Festival Season is Here - Part 3

I have been writing about some observations with the Favorite Florida Pastime- Festivals, from the view of a vendor. Here is Part 3:

Being in a Festival has to mean that you are serious about your art, and you want to sell it and make money! Then you have to bite the bullet and promote yourself. This seems to be one thing that most artists hate to do. It is so scary to put your art out there, proudly stand by it, and then have to ask a price for it!!! Why can’t people just come up to you and say “OMG I have been looking for this all my life! Here is my money!”

At the Festivals, most of the work has already been done. Your booth is set up and the people ARE coming to you. You can move a sale along with a few tips

Your business card. EVERYONE needs to receive yours. Make sure your card has your information: phone, website, and email address are critical. The customer you meet may be the sale in the future, or a contact for some other super opportunity.

Contact form. Do you have a sign up sheet that people might want to hear from you later? If they leave their email, that is a YES! You can send out a friendly Happy Holidays, or add them to a newsletter to touch base. Yes, we get inundated with them sometimes, but it can be effective if you don’t overuse it.

Website, Social Media, Newsletters, and Coupons, or Offers are all good ways to let people know about you and you can decide how far to go with it. It amazes me when an artist says “I don’t have a website, I hate Facebook and Instagram, I only give my card out to people I know”, and then in the same breath says” I never sell anything”. If you are hungry, you have to get serious. If you are self conscious, then you have to find someone to help you with your promotion and be your wing man.

Getting Paid For Your Artwork

Now, someone has been standing at your booth for 20 minutes. The wheels are turning. They are going to buy your art!! (Hallelujah Choir singing here. This is the BEST. DAY. EVER. ) How do you get paid? If you are at the Festivals, it is MANDATORY you take a credit or debit card. We live in a very spontaneous society, and hardly anyone travels with cash or checks anymore. There are some out there…but…you have to get real.

Square, PayPal and Google Pay, etc., are all FREE to start up. You do have to buy the swipey thingy (around $10), and you may need to get a chip reader ($50). Yes they charge a fee for a sale,-- that is called a cost of doing business. It is maybe 3%. So for a $100 sale, it cost you $3. That isn’t even the cost of a blob of paint! I would rather make a sale by taking a card than have that person walk away because I didn’t.

Remember what was said in the last article---Our art is not a necessity, it is a luxury. If someone wants to buy it, you need to be ready for that sale in any form that it presents.

You did it! You sold your baby! Once the sale is made, offer to hold the art until they come back, so they don’t have to carry it around and can enjoy the rest of the festival. (Maybe when they come back, they have had time to think about that other one you have….) Be sure to have plenty of packing materials to protect you baby.

Congratulations! Enjoy the thought that you are now going home lighter that when you came!!