But You Have Heard...
The comic con season is officially underway!
After a successful weekend at the Vermont Scifi & Fantasy Expo this past weekend, I started thinking a lot about what it actually means to represent my books at these events.
Obviously, the main idea is to sell as many books as possible. But, there is a very important underlying idea that I feel a lot of vendors, myself included, forget. Just being there.
I know that sounds really silly, but it's true. As artists, when we display our work, hang up our banners, and even put out our business cards, we are present.
Here's the truth. Unless you're Stephen King or a famous artist, the likelihood of every person stopping by your booth and buying what you're selling is pretty slim. But if you have a good marketing strategy, (i.e. banners, logo, business cards, etc.) people will remember you! And, honestly, I think that's the whole point of attending this kind of event, not to always sell something, but to be memorable.
So what if someone has a terrible marketing design? I've been there...three times in fact. And each time I found what worked and what didn't. Some people can't afford to pay for a marketing team so they do the best they can. That's totally fine. Whether you have an epic marketing design or something you just photoshopped together, it is so important to not just physically be present, but emotionally.
Greet people as they pass your table. Strike up a conversation if they happen to slow down and glance at your work. Does that always work? Nope, but it gives you a better chance than if you sat down and ignored the event-goers. They can't be interested in what you have to sell if you aren't interested in them.
As Captain Jack Sparrow said in response to being called the worst pirate someone had ever heard, "Ah, but you have heard of me!"
Granted, we don't want to have a bad name for ourselves, it's definitely not a goal. But remember, people are paying attention and at some point in your vending career someone will say, "Hey, I've heard of you!"