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.

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads shares insider tips on doing market research to sell more art, and advice for artists who don’t have years of experience but still want to build their brand.

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 54 >


Submit Your Art Marketing 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.

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.

Announcer 0:02
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, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads
In the marketing minute I try to answer your art marketing questions and you can email yours to [email protected]. Here’s a question from Kelly Johnson in Omaha, Nebraska who asks, If you’re the only one doing your marketing, what are some suggestions you have on doing market research to find out what really matters to your buyers? What do you think about sending surveys for example? Well, that’s a great question Kelly. And the number one thing that most marketers miss is understanding that they need to listen to their customers, your customers have all the answers that you need. Now in selling art, it’s a little bit more difficult in that because it’s not real cut and dry, because it’s an emotional response someone’s having to a painting typically. So surveys can be great, but most of us aren’t very good at surveys, most of us are not trained in how to do them properly. And if you don’t do them properly, you get biased answers. And if you get bad information, you get bad. you respond badly, you don’t do things properly. I’m trained, I was trained in research years and years and years ago, I used to do a lot of research and I’m still not very good at it. And I don’t rely on it a lot. I do ask survey questions from time to time and I do get some answers. But I’m looking for things that are, more like what artists would you like us to do a video of or what artists would you like us to bring into a convention versus understanding the psychology of things a little bit more? You’re really looking for the things that people say that might help you in your marketing to get attention from others who are like them, like how do they talk about your work or what it means To them or why they wanted to own it, or maybe why they bought it or something, if somebody can articulate that some of those are difficult. Surveys are usually only valid with big big samples too. So usually a very small number of people participate in a survey, you know, like 1% 2%. And so you’ve got to have a big sample for it to have any meaning. Right? So, if you’ve got 1000 people, yeah, and you probably don’t, then you’ve got to have you know, 1% of 1000 people which is 100 people and or I mean, 10 people. Man, don’t ask me to do math, but that the idea is that you you want to have a decent enough survey size, most people don’t get the answers that they need. So one of the best ways to do it and I learned this a long, long time ago from a buddy of mine is that he hired somebody who called his buyers and asked them to just talk to them about their their work. Now you don’t have to do that. You can do it yourself. But people are not going to tell you the complete truth. Because they don’t want to hurt your feelings if there’s anything that would hurt your feelings. But having somebody else call for you, you know, it’s like saying, Hey, you know, I’ve got this friend, her name is Kelly Johnson from Omaha, Nebraska. And she said that you bought one of her paintings. I’m doing a little bit of market research for her. Would you be willing to spend a couple minutes on the phone with me? And I want to ask you some questions to understand it because I’m trying to help her with their marketing. Some people would say yes, some people would say no, and you’re being perfectly transparent about that. And then you can just ask them questions… I’m just kind of curious, what was it about that painting that you liked? And how are you feeling about it? And did you feel like it was a good experience and you know, things like that, but what you want to do is try to have permission to record it because you want that’s a great tool because you’re looking for terms. You’re looking for things that people say, you know, so I was doing some marketing for our real Islam live conference and I did a thing where I asked people to, to record some testimonials for me and I was listening to things they said and how they said them. And then I’m able to use that kind of language when I’m marketing it that because they’re very similar to the people I’m trying to attract. Right. So this is all very difficult, but art is you know, art is again, a little different animals. So typical research if I’m doing a widget, you know, I’m trying to sell the easel brush clipper. The value specs are something that I can do some research about, you know that a little bit more and I can apply that in mass marketing, but if I’m selling a painting, because it’s so personal, so a little bit more difficult. So, anyway, give it a try. See what happens.

Now here’s a question from Ryan Davis in Cape Coral, Florida who says, when you look at the great contemporary master artists, it seems to me that that time is the only way to build a big brand. What advice do you have for those of us who don’t have so many years of experience? Well, first off years of experience are invaluable. Of course, and big brands are built over time, of course, but it’s not always just time you see, I can tell you I could probably name a lot of people I know, who have got a lot of time but don’t have a lot of success, and, they’re good artists. And so why is that? Well, it’s because they’re not combining time with repetition of message and they’re not doing the right things that are going to get them noticed and known the one thing that the people who are contemporary masters who are well known understand is that these are that you have to do certain things on a regular basis you got to be doing shows on a regular basis got to be doing books or articles you got to get exposure you got to do advertising got to do things that draw attention to you and and it’s never just one thing. You know, the tendency today is to make it about well, I’ll just do social media. Well, social media is the most misunderstood advertising medium around, it can be very effective. I use it, but I don’t use it for all things. Because first off, I would never do only social media, because you don’t want to have everything reliant on one particular thing. Because if that one thing changes, or there’s laws passed or whatever, then it’s no longer going to work for you. But also, because there’s a lot of different things that you would that we as artists have to do. And so look for the things that are going to move the needle forward, and that’s marketing in different ways. Remember, also social media on a typical Facebook account. For instance, I’ve got my max which is 5000 on my Facebook account. I know that every time I tweet something out or post something as it is in Facebook’s world, I know that only 2% of my audience is going to see it now. That means only 2% of that 5000 are ever going to see what I post now, I have some tricks that I have learned about and employ that get me actually pushed out there to a higher percentage, but it’s probably still only six to 8%. And that’s because I work very hard at that. But, you’re not necessarily going to accomplish your marketing with social media. The other thing was social media. And again, I’m not anti social media, I use it a lot. But most of us as artists don’t have most of our followers are not collectors, most of them are fellow artists. And that’s so you’re kind of preaching to the choir, the people who may or may not be buying art from you. And so there’s a lot of things that you’ve just got to do. So, Ryan, I think the answer to your question is, it’s not time, it’s time plus time plus repetition of advertising of messages. You know, I just had a situation where a an artist had been advertising with us decided to move all of the the advertising dollars out and move the advertising dollars into social media because that artists didn’t feel that the results were there. But the artist got into several galleries as a result of the advertising, the artist got invited into several shows as a result of the advertising. And as a result, the artist is feeling well, I haven’t been able to track direct sales. Well, the direct sales may not be happening. And usually if something isn’t happening, it’s because you’re doing something wrong. I can have two advertisers. And I can have them do the same amount of advertising. And one advertiser will get really brilliant results, another advertiser won’t get results. And it’s because of what they say in their ads, how they structure their ads, what the call to action is, what are the things they’re trying to motivate people to do. Of course, it also has to do with the art Is the art any good? And we all believe our arts good, but not everybody else believes that. And so, we kind of have to fight that battle. But the idea is that when you’re when you’re in a group of let’s say, you’re in a cluster of the right kind of people, so I’m in a cluster Fine Art Connoisseur magazine last month went out to 500,000 people, big audience, very unusual. We normally don’t have that big audience, but we did it for that one issue. And, but the people we typically are going to if somebody came to us and said, We want to send this magazine to, you know, a bunch of school art teachers, you know, we might, we might say, yeah, that’s nice. Maybe we’d like for them to have it but they’re not going to do any good for advertisers, because advertisers know that those people are not likely to have the income. No offense to anybody just being practical here might not likely have the income to buy a you know, a five or $10,000 painting. So you know, when you look for targeted clusters, you know, like Fine Art Connoisseur, for instance, has a targeted cluster of people who are known to spend a lot of money on paintings are known to be collectors they known, they are known as a concentrated group of collectors, it’s very desirable. So it’s not about big numbers as much as it is about the right people who can buy the right thing from you. And that’s what you always want to be focusing on. So I’m not sure I answered your question. I probably got to it in a roundabout way, Ryan. But if you’re seeing great contemporary masters. And they’re succeeding. Yes, they have been around a long time and time is one thing that, you can cheat time a little bit, you can speed things up a little bit. But, time is on your side, but if you’re not doing the right things that time isn’t going to help. So I hope that helps.

Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of 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 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.