Occasionally you meet a person that has a uniquely beautiful perspective paired with equally beautiful talent. Jon Allen is one of these rare humans. I was moved when I saw his online gallery of gorgeous metal sculptures. I knew he would have a wealth of good insight on how to monetize your passions and share joy. He is not only a brilliant artist but a hardworking entrepreneur. His simple and honest philosophy:
Art exists as an intangible theory when hands are idle; only an engaged hand can visually exchange the theory to others. – Jon Allen.
Q: What type of products do you sell?
A: I sell my original metal artwork. Every piece is handcrafted. I make metal wall art in an array of sizes, colors and themes. We also have indoor-outdoor abstract sculptures that have been very popular as well as wall clocks. Recently, I’ve debuted some of my fine paintings as well and we’ll have a plethora of new items available in the new year that I’m really excited to share like beautiful jewel tone tables and fusions with wood & other organic materials I’ve been working with.
Q: What is your most successful Shoppost?
A: Shopposts are a great way to get instant feedback on an item so that in and of itself makes it successful for me. Regardless of whether those reactions happen to translate to sales instantly, I find value in the reaction itself. If something gets several likes and re-tweets, I know I’m heading in the right direction with something. My most successful Shoppost to date was probably a new gallery painting I debuted.
Q: How does social commerce fit into your overall strategy?
A: Social commerce is important to me now and I think it will only continue to be more so in the future. An online presence stopped being an option for me a very long time ago and I feel like social shopping is just the next logical progression. The marriage of social media and commerce has been a totally organic one for me and more importantly, for buyers. I think it’s as simple as us just delivering our message and content in the way that people want to receive it now and I will continue to evolve and adapt as technology and tastes do.
Q: What is your number one tip for successful social commerce?
A: My number one tip for successful social commerce is to always be yourself and remember that variety is the spice of life.
Q: How has Shoppost helped your success?
A: It’s an exciting new way for us to deliver information about and access to our items in a way that people are very comfortable receiving their information now. With Shoppost, we get to bring information to them in the social media channels our customers turned friends and potential new customers already finds their news, stay connected to their loved ones, and where they seek entertainment. Connecting with people on their turf on their terms is always a success because they’re a relaxed, open, and generally interested audience.
Q: What results did you see from using Shoppost?
A: We are relatively new at using Shoppost so I don’t have a lot of data to speak to the conversions, but so far it seems like an excellent way to attract more traffic. It’s an absolutely risk free way of potentially getting not just the piece at hand seen but my entire Etsy shop presented to a new audience.
Q: Any additional thoughts on social shopping?
A: What’s great about social shopping is that people can really get a sense of who they’re buying from. Purchasing art is already a unique buying experience by virtue of the fact that its art — it is obviously a very personal and subjective preference on the shopper’s end and it’s personal for me because I’m the one who conceived and crafted it. The potential buyer may already feel like they have a sense of something personal about me just based on the work itself. But beyond that, social shopping allows people to shop immersed in the context of who they’re buying from and I think that matters to people now more than ever before. You’re not just going to get to see a small thumbnail photo of me and get blasted with links to my work; you can also see how I interact with people and how I value those interactions. There are also insights and sneak peeks into my process on some of my social media posts that just seem so natural to have beside the opportunity to buy they very product you’ve seen me creating or working on. (And yes, you may also end up learning what my must see cat video of the moment is, but that’s just a bonus!)