You may be a hotshot designer and your art is going to resonate with millions, but if you aren’t also a marketer then you’re not likely to see any success.
Artists and creatives these days have to wear many hats and marketer is chief among them. There has never been a better time to be able to find exactly the right market for your art. Use the internet wisely and you can make a brand that people will come looking for.
The fact that you can reach a targeted audience online within minutes in 2020 is a huge blessing. However, it also means that there is a huge amount of competition trying to reach the exact same people. Therefore execution is much more important than simply ‘being present’.
Whether you are making t-shirts, sneakers or prom dresses, you need the right marketing strategy to create a successful brand.
Read on for what you need to get started.
#1. Have a website
This may seem obvious, but many artists just have an Instagram page and sell from there. And some to great success, but your life will be easier if you also have a website.
Use it to create a blog around your brand. For instance, if you are making t-shirts and they have an outdoorsy kind of vibe, then a blog about things like hiking, backpacking or kayaking will be of interest to the kind of people that would want to wear your shirts.
Your site can be linked to all of your social media channels to bring in visitors and turn them into customers. It is a good opportunity to get your brand identity clear to anybody who sees your logo.
Owning your own website also helps with building your brand in Google. If you’re doing things right on Instagram and social then people are also naturally going to be Googling your name (or your brand name). Having a website gives another search result that YOU fully control – an advantage you don’t want to miss out on.
The most important thing is to have them give you their email when they arrive on your website. Which leads us to the next tip.
#2. Email marketing
One of the most effective ways to market your brand is through email marketing. On your website you should have a landing page for people to give you their email. Usually a coupon deal or some kind of raffle is usually good.
Try mixing things up as people are used to seeing them on almost every website they visit. Don’t just go with your usual heading of ‘Sign up to get 10% off’ try something unique that people don’t see every day. The message will differ depending on your brand/style but try think of a quirky way to get the message across without being generic/corporate.
Once you have them on your list then you can market to them at will. When there is a sale, then you can send out an email blast letting them know. It is important to test the tolerance of your audience to email messages. Some mailing lists will happily receive 2-3 messages a week and not unsubscribe, whereas others will see subscriptions drop off if you message more than once ever 2 weeks. Once you have found that sweet spot you can perfect your marketing messages.
Also, if you have a concept that is very topical, you can have a new design up and ready to take advantage of a hot trend. Suppose something is going viral, you can take advantage of next day t-shirt printing and then send out an email.
People tend to jump on trends via merchandise, therefore if you can get a quick turnaround ahead of the competition you’ll likely make a lot of sales.
#3. Find an influencer
A popular Youtuber in your niche will do a lot of good in promoting your brand and even increasing your sales. Or alternatively you can do cross-promotions with other people active on Instagram. This is a great way to expand both of your audiences if you’re around the same number of followers, if you’re not there will likely be a fee.
Alternatively, you may have to pay them to wear your clothing or work out some kind of profit sharing deal on any of the sales generated from their promotion. It could still be worth the investment if you have the right person.
Make sure to really vet your prospect well. There are lots of ways to inflate numbers on Youtube and Instagram so ask for very specific metrics. In the case of Youtube, you’ll want to ask them what their watch time is on average and on Instagram, you’ll need to see high engagement rate with their posts.
Any influencer or YouTuber not willing to share their analytics/stats is probably not telling the entire truth, so be aware before partnering up.