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Artists, Craftspeople, Musicians, Festivals, & Others that exhibit, perform or work in the music, art, craft, festival biz and special events industry, will find these past Newsletters of interest.

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Years 2012-2014. To access a back issue, click the Newsletter title. Use the search box above to find a topic in all years.

January 2016 Newsletters - Artists & Crafters | Musicians | Food Vendors | Promoters | MarketPlace | Affiliates

Artists and Crafters News:

10 Website Mistakes that Kill Your Art Sales

by Carolyn Edlund

I frequently review artist websites and take a close look at the experience they are providing for their visitors and potential customers. Here are 10 common mistakes that can cause your reader to click away, perhaps never to return:

1. Boring Home page - Although your Home page may not always be the first page that visitors see, it must be structured to make a strong visual statement to draw in the visitor. I always recommend that artists wow their website visitors with incredible photos of their work right up front that creates an irresistible draw to see more. A slider can be used as a dynamic way share a series of pieces from your collection.

2. No visual relief - Is your website full of endless text and long paragraphs? Most people surfing the internet have a relatively short attention span. Be concise and considerate of their time. Break up written content into short paragraphs, leaving lots of negative space, so the reader is not overwhelmed. Otherwise, they may find it easier to click away than to read anything - leaving you and your work behind.

3. Confusing navigation bar - A simple menu on your website is best, taking up no more than one line below the header. If you want to break up your Gallery page into categories for instance, use a drop-down list to organize your images. Clear and concise wording on your navigation bar is best - About, Gallery, Press, Shop, FAQ and so forth, so they know what they are clicking. Don't make them guess, or they may decide your site is too confusing to bother with. Then, it's goodbye.

4. Poor images - There is no excuse for using substandard images on your website. This is a real sales killer, making your site look amateurish and sloppy. Blurry photos, poor lighting and glare are unacceptable, and despite how good your skills are, your work will look terrible. Don't do this. Is your artwork incredible? Share that fact with amazing photographs and plenty of them, including detail shots and in-situ images, too. Your competition has a professional presentation. If you want to compete, you need the same.

5. Content not customer-focused - What interests people most? Themselves. So when your website is full of "I, me, my" it does not interest them nearly as much as when you address your website visitor, and talk about their needs. Invite them in. Share why your work makes an amazing impact in an office or residential environment. If you want to sell, think like your customer. What do they want to know?

Read more!

Musicians News:

Not Getting Responses From Events You've Contacted? We're Here to Help!

by Michelle Morrison of the FestivalNet Staff

We know that the wait can feel like forever after you've submitted your application to a prospective event. And not hearing back at all can feel very discouraging. But fear not! We've compiled some trade-secrets to help you get ahead of the pack, improve your response rate, and get accepted to more events!

In most cases it's actually what you do BEFORE you contact the event that will set you up for a better response rate in the end:

  • Make sure you are contacting the right events for your product/service. Our Pro Search can help you with that. For example, selecting categories from the "Allowed" drop down in the "Exhibitors" box will find events that allow what you do. For more search tips, there's a help link in the top left corner of Pro Search.
  • Be sure the deadline date has not passed. Contact each event well in advance of their application deadline, otherwise emails & calls will not likely be returned. Use our handy "Deadline Reminder Newsletter" and the "Deadlines" option in Pro search to get ahead of the game.

Important note about deadlines:

    Keep in mind that a posted deadline doesn't mean applications will always be accepted up until that date. Festivals will frequently fill all open slots before their posted deadline. That's due to no fault of your information source, it's simply the way the business works.

Read more here!

Promoters News:

9 Social Media Tips to Promote Your Next Event

by Alon Alroy of bizzabo.com

Social Media is everywhere. Every audience from tweens to grannies uses social- so make sure you're present in order to reach your conference's target audience! Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be excellent ways to promote your next conference. Use these 9 Social Media Tips to Promote your Next Event provided by our friends from Bizzabo.

1. Create a Hashtag

A specialized hashtag for your event can enhance social buzz, increase participation and even boost attendance. When creating your twitter hashtag try to keep it relevant, unique, short, and sweet. Sounds simple, but don't forget - not everything sounds good as a hashtag. For example, Susan Boyle's album release party used the hashtag #susanalbumparty. Whoops!

2. Use It!

Your hashtag means nothing if you don't used it! Promote it everywhere including your event website, dedicated emails, social networks, and the event's mobile app. The hashtag is a great way for your attendees to engage with the event content, speakers, and each other. You'll be able to watch what is trending around your event in real-time and get relevant feedback in the process.

3. Time is of the Essence

Get started now! The earlier you promote the event and dedicated hashtag, the greater your chances are for success. Promote early to create momentum and reach a larger audience. Your goal is to saturate the social mediasphere with word of your event, which is best done by promoting a few months in advance to ensure a wider reach.

Read more here!

Food Vendor News:

The Web-Enabled Food Vendor

by Ginette Wessel

Cities across the United States are becoming hotbeds for mobile-food entrepreneurs benefiting from an online social networking culture. The mobile food-vending phenomenon is a rich environment for examining the development of technical, social and economic dimensions of contemporary urban life through the mobilization of services and social activity in both virtual and physical space. Although the number of mobile food vendors in cities has nearly doubled over the past decade, few studies have addressed this trend's impact on the current and future urban fabric.

Portland, New York City, Austin, Los Angeles and San Francisco are among the most well-known cities for mobile food vending. Food trucks appear at a variety of public and privately owned locations, including plazas, community parks, tourist areas, alleyways, office parks and college campuses. They range from innovative units equipped with restaurant-quality equipment, often referred to as "gourmet" food trucks, to less-fancy and often marginalized trucks known as "roach coaches."

With the rapid increase in gourmet food trucks, smartphone applications such asTruxMap, Food Truck Fiesta, Road Stoves GPS and Truck Spotting have emerged, offering real-time tracking of favorite eats. Yet Twitter is the most popular source of information among vendors and customers alike. It is used to exchange tips about serving locations, daily menu items, service outages, customer feedback and changing city ordinances. Social media has become essential to vendors by assuring a sufficient customer-base wherever they choose to locate. At the same time, urban spaces acquire new functionality and meaning with the presence of food trucks, as customers instantly populate urban sites for temporary periods of time.

Read more here!

Marketplace Sellers News:

Gain Insight into Art Career Success

by Alyson Stanfield

Dynamic Metalwork David Earl Tomlinson
pictured: "Royal Street Scene" by FNO member Tommy Thompson

Every artist has a unique path, a singular focus. Regardless of your definition of success, you can learn a lot from artists-artists who might have a different path than you, but who, nonetheless, found their way.

From successful artists, you can get ideas for marketing, promotion, themes, media, and technique. You can find out how you might use assistants in the studio or office. And you can be inspired by stories of overcoming obstacles. In fact, learning from others' mistakes might be the best way to learn. I'm currently reading the book "Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive." In it, the authors show that people learn more when they examine mistakes rather than just hear about the best way to do something. I think you also learn when you hear from other artists who have tackled a problem in an unconventional way or just found a way to make a living that is different from what you had always assumed.

You can even learn a lot from artists whose art is nothing like your own. It's fine and good to belong to the watercolor or pastel society, the glass or fiber guild, or the oil painters group. But my experience is that these media-focused groups become insulated. Everyone is learning the same thing at the same pace. Do you want to stay at that level indefinitely? Or are you ready to break out on your own-to find the path that will distinguish you from the herd?

If you're ready to make a big shift, here are three tips.

Read more!

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