CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan) Develop Your Consistent Branding

27 01 2017

All businesses need branding, a set of iconic pieces which through name and graphic design will make a statement about who you are and what you do.


I am reticent to discuss design and branding too much with such a wonderful audience of talented artists, but I know that a few reminder points are always valuable – especially when we so easily lose our perspective in creating logos, designs and icons for and about ourselves.

Keep it simple.  No matter how hard you try, your logo won’t say everything you want to communicate about yourself and your brand.

Appeal to your largest target audience.

Make sure you have decided your mission and objectives before choosing your branding.

Get the opinion of those you value.

And once you have chosen your branding, be consistent.  There is nothing more important as you go forward than keeping your image consistent, because this is how you build exposure and potentially leverage your identity and intrinsic (and generated) value later in the licensing world.

CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan) Advertising

26 01 2017

Many artists ask if they should be advertising to build their business.  I think advertising is great and can be a helpful promotional tool. But it’s not worth advertising if you don’t have the expendable budget.


My advice is to save advertising, whether on Google AdWords, in a trade publication or in a dedicated trade show directory, for when you have begun to exhaust your promotional tool list – all the other items, such as exhibiting at a trade show, keeping up with social media, refining your website and creating feature articles for trade and consumer magazines and relevant internet sites.

What I don’t like to see is advertising be put ahead of all the other promotional tools which are, frankly, more cost efficient and often more effective (obviously depending on the media and your goals).

CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan) Public Relations

25 01 2017

Today public relations experts have a wide variety of ways and platforms in which to share a story.


They divide this new media mix into 3 categories: owned media (your website, email database and social media), earned media (traditional PR stories and articles featured on television, radio, print and electronic venues), and paid media (advertising).  The best media plans incorporate all of them to some extent.  But again, do what you can and do it well.

Once you have some social media exposure, give public relations a try.  Here are a list of the primary art, character and new brand subjects that the press will care about:

Trade – manufacturers & retailers (business-to-business: B2B)

  • New agent/artist agreements
  • Release of new collections
  • New deals between artists and manufacturers
  • New product lines from manufacturers
  • Sales results
  • Industry Events (trade shows & other)
  • Business announcements, promotions, alliances, etc.

Consumers – buyers (business-to-consumer: B2C)

  • New products and product lines
  • Where to find them in stores and online
  • Events (autographing, presentations, etc.)
  • Art shows, galleries

CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan) Social Media

24 01 2017

Social media, I will just go on record as saying, is public relations. But I have separated social media and public relations for our Money MAP exercise, since they require different tools and tactics to implement them.


Social media is has outgrown the ‘maybe’ to the full blown ‘gotta-be-in-it-to-win-it’ stage. So you either commit to doing social media or you stay out of the game and lose that potential connection to manufacturers, colleagues and customers (consumers).

But whatever stage you are at, make a commitment to doing one thing and doing it well.  For example, if you like to jot out notes multiple times a day as you do things, then Twitter is probably a great fit for you.  Once you decide, then stick with it before adding other social media platforms to your daily and weekly roster.  Here are a few tips to incorporate:

  • Tell Stories – let evidence start with a story, because people respond to stories, not data.
  • Be Creative and Artful – tell your stories through all the new tools available, Tumblr and Storify, as well as with video, photos and audio slide shows.
  • Choose the Right Channel – LinkedIn for business, Twitter for broader reach and topics, Facebook can get more personal, Pinterest can showcase collections and products.
  • Be Honest – social media has ushered in the age of transparency.
  • Work together – fuel your efforts by aligning and collaborating with people and organizations who share your same beliefs and causes; sharing hashtags can be a powerful way of rallying around a time critical event.

CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan) Personal Selling

23 01 2017

Wow, I just used the “S” word! Remember that creating art that fills a niche in the marketplace and creates happy faces, laughter and joy in people around the world is just step one.


It still needs to be presented to prospective licensees who might really appreciate being able to license your art to expand their market share and sales.  If step two doesn’t happen, you will never make any money.

To embrace personal selling, which includes sales calls, getting appointments and networking, you need to let go of the image of a used-car salesman (or other iconic ‘pusher’) selling people something that you don’t want. Instead, think about how ‘selling’ is presenting options and offering choices to those in decision-making positions.  XYZ manufacturer has a choice of art to grow his company, but if he doesn’t know about your stunning artwork, you can’t be considered.

Selling, as you have often heard and I will reiterate, is a numbers game.  The more companies you can present to and get your artwork in front of, the better you will do.  It’s time to get your thoughts about selling straight – to not reject selling yourself and your art, but to embrace it.  Also, to not take their rejection personally, but to say, “NEXT!”

  • Take the time to research, grow (and prune) your lead list.
  • Allocate time to follow-up on your newsletters, direct mailings, postcards, or other promotional efforts.
  • Schedule phone appointments when you can’t just ‘catch’ someone.
  • And attend local and national networking events where your B2B and B2C target audience can be found.

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