Prepare for the Holidays as an Artist
Updated: Sep 30, 2022
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With Thanksgiving around the corner, we head into the holiday season with the world slowly returning to some semblance of normality and thoughts turning to presents and for artists, it’s time to ensure you are prepared for what is traditionally the busiest time of the year.
In addition to the holidays, this time of year now brings us major sale opportunities with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s critically important to be as prepared as possible, so we will look at the strategies for maximizing the holiday period, alongside side some tips and tactics to ensure success.
Singularly the worst thing that can happen to any artist over the holiday period is running out of stock. Sure, if you sell out of everything on 31st December, then maybe you’ve done it just right, but otherwise, you want to be sure you’ve got enough art to cater to demand.
So the first thing to remember is that the months leading up to the holiday season are when all the hard work happens. If everything you do is a one-off piece of original art, then you’ll want the inspiration to be flowing, you want to have a lot of new art in plenty of time.
Also, make sure you have plenty of art supplies. This would be a terrible time to run out! If you leave this too late, prices will rise and stock levels start to get low, meaning you have to search around for items, wasting time you don’t have. Usually, when I need something last minute, I take a trip to my local Michaels or Hobby Lobby store for anything small or quick. I've also been lucky enough to discover a local art store, Jerry's that has pretty much anything that I may need in a pinch as an artist. Your supplies also include shipping materials – just make sure you have everything prepared for a big sales period.
If you turn your art into prints, then ensure you have them printed in advance, as suppliers will all be busy at the time of ordering and you’ll struggle to get the new stock to potential clients in time. This year, I began making my own art prints, and for under $200, was able to buy a decent "art" printer, find awesome photo paper, and buy some mat boards. Focus on your best sellers, that way any stock left over will still be good for the next year.
A Marketing Strategy
Being organized also includes getting your marketing in place ahead of time. Use your email list to start teasing new artwork in advance of the holiday season, show works in progress or if you are planning some new products (see below) give people glimpses into what’s coming.
Start to build up your social media following in advance of the holiday season, so you’ve got a wider reach to talk to with your art, look at specific tactics for each of the platforms you use, being sure to check that your customer base uses that platform.
All of this is about having a marketing strategy. Build this strategy ahead of the holiday season, that way you can be as efficient with your time as possible. Assess your audience, ensure you are marketing and engaging in the areas that matter to them, and put out content they care about.
Time To Accessorise
During such a busy period, it is also a good idea to have additional products to sell.
There are so many different items that could be created as an accessory using the artists’ original paintings. You can produce classic extras like mugs, t-shirts, postcards, and greeting cards. Maybe you could get more adventurous and design an entire calendar of your artwork, there is literally no better time of the year to produce this.
Having these accessories gives you a couple of advantages during the holiday season.
- You can upsell someone buying some art, increasing the average value of a purchase
- You have a lower price offering. More people are looking at purchasing during this period but they won’t all be able to afford bigger works of art