Growing Your Mosaic Business With a Lead Generation Process
The success of every mosaics business is dependent on 2 things - innovating and creating customers. For most mosaics businesses, the "innovating" part is the easy one. After all it is what mosaic artists do. However, for most mosaic artists, creating customers isn't something found on the easy-list. Yet without customers the innovations (mosaic art) just consumes cash, time and space.
Creating customers is dependent on "lead generation." Lead generation is the initiation of interest in your offerings i.e. mosaic wall hangings, mosaic classes, murals, etc. The more interest you generate the more sales you are likely to make.
As with many things in life and business, the interest you generate by and for your mosaics can be cultivated to yield even more customers. There are 3 fundamental parts of the system.
First - data storage and retrieval
A professional approach to lead generation begins with a method to store, segment, and use information about the "interest" that is generated. The interest lies in people we often refer to as leads. People and their interest can be described with information such as names, contact information, where and how we met, and so on. Their interests in your mosaics can also be described by their relevance to the offerings of your business i.e. they are interested in a mural, or a mosaic class, and so on.
In years gone by, small businesses stored the information on 3x5 cards and filed it by the month in which the next contact should occur. Now, the primary tool for storing and segmenting the interest of leads is digital and relies on database software. They can be very efficient at segmenting the interests of people (leads) who have expressed some interest in your mosaics business. They are often referred to as CRM (customer relationship management) systems, but can be as simple as a spreadsheet or a digital address book. We use an inexpensive CRM system and manage the information of about 10 thousand people with it.
An example of how you might use such a system if you were about to have a showing of your mosaic portraits of famous musicians in an art gallery, is to ask the system to return the records of people who have shown prior interest in musicians or mosaic portraits, or your next show, and live within 30 miles of the gallery. From the results, you can send them an invitation to attend the opening.
Now in order to populate the database with leads you will want to have a system (crude or sophisticated) that generates interest and captures information associated with the people expressing the interest. If your mosaic business, like many, have a variety of revenue channels i.e. gift shops, art & craft festivals, instruction, etc. You may benefit from separate lead generation processes for each.
Second - expressed interest
You have to generate interest. Doing that begins with exposing your art to as many people as you can. Tools that can help you do that are both online and offline. Online tools include a well designed website that facilitates communications with people; social media pages like Facebook that let you share images of your art; and workbook (artist directory) sites that present information about you and your art.
Offline tools include art shows and galleries where you may both display and sell your art while meeting the people who are looking at it, and facilities like hospitals, restaurants, and public buildings where you may display your art and information about yourself. Offline tools also include teaching in public art programs, speaking about mosaics in civic organizations, and many more opportunities that you can identify with your specific knowledge of your market place.
Third - data collection
You have to collect information about the people and the interests they express. There are no hard or fast rules for doing that. Common methods include forms that allow people to subscribe to newsletters, enter drawings for a prize, or receive a discount. Don't overlook that all important referral from a customer or friend.
To put these 3 parts together, lend some of the creativity you use for mosaics to generating leads for your business and make a plan for each of the 3 parts of the lead generation system. Then put your plan in action.
Once you have generated interest in your mosaic offerings and collected retrievable information about the people expressing interest, you can begin to nurture their interest until they become a proud owner of your art or your instruction.