31 Days of Marketing Tips for All Art Licensors – Tip #1

1 10 2016

For many years now, I have been addressing the concerns of creators, through coaching, classes and blogging. While understanding the licensing model and its process is very important to being in this business, it really all boils down to two things. First, do you have a creative asset, whether it’s a cartoon character, art, writings or some other creative endeavor, and the desire to have it out in the marketplace? And, secondly, do you have the ability to sell it to others, both to businesses who can help you grow (B2B) the end-users, your fans and consumers (B2C)?

So literally, it’s your creativity and ability to market what you create that will make or break your capacity to build a business. Many creators have a passion for getting their work into the marketplace and into the hands of fans across the country and the world. However, that fiery passion becomes sludge in their veins when it comes to thoughts of marketing their work.

I see it every day. Honestly, the brands, art and characters that ‘make it’ are the ones which have a person and team to persistently sell and leverage their intellectual property assets. If you want to sell your art, either directly or through licensing, the same marketing skills are needed and it’s time for artists to get it through their heads (and hearts) that marketing and sales are not the enemy! They are in fact the only lifeline you have to creating an income from your ideas.

For the month of October, I am offering a terrific place to start with developing your marketing and sales skills. Some are small steps you can take to improve your marketing and sales, and improve your business.  They may be small quotes, but they are based on big ideas, and they all need to be practiced and accomplished.31-days-of-marketing-tips-for-all-art-licensors-tip-1

 

 

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Manufacturer Interview: Phil Cowley, CMO of Design Design Inc.

6 04 2016

Hi everyone, I appreciate your patience and support while I recovered from my hip replacement surgery. It feels so amazing to be back at my desk with renewed energy, a new perspective and motivation for moving life and business forward. Thanks to all of you who sent your well-wishes while I was recuperating!

www.designdesign.us

As most of you know, I believe strongly in building great, positive relationships. We find in art and character licensing, the 80/20 rule is just as true as it is in all the other industries. Specifically, this means that 80 percent of your revenue comes from only 20 percent of your clients. So in practical terms, to actually grow your revenue, you need to connect with as many people as possible. This means attending trade shows, talking to other artists, getting on the phone, asking those in-the-know for advice and finding industry events where you will meet the manufacturers and the decision-makers who will become the cornerstone of your licensing business.

The more you learn about what manufacturers want and are looking for, from the manufacturers themselves, the better you will be able to provide the appropriate art, in the proper format, to catch their eye and close your deal.

Not all manufacturers are willing to share this information. Fortunately there are some who will, such as Design Design’s Chief Marketing Officer,  Phil Cowley. I have worked with Phil on many occasions and he is such a wealth of information. In our interview, he shares intriguing insights about how manufacturers work, and specifically how Design Design works with artists.

Below I’ve listed just a few of the topics that are covered in this interview. I admit up-front, that the 30-minute length, is much longer than your average web interview. But I just couldn’t edit out any of the details. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and you’ll learn something, I’m sure. And thank you Phil for your time and so much valuable information!

  • What are the color and design trends for 2016?
  • What are the three most influential industries, when it comes to paper product designs
  • What is Design Design’s inside out approach to the marketplace?
  • What are their six key product categories?
  • What percentage of their product line is new each year?
  • How much art do they license?
  • How many artists do they work with?
  • How often does Design Design release new product?
  • What is the hardest greeting card (and other products…) category to fill?
  • Who are their primary retailer channels of distribution?
  • What exactly do they want from artists?

Final note: There are some audio issues on this interview due to internet fluctuations. We apologize in advance for making you have to listen extra-hard in a few places. This interview was taped in November 2016. The delay in publishing was due to my surgery. On all accounts, thanks for your understanding!

If you are interested in sending your portfolio of art to Design Design, Phil asks that you go to their Artists Inquiry page and download their Artist Guidelines for Artwork Submissions, which I’ve also linked to here for you. Please read this important information and then you can send your relevant artwork to their Senior Director of Creative, Tom Vituj at tom.vituj@designdesign.us

 

 

 





Sara B Shares Her Strategies for Licensing and Licensing Expo

1 06 2015

PrintI recently interviewed Sara Berrenson about her three-year-old licensing business. Newcomers to the industry will learn some great strategies if you listen carefully between the lines of this brief and informative interview. Sara shares a lot about her inspiration, as well as how she markets herself before trade shows and throughout the year.

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I have more in-depth interviews with artists, brands and manufacturers coming your way before and during Licensing Expo…so stay tuned in!








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