There’s a lot to love about the holiday season. On one hand, it’s full of family, friends, festivities and vacations. On the other hand, it’s a not-to-be-missed opportunity to boost sales and grow your business. No wonder this time of year can easily make anyone’s head spin (and not just because you had a few too many spiked eggnogs!) What’s an artist to do to reap the business benefits of the holidays, plus stay sane and partake in all the fun stuff? We present to you our Simply Framed artist holiday checklist. Read it, print it and check it twice!
1. Save the dates. Create a calendar—electronic or paper, your choice—to track important dates. Start with key holidays like Black Friday (November 25), Small Business Saturday (November 26) and Cyber Monday (November 28). These are all days you might see big upticks in sales, and they are huge opportunities to increase orders.
2. Know your deadlines—and make sure your customers do too. Figure out when you and your customers need to place orders to receive their custom framed piece before the holidays. Give yourself a couple extra days between your customer’s deadlines and your own to save yourself from surprise snags and last-minute stresses. Add these dates to your calendar and to your site or shop. Remind customers of shipping deadlines in all of your marketing materials.
3. Review your website and update if necessary. Does your site display your work in the best light and showcase everything you offer? If you’ve been planning an update or a refresh, now is the time! This could mean adding new pieces, or updating images of your current work. And if you need beautiful photography for your site, get in touch now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org—we can help!
4. Make a shipping strategy. We do everything we can to make shipping easier for you, but it can still be helpful to stick to a consistent shipping strategy. You might delegate the days and times you will go to a specific UPS store or ensure that you have all packing materials organized in a shipping station that’s conveniently located in your home or studio.
5. Pump up your packaging. We take pride in beautifully wrapping every piece of art we ship—but if you want to use special packaging for the holidays (or any day), just let us know! You can even tell us which orders should receive our timeless packaging and which ones you’d like to add a dose of holiday spirit to.
6. Plan your promos. The holidays are a great time to offer your customers special deals. Refer back to your holiday calendar to decide exactly when and if you’ll advertise discounts. Don’t overlook Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the cut-off day for holiday orders as important dates to reach out and give incentives. Look at past successes to plan which channel(s) you’ll notify customers on (email? Facebook? Instagram?) and make sure everything is ready to go 1-2 days before you’ll hit send. Be sure to let us know too, so we can help spread the word!
7. Get press. ’Tis the season of gift guides and holiday-themed blog posts. If you are planning to pitch your products for gifting stories, we can help provide beautiful, professional imagery of your framed work—just ask us! Having great photographs of your artwork can make all the difference in landing a big feature.
8. Set goals. Look at your holiday performance last year, and consider what you can improve upon. Sales targets are important, but also set goals you can control, such as “I will send three promotional email newsletters before December 1” or “I will inform my customers of order cut-off times two weeks before the dates arrive.” Add these goals to your calendar.
9. Track progress. Whether it’s checking off one of those goals or breaking a sales record, make sure to assess what you’ve done—and what you haven’t. Designate one time a week to sit down and take an honest look at progress, rewarding yourself for your accomplishments and formulating a plan to tackle any areas of your holiday sales strategy that you may have neglected.
10. Give yourself a break. Take time off to enjoy the parties and family time that come with the season! For one, you deserve it. For two, stepping away from work for short periods means you’ll jump back into it rejuvenated and refreshed. If you’re ever feeling especially overwhelmed, try to keep perspective on your achievement: You’re helping your customers buy a unique and meaningful gift for their loved ones that will last a lifetime. Now that’s something to celebrate!
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