We know that during this lockdown period Artists have had Shows cancelled and Art Galleries have closed their doors. So here at the Visual Artists Association HQ we have been focusing on what our members can do RIGHT NOW on their Arts Business!
1. INCOME If you haven’t already done so; check what you are entitled to claim from the Government during the Covid-19 lockdown. Here is a brief lowdown on what might be applicable to Artists.
a) Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates. The government is paying £10,000 grants to businesses that occupy premises that pay little or no business rates. So, if you are an Artist and pay little or no business rates but occupy a business property, you may be able to claim a one off grant of £10k.
b) Self-employed Income Support Scheme – This is a grant worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for next 3 months. Ask your Accountant for details.
c) Grants – Research specialist grants that you might be eligible for. Please see: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19 e) Start Selling Online
2. GO ONLINE. Get online – Now is the time to make sure that your platforms are up to speed and you can directly connect with your audience. Once we are out of lock down you will be able to move on with pride knowing that everything is ready to go! The good news is there are only three main areas for you to work on:
1/Email list What do you check every day? Your inbox. So does the rest of the population. If you haven’t already done so start your email list now or bring it up to date. Why not use this as a great opportunity to have a direct one to one conversation with a Buyer?
• Start by making a list of every single person who has bought your art/ is interested in your art;
• Compose an email with 3 key ingredients; ask how they are, that you are taking a moment to thank them for appreciating your art/buying your art; conclude with a link to your website/image of your work.
• For those who respond, tell them what you are up to; show them new artworks, do you have slots open for commissions, let them know? Action re-cap: Compile Email list/compose email
2/Artist Website Now is the time to update your website, it should be fresh, clear and above all reflect the very best version of you and your art.
• Domain name? This must be short, to the point; and professional.
• Email Address should be likewise – get rid of that old hotmail account with a cutesy name attached. It doesn’t look professional or serious.
• Update with Fresh new and available work, include prices.
• Update your events
• Make sure Visitors can sign up to a newsletter and that they newsletters are updated on a regular basis
• Check for clarity of image and upload speed. Consider some close up images where texture is involved.
• An outdated statement, bio or cv immediately hint that you are not focused.
Your website should raise your credibility. There are plenty of simple tools and sites for building websites out there, so there is no excuse. Your website is your selling platform that never sleeps.
3/ Instagram This is the number one social media platform for Artists and is your calling card. Use it to tell followers about what you are up to with your posts – what are you creating. No personal life posts though;
• Put your works in context
• Quality over quantity while keeping it varied
• Compare Yourself with your top three favourite artist accounts – why is yours so different? Audit yourself, and fill the gap. Work on these areas in the next few months and you will be making excellent progress.
If you would like to look at these areas or any other of your Art Business in more detail why not join the Visual Artists Association (VAA) https://visual-artists.org/join – for as little as £4.99 per month to receive £5million Public and Products Liability Insurance, Online Resources, Helpline and much more . We are also offering FREE 1-2-1 Strategy calls for the first 100 Artists who join.