Category Archives: My Blog

3 Ways to Sell Your Art

If you’re an artist, there’s no doubt your motive for working is the desire to touch your community, and maybe the whole world in your unique way while making money doing something that you love to do. You can paint or draw all day, but if you don’t have any idea how to sell it or if you make zero effort to promote it, your fulfilling lifestyle won’t last long. It’s imperative if you want to succeed as an artist, that you get your work in front of potential buyers both efficiently and inexpensively.

Let’s take a look at a few tips to get started in self-promotion.

Start Local and Network
If you are just beginning to sell your art, it’s a good idea to focus on building your name locally, trying to build a collector base in person little by little as you pursue an online identity. There are often local events where you can mingle and get to know others who have an interest in your medium and that which you try and convey.

There are always events you can get involved in locally to spread your name and art in your community. Check out street fairs, art shows, and studio shows. These types of events are great for meeting those in your field and most often are happy to support eachother.

Another idea is charity work – you can donate time to paint in a local school, or teach pottery classes, or any other type of skill. There are always places looking for artists interested in sharing their time and expertise. The gifts you share will always come back to you.

Develop a Strong Portfolio
Your primary marketing piece is your portfolio, so your goal is twofold; you need to decide on a brand for yourself, as well as pull together an excellent package for your presentation.

  • A few things to consider would be the quality of your photographs. You can’t take short-cuts on your prints – be sure they are top-notch.
  • Also, you’ll want to include a text along with your photos including details such as the title of your piece, size, and medium.
  • Include your bio as well. Write about your background, your story, and what inspires you as well as your objective.

Create an Online Presence
There are a lot of online art galleries where you can create an online portfolio. New collectors often visit these popular websites, and there are many out there so take advantage and add your work.

Get yourself a website. This tip is a no-brainer considering the cyber age in which we live. There are a lot of great platforms out there which specialize in galleries and have produced beautiful pages revolving around photography and art promotion.

Once you have your website set up, open your social media accounts. Doing so will generate a lot of traffic as you’re able to share your work with your fans, and they in turn, share it with theirs; your potential audience grows exponentially. Check out Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram for starters.

There’s no need to be overwhelmed. It’s not necessary to figure everything out and implement it all at once. These are baby steps that you can take at your own comfortable pace. Keep in mind, the first step is simply defining your target; determining your aim and objective. The rest will fall in line.

 

Making Successful Business Presentation

For a business to do well, the people involved, that is the sellers and buyers should understand each other well. When the sellers and their clients can effectively communicate, an atmosphere of trust and a relationship is built. This environment is essential for the growth and health of the business. Developing such a relationship is a good first step when it comes to initiating a business presentation. To represent your company in this format is an exceptional forum to have between the sellers and their clients.

The success that one gets in selling their idea or product depends on how effective their presentation is. It is during a presentation that one can win the trust and confidence of potential clients. It is, therefore, imperative that business people know how to make interesting presentations. Highlighted below are some valuable tips that can be utilized to produce excellent performances.

Not everyone understands complex business terms and technical lingo that may relate to the topic at hand. To make sure that such people do not lose interest in the discussion, avoid using difficult vocabulary, and instead use language that can be understood by everyone during the presentation. Avoid creating the impression that you are showing off instead of passing across information.

Inform the audience on what they do not know and avoid dwelling too much on what is self-evident. This point means that you must have a good understanding of your audience and the various levels of knowledge.

Show confidence in what you are saying. The audience needs to be sure that you are speaking with authority on the product. Be calm and use words firmly, but in a cool way so as not to look like you are condescending towards the audience. As you speak, be very clear and make use of appropriate gestures to enhance what you are saying.

Before you show up for the presentation, it is always good to ensure that you have prepared any display thoroughly. It will do one a lot of good if they practice their presentation before their peers or colleagues. Practicing the presentation helps one master the content of the presentation thereby, boosting his confidence and putting them in such a position that they can answer any question related to the topic of discussion.

Arrange the content of the presentation systematically. Have an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion. In simple terms, first prepare your audience to receive what you intend to tell them, give them the most important points in an elaborative way, then summarize the important points for them to drive it home.

You should make use of diagrams and pictures where it is possible. It is always easier for people to understand descriptions and pictures better than words. Pictures are also attention-catching and could go a long way to help you maintain the audience’s attention. One should consider using diagrams to present information that can otherwise use up much time when being discussed orally.

Watch below for some great tips on Tedx about making business presentations:

Building An Inspiring Work Environment

For many, offices are commonly dull and boring places to work. They are often painted in neutral tones and quite drab. After all, the focus is on work, not interior decorating. That being said, office interiors affect how productive employees are. There are a few simple updates you can make to stimulate enthusiasm and creativity in the workplace. Here are just a few:

Furniture
Furniture is the first thing that you should consider when trying to spruce up the work place. While this has to be functional, it’s best to use comfy furniture, too. Workers who have to sit on hard or rickety chairs are going to find excuses to get up all the time and stretch out their tight muscles. It will cost more to purchase chairs that are very comfortable, but this will almost certainly increase how productive people are.

Equipment
The equipment available to employees will also have an impact. If something is not working properly or is out of date, it will only result in endless frustrations, which can bring the mood of the entire office down. People who struggle with malfunctioning office equipment aren’t going to be too motivated to do their jobs.

Add Color
Aside from the more technical issues of the office, you can do quite a bit to change things up. Try changing colors, for example. Skip the beige and go with blue or even green. You can also pick furniture in these colors, to coordinate the place. Choose colors that enhance creativity and energy for best results. Take a look here for more ideas.

Personalized Space
Letting people turn their spaces into a personal space is something that many offices do allow. It’s a good way to increase productivity since people are more motivated when they look at photos of their family and think of why they’re working so hard. This factor can be a big motivation and is worth allowing in the workplace.

Pictures
For many companies, it’s useful to create a positive environment. Hang motivational photos on the wall, make someone employee of the month and feature them. Create positivity, and it will come back to you.

Lighting
Lighting is another huge factor in productivity. Buzzing fluorescent lights will give people a headache and make them frustrated. The flickering doesn’t help, either. Instead, look for more modern options. Some eco-bulbs give a tungsten style light but still save money and light large areas; these are a good option. After all, if people can’t see properly, they aren’t going to be too happy. Lamps can also be provided for desk work.

Productivity does depend on some basic comfort factors. It’s tough to improve everything all at once, but by improving the environment one item at a time, you’ll see a definite increase in creative work. The vast majority of modern office interiors only need minor improvements. Often, it’s just a few simple changes that can make a world of difference. Color will add flair, as will letting employees put up their own decor. Making sure they are physically comfortable is also a good way to increase creative productivity in the work place. Here are a few more ideas:

How to Promote Your Business Locally

One priority of any small business is proper advertising and promotion. This means that the levels of success that your small business will achieve will depend on how well you promote it – especially locally. In this age, it has become easier than ever to promote a business locally. One reason is that technology has made it easier to spread information amongst people who are likely to become customers. Here are helpful tips on how you can effectively promote your small business locally.

The first thing you need to do to promote a small business locally is to start with people who are close to you since your friends, colleagues and family members are the people who will offer you their loyal support. Such people might even buy things that they do not necessarily need just to promote you. When you start with those closest to you, they will likely spread the news about your business to others, and within a short period, the number of your customers will have increased significantly.

Another effective way of promoting your small business is to sell high-quality products. The goods or services you deal with should be of the best so you can attract more customers by your good reputation. This point is paramount because customers will most likely decide on whether to come back for more depending on the quality. It is better to spend more and be able to deal with quality products rather than save while dealing with substandard products. When dealing with quality products the chances of attracting repeat customers will increase.

Using modern methods of advertising such as social media can also help when promoting your small business locally. Most of the people that you know will be on social media and they can assist you by spreading information about your small business to all their friends. The fact that your business is relatively small means that you do not necessarily need to have a lot of customers, meaning, just the people you interact with on the social media can be enough to provide the necessary support to your business. For instance, if you were a recycling and solid waste services company like Waste Focus, you could market on Facebook by targeting people that have shown interest in recycling or waste management types of fan pages.

Since you are promoting your business locally, you can use some conventional marketing methods such as printing fliers. When you make fliers, you should distribute them to the people who are most likely to become your customers. Your fliers should contain details about your business and types of products you sell. You should also include contact details so that the people who are interested can make inquiries. You may need to hire an advertising agency to design attractive fliers that will persuade your potential customers.

By applying these basic tips, you can promote your small business locally, and as you succeed, incorporate these ideas on a broader scale and expand to other states.

How To Close A Sale

Your ability to close a sale is the most crucial part of any transaction. This is because even if all the other steps of the transaction are complete, but the sale is not closed, the entire transaction will be useless. There are certain points you should know so that you can sell quickly and successfully. Here is some advice on how to ensure a sale is closes fast.

One of the most important things while looking to close a sale is identifying the decision makers in the process since they are the ones who will have the final say on the deal. If you work with people who do not have the necessary authority to close a sale you will waste time and create added complexities. Those without proper authority might even promise to close the sale, but management may decide otherwise. This possibility makes it paramount to be sure and identify the correct associates in the company to avoid confusion and disappointment.

While looking to close a sale it is also important to create a sense of urgency. You should let the people you are trying to sell to know that the deal needs to be completed as fast as possible. Some things you can do to create a sense of urgency include letting the customers know that the products you are selling are limited. This fact will make customers decide to buy now before the products are exhausted. You can also persuade customers to believe that they need the products now so that they are more inclined to make a quick decision to buy on the spot.

It is also important to be real and to the point while looking to close a sale. This means that you should explain details to the potential buyers without exaggerating or omitting key facts. For this reason, it’s always important for you to correctly understand the products you are selling. Most people usually buy things they can process. If the customers do not grasp the product you are trying to sell them, they will be inclined to postpone the purchase until they feel an apparent need to own it. You should give customers a chance to ask questions if there are things that are unclear.

It is also advisable to choose your words carefully while looking to close a sale. The importance of this is that there are words you can use to entice customers to buy immediately. On the other hand, some expressions can make customers decide against the purchase. You should use thought out, convincing vocabulary that will prove your products are superior to those of other companies. Creative language will allow the customer to feel comfortable and trust that you are giving them valuable products.

 

Effective Low-Budget Ways to Market Your Business

A business cannot succeed without involving a sound marketing strategy. Thankfully, there are cheap strategies that a business can use to market its products effectively. These days, the business is better off finding ways to minimize cost without compromising marketability of its products. Now that may be hard to do, but with some help, it can be a bit simpler and doable.

To start, always consider the type of business you’re operating. Understand that not all marketing strategies suit your type of business or market. Analyze the relative effectiveness of the tool regarding getting your message across, the cost it entails, its call-to-action and reach. Next, conduct some research on low-cost advertising schemes available to you. To make things easier, here are several options you can consider.

1. Use radio advertising
Radio advertising is much cheaper than television and print, and it can be as effective in reaching your target customers, particularly those in a particular geographic location. Radio is still popular, especially now that it has transcended to cyber space.

2. Provide free workshops
If you are in a crafts retailing business, you could establish your exposure by offering free workshops or classes using your merchandise. This approach is a great and effective marketing strategy of luring in prospective customers.

3. Join trade fairs
Most of your prospective suppliers and customers can be found in expos and trade shows, so it’s smart to make yourself known to them. This type of event is the perfect time to provide product demos, hand out business cards, and make some sales on the spot.

4. Do cross-marketing promotion
It’s like doing a favor in exchange for a favor. You can partner with one or two other businesses in this effort. By joint marketing efforts, you are increasing your exposure with minimal cost and work.

5. Giving business cards
Card swapping is an old business tradition, but it still works. For entrepreneurs like you, business cards work like identification cards. They give you access to several marketing opportunities, so make sure you always have several in a carrying case wherever you go.

6. Use word-of-mouth
Of course, you have to find creative ways to impress your customers to be the talk of the town. Understand, however, that it’s very easy for bad news to spread rather than good news, so be very careful what tactics you use, and what you communicate.

7. Conduct sales presentations
Most customers are just out there hunting for the cheapest buy; they are the low-hanging fruit. But for you to get good quality repeat clients, try increasing your exposure and boosting your sales by conducting sales presentations at every chance you get. Work creatively with your peers to get yourselves appointments to present your products to other sales groups in local companies; not only might you sell your product to them, but you may be able to obtain new businesses partners with whom to collaborate and grow your business.

Talk about cheap…here are some ideas – for under $10.

How To Train Your Business Team for Success

The levels of success you reach in your business will significantly be influenced by your business team; this simply means that for you to be successful in your business, you need to have a competent and well-trained team. It is paramount to carefully select your business team and ensure the team is well trained. All members your team should understand the primary objectives of your business and methodology so that they can work towards achieving those goals synergistically. Here are some helpful tactics you can apply to train your business team for success.

The primary step you should start with is ensuring that the team understands the basics. These basics include the mission of your company and the methods you wish to implement to create a positive and productive atmosphere – (here are 4 ways). It’s important to train all departments in these fundamentals in addition to the further training they will receive as members functioning in different roles. Regardless of the size of your business, you will need to have several departments, and all of them should be complimenting each other. By training all members of the team the basics it will be easier for the different departments to work together towards achieving the objectives of your business.

Another important thing you should do while training your business team for success is using simple training methods. While doing the training, you need to apply simple but effective techniques. Some of the simple techniques include providing practical lessons by giving the members of the team tasks which are meant to enlighten them, such as training in personal improvement areas; speed reading, memory building, and creative thinking practical courses and lectures. They can be assigned jobs and activities to help in these areas. These tasks will allow the members of your business team to understand what capacity they should be expected to grow, and as a result, they will be more mature and productive in their fields. Some techniques such as the practical lessons are also harder to forget, and the members of your team will always remember the things you teach.

While training your business team for success, you can also incorporate professionals to help you with the training. Job training professionals will know the right tactics and the materials to use to make the training more efficient and fruitful. By hiring professionals, the members of the team will take the training more seriously, and they will most likely be more accepting and cooperative. There countless people in the field of job training who would be willing to do presentations and conferences for your company’s leadership training – you just need to do your research and select the right one. You should select the professionals who have a reputation for producing results. You should work together with the professionals so that they can understand the kind of results you expect from the training.

Being consistent but updated is also an important aspect of training a business team. This means that you should not keep on changing things because this can confuse the members of your business team. By being consistent, you will allow members of the business team to know what is expected of them and they can also anticipate what the next lessons will be about. But you should also ensure that you keep the training updated to keep up with the modern ways of doing business. Therefore, through applying the outlined tactics, you can effectively and easily train your business team for success.

3 Reasons to Exhibit in a Trade Show

Exhibiting your business at a trade show has many benefits such as giving your company credibility, visibility and building overall authority in your field. Also, it can be a platform to create new relationships with others in your field and gain a lot of new customers quickly. Although exhibiting can be costly, if you to it right, the payoff will far outway the cost. We’ll outline a few good reasons to attend a trade show in hopes of encouraging your company to participate and reap the rewards.

Generate targeted, quality business leads.

One of the biggest advantages to attending these business trade shows is to expand your company base. The types of people to participate in these kinds of events, tend to be highly motivated and interested in the particular products/services in your field. Many times, they are there looking to do business and will often make a deal right then and there. These are considered “hot leads” as opposed to cold – those you may find from a database, or a business directory.

It is imperative that you make your sales team aware of the sales goals, and that they are well-trained and prepared for each event. If you have the right sales strategies in place, one show could generate more sales than a typical six months to a year’s usual sales work.

Your sales team should be fully prepared and positioned to meet the many people who walk by your booth. They should collect all contact information and have an aggressive follow-up plan for when they get back to the office the following week.

Explore your competitors

There are incredible opportunities at trade shows to learn what’s going on with your competitors and others in similar or exact fields of work. Hopefully, the event you choose to exhibit yourselves in will be one that has hundreds of exhibitors and expects a large number attendees.

Part of the proper planning of your event needs to include enough staff so you can send some out to explore the exhibition hall. In this time, they should bring their business cards and either aggressively network with other companies in business to business relationship, or can pose as customers and ask pointed questions to find out areas where your business may be lacking. They should be taking notes along the way of the ideas that they will come across, summarize and present them to the rest of the team upon returning to the work place. They should take note of the booths that have the most attendees and try and learn what they are doing to attract them. Also, they should take notes of the deals and giveaways they are finding.

Present your brand and build authority and strength

Another great benefit to taking part in a trade show is to expand your brand and recognition among those in your field and customer base. When you have a professionally designed booth, you make a powerful first impression.

Branding is a huge aspect of business success, especially in industries that depend on trust and reputation. Exhibiting at a trade show is an excellent way to enter the “big league,” and if you are strategic, you’ll succeed. If there’s any time to redesign your branding, it’s before an event like this. As part of your preparation, hire professional agencies to redesign your website, if it is outdated. Also, be sure that it is cohesive with your booth, brochures, business cards, etc. These events are an opportunity to show the quality of your company through the excellent visuals in your exhibit. Your beautiful branding will reveal that your business is reliable, professional and that you’re a qualified group of business people. Not only this, your presence in a well-prepped exhibit will reveal that you are a leader in your field.