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, Eric Rhoads explains how to handle it if the gallery representing you isn’t focused on selling paintings, and how you can educate “art voyeurs” to become art buyers at galleries and festivals.
Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 33 >>>
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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.
In the marketing minute I try to answer art marketing questions from you. You can email your questions to me [email protected] By the way, there’s a lot of content at artmarketing.com. A lot of ideas for you. So here, this listener said he’d like to be anonymous. I assume it’s a he but I actually I know it’s a here because, I saw his email. And he says, My art is in a new gallery, but the gallery owner is focused on creating her own art. And as far as I can tell, isn’t focusing on marketing the gallery. There are no Facebook campaigns, no ads, no email campaigns, there’s nothing going on. And all the people coming into the gallery are the owners, friends and artists, I’m not seeing a lot of activity. So the first part of my two part question is how do I advise and help this gallery owner, reach out to the local market and help educate them about buying local landscape paintings? And what main steps should she take? I don’t know if the gallery has other than landscape paintings, but the answer is going to be the same no matter what and that is, first off, you gotta you gotta learn marketing and I can help her with that. You can point her to some of my marketing stuff, but I even have a blog for galleries, but I don’t want to be now. Negative so forgive this. But if you own a business, any kind of a business, but especially in this case in art gallery, it cannot be a hobby, or it will fail unless you’re independently wealthy. On the other hand, a gallery that knows how to promote an advertising is more likely to succeed. Now, my gallery works very hard for its artists and for itself, it’s always getting local stories in the newspaper on local websites, it’s always advertising, it’s doing direct mail and social media. They’re really working it they sell a lot of art. As a matter of fact, I sent a piece in and two weeks later, it was gone. They sold it. One of the reasons I selected this gallery is because they’re aggressive. The worst thing is the gallery that does nothing and hopes people will walk in and buy something, but that’s kind of the old days It doesn’t work that way very much anymore. So yeah, there are gallery owners out there that have people walk in and but the traffic is typically not enough. So one gallery I, I know one owner, I know actually makes calls all week long to potential and previous buyers, you have to work it, gallery owners have to work hard. That’s why I say, if you’re in a gallery and you’re in a good one, they’re earning their money, don’t be so worried about paying them their commission, they’re earning it, you know, you don’t want to be the one that’s on the phone all day trying to drum up business do you. Chances are if the gallery owner is serious, she would be doing all these things now. Now maybe she needs to learn them. And maybe you can offer help and suggest that she do some things but the way I would approach it is say, hey, I’ve noticed I’m not seeing a lot of marketing and so on. Would you be willing to let me help you with that? Or would you be willing to let me give you some ideas if she or he says no, then move on. You will spend a lot of time frustrated that they’re not working for you if your paintings are in that gallery. So in that case, If you don’t believe they’re going to work it, move on, because it’s not going to do you any good paintings are going to sit on the wall and not move, you don’t want that. You want a gallery, that paintings are moving off the wall all the time or as much as possible. So this goes to the point about selecting a gallery. We artists think it’s up to them to select us. And to some extent it is because you want to be invited in. I have a whole strategy on that in one of my videos but I tell artists to develop their wish list of galleries that they want to be in and I give them very specific information on how to promote yourself ethically and appropriately to them. But in your target list, you’ve got to do your homework. Is the gallery advertising and are they doing it frequently? are they sending out invitations to shows? you should get on their list. You should get on their email list and find out are they doing a lot of shows? Do they generate publicity? Are they properly working social media and I say properly because most social media strategies are flawed and most of the things that people think they’re doing a social media strategy is not working for them. And they can’t tell. They can’t see because they assume everything they post is getting out there. The reality is only 2%. Now 2% of everything you post, let’s say you have 5000 people on your Facebook, and you post your assuming all 5000 people see it, no 2% see it. It’s not always the same 2% but usually these days, they’re repeating a lot of the same 2% so there’s strategies around that. But the social media advertising can be effective if it’s done right, but it’s just not a matter of pressing boost post. It’s not a matter of doing what everybody else is doing. There’s a whole new realm of technological developments and new ways of making social media work. We’re doing a lot of it. And we’re using some experts to help us with that. Most people don’t know about those kinds of things. But when interviewing a gallery asked them about their process, how do they sell Who does the selling? How do they present their work to buyers? What happens when somebody walks into the gallery? How do they get visitors? How much is sold online? How much selling do they do via the phone? And how often are they selling artwork? If they say, well, we’re selling one or two pieces a month, you have to ask, Well, how are they paying the rent? Well, if they’re expensive pieces there, they can pay the rent. But if they’re inexpensive pieces, they’re eventually going to be out of business and you want to hang with winners, you know, you could be friends with people and I have a lot of friends that are not necessarily successful at what they do. They’re still friends and I love them. But I’m not going to put my career in their hands. I’m going to put my career in my own hands and in the hands of people who are going to succeed and that’s what you want to do. So do your homework. Your second question says, I find that many art lovers who attend art galleries and festivals are art voyeurs who visit as a form of entertainment instead of for the purpose of purchasing art. How do we educate this fan segment and convert them to buyers? I think your term art voyeurs is interesting. You know, I used to be an art lawyer, I would go to art shows because I liked art. And once in a while I’d buy a piece. I never ever went intending to buy a piece. And I don’t think most people go intending to buy a piece. They go to see things to see what they like. And if they see something they like, they might buy it. I have been literally to hundreds of art openings. And I can tell you that a good gallery can convert what you call art voyeurs into art buyers, and a poor gallery doesn’t know how to do it. And I think it’s about the gallery and their sales process, the training they give their people and how they engage people. Clearly, you start by inviting past buyers, known buyers, people who have spent money in the past because you want them they’re spending money again, second, you target people who have money and you can Find people through various lists. You can advertise in targeted places affluent magazines. For instance, my magazine. If you’re thinking a national strategy, my magazine Fine Art connoisseur is the most affluent art collector magazine in existence. It’s got billionaires and multimillionaires and no it doesn’t have tons and tons of them. It’s got probably three 400 billionaires and 1000 multimillionaires. How many do you need to buy a painting? Really? I have one gallery tells me every time he advertises he sells an average of $80,000 worth of artwork because he’s selling pieces that are expensive. Now that doesn’t work for everybody but there are places that you can go for affluent people. And so you want a gallery that’s working every show, all their sales people are they’re working, they’re engaging customers appropriately, asking them questions, engaging them about art, and they gently nudge someone into a decision. Now, other galleries I know are not working it. They sit and they drink with their customers, they socialize, they’re having a good time. But they’re not doing any selling. They’re just hanging out with people and you need to do some selling. And that doesn’t mean you have to be inappropriate or nudge people too hard or be obnoxious. There’s very appropriate ways to do it happens all the time. And and if you go to a good gallery, and you observe how they do it, you’ll see that these people are pros and they know how to do it. So don’t do it the wrong way. Don’t be pushy or obnoxious. Everybody though, needs a little bit of a nudge. You know, sometimes they just need to be kind of help realize that they love it and they want to take it home. Chances are these art voyeurs you call are coming to the gallery that you described, and chances are, they’re probably not serious about buying, but they can get nudged into it. The gallery that you described doesn’t sound like they’re serious about selling. So they’re going to be serious about it when they can’t pay their rent But by then it’s too late, of course, because, you know, when you’re once you’re out of money, you’re out of money. And it’s hard to fix that. So you got to be proactive and get ahead of this. So it’s important for everybody, whether you’re an artist, whether you’re a gallery, whether you have a business, it’s important to understand the principles of selling and marketing. Selling in marketing can make the difference. I was in a meeting today, and we were talking about a strategy that would make certain things that we do even bigger, and it’s all always about selling and marketing. So keep that in mind. I hope this is helpful.
Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists 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.