So when I began marketing again in September, I had an unusual opportunity to compare this niche market before and after the economic downturn. Here's what I found out:
- The low and mid market is gone. Before, I sold mostly my smaller, less expensive portraits. Now, I sell the larger, more expensive ones.
- Selling cheaper doesn't bring in more sales. Sales don't work. Smaller pieces don't work.
- More people are comfy with looking for and buying online.
- People want more personal contact even if they find you online. I've had more people call me to order in 3 months than I had before in 5 years.
- Printed materials have less of an impact than they did. I used to get most of my orders through people who saw a card or flyer of mine. Now, it's almost all online.
So, what am I going to do with this info? Well, I am going to raise my prices. People aren't deciding to/not to buy from me because of a few dollars. How much more is a big issue I've been contemplating for a few weeks, and discussing with online and real life artist friends. It's a difficult thing to know. I don't want to price myself out of my market yet I think my work stands up to more money than I'm getting now.
I am working hard to increase my skills. I hope there never comes a day when I don't feel I need to!
I am concentrating my marketing efforts online: Twitter, Facebook, etc. rather than running around town putting up cards. I will still do that, but it's definitely "when I'm there, anyway" kind of thing.
I am upgrading all of the printed materials I do have. I am having my work professionally photographed. I need to reach more of the sophisticated buyers, and need to jump up a notch in my presentation.
Would love to hear your ideas and comments!!