Stop Sucking at Sales!

Sales are so unpredictable. You need to have a solid foundation in your business before you can start hyper-focusing on the profit. In fact, most businesses take 3-7 years to see some sort of profit anyway - so there's no use in zooming in on the money when getting started. Now, money IS important, duh. But there are key factors that are necessary before you can start devoting a large chunk of your time to that. 

What is your mission statement? This is probably the core of any successful business. If you are going to create community and have loyal, life-time followers - you need a solid mission statement to always fall back on when planning, scheduling releases, and everything else that comes with running a shop. 

NETWORK! This one is CRUCIAL Networking comes in all shapes and sizes - and I know that the word is intimidating. But...do you realize who you engage with online is a form of networking? Make sure you are following brands you love on your social media. Spend 30 minutes, minimum, everyday liking, commenting (something sincere - not just an emoji!) and reposting content from people you like! This helps build connections even if you aren't "in real life" friends with them. When you do trade shows, INTRODUCE YOURSELF to everyone. Learn about the people you are vending with and create a name for yourself! Don't expect other vendors to come up to you because everyone is shy/anxious. But if you're nervous -- just talk about their art to get the conversation going! 

Trade shows are always GOOD. The only time a pop up should be deemed a "flop" is if the coordinator/attendees/vendors are all awful people. Just because you didn't sell out of your product does NOT make a trade show bad! You can have so many "wins" in other ways: meeting new vendors and making new connections with customers. On that note...

Customers are NOT just transactions! What makes a good customer is someone that trusts you and doesn't believe you see them as a number. Do not get pissed off if someone does not buy something from you at a trade show. If you treat them the same as you would someone buying hundreds of dollars of merch, they will forever remember that and will more than likely purchase your art at another time. It's not just a one-time interaction - customers that like you will keep coming back to support you. 

Attitude is everything. Do not sit on your phone or sit down (if your health allows of course) at a pop up events! You are losing so many opportunities if someone walks by your table and you look miserable on your phone. I go to so many trade shows and see this - and those are the same people that deem a show a "flop". This applies to when you release something too. If something doesn't sell out instantly, don't be upset or frustrated. Your item may not be as good as you think or it needs more time on the market. Either way - keep moving forward. Keep thinking of other ideas because a successful business is not based on one design. 

On the note of moving forward - keep that in mind with everything! Don't obsess over the little things. Nothing will EVER be perfect when you own something - you will always have ways to improve it. Most things can be improved later on so get started. Order those business cards. Order those pins. Book that trade show. It will all be okay at the end of the day and most things are not "end all be all" with your business succeeding or failing. 

YOU DO NOT OWN YOUR NICHE. You did not create resin. you did not create Star Wars pins. You did not do that. Outside of plagiarism, there is plenty of room for us all to succeed in our circles. I have tattoos, for example. I have pieces from artists all over California. It doesn't mean I don't like the artists that have done previous tattoos - I will go back to them to get more! Same with pins. Do you own pins from just one brand? Of course not. We need to support each other, within reason. It is much better to be nice and make friends rather than be in a corner by yourself trying to become successful. If one of us succeeds, we all succeed if you are making friends that will want to help you out when they grow! 

These are the top tips that come to mind that I constantly tell others. This list can probably be 10x longer, (and I'll probably make a part 2!) but I think these are the core roots to a good business model. The finances are important too, but I feel like artists get lost in sales and end up either closing up shop or never doing much because all they deem "successful" is if they sell out of their first design. That is absolutely not the case and it takes a very long time to get there! 

 

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