JDA Creative Services 12019 SE Sumner Portland, OR 97220 (503)525-0846

Photography and Printing for Fine Art and Enterprise … and You!

Good Deeds and Attaboys

As consumers we play an important role in the American economic ecosystem. We determine what is the best value for us and reward the winner with our dollars. But if we really like a company we can go beyond and positively impact their success.

The other day I stopped into my favorite Burger King for lunch. It's the one on Stark St in Gresham, by the Home Depot. Why is it my favorite? Don't all Burger Kings have the same menu, the same basic decor, etc? Well, yes, but this place is different. Oh, they have the same menu, but the service is amazing! We were greeted with a "Welcome to Burger King!" when we entered, but more than that, the people who waited on us smiled and were friendly! Our meals were hot and fresh from the grill. It was a wonderful meal.

When we left, I made a point to compliment the servers, asking them to pass on those compliments to the managers. In turn they asked me to fill out their survey on the back of the receipt. I knew that was a way I could really recognize their efforts. So, I plan to do just that.

How do you recognize the efforts of the people and companies you deal with and like especially well? Perhaps you've never given that much thought. In this digital world, feedback can really assist your favorite companies to flourish.

When you spread the good word about a place onLine, the search engines notice. They all rank websites by "Authority" and that comes from mentions, #hashtags, back links, reviews, and myriad other sources that are considered when deciding on which page the website shows up in a web search. When they land on the front page, others can discover them, too. And more customers means a stronger more stable organization. That’s good for the company, but also for the client because our favorite place will be more likely to be around when we need them.

Let's take a look at a few ways you can contribute to that stream of data:

Reviews:


Yelp , Google Places, and Angie's List are just 3 of the dozens of great places to put in a good word. Tell people what you like and dislike about the place and give it a rating. The more ratings a place gets the more attention it garners!

twitter:
Even if you only have a few followers on twitter, you can reach a lot of people by using the # sign to create a "Hashtag". By using the # symbol along with a word or phrase that others might search for, your tweet can be seen by many folks you don't know. For example the above experience might carry a hashtag of #great_burger or #Burger_King.

Facebook:
Like their company pages. Share their posts with your Facebook friends.

Blogs:
If you write a blog, mention the company's website and provide a link. These are called inbound links and are incredibly helpful to a site's ranking.

Website:
If you have your own website, consider "trading links" with your favorite suppliers. If you mention them, they often will return the favor, thus helping to build your presence and authority as well.

Newsletters/email "blasts":
If you have a newsletter or send out some other regular eMail, tell your subscribers about your favorite suppliers!

Word Of Mouth:
Tell your friends! The oldest and best way to help your friends in business!



JDA
Yelp
Google
Facebook

Art vs Decor?|The Perceived Value Dilemma

Rainbow Colored Couch


“It isn’t art if it matches your couch!”
“It’s much better in Europe. They have a tradition of buying art!”
“I kicked someone out of my studio once because they brought a fabric swatch in to match to!”

We’ve been having a discussion around the office with our clients, and these were just a few of the similar statements made. In fact one was on a t-shirt!

It centered around…

“Why is it so hard to sell artwork?”



My friend, Ron Pomeroy, has blogged about it. I promised I’d say a few words, too.

I took an informal poll… nothing scientific about it, I just asked friends.
The question was, “What are you more likely to spend $500 on, a piece of art or something to decorate your home?”

First, we guys didn’t fair well. For the most part we just stared in disbelief, deferred to our “better half , or professed a preference for a 60” TV.

Amazingly, very few people viewed art as decoration. Somehow art has become a different class of possession … one that is considered a super luxury. While that may allow us to command higher prices for our work, it also suppresses demand to the point that few talented artists actually make a living selling their art.

Just as you can charge anything you like for something you don’t have (lack of supply), you can also charge what you like for something that no one is buying (lack of demand). The general public’s perception seems to be that art is superfluous for all but the wealthy… even though those same people will spend thousands of dollars on “Home Decor.”

The Home Decor market is orders of magnitude larger than the fine art market, yet the potential customer is the same and the amount of money charged is similar! Price is not the issue, perception of value is.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…”



As long as we relish the difference between fine art and decor, we will be separated from that market and more importantly, the general public will continue to value the money in their pocket more than the artworks we produce. In essence, this is why “starving artist” is a cliché. It’s all about perceived value. At present, the average Joe would much rather spend $500 on the new TV, his wife might opt for a piece of furniture or a framed print from IKEA (or maybe it’s the other way around) but it is highly likely that both would vote to keep their money in their bank account instead of buying that wonderful piece of art.

This isn’t something we can solve as a group, changing perceived value is something we must work on as individuals and constantly. Perhaps we should start by finding out what color our potential client’s couch is.

An Interest in Pinterest

DandM web adj 3


If you haven't noticed, Pinterest is storming the online world!


What the heck is Pinterest?


Pinterest is a new Social Media service where you "pin" things you're interested in to virtual refrigerator doors (or bulletin boards, if you prefer) that are dedicated to those interests. These are called “pinboards”. For example, you might have a pinboard for your favorite books, another for your favorite bands, artwork, goofy little things you've found on the Internet, even things you hate! (See our Pinterest account)

How does it work?


Well, you find something you want to add to a pinboard , tell Pinterest the URL, it finds the pictures on the page, you choose the one you want, and Pinterest puts it neatly on the board. Cool, huh! You can make the process easier by adding the Pinit button to your browser. You can then easily pin a page to the appropriate pin board without the tedious typing or copying and pasting.

OK, I get the cool factor, but why are you writing about this on an art marketing blog?
As I've been playing with it for a number of weeks, I've found that many of the pictures and pages I wanted to share on Pinterest, were, well, lets just say, not optimal. The pictures were tiny, there was little information about the book/photo/painting that I could turn into a caption, and often the page didn't have links to where one could buy a copy, see more like it, or even a little bit about the creator of the work.

(I think you can see where I'm going with this)

Pintrest presents a marvelous opportunity to increase you audience. The more work you pin- and publicize of course- the larger your community becomes.

Make it a breeze for people wanting to add your work to their pages! This is the absolute best kind of promotion. Other people telling their friends about your work! I can hear you saying, "I don't have time for these Social Media things!" The beauty of this is that you don't have to be a user to benefit from it! This service works to your benefit whether you use it or not, as your friends and fans can pin your work from anywhere on the web. If your work is online it could be on Printerest. (I do recommend being part of the experience, though.)

So, what should I be doing?


Create Pinterest friendly web pages. Here's a few tips:
1) Have as few graphics as possible on the page. Make it easy for the program to find the image quickly.
2) The image should be of good quality and about 400-600 pixels in the largest dimension.
3) It should have a good description with links to your page, blog, Etsy store, Facebook Fan page, or email, so the visitor can buy what you are selling be it a book, photo, original oil, Giclee, cards, music link, etc.
4) Make sure you have the PinIt button on your page or post. This will easily allow them to post to their board if they don’t have their own browser button.

If you decide to get involved in Pinterest (and again, I strongly urge you to do so), make sure you read and heed the Terms Of Use. The folks at Pinterest have clearly laid out their goals in creating the service and what they want the user experience to be, namely, spam free! While they recognize that there will be some blatant self promotion, they expect you to keep it to an absolute minimum. They expect your pinboards to be like your natural conversations or your refrigerator door. You wouldn't spend all your time at a party bragging now would you? Perhaps you'd mention something that was going on in the life of your family, maybe a gallery opening you'd been to, a class you'd taken, or a funny story you'd heard. You would talk about the achievements of your friends. you'd mention some new development or gizmo you'd discovered. If all you do is brag and try to sell something, your listener will soon excuse herself, never to return. The goal here is to invite them home for coffee. In the virtual world, home is your website. There you can show them your work and show them how easily they can own some (or buy your book, or music, etc.) Remember, the conversation you're having is with pictures. Pin some of your art - new works, what you are working on now- if you want to feature something you've just sold, consider a shot of the happy customer holding the piece, or a a shot of it hanging on the clients wall. Show how it fits the client's lifestyle. Post pictures of you hanging your art for your next show. Including people in your shots helps to give them interest and establish the boards newsworthy-ness.

Artists, writers, and musicians have a distinct advantage over most business users on Pinterest in that people have a built in curiosity about the creative life. Use that curiosity to encourage your fans to "follow you home"! Give your readers a glimpse at your life and they will share it with others.

Finally, at this time, some 80% of Pinterest users are women. This is very advantageous for the artist in that women are typically the decision makers for esthetic purchases. Keep that in mind as you create your landing pages from Pinterest.

So go explore Pinterest, see where it takes you and your art!

Get More From Every Exhibition|QR Codes

OK, so your local coffee shop wants to display your work. How do you convert their interested patrons into your clients? The barista is too busy to even fully answer their questions much less actually do the work necessary to sell the art. Maybe they still have your card around, or one of the half dozen brochures you left on the little table in the back, but it’s not likely they are actually going to go get one for their customer.
“Oh, there’s something on the back table‚” hand fluttering in the air.

Venues like this provide tremendous potential, but converting that potential into sales is problematic. What you really want is to develop a lasting contact with the prospective buyer. You’ve dazzled them with your work, now take the opportunity to engage them.

“How can I do that?” (I can hear you from here!)

Wouldn’t it be great…


if there was an easy way to transport them to
your blog…
or website…
or Etsy store…
or Pinterest pinboard…
or the Gallery’s site that sells your work?
All while they are having their coffee? Or sitting in the Dentists office?

Yeah, wouldn’t that be terrific?



Of course there is way… via the

QR Code

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JDA_QR

We’ve all seen them, funny little squares with little black dots inside. Perhaps you‚Äôve even used your smartphone to scan one of the little tags. They are easy for the client to use, available for virtually all smartphones and tablets, and limited only by your own creativity. Here's a few ideas:
- have the tag contain your basic contact information. Name address and telephone number.
- if you have a website, but can't make changes to it yourself, have the code go to your Gallery page.
- Link to your blog.
- Create a special web page just for this show and give some compelling information about it.
- Provide an easy way for fans to "Pin" or share your work with their friends.
- Create a page for each piece of art. Tell it's story, why it's named what it is. Are prints available?
- Provide a way for them to buy the print using their phone. Set up a PayPal account, Etsy or eBay store, or one of many ecommerce solutions.

How much does this cost? It depends on how much you can do yourself. There are programs available online to help you create the codes for free. If you have some basic website skills, you can create your own pages - a good hosting site will allow a virtually unlimited number of pages. of course you'll want to optimize the pages so search engines can easily find them. If you can't do those things yourself, it will cost a little money, but not as much as one might think. Check with your web designer or give us a call, we can help!