In the world of selling and marketing your art, there are obvious tactics and subtle tactics. Obvious are things like marketing plans, and all the tricks and techniques I talk about in my Art Marketing Boot Camp series. But there are also many subtle things that we rarely think of as important in selling art. One such subtlety is the impact a frame has on the sale.
Years ago my wife asked a couple to spend a holiday weekend with us at the lake. When the power went down on Friday afternoon and we realized we’d blown out the breaker box, the husband, an electrician by trade, generously offered to fix it. So we went to the local hardware store to buy the parts.
Pricing is the least understood facet of any business, but it’s one that can easily be fixed — without a negative impact. Most of the artists I know are underselling their art, struggling, having to paint too many paintings to keep their heads above water. They are on an exhausting treadmill because their prices are too low.
To help your gallery sell more artwork this summer, I've put together these 7 ideas.1. Remember the Basics: Because we are all very close to our businesses, we assume people know what we do, who we are, and what is featured in our galleries — but this is simply not true. Though you should continue to "work" your customer list, also develop a strategy to attract new faces and new customers. People are moving all the time, and out-of-towners are visiting.Your outreach program should tell your story in fresh ways that will bring in the new people and reinvigorate those who have not been in for a while. 2. Traditions Can Become Tired Have you been doing the same things year after year? Though tradition breeds comfort, it also breeds complacency. Have people stopped attending your openings or events because they have become too predictable? Shake things up. Invite interesting people or VIPs to create buzz. Though a fresh artist or a new show is often enough, it can't hurt to use a hot caterer, promote a celebrity guest, or feature an intriguing speaker. 3. People Love to Watch and Participate People are fascinated by watching sculptors and painters work. Set up guest artists weekly and find ways to spread the word though the community. Host something fresh every week or two throughout the summer. [...]
The Power Of Repetition My kids desperately want a dog, but their mother and I have mixed feelings about taking care of their animal once the kids go off to college in three years. But at every turn, when we ask them a question of any kind … like, “What do you want for dinner?” or, “What do you want to do this weekend?” the answer is always, “I want to go get a dog.” Just yesterday my wife saw twin dogs online that are available for adoption. Suddenly the kids went into sales mode to convince us to get one of those dogs. Last night as I walked into my studio there was an 8” x 10” glossy of the dog on my easel. When I went to bed, there was one on my pillow. When I got up this morning, there was one at the breakfast bar. And today when I came to work, there was one on my keyboard. Though I’ve been pretty opposed to a dog for all the practical reasons, I have to admit, each time I see the picture, it melts my heart a little more and I get a little closer to saying yes. In fact, I’ve already gone from a firm “no” to a “maybe,” and I’ve even agreed to go visit and meet the twins this weekend. Of [...]
A message about art marketing from Eric Rhoads I used to cringe when anyone suggested I go into sales. To me, a salesman was sleazy, slimy, coldhearted, and filled with lies. I did not want to become that, and that's why I resisted sales for many years. Then one day a mentor pointed something out… When your doctor is recommending surgery, she is selling. But you don’t look at it as selling, you look at it as prescribing. A fresh way to look at selling is serving. You and I buy hundreds of things in our lifetime that we did not know we needed, yet turn out to be some of the best things we ever bought. I resisted a dishwasher when I was first married. Washing by hand is easy, and fun. But someone talked me into a dishwasher, and now I’d never want to live without one. Was the person who sold that to me being sleazy, slimy, or coldhearted? Of course not. They offered a service, walked me through the benefits, listened to my issues, answered my questions, and helped me realize how much I really needed it. I’m living in the greatest house ever. I did not want it, because of the price. But once the benefits were pointed out, I bought it, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. [...]