Considering it takes 3 separate exposures to our brand before a customer is even AWARE of us (and 10 exposures for them to think that we might have something to offer!), it is in our best interest as entrepreneurs to put our branding in as many areas of our business life as possible.
The email signature, pricing and info cards, and invoices and receipts are often left to malinger without branding support and interrupt what could be a stream-lined branded buying experience for our customer.
1. Email Signatures
This is an easy one.
Just set it and forget it and it’ll send out business information and links for further discovery without you having to ever do anything about it again.
- an appropriate salutation (my personal favourite is “take good care”
- your name
- a link to your website
- a branded tag-line about your art
- your business address and phone number
- a link to your opt-in page and a small blurb about why they might want to do that
It’s not about privacy
I’ve had clients who are hesitant about adding their address or phone number to their email, or even their website.
Hiding contact information is a mistake.
If you’re freaked out by your personal information getting out onto the web – get a post office box and a separate phone line that is just for business.
You CANNOT offer only your email and social medias as contacts.
It doesn’t build trust. Plus – email can be dodgy. If you’ve got people paying you large dollars for art and commissions – they need to be able to contact you directly.
Stay Old School
Stay away from images or too much styling html – most email clients are configured to automatically NOT download images which makes your email signature look kind of sad.
A basic hot link to your website and opt-in page should get through okay. You can also add the actual web link without it being hot linked to text.
The Artist as Entrepreneur website: http://LezleyDavidson.com
(adding the http:// makes the link clickable in email)
It’s a good idea to stay simple and old school in email.
2. Price & Info Cards
Help promote yourself as being a substantial professional with a healthy business by paying attention to your price cards and info tags that are there to speak for your artwork.
This is a personal pet peeve of mine.
I see so many awesome artists that “last minute” their signage and it makes it look like they don’t have their shit together.
And they don’t.
It breaks trust and makes you look like an amateur.
Handwritten signs look great if that’s part of your brand.
If you’re promoting a “hand-made” brand and you’ve got suitable hand-writing – by all means, make the most of your hand-written, personal price and info tags.
Computer printed info and price cards are fine, but consider designing them so that they include your logo – hit home that visual branding. You’re an artist and want your images to be instantly recognizable – so do that up everywhere.
3. Invoices & Receipts
No one really cares about $10 for a print or comic book and sales are mostly in cash.
Galleries have their own invoice systems, but you’re on your own at an art fair or independent gallery show.
If you’re selling original works or getting multiple product sales for much higher price points, you’ll want to offer your customer a proof of purchase through an invoice or receipt.
The receipt books from Staples or wherever look cheap, but if that’s your only option get printed labels that are branded with your business logo and information and affix one to the top part of each receipt.
Another option for branding hand bills & invoices is to invest in a custom business stamp that’s branded with your logo and information. Here are a few I’ve found:
- The Penny Paper Co.
- Sterling Marking Products Inc. and the “Switch Stamp”
- Sterling has a custom Embossing tool too which I’ve always thought would be an awesome addition to ensuring authenticity for print runs and editions.
- Custom Stamp & Engraving Ltd.
Cross Sell and Additional Offers
A printed, branded, formatted invoice is always the best option. It looks professional, has your business logo, branding and visuals front and centre, AND gives you one last time to offer an additional buying opportunity to your customer.
This does double duty in a) rewarding your customers for buying and b) sending customers to your website &/or online presence that you’ve met at shows or conventions.
If you’re using virtual terminal payments like with Square or Paypal they give you the same opportunity to offer cross-sells and promos through the branded invoice portion of their service that is emailed to the customer.
Additionally, emailed reminders or confirmation of purchases can include incentives to return to shop through discounts or the option to rate or review your products, providing valuable testimonials.
Wow… okay, that was a much bigger post than I thought it was going to be. (hee!!)
The idea here is that we have limited time and opportunity to make an impression on potential collectors and it’s in our best interest to put our core brand and message as front and centre as often as possible to start building some recognition in our particular niche markets.
Make a connection with your buyers by plugging in to the same emotional mirrors with your art, advertising, branding images and all of your public and social media messages.