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A local Toronto artist has a unique way of engaging with his community on instagram, while giving his followers a chance at snagging a piece of his art for less than they would have to pay at a gallery. Anser (@ansermysteriousdate) posts a unique piece of art every Friday under the hashtag Affordable Art Friday. What this essentially means for his over 12k followers is that they have a chance to claim a beautiful piece of artwork each week at a lower cost than what most artists would charge at a gallery, assuming they’re the lucky one to send him an email first!
Now, why would he do this? Does this diminish the perceived value of his work? In speaking with another local artist, that fear certainly is real. It can also be tricky when an artist is signed to a gallery to distribute art anywhere but there. However, in this instance, I think it’s important to take note of something; these are not finished, gallery-ready pieces on canvas. These are quicker sketches, sometimes on unique materials, and the engagement generated from his posts on instagram each week are unusually high.
When comparing his instagram engagement to other local artists, there are a few things I notice. Firstly, the comments on his work seems to be from people outside of his own social following. Why is this important? The value in a strong social media presence is not just better engagement with your friends – it’s also for reaching new people! This is why often with social media contests you are asked to tag a friend in the comment section to enter. They don’t just want you to see it, they want your friends to see it too! Secondly, it’s easy for supportive friends, family and followers to say “love this!” but to see post after post with people upset that they couldn’t get their hands on a specific piece of art? That kind of demand is hard to drum up! Finally, it’s hard not to think about the valuable insights you can gain by looking at which styles are engaged with the most. How many emails you get for people wanting a specific piece. The feedback it encourages is enormously valuable.
All in all, what I think matters most in this particular case is that sometimes it’s good to get outside of the status quo. We often have a tendency to price ourselves at a certain level, which is great, but being creative and trying to drum up new business however we can get it is important. If you are a creator of content, whether it be art or music or anything else, you should be creating non stop. You need to love what you do and pour every ounce of yourself into it. Not every piece is gallery worthy, or album worthy. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t share that with your community and give them a reason to care about you in return. Maybe giving back just might be what actually gives the greatest returns back to you.
Something as simple as a great business card can get you more business. Sounds weird, right? Check the date. No, it’s not the 80s. In a world surrounded by everything digital, we truly believe that a great business card can set you apart. More than just your card though, the philosophy behind why a great business card can set you apart can be applied to other practices, and if done properly, will help grow your business.
A few months ago, when we started handing out our new business cards we saw something we weren’t ready for – people started asking us for additional business cards. From there we saw a higher percentage of first time meetings turned into second meetings. We saw our referral rate go up. And that got us to thinking, when was the last time that someone asked you for additional business cards? If it’s been a while, perhaps it’s time for a redesign and an upgrade. Maybe you should add a second side to your card. Or even a contrast on the card between a matte and gloss finish for a more tactile experience. Whatever the case it’s important to remember that what worked for you years ago should continue to be reinvented.
In keeping with that same idea, how does your website look? When was the last time you updated it? How’s your suit? Or uniform? Or company logo? It’s important to continue to try and put your best foot forward and it’s time to start with the things that can help build a great first impression. So how about you? What do you need to refresh?