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Tips and Tricks: Marketing Basics

September 21, 2012
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If you think that creating an image or shooting a photograph, designing it into a greeting card, and uploading it to GCU is the  formula to lots of sales and success … you’re wrong. Sitting back and expecting the sales to roll in is only going to lead to disappointment. Your job’s just begun.

There’s a lot more that goes into the winning formula, and you’ll have to work to get those sales and earn those artist’s commissions every quarter. Sure, GCU does it’s own marketing – but they’re marketing the concept, the business, the whole enchilada, if you will. If you – the individual, the artist, the photographer – want to sell your individual product, you’ll need to put yourself out there and market yourself.

Don’t be shy. Don’t say, “oh, I couldn’t do that!” Because if you don’t put some marketing time into your cards, some other artist who has no such problems will take your share. Not because they’re mean and greedy, but because as GCU has grown, the field has become more competitive.

If you want to earn income, you need more than a great product. You need to develop marketing skills and promote yourself. Here are some basic self-marketing tips to help you along the way:

SOCIAL MEDIA

Artists can develop a following on social media sites like Facebook. Some use a “thank you, customer in Des Moines, for purchasing our 115 Birthday Card with an Elephant on a Unicycle!” type format to post a card image and link. Others simply post a card image and link, perhaps with a bit of explanatory text to make it more interesting. Or make a Twitter post about your newest design. Point is, you can use Facebook and Twitter to promote your brand, but don’t spam followers.

If you want to keep your private and business lives separate on Facebook, create a fan page for your business. If you ask on the Artist’s Facebook Group, you’ll get plenty of “likes” to help you start off.

PINTEREST

Controversial? You betcha, but newcomer Pinterest has highlighted the power of women as consumers. It’s a great place to showcase your designs and link them to interests by creating and organizing themed “Boards” that people will follow and spread to others. Take the time and explore Pinterest yourself.

BLOGS

This isn’t for everybody. Maintaining a blog requires dedication and organization. You can’t be a hit and run poster if you’re trying to attract attention, nor can you use a blog solely for promoting yourself. A blog that does nothing more than spam, spam, spam all day, every day, isn’t very interesting. Best to create a blog about something – an interest, perhaps a hobby – or provide information. Self-promotion can be part of it.

WEB PAGES

You can create free web pages at sites like Squidoo, Weebly, and others to promote your cards. To do this most effectively, you’ll need to create a page about something other than cards – such as “The Meaning of Mother’s Day Flowers” and tie your Mother’s Day cards into that information. You’ll need basic grammar skills and the ability to write coherently, and it is work, but you’ll find that search engines love indexing pages containing new content. Just don’t plagiarize someone else’s copy. Use your own words.

BUYING YOUR OWN CARDS

During the process of putting your GCU storefront together, you’ll need to create and upload to a good, business-like logo for your brand. Why business-like? Because that logo and your store information will appear on the backs of all your cards sold. Some artists buy their own cards using the Artist’s discount (log in and go to your Manage Store section to learn what this is if you don’t already know) and send them to friends and family. Each card you send to someone else increases your brand/name recognition, which leads to sales.

BRICK AND MORTAR STORES

Some artists have made deals with brick and mortar stores in their areas to sell some of their cards. A few have gotten racks into stores. These deals have to be made and handled on an individual basis. Tending to your store contacts will require regular appointments, keeping good records, being detail oriented and organized. It’s not for everyone, but it is an option, especially if you have cards portraying areas/objects of local interest or if your cards fit the same niche market as the store (in other words, don’t try to market birthday cards to a funeral parlor).

Hope you’ve found some useful tips today that will set you on your way to success at GCU. Good luck!

 

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. Cathy permalink
    September 22, 2012 9:07 pm

    Thank You! Great information.

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