How Artists Can Treat the Crisis

We have been asked how we think the news of viruses and possible recession will affect our customers and how it has impacted FinerWorks when it comes to the fulfillment of your prints. Sometimes some of the staff may need to take an extra day off here and there to take care of their kids due to the extended “spring break”. Nothing much has required major changes in FinerWorks’ operations that would affect the ability to produce and ship your prints.

Traditionally for us, the month of March is a slower period. This is partially due to the spring break which spans much of March since the week of spring break varies across the country. The middle of the month is always the lightest since that is when it falls the most.  The lower volume normally experienced usually is because more people are out engaging in different activities with their families rather than being at home or the office where they are ordering prints.

With any slower period, we can usually get orders out quicker. This year is a little different in the sense that we are operating with a smaller staff longer than expected due to their kids being home longer than usual since many schools around the country have extended the time off as a precautionary measure.

With all that, there may be a silver lining in any gray clouds of uncertainty. Even if you have traditionally sold your prints offline, but have wanted to start selling online, now is perhaps the best time to get started. One thing we are noticing is that while certain types of sales where prints are done for event photography have or will be impacted, we are seeing increases in other areas of printing demand. This includes online custom made to order prints and even in smaller things like cards and photo gift items.

All too often, when people are worried or concerned about a crisis, they spend too much time obsessing over it then try to get their mind off it by engaging in nonproductive activities like binge watching Netflix. While spending time with your family is always important, it is also the perfect opportunity to help your business grow. Here is a quick list of things you can do to be focused on.

  • Work on your website’s SEO. This means updating things like page descriptions and even the text displayed on the pages.
  • Test out new production options for your buyers if you are selling in an online market place like Etsy or have a website.
  • Learn new ways to market yourself and your work online. This might mean learning how to setup an email newsletter or using social media to promote yourself.
  • Research and start participating in new online marketplaces. This might include Etsy or Amazon’s Handmade services. Communicate with online galleries to see how can get them to carry your work as well.

We won’t truly know how any change in the economy will fully impact this period for a while still. One thing I am confident about, even if sales seem to be down for some, they will not continue to be that way. In the end people will still want to use your photography services, buy your artwork and things will get better.

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3 Replies to “How Artists Can Treat the Crisis”

  1. Great tips James! I wanted to share a way that I’m taking advantage of the current situation as well.

    On Saturday, I went through all my older prints – ones that were test runs and true originals that I never sold, just hung onto. On Saturday night, I did an Instagram Live from my art handle (@goodboyoriginals) where I offered all prints for $20, with all the money raised to be donated to James Beard Foundation Restaurant Relief Fund.

    For 82 minutes, I never had less than 125 people on and interacting, trying to get their hands on these prints.

    When all was said and done, we raised more than $1,200, all the prints were gone, and I just had to put in a massive order last night for people who weren’t able to get their hands on any during the live stream. Fortunate you guys were having a 30% off Entrada Rag sale haha!

    But I guess the key takeaway is now is the time to interact with your audience. They’re in front of their phones and computers and if you connect it to charity, they’re gonna be all in!

    1. Thanks AJ for sharing that. I have been seeing more and more how artists rely on us things such as this to the artist who relies on us to fulfill smaller individual orders, especially in a time when regular sources of income might be disrupted.

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