One of the biggest mistakes one can make when deciding to sell a comic is to assume that he or she does not need to know the “heavier” stuff like advertising, budget, business plan or MARKETING. As we’ve mentioned before, it is a mistake to not consider the business aspects. Some still think that having a marketing plan or even a budget for this is unnecessary as it is not a “real” business. (No kidding, we met quite a lot of people who actually think this way).
Small and medium enterprises, multi-million dollar companies or investment banks are not the only ones doing “real” business and need marketing strategies. For example: if you have a stall that sells lemonades on the side of the streets, should you not consider?
How many lemons you need to make lemonade drinks?
Have i created enough buzz for this?
How much are the lemons going to cost? The cost of plastics cups?
What is the price charged for a glass of lemonade?
Is it enough to cover the cost of getting the lemons?
Is the sign big enough to get people’s attention?
How much profit would you get in the end?
Despite it being a small business, it is still a business that requires business planing and marketing.
Now, before you freak out on what we just went through, we are not going to go through some hardcore marketing course here. Just some basic need-to-know stuff that we think can help you out to market your comic artwork better.
In relevance to marketing, be it online or not, the first thing we recommend you do is research. The goal is to research the best and most effective marketing strategies or approach. The things that you should consider depends on how your marketing is being done – online or offline, locally or internationally, language, age group, genre. These are some of the things that you should look into to maximize the extent of your marketing reach.
The best ways to market your comic artwork is to look for possibilities and options that work on both online and also offline. Look for more than one solid marketing method or plan as you can use one and keep the others ready should they be needed (serve as backup plans). This should keep you ready and calm should one method of fail.
Budget Allocation List
From small and medium projects like printing comic works or setting up a booth at a convention, to big ones like printing comic books for distribution sale or even setting up your own comic convention, having a budget is a must. One of the main uses of having a budget is to make sure that you do not overspend. It also helps keep you in line with your profit goals.
If you are looking to commit yourself to a comic project or an event, it is important that you take into account all that is necessary for you to begin. Allocate your money to different sections. This way, you can know and will limit your budget to what you have allocated for that particular category. Make a list of what you need to pay and prioritize them. Next, give a rough estimation on how much you need for each work/assignment and set aside that money.
For example: If you are planning to print your comic work to sell at the local comic event, you need to set aside some amount of money in the budget for cost of publishing your books, the booth rent, accessories that you need to set up your booth, the cost to pack your items. Say you are working on a $1000 budget. You could allocate $100 for the booth rent, $300 for the book printing, around $200 for packaging as well as setting up your booth and another $100 for food. Have the $200 on standby (excess spending) for any unexpected payments and be left with $100.
(We are just playing around with the numbers here, they are not the actual cost of what you need to pay, these are just examples)
Pretty simple right. This will restrain you from spending excessively and lets you focus your budget based on the list that you have prepared. One thing that you must keep in mind is to spare some money for excess spending. Excess spending or rough spending are for those little unexpected, last-minute payments that you may not include or forget to put in the budget. We like to think of this as having a safety net. This will leave you with more versatility and options to be ready and pay for anything that comes up without going overboard and overspending on your budget.
Marketing online is one of the cheapest and cost-effective ways to boost awareness of your comic work as well as increasing traffic to your site and business (if you are selling stuff in your website). This is ideal in a lot of ways, especially compared to traditional advertising (when it is not dominated by ads from big companies) which can only give you limited exposure. Traditional marketing can be pretty expensive too.
From online advertising to a variety of social media options to choose from, marketing online can be a sure way to lead thousands of international visitors to your comic works. We also encourage the use of online marketing for the stuff you do offline like comic events and comic art projects for better exposure. But to do this, you must first have a platform from where you can showcase your artwork and profile. A blog, or social media site such as Facebook and DeviantArt are some of best platforms that you can use as a comic artist and benefit the most online. Now with that being said, lets take a look at some of the best online platforms to use for your comic arts.
Website and Blogs
Most comic artists would overlook the benefits of having their very own website for their comic works. It is usually because of the cost and expertise in creating a website and the commitment that comes with it. In order to create a website, you are going to have to pay for things such as domain registry and hosting. With many other cheaper options (if not free) to choose from, it is no wonder that many would skip the labor of creating a website and opt for other alternatives.
But one cannot deny that this is one of the best if not the most stable online platform that you can have when it comes to creating that online, comic art presence. Having a website shows that you mean business and takes things seriously when it comes to comic art and anything that is relevant to it. You can also use the opportunity to put out the design and layout of your website according to your arts style and approach. When you own a website, this can serve as a rallying ground for other links for sites and social media, so that human traffic will have a place to be directed to and from your website you can also direct them to your social media platform or other sites that your visitors could be interested in. You can also create some side income with advertisement services like Google AdWords/AdSense and Project Wonderful.
Maintaining a website requires a great deal of commitment and discipline. This could involve monthly or yearly payments to the server and hosting, to consistently updating your website with new content. You should really consider your budget as well as your time schedule before committing yourself to creating a website.
If you really have decided to create a website for your comic artwork, please take your time in doing so. Deciding on things like planning the layout of the website, which of your artwork you are going to upload or how often do you update the site.
You should be able to create a blog within your website if you have one or you can create an entirely new standalone blog using blog creation sites like Weebly, WordPress, Tumblr or Blogger. A blog is a good platform to publish your comic strips online. In fact, most comic artist who do webcomics uses the blog/website WordPress along with the plugin ComicPress to publish their webcomics.
Having a blog or art blog is also a great way for you to reply to your visitors enquiry directly via the comments section. This is the comment section at the bottom of every blog post you make. This is great for getting your visitor’s comments and opinions on your post or artwork. You can also reply to them at your own time and depending on the settings of your blog comments section, they will probably get notified of it too.
Like the website, you are able to customize the design and layout of your blog to what you want. Combine blogging with the full usage of social medias is a sure way to get visitors to see your comic works. Like websites, blogs can make full use of advertisement services like Google AdSense and Project Wonderful to generate a side income.
Blogging deserves a special mention here mainly because of how we recommend you use it. Blogs work great with social media, which means you can share whatever you post in the blog with your social media accounts and in return get more traffic or visitors to your site. If you are interested in knowing more on getting the best out of your blog with social media, click here (Social Media for Comics Art).