The holiday season was a peak time of the year to attract new customers. Now that the holidays are almost over and the urgency of buying for friends and loved ones has passed, the trick is going to be keeping these new customers and supporters for the next 12 months and beyond. To do that, you need to stay on their minds. So…how do you swing that?
First off, if your work indicates that you know what your customers want, they’ll want to get to know you. That might sound a little corny, but it’s true. People love supporting artists they connect to in some way.
You can gather information about them by observing which of your designs sold best, and on which mediums they sold. If you sold a lot of cards this season, then you know your customers like to see your designs on paper and share them with friends and family. If you sold a bunch of one particular design on pillows or duvets, can you take the sentiment from it and expand?
You can also learn about your customers by using Google Analytics, which can be viewed right from your own account settings page. This powerful tool will allow you to track referrals, pageviews, visits, top content and more.
Back in early November, we posted The Best Ways to Prepare Your Shop for the Holidays. Much of the advice in that article works for almost every major event throughout the year. Get your calendar out and write a list of what upcoming events your designs will sell in conjunction with. Don’t stop with holidays. There are plenty of other happenings that you can consider synching up with. Just think of all the people who are getting new iPhones, iPads, and other gadgets as presents this year. They’ll certainly be looking for new ways to deck out their devices.
No need to take advantage of all and everything. Follow the lead of your customers. If they seem to like your designs depicting space the most, maybe the next lunar eclipse is an event you want to plan for. As mentioned in this post, Redbubble was ready for the release of the new iPhone 6, which came out this past Fall. Would your works appeal to the college crowd? You could easily take advantage of their yearly milestones, such as offering items that might fit in a finals care package in May, or for decorating a new college dorm room in August.
Don’t forget to tag your images thoroughly not only describing your designs’ subjects, but also the events to which you want them to apply to. It’s also crucial that you put any event-centric designs into collections to make it easy for viewers to find them on the top of your Redbubble profile. If you’ve got a bunch of Valentine’s Day designs that might work perfectly on cards, create a collection called, simply, “Valentine’s Day Cards.”
Look around online for art blogs that might be interested in showcasing your work for free. Most of them are always looking for new material and will post information on how to submit artwork to them. It’s important that you follow their submission guidelines carefully. If they decide to share your work on their site, their readers learn about you, and you can link to it on your Redbubble profile.
Another way of staying connected to your customers is to let them know what you’re up to by blogging on a regular basis. You can publish blogs using Redbubble’s journal feature if you don’t want to create a blog on a separate website. If you’re not into writing about yourself, posting images of your workspace and works in progress are just fine.
Interacting with people on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and favoriting and commenting on RB works will lead to promising social interactions that can attract people to your Redbubble profile. You should also share what you do via social media, so don’t forget to link your social networking profiles to your Redbubble page. Keeping all your social networking profiles up to date can be a full time job in and of itself, so try taking advantage of a service like If This Than That, which will help you post on multiple platforms in one swoop.
Promoting your art to keep your customers is a lot of work, but you can start simply enough by using your journal and social networks to let them know you’re interested in what they want. Then pick a few events coming up throughout the year that you think they might be interested in and start planning around them. When do you need to have designs ready, how long will it take you to post them online and how will you promote them? Most importantly, don’t give up. Artwork is hard work and takes perseverance year ‘round.