doing. That would be my advice to start; because there are people that you’re following up with that are unsolicited leads.  For example, manufacturers that you’ve put on your lead list and you’re sending them something and are looking for a reaction. If you are sending new art and designs on a quarterly basis, I’d give them a call and send an email (a few times), but if you don’t ever get a response, you may want to try other ways to get a reaction. It may mean continuing to send those quarterly mailings, or designing something specific for them and sending it via overnight mail.

But if you are following up with someone you met at, for example, Surtex or the Licensing Show, then it’s different.  If that person said to you, “Please send me your designs right away and let’s talk later in July,” you would want to respect their request. Then if they don’t respond to you, after you have followed their instructions, just remind them nicely in another email or phone message. You’re just trying to move things forward. So clearly, I would pursue this type of lead more often and not give up!

Another thing to consider is: you can’t predict what happens in life.  You really have no idea if they’re traveling, something bad has happened, they just got busy or overwhelmed, strategies changed, or maybe they have lost their job or took a new job. You just never know.  All you can do is call every other week and try to change your message a bit each time.

You need to do things that will keep you motivated and try not to feel like a bother. Remember, it’s their job to look at all the fantastic art and characters out there in the world and to choose what they believe will help increase the sales of their products. If you don’t have a track record of sales, try to think of ways to counter that. Why do you believe your art will sell their product?  What results (fan base, P.O.D. sales or other examples) can you show to convince them to take a chance on you?

So, call someone back a little less when you’re following up on an unsolicited mailing, email or call.  But if you went the extra mile and created something just for them, then by all means you deserve a response one way or the other. Once, a phone call. Next, an email.  Another phone call; then give it a breather.  Then another phone call, do a mailing, send them an article that relates to their business, or a hand written note.  These are just some different ways that you can keep going back to them.  At some point they’re going to realize that you are very serious about getting to speak with them—and you can always make light of that.

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