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 shares what to say to a potential buyer to keep them engaged, and where to start if you’re brand new to marketing your art.
Click Here to Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 46
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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.
All righty. Well, in the marketing minute I try to answer your questions. There are no stupid questions, just stupid answers and those would be coming from me anyway. Just to Tell me your name and your town and submit it by email [email protected] All right. Here’s a question from Katrina Gorman, from San Antonio, Texas who asks What advice can you give to help follow up conversations with a collector or a potential buyer? If somebody is interested in your work? And they say they need to think about it. When should you follow up with them? And how many times are too many to follow up without feeling like you’re bugging them? If you can’t reach them? Well, Katrina, you’re not gonna love what I have to say here. I’m sorry, I’m you kind of hit a nerve. I know that you’re This is going to hurt but when some when you’re approached by somebody, let’s say you’re in a store and somebody approaches you and says, Can I help you? What do you say? Just looking? So what do you say when you want to not buy something? You say? I need to think about it. That is a story. Doc term, we all use it, I need to think about it. You don’t want to lie to somebody, you don’t want to hurt their feelings. And so you say, I need to think about it. Well, those words are the kiss of death. When you hear those words, you are almost dead in the water. I say almost because I’m going to teach you some moves. But anyway, if they need to think about it, they’re probably not interested. Now, they might be but maybe they don’t want to be pressured. Maybe they do want to think about it. But usually, it’s a way to escape. Now, I’m going to show you a couple of things that are effective. It’s going to take some courage you ready for this? Katrina? Well, first off, you say this, then I’m going to give you a little roleplay here. So it’s you, you say, Are you interested in this piece of art? And they say, Well, I don’t know. I need to think about it. And then you say, Well, tell me about it. Tell me about it. And what are you thinking? And they’ll say something, all right. So the idea is just say when they say I need to Think about it. So well, they’ll tell me about it. And and that’s a tool you can use. And by the way, you keep somebody talking for an hour by that you can say, you know, tell me about it. Tell me more. So they say, you know, let’s say, I need to think about it. You say, tell me about, well, I’m not exactly sure you know where I would hang it on, you can say, hang it, tell me more. And they go, Well, you know, it’s kind of thinking about, should I hang it in the living room or the bedroom and you go, Well, what do you think? Well, I don’t I kind of think it’d be best in the bedroom. Okay, why do you think that? Well, because I’d like to wake up in the morning every morning and look at that, because it’s such a beautiful painting. It’s such a beautiful view. And then you can say beautiful view. Oh, yeah, I love the view. And I would really love to have that. What happens when you do that is that you don’t have to pressure anybody. But what you do is you keep them talking and then you find that you’re able to kind of lead them along so that they take themselves Next thing you know this, like, you know what, I think that is a beautiful view, I think I would like to look at it in my bedroom every morning, and I think I will buy it. That’s one thing. Now, you can also ask them for feedback. You know, tell me more. Tell me more about that. And you’re peeling back the onion. And eventually most people will give you the real truth. And usually the real truth is, I don’t like it or I don’t love it or the price is too high or something like that. Now you can, you can say this one, this one takes a little bit more courage. They say I want to think about it. You can say, you know, forgive me for saying this. But when most people tell me they want to think about it, but they really mean is that they’re not interested but they don’t really want to hurt my feelings. If that’s the case, I’m okay with it. Believe me. I don’t believe in pressure. But the problem is if you tell me what to think about it, and you’re not really interested, I’m probably going to be following up with you. I’m going to call you and you’re going to be hiding out not taking my calls and I’m just gonna keep calling And you’re gonna keep finding messages from me. And you know, I don’t want to really waste your time. And I know you don’t want to waste mine. So if if you’re really not interested in it, just go ahead and tell me that you’re not going to hurt my feelings. And so which is it? Are you simply not interested? Or do you really truly need to think about it? Well, if they say, No, I’m simply not interested. That’s cool. You say, Well, thank you for your honesty, I really appreciate that. And I hope we can do business sometime in the future and then let it go. But if they say, No, no, I truly do need to think about it. And then you can say, Well, what exactly do you need to think about? Maybe I can help you answer some questions, or you can use those moves I told you about before. And then don’t say anything. Just Just be quiet and listen. Now another thing you can do when they say they need some time to think about it, you can say that’s terrific. How much time do you need and when should I follow up with you? Because I don’t want to be a pest. And then they’ll tell you well, you know, you can text me and text me by Thursday, I’ll have an answer. Now, whenever somebody escapes, you’re not going to sell them. Most people who leave Don’t Come back and buy. But then you can try to do some things to keep them coming back or thinking thinking about them. But you could say something like to try to get them into say, you know, what, what could we do today? What if What could we do to make this happen today? Because I know quite frankly, you know, if you walk out the door, the chance of you ever owning my painting, I’d really love to see you own it. You know, you love it, you think it’s cool. So what could we do to make this happen today? And then sometimes they’ll say, Well, I don’t know, you know, maybe if you, you know, knock a few bucks off the price or you do something, you know, maybe they could do that. Or you could you could, you know, try something and if you get a sale, it’s better than not getting a sale. Now, regarding your question about how many times do you follow up most people give up too soon. I have had if I have something important pending, I’ll usually never stop. I will try lots of interesting ways to get their attention. I’ll call them I’ll text him. I’ll email him. I’ll FedEx him. I’ll send him something in the mail, send notes or whatever. Usually, if somebody really doesn’t want to be dogged, then they’re going to eventually step up and say, Listen, I’m really not interested. I just said I was thinking about it. And they’ll tell you the truth, finally. So that’s why you don’t, you know, really want to go through that. But sometimes I have breakthroughs. I follow up with somebody, and they come through, and I ended up selling them something and I won’t chase something, unless it’s really a big sale, I won’t chase something for small amounts of money, because it’s not worth the time. It might be worth the time in your case, because a small amount of money might be a big amount of money to you. But the other thing is never really let somebody leave without giving you something and returned. So you can here’s here’s a move you can make, for instance, say, you know, you’ll, I know you’ll love that painting, and I know you’re probably not likely to buy it. And that’s okay, by the way to say something like that, because that might push them the opposite direction. There’s a whole theory about that. Maybe I’ll talk about that someday. Anyway, you say, listen, can I take a picture of this painting and text it to you? And they say, Sure, you know, and You can say, Well, I’ll tell you well, let me take your picture in front of it. And so you take their picture in front of it, then you say, Okay, give me your text number and you text it to them. Now you have their text. Now they have a reminder. And you can in the text, you can say, by the way, you know, here’s this is the name of the painting, and this is the price etc. Now, there’s another tool. This is oftentimes misused, and I don’t want to see you misuse it. But this tool is called urgency. I never suggest lying or even insinuating something. But if you truly have somebody else who’s interested, you can tell them that now they might not believe you, they might believe this is false urgency. But you know, you might, you might be able to say that, for instance, hey, you know, I know you’re interested in this. I know this sounds like a game but there was a guy in here earlier today and he was kind of interested. He said he might come back quite frankly, I don’t know if he will. But you know, all of a sudden, this kind of creates a little different chemical reaction. They’re like, mmm, maybe I ought to do something about this. If I’m truly serious about some people that has a negative effect. The other thing is if you sense that somebody is going to be interested in something, say that before you get to that point. So, you know, somebody says, Hey, I liked this painting, I said, you could say, well, you know, it seems to be the thing going on today, there was a guy in here earlier, I don’t know if he’s going to come back and get it or not, but he likes it too. So you’re just kind of planting that seed and then all of a sudden, it’s like, you know, it’s like when you walk into a car dealer and you like the purple car, and they say, well, we only got one purple, and we can’t get any more purple for six more months. And by the way, there’s somebody in here looking at this today, all of a sudden, you’re like, maybe I need to get my purple car. I don’t have a purple car. I’m just saying, you know, okay, so anyway, that’s one of the moves you can make.
Now, here’s the next question. And that’s from Paige in St. Louis. Paige, who says I’m an artist, I know nothing about marketing. Where do I start? Where do I learn? What do I do? Paige? I love St. Louis. I love the old train station. That’s now hotel I can’t think of the name of it. And of course, there’s a great Blues Club downtown near the arch. Anyway. Love St. Louis, you should know Paige that you’re not alone. Most artists have no idea where to start, and most don’t even want to do marketing. But before I tell you where to start, I want to reiterate that marketing is the difference between having gas in a car or not having any gas, the more gas you have, the longer you can go. And you don’t like to go to the gas station. I don’t either. I hate pumping gas, I hate the inconvenience, I’d rather not have to stop. But it’s a fact of life, I know I have to stop at the gas station and put gas in the car. And if I don’t, I’m gonna run out of gas and then I got a problem. So just like that you’ve got to adopt a must do attitude about marketing. In other words, I’m going to put gas in my car every week, and I’m going to start learning and learning how to do it and I’m going to adjust to it. So remember that marketing is not a single event or a one time thing. It’s something that you will have to adopt for the rest of your life as long as you’re trying to sell artwork or whatever you’re trying to sell. It’s a fact of life. As an artist, so those of us who choose to develop muscles and marketing will thrive and those who don’t typically will not the idea of if you build it, they will come. It’s just not true. You know, just because you’re a great painter or a great sculptor, or great, whatever. Just know that you’re not necessarily going to get discovered. I mean, sometimes people do, but it’s rare. So, where to begin? Well, first off, there’s a ton of information in the market, lots of people including me, offering books, courses, videos, etc. They’re probably all pretty good. Most people who teach this stuff are probably pretty good. My stuff is based on real life and building businesses. There’s no theory in what I do. So mine is as tested. I can’t tell you about the others. But this is a little self serving, but for 25 bucks, you can get my book, it’s called make more money selling your art and it’s a good foundation for you know, for learning marketing. It’s a good start. Most people wrongly start with what I call tactics, things like ads, things like flying wires, you know, social media stuff, etc. But to be effective, you can’t start with tactics, you have to start with strategy. In order to get strategy, you got to define your goals and to get your goals, you got to think about your dreams from that your strategy comes and then you know you once you have your strategy, you got to ask yourself, you know, who am I going after? Who’s my target? What’s their age group? How do I talk to them? What do they need to hear what’s important to them? What buttons do they need pushed from that? Then you can focus on the tactics and the tactics might be do I buy this ad? Do I do this flyer? Do I do a postcard? Do I do a website you know, all of those kinds of things. It’s all very overwhelming. You know, my best advice is to take Friday’s or one day a week, any day a week, Mondays would probably be a good day too. But take one day a week and say you know what, for the full day, every week, no matter what I’m going to work on my marketing one day out of 520 percent right. Don’t count the weekends. Work on your marketing might be reading it. My be watching a video it might be working on your website might be taking a course it might be working on social media. But if you devote one day to marketing and you don’t avoid it ever you will start to develop muscles and it’s like going to the gym you know you don’t you don’t get any action early but before you know it you got these big old honkin muscles on your arms. Maybe you don’t. Anyway, you may not love it, but I don’t love going to the gym but I do it because it’s good for me. Right? And that’s what you got to think about. So Friday marketing is a really great idea. Second thing is dream your dreams Dream Big Dreams determine your goals, but each goal has to have clarity and exactness. For instance, if you can’t just say I want to get rich. And by the way, it’s not always about money, right? But you can’t just say I want to get rich. You might say well, I want to make $100,000 to me that’s rich. Or you might say $10,000 you might say whatever your number is, you’ve got to have something that’s measurable so you can see how you’re doing you know, so you break Get into steps you reverse it. So let’s say you want to make $100,000 you say how much is that a month? How much is that a week? How many paintings Do I have to sell to make that? How many paintings Do I have to make to be able to sell that many? How do I market that? How much do I have to spend on marketing? every dollar that you spend on marketing is more likely to make you money than to cost you money, but most people think of it as a cost. I think of it as a necessity and I spend a huge amount of money in marketing every year and it just pays off. Now sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I mess it up. Sometimes it doesn’t work. You know, there you’re gonna have to learn and experiment. But do one thing, pick one thing and read my book, pick one thing and don’t try to do 10 things. Just pick one project and work on that and work on it towards hitting your goals. Do it just keep learning from it, make adjustments. Everything you do is going to help it might be slower, but don’t be in a hurry. Just take your time. Don’t spend a lot of money in the beginning. Just Ultimately, take some time and learn and do something. It’s better to do something than to get locked up about, you know, there are 10 things I could do, what should I do? You can’t do all 10 things right away. You have to develop your muscles and so do one thing and just do one thing really, really well. Ultimately, we learn by doing read a lot if it’s painful, go to seminars or events. I teach art marketing at my conferences, plein air convention, figurative art convention, and so on. So, in sometimes I consult people or do marketing talks or podcast recordings at my events. So, you know, pick something and learn it and do it well. Anyway, I hope this has been helpful for you.
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.
How to Submit Your Art Marketing Questions: 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.