Monday Marketing Meeting–Follow the Tweets

Today’s Monday Marketing Meeting is about my favorite social networking site, Twitter. Chances are you use it too, if even just to stop by a few times a month. I am following some great blogs because of links I’ve followed in Twitter. If you’re not using it, it’s worth a look.

One way I like to use it is in conjunction with a web application called Twitter Digest. I receive feeds from the people that I want to follow. It’s one way you can stay on top of job leads if you’re looking. Just follow one of the job boards. If there’s someone who is reaching you with their tweets, you can stay on top of the latest info. Follow others in your industry to stay in the know. It really is a helpful tool.

From a marketing perspective, it keeps you up-to-date. As an online seller, this is key. The cyberworld is changing daily, hourly even some days. Sharpen your cutting edge by staying in the game. Twitter Digest is one to do it.

Monday Marketing Meeting–Streamline Your Shipping

Today’s Monday Marketing Meeting is about increasing your efficiency. If you’re a self-representing artist or any self-employer web worker, you know the value of time. When there is just you in charge of production, marketing, and fulfillment, you know that increasing your productivity is essential. One way to do this is through streamlining your shipping.

I’m in the same boat. I do my own fulfillment. I have always enjoyed the marketing end of things. What I wasn’t so keen on was shipping. It was time consuming. I felt like it was taking too much time for the money that I was earning. That’s when I decided that I had to improve my efficiency. Since fulfillment of itself wasn’t earning me money, I had to find a way to streamline it. Here are some tips from the field.

If selling mats with your paintings, use pre-cut mats.
I always thought of my mats as selling points. I’d much rather the buyer’s first live view of a purchased painting be that of a finished work. Watercolorists will understand the untidy feel an unmatted painting has. Rather than spending the time cutting mats, I opted to go with painting sizes that matched standard-sized mats.

Put together your include package.
With every painting I sell, I include a business card, a promotional coupon, and care information. I bundle those together ahead of time so I can just toss them with the package.

Prepare mats as you go.
Since I’m not doing outdoor art sales anymore, I prepare my works as I go so that they’re ready to ship. I put the painting in a USPS Priority Mail envelop with the include package, and it’s just about ready to go.

Complete Certificates of Authenticity as you go.
I always include a Certificate of Authenticity for each painting that I sell. It is a means of tracking provenance with purchased paintings. I also include my terms of sale, which include my rights to the image. Rather than prepare them the date of sale, all are completed, printed, and signed, ready to go.

Use USPS.
You can’t beat using USPS for shipping. Not only does it save you money, but you get free-weekend delivery. You can call for free pickup or place in your mailbox if it’ll fit to save you time with other carriers.

By my way of doing things, these simple steps cut my fulfillment time in half. Not only is shipping faster, but I’m spending more time painting, which is exactly where I want to be. How do you save time?