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 [...]
Artists and craftspeople should consider the value of building an e-mail list. When you can e-mail people, you have your own medium that allows you to contact them as much or as little as you wish. (Once they have opted in.) E-mail is an excellent way to grow your business, sell more paintings, and deepen your customer relationships. Not sure HOW to build an e-mail list? In this article I’ll share lots of ideas and methods that can work for you. Keep reading, and I’ll make it simple to understand and do. Why, exactly, should you consider building an e-mail list? Well, if you were suddenly stripped of all your Facebook, Instagram, and social media accounts, what would you do? What if all the websites and advertising vehicles, like art magazines, disappeared? What then? Though this is unlikely to happen, we’ve seen artists make a simple mistake (like posting a nude painting) and have their Facebook accounts cancelled. All it takes sometimes is one complaint, and you’ve lost years of accumulated followers. Starting from scratch and getting those followers back may not be possible. Therefore I believe your e-mail list is so valuable that you should guard it with your life. Make sure it's never shared and never lost. And, of course, your list must be treated with respect. Your e-mail list may be the most important thing [...]