CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan): Monitor Your Success

3 02 2017

monitor-your-successWhether you plotted your Marketing Action Plan on a big wall or Google calendar, or even a spreadsheet of your own making, this is your plan to succeed and evaluate as only you can.

If you did indeed create measurable goals, then as you execute each step of your plan you should start to see results, or at least the steps which will lead to the resulting leap.

It’s important to stick to your plan and to share your plan with friends and family, so they can help you in any way you ask. Sometimes just their knowing you have a plan you are determined to succeed at is enough. Often getting their help in sticking with your schedule, preserving your creative time and space, or helping bolster you when it’s time for those sales calls is all so-so valuable.

Then get down and track those measurable items, how many collections, presentations sent, sales leads and sales calls. The last step is to compare your results to your goals. The more detailed you are in each step, the more you’ll be able to adjust your goals and tactics in coming years, as the objectives change and get bigger!


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) Define Your Budget

30 01 2017

Budgets, and especially marketing budgets, can vary greatly.  The most important factor here is to acknowledge that you need one to run a business and it’s best to establish one for the year.


I really don’t care if it’s $100 or $10,000, or more.  The important thing is to set one.  If you don’t, you’ll probably spend more than you expected and either use funds you don’t want to use or worse, don’t have.

Once a budget is established, you’ll want to have your MONEY MAP (outlined on a calendar) completed before you allocate your funds to a few or variety of different purposes throughout the year.

Remember to do as much as you can yourself.  This requires understanding your own skill sets and where you have strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what you CAN and WILL do yourself will invariably help you determine what you need to outsource.

Track your spending, so you know when your dollars are spent or freed up.  And then you can identify specific projects that will require additional dollars.

November’s One-A-Day Q&A – Question #6

6 11 2016

Q: How hard is it to license art without Photoshop experience?november-q-a-final

A: Tough. Photoshop and the full Creative Suite from Adobe are really vital tools for the art licensor today. They have made it easier for people to work from home and given freelancers and entrepreneurs the ability to send files and get production done from a long distance. Therefore, having Photoshop is really, really important – more important than ever before and practically essential.

I have spoken to many creators and they recommend investing in the full Creative Suite with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat Pro. These will enable you to translate your art into presentations, mock ups and the files needed by the manufacturers. If the cost is too much to bite off in one chunk, the latest option is a cloud based version of the full program which will run you about $35 per month. The bonus here is that you will always be using the latest version.

Now, of course, you don’t have to learn Photoshop yourself, if you’re capable and willing to figure out another way to get the Photoshop work done. You need someone who can take your designs and put them in Photoshop for mock ups and presentations. They will also need to be able to send production files to the manufacturer when you get each licensing deal.

What you have to do is keep in mind how not having these skills will affect the revenue of your business. It is not impossible to run a licensing business without knowing Photoshop, but you will then have to hire someone to do it, as well as figure in the time factor. I would say learn Photoshop if possible, or be prepared to pay for the services which will impact your bottom-line significantly.


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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