You cannot rely on talent alone to have a successful business. I know, I wish that was all it took too, but unfortunately, in order to make a living selling art products or services, you gotta do one thing: sell. I get it, selling is uncomfortable, selling feels icky, but let me give you my 5 key steps to becoming better at sales, that you can start implementing TODAY to generate more income!
*pssst…no used car salesman tactics required! Yipee!
1. Think like your consumer
Want my best piece of advice when it comes to sales? Think like your consumer. Who’s your target audience? What age group are they in? What are their hobbies and their interests? Where are they searching for similar services to yours? For example, is your customer on Pinterest gathering inspiration for their new baby nursery decor? Well, if you have a print that would fit perfectly in a little one’s room, how will your potential customer find you? Through search words and terms! Use key phrases and words in your titles and descriptions so you can become more discoverable by your ideal customer! Same goes for Instagram! Use language and hashtags that sound like your ideal customer. People LOVE to feel like they’re understood and heard.
2. What’s the value?
Think about how your product or service doesn’t just make sense in your potential customer’s life but how does it bring value to their life? If a customer believes a product or service is going to make their life better, more efficient, prettier, etc. in some way, they will purchase…it doesn’t matter how well you sell the product or service, if they don’t have a need for what you’re selling or if it doesn’t increase their quality of life, they won’t buy. So instead of listing the features or the quality of paper, etc. talk about it’s value. For example, how does this sound: Buy this new car! It’s black, has a beautiful leather interior and is equipped with Bose speakers! vs. Purchasing your dream car isn’t just about how you look, it’s about how you feel. Sure, that new leather smell is nice, but what about the feeling of safety you’ll have, knowing your little one is protected. Put your mind at ease and ride with confidence and safety without compromising style.
And it’s not just about what sounds valuable about your products or services…what value is your customer looking for? Really dig deep and do some research!
3. Know, like and trust
Have you heard that age-old phrase in sales: “know, like and trust”? It’s repeated over and over because it is incredibly important. When a customer becomes aware of you (through social media, Pinterest, your website, whatever), in order for them to retain interest and eventually purchase something from you, the need to know, like and trust you. How do they get to know you? Frequently pop in stories or on your blog, etc. and share bits about your life and story! How did you get started? Where are you from? What do you do in your free time? A great platform for sharing this is on Instagram stories. Just casually showing parts of your day can make you feel more relatable to your potential customer.
From here, talk to them like you’re talking to your best friend! Don’t hold back on your personality here, folks. YOU’RE TALKING TO HUMANS NOT ROBOTS. Write your captions, emails, blog posts, etc. like you would talk. For example, nooobody says, “We strive to provide our customer with products and services which meet and exceed their expectations.” Instead, try: “We don’t do mediocre. In fact, going above 100% is our middle name…we’re obsessed with YOUR exceeding expectations!”
Do you see the difference? The second option is more playful, more candid AND brings it back to the customer by saying “your.” This makes it more personal, gets the customer to like you because you’re relatable and trust you because…who doesn’t trust their best friend?!
4. GIVE GIVE GIVE
Once you’ve gained the trust of your audience/potential customer, it’s time to SERVE them up! Free, valuable content is the way to people’s hearts. Imagine it from the customer’s point of view: Let’s say you send out weekly emails to your list, and each email contains some bit of advice or instruction on how to get them from point a to point b, OR maybe it answers burning questions that your audience has…whatever it might be, when it comes time to PITCH that potential customer, guess what they’re thinking? “Man, if her FREE content is this good, her paid content (courses, products, services, whatever) must be AMAZING!!”
Don’t covet your secrets! For example, I regularly post blogs and send my email list content that I know will help them move the needle in HUGE ways for their creative business. For example, just last week I posted a blog on how and when to copyright your artwork, all because it’s a question I get asked all the time AND I’ve also struggled in this area! Giving away some of your best content or information is what turns potential customers into raving fans! These raving fans then share your work with their friends and become return customers!
5. Tell YOUR story. It’s the most valuable gift you can offer your customers
And to wrap it all up, share YOUR story, not someone else’s. I get it, it’s hard to hear your voice in all the chatter… there are so many successful creatives, successful business owners, successful *you name it,* but there is only ONE you. What makes you unique? Are you self-taught? A stay at home mom who opened a shop on the side? The elements that make you unique are the ones that make you relatable. Behind every brand is a human and with our lives happening behind screens more and more these days, the craving for genuine, human connection is only growing deeper. People are looking for it on their social media platforms and through brands that they can support and connect with.
So, when it comes down to it, selling is really just sharing your story. Why do you love what you do or the people you serve? Don’t just state the facts about what you do or who you serve…tell us WHY and how it fits your story!