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



Artists and Crafters News:

How to NOT get Screwed while Working as a Freelance Artist

by Alex Soare for emptyeasel.com

I've been drawing from the time I was old enough to clutch a crayon in a pudgy hand. There was never a doubt about what I'd be when I grew up; my dreams were clear and well-defined. It's every freelancer's worst nightmare-you've done all the work for a big project, but instead of paying you, your client disappears into the night as soon as you hand it in.

Non-freelancers don't have to worry about that. Every 2 weeks your company gives you your well-earned paycheck (whether a client backs out at the last minute or not) and that's that.

But working for yourself is a bit different-in a perfect world, you could always depend on someone's word and wouldn't have to deal with pesky contracts. But given the reality of the world, it's up to you to ensure that you're rewarded for your hard work.

Here are 5 ways to protect yourself from those horrible (yet common) situations:

1. Have more than a single conversation

Before taking on a new client, feel them out. Do they sound committed? Are they organized? Do they have a good demeanor?

If possible, try to meet with them in person. While this won't completely guarantee they're good clients to work for, you can pay attention to body language and the way they carry themselves. Find a public place to introduce yourselves, like a coffee shop or restaurant.

However you decide to interact with this person, listen to your instincts. If you're getting a bad vibe, don't work with them, even if they pay well. The beauty of freelancing is choosing your customers. You're not obligated to do business with anybody you don't want to.

2. Write a contract (and get it signed)

Never, EVER do a single minute of work without a contract. Put the pencil down, your keyboard away, all your equipment aside until you get a piece of printed paper in your hands that outlines exactly what you'll be doing and for how much.

At minimum, your contract should state what services will be performed, for how much, and when the payments will be due. You can also add clauses that talk about late fees, client confidentiality, and competing among other clients.

If you're the one drafting the contract, take a look at several sample contracts (there are thousands free online) and then just pick and choose the sections you want to include in your own contract.

3. Ask for a deposit

A lot of people are afraid that asking clients to pay upfront will scare them away. But the truth is, it's actually quite common to ask for 50% of your fee up-front, especially if the project is one that's specifically commissioned for an individual.

Any percentage works, if 50% sounds too steep, but I wouldn't recommend going lower than 25%. You want enough money in your hand so that if your client disappears with your project, it hasn't been a total loss.

4. Invoice as soon as possible

The more time you leave between asking for final payment from your client and actually getting paid, the higher your risk of never getting paid. All too often, a client will forget that payment ever needed to be made. . . even if you've only delayed by 2 or 3 weeks.

In a perfect world? Send that invoice immediately after every project.


Read more!




Musicians News:

10 Social Media Mistakes Bands Make

by Ari Herstand

1) Your Call To Actions Are Too Frequent


Don't enter every contest you stumble upon that could win you $100 in recording gear. Pick and choose the best contests that can advance your career the most. Nearly every band driven contest is based on votes. Some, however, CAN be extremely valuable - like getting festival slots or opportunities to perform with huge artists.

When you have a new album out or are going on tour, yes, it's completely acceptable (and encouraged) to encourage your fans to purchase. Make sure you spread out your requests for action. Because if you don't, your fans will eventually tune you out.

2) You Are TOO Humble


There's a fine line between being humble and annoying. Being humble is promoting other acts you love. Being annoying is thanking your fans for all their love and support ALL THE TIME. Blech!

3) You Say What You Think People Want To Hear


Fans don't want to follow bands who are safe. They want to know that they are badasses who speak their minds and stand for what they believe in. Sure, you may piss a few people off, but you will dramatically increase your loyalists who will stand by every word you say.

4) You Aren't Asking Questions


Make sure to ask questions regularly. These can be band related "where should we tour? Where are you?" Or they can be questions that showcase your personality: "Will and I are having it out over whiskey choices. He stands by Jack and I need my Jameson. What's your whiskey of choice? -Ari"

Read more here!



Promoters News:

How to Get Your Event Noticed

by Julie Cochrane

Adding your event for free in the FestivalNet.com database is a great first step! You're on your way to getting noticed in a big way as we get over 750,000+ monthly visitors! Be sure your listing has a great description and your event details are accurate and complete. Here are some additional ways to increase your exposure.

Co-Promote with FestivalNet

We offer some sweet co-promotion opportunities! You scratch our back, we scratch yours! You get free Featured Event exposure for your event in exchange for promoting FestivalNet! Learn more here.

Featured Events

Place your event at the top of the general search results and on the FestivalNet.com Featured Events Map. Top Position Exposure to 750,000+ visitors and 20+ million page views per month! Up to 11 months of exposure for one low price (no reoccurring monthly fees). Your featured event also gains exposure on highly trafficked pages via this button ad on the left throughout our site. Learn more here.

Advertising

You can also buy advertising like Banner, Button, or Newsletter ads. View our very reasonable rates and learn more here.

Social Media

Also, enjoy the benefit of our ever-growing Facebook presence. Feel free to shout out your show's website there: http://www.facebook.com/festivalnet - keep it conversational and personal and be sure to say hey! On Twitter? We will also retweet you if you include us in your tweet! Find us there as @_festivalnet

Newsletter Content

Maybe someone on your festival staff is a good writer and can contribute an article for one of our monthly newsletters! Peruse our archives to see what topics we publish: http://festivalnet.com/other/news_letters/index.html Your author's byline can include links to your website! It's a great way to increase your SEO too.

Read more here!





Food Vendor News:

8 Simple Ways to Cook Up New Customers On Facebook & Twitter

by Chris Ford


It's no denying that social media has become a massive tool of leverage for tech savvy entrepreneurs hungry to reach new and current customers.

What started out as a tool for Ivy League college kids looking to connect, hook-up and build community has grown into a multi-billion network of fans, friends and followers translating to billions of dollars in sales for small business owners around the globe.

So in today's article I want to give you some quick marketing tips for connecting with your fans and attracting more customers to your mobile food truck or concession stand using two of the most powerful social networks on the internet today. Facebook and Twitter.

4 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Facebook:

1. Set up albums to store your images within your Facebook account. You can share photos of your menu items, playful images of your family, friends, co-workers, even customers at the booth or waiting in line etc.

2. Provide links to your website and/or blog. In addition post links to any articles or reviews written about you as well as media/press coverage you receive. You can also post daily menu specials and coupons that you offer.

3. Find, "like" and invite your friends to "like' your Facebook page. By doing a simple search within Facebook you'll uncover dozens if not hundreds of special interest groups (now referred to as "pages" that you can join and network directly with other like-minded or like interested individuals. Check out these examples:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/LEMONADE-MOREINC-FRESH-DOUGH-PIZZA
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pences-Carmel-Corn-Shoppe

4. Consider registering a custom URL (web address) for your Facebook page, think of it like a personalized license plate. You or your web designer can set this up fairly quickly through a domain registration service like Godaddy.com. The reason why may want to consider this option? Branding capability for your business. In addition it makes easier for new visitors to find you. See an example in action and if you like what you see: "Like Us" at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stitches-n-Dishes.

These are just four ways to you can use Facebook to create connection and grow your fan base. But let's not forget about Twitter.

Twitter is another powerful social networking platform that admittedly can take a little while to build traction, but once you do - the results can be explosive. If you're not familer with Twitter it's basically a "micro blog" all this means is that you're only allowed to publish tight, concise tidbits of information, limited to 140 characters.

Now I realize that 140 characters doesn't seem like much, but think of this way, when you're limited to how much you can share, you're forced to get to the point quickly.

When you publish a 'Tweet' to your followers your primary goal should be to engage the reader about your current activities. For example: you can tweet your schedule, your location, daily specials etc. If you've recently received a favorable review or press mention you can publish it to your blog and then tweet about it by including the link to the direct location where the content is stored on your blog or website. Finally if the URL is too long consider using a shortener service like: http://tinyurl.com or http://bitly.com for example.

Below is an example of a tweet that a mobile food vendor would do on a typical day:

@grlldcheesetruk: Menu suggestion: New brie melt! double cream brie, smoked pork loin, peach preserves and fresh thyme on black peppercorn potato bread!

Imagine the power of posting something like this to your followers. Now imagine how many customers would show up at your booth or truck to try this sandwich.

Read more here!


Marketplace Sellers News:

How to Deal with those Dreaded Shipping Costs

by Carolyn Edlund

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! Do you hate the thought of paying for shipping? If so, join a group that includes everyone you know. Overcome these charges by thinking a bit differently and taking a new approach.

Here's how to work around those issues.

A few years back, when I was working as a sales rep for art publishers and giftware manufacturers, I assisted a young business owner in her booth at the New York Gift Show. She set up her display of handmade journals and leather goods, and placed a large sign announcing a special offer of "10% discount on all orders placed at the show." As the day progressed, response to her special was lukewarm at best.

I asked her to tell me about the shipping costs involved with her products. She did some calculations, and determined that shipping came to about 8% of the average order placed. We changed our strategy and the show special to "all orders placed at the show would get free shipping."

Buyers listened - and they wrote orders. Saving on the perceived cost of shipping was a greater incentive than a discount on the order itself. Those who placed orders didn't ask the dollar amount of the savings, and we were actually offering less than a 10% discount. But that didn't matter, because the idea of free shipping trumped all.

Shipping costs can set up a psychological barrier for many customers, and may even kill a sale. Have you experienced this in your own business? It happens especially with large or heavy items, but can affect any purchase.
Here are a few ideas to overcome that resistance, and even lower your own costs:

1. Reduce shipping (or offer it free) by increasing the price of your goods. Build value into your work and increase the price, given that you are now including shipping in your pricing formula. This strategy is used by retailers of all types to reduce or eliminate the "shipping cost" line item from their invoices, and it can work very well.

Read more!





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