Small businesses as well as art related resources like the bibliography of living artists, often have the worst luck with marketing. As a startup, probably you don’t have massive amounts of money to waste. If you make a mistake, it’s often quite costly.
However, what you can’t help but admire about small businesses is how well they perform regardless of the odds. There’s a tenacity in the owner of a smaller company. It’s forged by working with limited resources and against stiff competition.
As a website owner, you need to learn the tricks and hints before you make mistakes. It’s important to know how to get the most out of what you’ve got. With that in mind, there are a few tips and tricks that a small business should know about. Let’s take a look at them here, and see what you can do to succeed.
Strengthen Your Online Presence
One of the first things you can do is better your online presence. Most small businesses will already have one or two social media platforms. These are usually the big ones like Facebook and Twitter.
However, you should use as many platforms as possible. This means considering things like Snapchat and Instagram. It also involves making sure your website is the best it can be. Be sure to have keywords, maybe even a blog. It’s just important that your online presence is strong.
You are probably going to have competition if, i.e. you’re a painter or a photographer. It’s highly doubtful that your good or service is entirely unique. However, this isn’t always a bad thing.
The advantage of having competitors is that they’ll trial marketing methods for you. You can watch their attempts to sell similar products.
They’ll show you what works and what does not. You’ll see what people respond to and what they don’t. And best of all, they don’t even know they’re helping you. Always keep an eye on the competition. Make sure you know what is trending and what isn’t. This will help you to market in the most efficient way possible.
Invest in Email Marketing
Another very powerful marketing tool is the email. You may not know it, but email campaigns are helpful IF not abused. If you have the permission from your customers (people you had contracts with, art galleries, museums) you can make use of this technique.
You begin by asking people to join an email list. Then, you send them a variety of different emails. These could be promotions or exclusive offers. They could be links to a new blog. Whatever you choose to put into the email, you’re marketing yourself.
People are becoming aware of who you are and what you do. That’s an important thing for any small business. It’s all about making yourself known in whatever way you can.
As a small business, web directories are your friends. They’re virtual places where you can register your business. These registered businesses all go onto a big list.
People can then search for a commodity or service, and find you. There’s a lot of directories out there, so there’s plenty of potentials A big note here. As an art lover or an artist, painter, photographer etc… probably you don’t know that Google counts only listing from:
- directories that are both Google Compliant (no duplicate content, clean and easy to navigate website, no missing pages, no black hat tricks and offer VALUE to their visitors)
- directories subject to a high editorial discretion (in short, if the directory you are trying to list your artist profile page, or a page pointing towards your artworks – take a few minutes and check out if the already included listings’ title is promotional or not. Stay away from directories allowing listings which include words like “Best Photographer” etc.)
Here are a few directories for you to consider:
Curlie.org (former DMOZ)- It’s free, run by volunteers and in my opinion, Curlie is the best web directory that ever existed on the market. You can also suggest your site or become an editor if you are interested in specific topics.
“When the category you are browsing is accepting applications for new editors, the icon [there is a small black icon] will appear next to it. If you are knowledgeable about the topic and interested in editing, click the icon and fill out the form.
If accepted, you will have access to a comprehensive set of tools that make it easy to add, delete, and update links. After gaining experience, you may apply for additional, and possibly broader, categories.
With just a few minutes of your time, you can help make the Web a better place, and be recognized as an expert on your chosen topic. For more information on becoming an editor, go here.” (source https://curlie.org/docs/en/about.html)
Jasmine Directory – it has an art related section and if you ask them nicely they’ll publish your website for free. It worked for me. Just contact them and ask them if they could review your site for free. This directory was ranked as being part of a Top 10 list for a couple years in the past, as a result of several comprehensive reviews.
They manually add about 90% of the resources but commercial businesses are allowed as well.
Best of the Web – an old and respected web directory, founded in the 90s. You can add your artist’s official page as well as your Facebook fan page, Twitter account and more.
Since these three directories apply a very high editorial discretion (Curlie.org being the best at it, no doubt here) and they’re all are Google Compliant. Because of these two criteria, these directories are useful for Google’s SEO (local search result and NAP)
This connects with the online presence idea we talked about earlier.
Sometimes, it’s not enough to play it safe and by the book. As a small business, you sometimes have to do more.
You have to push past the competition, and come up with something new and innovative.
There’s a lot of smaller businesses out here. They all want to go big. They all want to make it. So if you’re going to outdo them, you have to go big as well. You have to find what makes your business special. What would make customers pick you over a competitor? How can you make sure that you’re a cut above everyone else?
These are all important things to consider. They’ll determine how well you do and how far you go. In that regard, it is well worth knowing what you have that will help you succeed. It might be drive. It might be a crazy new idea. Whatever it is, embrace it.
Overall, these are a few tips for smaller businesses. If you want to market well, you’ll need to listen to these tidbits. Make sure you look good online above all else. We live in a very image focused society. It makes sense to take advantage of that.
You should strive to be the best. We all know how hard is for an artist to be know.
Strive to look like a company that can be trusted. Because why shouldn’t you be someone to buy from? In the end, it is about making yourself known. Make sure that you’re noticed. Make sure that you’re known.