Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Advice From a Full Time Artist: Payment Options When Selling your Products

I was at a Holiday Bazaar earlier this December, I found a man selling handmade Pizza pans and baking sheets, he made them out of steel and aluminum, they were awesome! 
He had a lot of customers,
How cool would it be to have a handmade steel baking pan? I thought it would be, so I looked at all his products, picked out what I wanted to buy and waited in line.....
When it was my turn to pay I pulled out my debit card and he said "Oh! I don't take cards, only cash or check"
Well, there went not owning one of his pans....
For one, I NEVER carry checks, not sure if I know anyone who still does and I rarely have the right amount of cash on me.
So what to do? Nothing... I didn't buy one, they venue didn't even have an ATM. I watched him turn down three more people who wanted to pay with cards. I asked him for a business card and he didn't have any.... I walked away bummed out and with no way to find him in the future...
(read my post on business cards here)

As a seller and wanting to make as much money as I can (I have bills to pay like the rest of us)
I suggest EVERYONE take credit card payments. 
It's so easy now!  
I accept every form of payment except bitcoin (honestly, I still don't quite understand what it is)
My main form of collecting payment is Paypal  they accept all card types, including Apple Pay
I also have it on my website 

I also have Square, and of course accept Cash and Check too.

Square is new for for me, I was selling at a local art festival in July and Paypal crashed, it was the first time it ever happen to me, I called them and their whole system crashed! I had a customer waiting to buy a painting! I panicked and decided to gamble with my sale, gathered her credit card and personal info on a piece of paper and told her I would ring it up later, I let her take the painting... 

But what was I going to do the rest of the day while Paypal was down? 

It was either trust everyone's payments to go through later and let them walk away with my art, or figure something else out, my vendor neighbor said he had an extra Square reader I could use, but I didn't have a Square account, so I hustled and downloaded their app, set up an account and BOOM! I was back in business, it took about 15 minutes and I didn't miss any sales.
All you do is download their app to your smart phone, add your info and your ready to payments from either company, super simple!
Once your done collecting payments you just transfer the money to your bank account. 

Having a back up plan is always good, so now when I'm vending at shows, I carry both Square and Paypal, just in case.They both are about the same in what they charge, about 2-3% of the amount collected, which is really nothing compared to loosing sales!

Have Questions?
Leave a comment below



Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!
We hope your enjoying the Holiday with Friends and Family!
Stay safe and enjoy!
Don't let Darth ruin your Force...


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Art Advice from a Full Time Artist: Email Newsletter

Today we're going to talk about Email Newsletters, 
Do you have products that you want to tell past customers, friends or family about?
It's simple,
 While out and about, having an Art Show, being at a Festival, Holiday Bazaar or where ever you are selling your products, have a simple way for buyers to sign up and stay in touch,
I have a few different ways to collect customers info,  
1: I have a note book that says "email sign up" laying around all my events.
people just write their email down and I plug it in to my  Constant Contact Email Marketing Software
(There are many different companies available to use, that are free and easy to set up, find one that suits you best)
2: Text to sign up, Constant Contact
offers a free text service, so If someone doesn't want to write their email down, They just text the word URBANSOULE to the number 22828 and their automatically signed up! 
3: Paypal, When I ring someone up for their purchase using the Paypal app, at the end of the transaction, when they sign, it will ask them if they would like to sign up.It then, connects to my Constant Contact and adds them and I don't have to do anything!
About once a month I send out a newsletter to everyone on my list with new products, promotions or events,.
Super easy and it's a great way for customers to see what your doing, keep in touch AND keep your products on their mind!
Have Questions?
Leave a comment below


Monday, December 19, 2016

50% off!!

50% Off ALL PAINTINGS on my website until Friday Dec 23rd! 
Paintings have the original price listed, 
PayPal wont let you use a discount code, so you have two options, either purchase it direct off the site and I will refund you 50% asap 
or you can email info(@) with the title/description of the painting, your email and contact info and I will invoice you for the total. 
Get a super great deal while you can! Sorry, No monthly payment plans accepted on sale items. First come first serve!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Advice from a full time Artist: Business Cards

Sorry I'm a day late writing this post, I was out Holiday shopping yesterday and had a client meeting to sell some art!

Today's topic is business cards!

You NEED Business Cards or some sort of card with your info.
I've met countless artists that will tell me about their work, I get interested and ask for a business card and they say they don't have one! What!? 

It's like not having a website (see prior post here)

I want to be able to go home, look at their website and have their info on file, I have a box that is full of business cards, flyers and post cards that I've picked up from other artists and makers. 
I go back through out the year and check out what they're doing, especially during the holidays.

I currently have four different promotional types of cards I hand out or leave at various places.
1: Standard size business cards, they have different images of my work on the front, the back has my website, email and location.
2: Small 2x2 stickers with my logo and business name
3: Standard size 4x5.5 postcard which all have different images of my work, the back has in depth info on talking about what I do, website, email and newsletter sign up.
3: Pet Portrait flyer, which has images of custom pet portraits I have made, how to order, website and email. 
These four options give me four ways to give someone my info, if someone doesn't want a postcard, I give them a business card that fits in their wallet, if someone is only asking about pet portraits they get the flier, and kids always like stickers.
I carry a few of each with at all times, you never know when you'll meet someone who is a potential buyer/client.
I use the following companies
PS Print for my stickers and business cards
Vista Print for my Post Cards and Pet Portrait Fliers 
You can even hand make yours, which I love, but just don't have time to do myself. 

If you don't have any cards make some or order some right now!
They will increase your sales and make it 100% easier to market your products!

Have Questions?
Leave a comment below


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Equinox Very Open Studios!

This only happens once a year! 
I'm so excited to be part of this event as a guest artist.

Equinox Very Open Studios! 

Dec 10th from 6-10pm
 Equinox Art Studios now has over 100 artists in all mediums,
 Blacksmiths, Potters, Painters, Photographers, Sculptors and more!
Tour the artists studios, see demos and take part in creating, it's a wonderful event!
I'll be located upstairs in the main hallway 
Come join us and have a wonderful time!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Advice from a full time artist: They Love it or Hate? Ask Why?

Art is not something you can convince someone to like…no matter how much you talk about it or try to explain it. 
It’s not like buying toilet paper (a necessity)  
If there is a piece of art that speaks to me, there is little you can do to change my love for it.  People can be persuaded to buy things regardless of whether or not they like them or need them. 
But Art has to speak to the person, it has to invoke feelings in them, there is no "magic" formula to make this happen. 
If you ask someone what they think of your art, and they respond with "I Love it" 
That's great!
But not always true. 
 A lot of people won't tell you the truth if they think it's going to hurt your feelings... although I have had a few that have told me their true thoughts, it stings but oh well, like I said before we all don't like the same things. 
To help you grow as an artist you should ask
with either of the responses:
Why that person doesn't like it?
Why the person does love it?

Sometimes it might just be the color and if your willing, suggest making them a custom piece.
Its easy to turn most insightful conversations into sales...
I've been at many festivals where a patron would come into my booth and point out the paintings they like, I normally respond with a "Thank you" however if someone points out a painting that they don't like (usually to their friend) I ask "How come? Or "What would you change about it?" 
They usually tell me, they don't like the image itself, or the color, or the whole piece, I start engaging in conversation with them asking what they have in their house, the colors they like, we normally get into a fairly deep conversation, mostly getting to know each others likes and dislikes. I then offer to show them more I've done that they might like, Chances are they will find something they do, at this point you offer to make them a custom painting (if you do commissions)  and if they don't find anything, well move on... but to understand your buyers you must ask why...

Have Questions?
Leav a comment below

Friday, December 2, 2016

Paypal Chip Card Reader Promo

Paypal is offering their new Paypal HERE chip card reader
for $79 for a limited time

Uses the promo code 
during checkout. 
Offer valid through Dec 31st, 2016
It's a great deal, it's secure and a must have for any traveling artist! 
I use both Paypal and Square when traveling to festivals.

 They both work great,
Paypal is my main choice as I can invoice customers if needed, I use Square as a back up, just in case something happens, like no internet connection, Square will store the information until you connect to the internet.