In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.
In this Art Marketing Minute, you’ll learn when it’s better to outsource your art-related marketing versus doing the work yourself, and advice for designing your own print ad, including the most important things to consider.
Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 6
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What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.
FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.
This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.
Eric Rhoads 0:23
Thank you, Jim Kipping. And thank you for joining us today. My goal is to eliminate the idea of starving artists. So let’s get right to today’s questions.
I got a couple of questions from a guy named Jason Bowman who’s in Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario, which is right outside of Toronto, and Jason happens to be a creative agency and ad agency there. He’s also a planner painter. He’s been in touch and he sent me these questions. And so I got two questions from him. And he happens to be in the marketing business. He’s an artist and so he’s probably not going to agree with everything I say, but we’ll see. His first question is in your estimation, what marketing functions are best outsourced versus doing it yourself?
Well, in my life, I want to outsource everything somebody can do better. So I don’t have to burn time learning. I can’t learn everything. Well, I can’t do things as well as someone who’s been an expert for 30 or 40 years or 10 years or five years. And so some things I try to set, what are the things I like to do? What are the things I’m good at? What are the things I’m not good at? I try to push all the things I don’t like to do, and push all the things I’m not good at, often somebody else. And so anytime I can get somebody who’s better at it, I’ll do that. But it depends. Like as an artist, there are things that when you’re kind of getting started marketing your work, well, you’re going to have to do them yourself because you don’t have the extra money. And there are some services. And some of those services you almost have to use, right like there are services for building websites. You know, if you do it from scratch, it’s probably a giant waste of time trying to figure it out, where you can get a company You can just upload your images and everything’s done for you. And there are people who do this who specialize in websites for artists for instance. And and of course, there are others out there who do it for everybody. So you can kind of pick things like that. I know artists who actually outsource things like social media to experts, because those experts are good at getting them massive followings in it. And it pays off in some ways, you know, maybe it helps them fill up their workshops or other things. There is some evidence that some people are starting to sell some art via social media, but most people aren’t. And there’s some very specific tricks. We’re going to talk about some of those at the marketing sessions in the planner convention, but you know, there are lots of people who can do things for you, their agents who can set up gallery relationships, and manage them. There are people who can set up and manage your workshops or do your shows etc. And it depends on how much time and money you have. We do this program called Art marketing in a box, which it’s not an outsource, but it’s like You pay us the money. And it’s a year of marketing this planned out for you. It’s all pre written for you pre written newsletters, emails, mail campaigns, etc. And pretty much the people that we’re hearing from that are using it and getting really great results. In I saw something on the private website where we all communicate. One person said they had doubled their income last year, and other ones said that they more than doubled their income. So those things are pretty cool. And they basically still have to be customized, right? You got to put your paintings and stuff in them, but they can save you a lot of time, but you got to have the money to buy them, and sometimes you don’t. So there’s this old adage, and that is that marketing either takes time, or money. The more time you put in, the less money you have to spend of course that time is keeping you from making money if if making money is about painting and doing enough paintings, and you have to make that you know that balance thing, can I spend a little money, get somebody to do something for me, so that it doesn’t take my time so I can do more painting. And so that’s the way you want to Look at it. When I started my business, I worked a full day basically from about seven o’clock in the morning till about five or six o’clock in the afternoon. And then I didn’t have any time for marketing. So I had to learn marketing. So I would take from like six o’clock at night till 10 o’clock or 11 o’clock at night, and driving home at 11 or midnight every night and I was working on marketing during those times, so I had no choice. So you got to put in the time or you got to put in the money if you want something to happen, and sometimes you have to put in both, especially when you’re growing a business. But after I got some meat on my bones and I had had a little money then I would take that money and hire somebody to help me out or hire a freelancer. Today we have sites like Upwork where you can hire people for projects and design and writing copy and things like that they’re invaluable.
Jason has another question. It says best practices for designing an ad in planner magazine, what to include what not to include what to emphasize tagline call to action. Well when I did my First Magazine Ad I knew nothing about it. I remember specifically the time I bought my very first Magazine Ad I thought it was a hot shot. I thought it was really cool. And I went out and I called this magazine, I talked to the sales rep. She told me exactly what to do. But I decided I knew better. And so my friends had been giving me some advice. And I did exactly the opposite of what she told me to do, and the ad bombed. And then I kept doing it in the ad bombed and kept bombing. And I wasted a lot of time and money. It’s expensive. And so I think first off, you want to listen to people who are experts who do this who know their publication, and I could have saved a lot of money and had a lot more success a lot faster. Let’s start with some of the basics. In a magazine like planner, you have basically one of two audiences you have collectors who buy or who go around to the various plein air events and you have artists who buy paintings but they also go to workshops and surprisingly, about 80% of the artists are buying paintings. And so even though you might think it’s a magazine for artists, what we’re finding is a lot of people who’ve gone to a plein air events, as collectors have taken a painting and they’re still buying paintings. As matter of fact, what we’ve been learning is they’re buying more because now they want to have them around them so they can look at them and understand how they did them. Anything. Everything you do, though, you want to start with the outcome in mind. So what do you want to accomplish, you may want to drive people to a show, you may want to drive people to an event, or you may want to do branding and build your name awareness or create any awareness of you. You may want to sell a specific painting or maybe you want them to visit your website, or maybe you want to get their email address. You can’t do it all in one ad. And when people try to it just becomes one giant cluster mess, right? So honestly, try to figure out what’s the one thing you want to do? What’s the one purpose and everybody’s got a different purpose depending on what’s important to you? And honestly, realistically, in most cases, one is never enough. It’s pretty good for a show. Like if you’re doing a planner event, you know, you should really be doing two or three of those minimum. So people get it on their calendar way in advance. But it’s like a doctor asking you to take antibiotics and you say, Well, I’m going to take one pill, there’s a cumulative effect of that pill over and over time in your bloodstream. And the same thing happens with advertising. There’s a cumulative effect. And that’s why I always preach about repetition and never ever giving up because you just the more repetition, the more momentum you build, momentum builds on momentum. And then after a year, two years, three years, you’re just really rocking it and really getting results. And then what happens is people get cocky and confident and they stop, they think, okay, things are going well, and then their business crashes about six months later, and so then they kind of start up again and they’ve lost momentum. So keep that in mind. You want to be careful not to get seduced by numbers. Now I can buy a magazine with a million readers. I could buy a magazine with 100,000 readers, or I could buy a magazine with 1000 readers. The natural thing we default to when we don’t know about these things is we think bigger is better. But what if the hundred thousand people were people with no money, or people who didn’t like paintings or people didn’t like your kind of paintings or people who maybe they liked paintings, but they just, you know, they’re all in positions where they don’t have the money to buy them. Or what if a magazine had 1000 people but every one of those thousand people were billionaires make a big difference, like fine art kind of sir. My other magazine has, you know, it’s got a lot of readers but it’s got 310 billionaires 310 billionaires, and I have one advertiser tells me he gets $80,000 average return on his investment, every time he runs an ad because he’s targeting billionaires who buy you know, half million dollar paintings and so that’s, you know, that’s really good for him. So it kind of depends on the product. The reality is that every artist, most artists paint only Like 5200 paintings a year, and some of the better artists early can paint, you know, four or five or 10, or maybe 20. But the reality is you don’t need 100,000 people to buy paintings, you don’t even need 1000 You don’t even need 500 you know, if you’ve got an output of 50 to 100 paintings a year, you only need to sell it to 50 or hundred people. So you want to do advertising in a place that’s most likely to get people to buy who wants something specific that you have to offer where you really fit the target niche of the audience. That’s why plein air magazine is a great place if you’re selling planner or studio or landscape paintings because it’s really, really focused on that collector and it’s a it’s a nice, it’s a good group of people, but it’s a narrow niche. Now when you’re building an ad, start with the outcome in mind, like I said, and keep in mind that most art ads all look alike. And that’s not good. You need to stand out. Ask yourself How can Stand up. There’s an ad running in plein air magazine right now by Michelle jung. She’s writing ads that brand her have a big photo of her stands out. She doesn’t show her artwork on the on the ad. And the temptation would you would think would be, well, let’s show the artwork, but everybody’s showing their artwork. So she’s going the opposite. She’s standing out. And I think Charlie hunter has been doing that a little bit too. And so the idea is you want to stand out, what can you do that’s going to stand out. experts will say the number one most important thing is the headline. It’s like an email. The number one most important thing is the subject line. You got to get them to read the subject line to get them to open the email. In an ad you got to grab them fast with a headline because they’re flipping through the pages and that headlines, gotta grab them, talk to them, get their attention, make them want to read to the next line and then the first line is got to draw him in. The photo has got to draw in second most important thing is is either the photo or the first line in your copy. And then your call to action you want to have copy that draws them through, draws them to a conclusion. And then you want to ask people to buy something, or to do something or to take action, you know, go to my website and do this. I’m a big fan of offering what I would call it ethical bribe, right. And that is come to my website for a free note card or free book or free something of value so that they will want to give you their email address so that they’ll sign up for something and then you have a name and you can do more contacting with them over time. But don’t do what everybody else does. get attention and attention getting ad works 10 times faster than one that blends in and looks like everything else. And don’t copy other people because you don’t know the outcome you want remember it you know there was a time when everybody after Got Milk, everybody’s doing, you know, got plumbing got this or got that. Well. You know, it isn’t necessarily what the outcome that these copycats desire, you know, don’t copy the big national advertisers. They’re not necessarily looking to do anything other than keep their brand alive and less. That’s what you want to do. So be original stand out, have a call to action and that will work. I hope this helps. Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artist and to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com Thanks for listening.
Remember to Submit Your Question: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.