Something non-car related…..
As most of you might know, Mrs Swade (otherwise known as PJ) is into painting. She’s a watercolour artist and while she’s dabbled in numerous styles over the years, she’s found an appreciative audience in recent times for her emu paintings. They’re bright and colourful and they usually achieve their aim of putting a smile on people’s faces.
PJ’s hoping to turn this hobby into a reliable part-time income so that she can cut back on her 9-to-5 day job and take things a little slower. Neither her nor I are business people, however, so I thought I might tap into the expertise of people reading this to see if you’ve got any experience to share.
What we’ve started so far:
Built the PJ Paintings website – that was the easy part, of course. Adding content is more laborious but she’s getting the hang of things.
Building the mailing list – it’s slow going, but a monthly email update goes out to a number of subscribers now. And of course, we’ll look at continuing to build that progressively.
Built the PJ Paintings Facebook page + advertising – We had a slow climb to 100 Likes, mostly from family and friends at first. It accelerated from 100 to 150. In the last week we’ve done some targeted Facebook advertising for just $5 a day and now have nearly 450 Likes after around 10 days of advertising.
Diversified into fine quality, limited edition prints – Why sell one painting when you can sell the print 100 times? We’ve sourced a great photographer/printer and will soon be marketing fine quality, limited edition prints in various sizes. The marketing hasn’t started for those yet, but we’ll get that underway once the Facebook advertising finishes at the end of the week.
Diversify into greeting cards – the paintings lend themselves nicely for use as greeting cards and the first proofs we got back from the printer were very encouraging. We just want to see what the next size up looks like. Once that’s sorted, we’ll have them ready to go in no time.
Added a store to the PJ Paintings website – It’s one thing to have all these products but you’ve also got to get them to market somehow. We’ve added a store to PJ’s website as a first step in doing this.
Signed up for our first major event – Agfest is a big agricultural show here in Tasmania held at the beginning of May each year. We’ve signed up for a stall and will be there in The Craft Shed selling as many prints and cards as we can. This will be our first event and we’ll use it to gauge the wider interest not just in the paintings, but for the whole event scene.
That’s where we’re at right now.
Mrs Swade will keep on doing new paintings, either from her own mind or on commission. Some of those paintings will be professionally photographed and used as limited edition fine quality prints, or cards, or both.
We have the product. Now we have to market them and sell them.
Any hints or tips on how to best do that. We have a few ideas in mind that are basically extensions of what we’re doing now, but any out-of-the-box suggestions based on your experience would be appreciated.
How to decide what product mix to take to Agfest?
How to get people to move from being visitors, to being shoppers?
Advice on pricing?
Anything else you can think of.