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 

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads addresses how to know whether or not a buyer is honest, and how to prepare for your first plein air painting competition.

Have a question about how to sell your art? Ask Eric at

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 109 >

Art Marketing Minute Podcast

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.

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, art magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 1:04:23
My goal here at the Art marketing minute is to answer your questions so that this is more about you and what you need and what you want. You can upload a question at art or you can email me [email protected] And I love to get your questions. My producer, Amandine from France always reads the questions Amandine, what do we got?

Amandine 1:04:48
So the first question is from Sophia from Miami, Florida. Your art marketing advice is great. A problem I have is the offers received on Instagram have been from buyers that want to pay by Check, do not want to pay for my website where I feel more secure. I should one know whether or not a buyer is honest and not a scam. I don’t want you to sales, but I don’t want to be giving my home address or personal info to strangers. Through my website, credit cards and PayPal are accepted.

Eric Rhoads 1:05:19
All right, well, I think that’s a really great thing. First off, you should know, Sofia, that there’s a massive scam that is going around, and I get emails about once twice a month. They’re always different people always different names, but they always say the same thing. They say, Hey, I was looking at your website, I love your artwork. And my anniversary is coming up and I thought I’d buy a painting for my wife. It’s a surprise. And I’d like to buy that from you. Can you reach out to me and contact me and we’ll work it out. So the way that scam works, the way I understand it, I may have it wrong First off, they they oftentimes send you a check. And sometimes that check is just not a legitimate check. But they want you to ship that painting. So the first thing to think about is it’s probably a scam. If it feels like a scam, it’s probably a scam. Secondly, is if they’re paying by cheque, you want to make sure that you go to the bank and and that you hammer that check. In other words, you get cashed beforehand. And you also need to find out from the bank. What happens if they the cheque ends up not being good. You know, does it come back on you? What is what does that work? I think the scam is that they actually send you a check, you actually cashed the check, and they send you a check for too much money. And then you end up going wait a minute, you sent too much money and then you send a check back somehow. And I’m not exactly sure how it works. But what I do whenever I get these, I forward them to the FBI, there’s a email you can forward them to FBI probably doesn’t have time to look into it. But they’ve got their own issues. But But I think you want to just kind of probably avoid those things. Now there, there are going to be things that come through that are real. You know, the trick is, if you’re selling on Instagram or Facebook, you might get a private message. And the question is, is it real and and I’m sure the scammer is going to figure out how to do it through those. My guess is, you know, the best thing is, if you don’t want to accept checks, just don’t accept them. And if you’re going to lose the sale, okay, that’s okay. If you want to accept checks, then maybe get a Pio box and nobody knows your address, or have it mailed to a friend or you know, something like that. But I think the the thing you got to figure out is how to get that cash, check that cash in hand that check cashed before you ever send off the painting and make sure of course, you’re collecting your shipping and handling costs and everything else like that. Now, the reality is, we sell a lot of paintings in a lot of different ways. Now, I’ll tell you a quick story. I was in a big show in Annapolis in a gallery there. And it was from our Cuba trip and I sold quite a few paintings in that trip. But I didn’t sell them all. Well, this, this collector reached out to me and he said, You know, I was at the show, I bought a couple paintings of yours. But I would like to see what else you’ve got from Cuba. And so I sent him pictures of what I had from Cuba. And he said, Okay, I’d like to buy that one. And so we worked out a transaction, and I don’t remember how we how he paid for it. But so I I sent it to him. And I know I remember when I sent it to him, I enclosed a little note, and I enclosed actual photos. Remember those actual photos of the other paintings. And I said, because you bought one before and because you bought this one, I will give you one of these two or either of these two at a at a 20% discount, just let me know he ended up buying a boat. And that was pretty cool. Now this can happen in any situation. But I look at things I always say look, I have someone who’s interested in me, I have a buyer, how can I turn that buyer into a collector and so you’re always looking at ways and you know when you oftentimes will go someplace and they’ll say hey, because you bought this will give you this at a discount there that’s called an upsell and they’re trying to get you to spend more money and they’re figuring Well, you know, it’s better to give them a discount now than to hope that they’ll come back and pay full price and so that’s kind of the methodology behind it. So you might want to think about how you do something like that. Now you ask about payment. You know I I like to have PayPal. When possible Apple Pay when possible. Lots of alternatives. There’s a bunch of places now pay pal for instance, you can buy it and then you can make payments and those payments. You don’t have to wait for them to collect them. You know you get your money up front, but PayPal collects the money. And even if they don’t pay, that’s pay pals problem or somebody else’s problem. So, you know, there’s you can do Venmo there’s a lot of different things you can do. But, you know, make it easy for people, you know, and there are people out there we have, you know, we have paint And we still have some people who insist on paying by cheque. So we have our system, what I explained to you, and and we just double check that, you know, and and do we get burned very rarely, very rarely. But you know, once in a while you do so be very careful about that. Anyway, good question. You know, even though it’s not specifically a marketing tactic, you know, in terms of bringing people in the door, really, all of these things about business are important. And they’re important because you’ve got to make sure that your business is running smoothly. And my wife was telling me a story about she took our car into the car dealer the other day, and for some repair, and she said it was effortless. You know, she walked in, they handed her the keys to the to the loaner. She walked back in, they handed her the keys. I mean, there was no paperwork, there was nothing. They had all that figured out in advance. And that’s wonderful. I called a client the other day, my doctor actually I called my doctor and I wanted my prescription renewed. And I didn’t even have to give my name. They knew me because my phone number popped something up on the spirit string and on the screen, and they said, are you still on this? This percentage and this prescription? I said, Yes. They said, Okay, just click the button. I’ll renew it. It is going to this pharmacy, right. Yeah. Okay, Ahmed. And what’s our next question?

Amandine 1:11:35
Our next question is from Trey from McMinnville, Tennessee. Can you share helpful hints on mentally preparing for your first plein air painting competition, how to let go of insecurity and fear of not being good enough?

Eric Rhoads 1:11:50
Well, I know Trey, Trey is a doctor and he’s a plein air painter, and he’s been studying a lot with Bill Davidson, they become great friends. As a matter of fact, he’s good friend of mine. He’s become a really good painter. And because I’ve been watching him study relentlessly, so you probably have nothing to be worried about Trey. But here’s, here’s what I think. When we first started creating videos, the first one we did was Max Ginsberg, the great artist in New York. Max at the time was in his 80s, maybe early 90s, I think in his 80s. And Max said to me, I’m a little nervous. And I said, Well, that’s understandable. You know, you’re on camera, you got lights, all this other stuff. And he says, Well, I’ve been practicing for five days. He said, I said, Max, you’ve been painting for 65 years. Why do you need to practice for five days? He said, Well, within a couple of days, you lose your hand eye coordination. He said you got to practice all the time, he says, but I wanted this to be good. So I kept I practice portraits five days in a row to make sure and I practice talking. So I’m gonna make sure that I had my act together. Trey, I think the best advice I can say to you is your confidence comes from being prepared and being practiced. I know plein air painters, if they’re going to an event, let’s say they’re going to the Laguna plein air, they may go to Laguna two or three days before the event starts and scope out where they’re going to paint and find those locations and paint smaller paintings of them are maybe same size and they paint them one or two times just to make sure they know the landscape and they feel good at it and it gives them confidence. And it’s a great way to make sure that you’re practiced well rehearsed. You know, if you stop a couple of days, when I go to my my event in the Adirondacks paint the Adirondacks. And I usually haven’t painted for a week or two, sometimes longer. And when I first started out first couple of days, you know I’m really making a lot of mistakes and but after By the third day, I’m rocking it and all the things that you know, I have to remember I’m remembering and that’s the value of practicing right before you come in. You know, even if you’re practicing at home, just practice it’ll give you a confidence now, nervousness is actually a good thing. All the research says nervousness is beautiful. Now fear and anxiety, not beautiful. But nervousness is okay because nervousness makes you grow. It makes you want to get better. It helps you It forces you to push yourself out of your comfort zone. And when you get out of your comfort zone. That’s where the real growth occurs. Now, let’s talk about the you didn’t ask this question. But I think this is something to think about. If you’re an artist who is doing a tent show an art show where there’s a lot of tents, or you’re at an outdoor art show or you’re in an art show in a auditorium for Christmas or something. Or you know, you’re at a plein air paint out. Here’s some things that you can do. First off, if you’re at plein air paint outs, they all have rules and there’s certain things you you have to do. There’s a lot of stuff going around about people who are breaking those rules. And everybody knows who they are, you know, and I’ve even been asked to do articles and been given names. Now, I would never do that to somebody. But there are people who abuse the systems. And so for instance, there’s up there a couple of people who went to plein air paint outs. And as you know, at plein air paint outs, they stamp the back of your canvas. So it you can prove it was painted, they’re not pre painted. And a couple of artists actually glued those panels over another panel and put them in a frame that they had pre painted, and tried to get away with it, but got caught. And so they’ve been asked never to attend another event. And by the way, they tell everybody else, and then those people say that I’m not hire, I’m not bringing this person in. So your reputation is everything. So don’t do stuff like that don’t play games, like that’s just not worth it. The other thing is pricing is really important. And there are people who go into these events, and they they look around and they say, Okay, I’m going to price my stuff at half of what everybody else does. And they get all the sales and nobody else gets any sales. And then you know, it’s good for you. But the reality is, you’ve destroyed your reputation, you got to be part of the team. And so be careful about stuff like that. But in terms of when you’re at an event, here’s what I look at, first off, I’m at an event, and I have, let’s say 5000 people coming through the event. And there’s, you know, 3040 50 painters, there are booths or otherwise, and how do I get them to pay attention to me, because I’ve got to stop them in their tracks, like long enough to get them to pay attention, because you know, you’re walking through an art show, and you’re just kind of your eyes are darting around, and then something grabs your attention, and you stop. And you look now at that point, then the point at which they stop and look, you need some kind of an engagement mechanism, what is an engagement mechanism, the goal is you’ve got to get them to go deeper, right, you either want to get them inside your booth, you want to have a chance to talk to him, or you want to figure out how to get them to contact you or to get their email information, there are a lot of different ways you can do that. Now, I used to teach people how to do tradeshow booths, because I was expert at that. And a simple trick is I would put a bowl of wrapped candy, with a little sciences free help yourself. And I put it inside the booth at the back of the booth, but you could see it from the front. And people would walk in, and they take a piece of candy. Now there’s a thing called the law of reciprocity. And it’s kind of like well, now they feel a little obligated to pretend to be interested and you get a chance to talk to him for a minute. And sometimes just that one minute is an opportunity to kind of switch them and get them to think about something or get them interested. So, you know, look for little things like that. Now, how do you get people? How do you stop traffic? Well, in a plein air show, it’s about being different, you know, if everybody else is doing the same kind of painting, what can you do? That’s not the same kind of painting. And so you know, that’s why a lot of the people who are doing more abstract, more colorful, more different approaches at plein air events, like lawn brow or or Laurie Putnam and so on. I don’t think Laurie does those events anymore. But I think the idea is that they really stand out. And so that helps them get attention. So what can you do to stand out another thing, it’s an old gallery trick, but it’s very effective. A galleries know that if you have a great big painting that you see through the window, it really grabs attention, and then draws them in. So can you can you do a great big painting and hang that up? And yeah, you know, the bigger paintings are more expensive, and they may or may not sell. But the idea is you want to draw people to your booth. And so if you have a really great big painting of, of, you know, the town that you’re in, first off, somebody’s probably gonna buy it. But secondly, it’ll draw people in. So use something to draw people in. Now, if you’re at a tent show, you can’t do stuff like this at a plein air event. But if you’re at a tent show, you could have something outside of your tent to grab people’s attention. You know, maybe it’s a giant skeleton was something that dressed in a funny way with a funny sign. Maybe it’s something that people want to get their picture taken in front of for Instagram or Facebook. And you want to make sure that your signage is in there. So it’ll be seen when they’re getting their picture. And that’ll help you virally. But it also, you know, it also gives them your name. And if your paintings are kind of in that picture, and they take a picture and maybe they saw you at the 10th show and they walked on and they don’t remember your name which happens all the time. Now they go through their photos to go oh, there’s Eric Rhoads i That’s the guy that had that painting and you know now they go to your Instagram and now they figure out how to reach you direct message you etc. So there are a lot of techniques about stopping traffic. So look for something to put on your booth. The other thing that’s really a great idea is put you know, I first up I like big signage. That’s above people’s heads that gets people’s attention and get a QR code on there and give them an incentive. Right. So, you know, get my, my free book of all my paintings, just scan this QR code, they scan the QR code, they put their email in, you send them the Book of your paintings automatically, but now you’ve got their email address, so you can mark it to them, they may or may not be interested, there’s a whole chapter on that in my book, where you can kind of go into that kind of thing. Now, once you get their email addresses, there’s, you know, there’s a process and you want to be respectful of them. But you can get it through, you get their email addresses through a QR code, you can get them through a visitor book, which is kind of old school, you can do a drawing, where they can win something painting or you know, a prize or print or something. And the best way for the drawing is just a QR code, you know, when this painting, scan here, and now you’re getting their email address, and you know, you give away a $50 print, it’s not a big deal, and you get their their name and email, if you live in that town, and you’re marketing to that town, it’s always a good thing. But even if you’re, if you’re, you know, looking for a way to get to plein air collectors, you know, throw a QR code with a message in a frame and put it up with your paintings if you’re allowed. And that’s a really good way now, how do I get people to buy if I’m in a live environment? The first thing I want to say is I don’t like manipulation. You know, in the old days, car dealers, they’re manipulative people, I don’t like that. There is training that teaches us some things you can do to engage people. And you know, you’ve got to get them out of their, their, you know, I’m not interested mode. And so it’s not manipulation, it’s engagement. The first thing is never be dishonest, you’ve got to tell the truth all the time. The second thing is always ask questions. If somebody comes up to you and talks to you, for a minute, have three or four questions in your mind that you can ask people, and and just, you know, just to get them to keep them there longer, the more they talk to you the more chance you have of selling them. And you know, because they’re always like, guard up, I’m not interested. And so you just say, you know, hey, do you have? Do you have any original paintings in your house? And they’ll say, Well, no, I never had one. And then you can say, you know, say something about that, and then ask another question, and so on. But you know, some people are intimidated by original paintings. And so you can, you can talk about that a little bit. But it’s you can kind of guide them in, but ask questions. The second thing is, you can look for ways to create what’s called scarcity. And what is called urgency. So scarcity and urgency, like, you know, somebody’s looking at a painting. Now, don’t say this, if it’s not true, but if somebody’s looking at a painting, you can go, you know, you’re the third person today who’s been interested in that painting, you know, a lot of people have said, they might come back, I don’t know if they will or not. But it’s kind of interesting that at something about this painting is really resonating with people, it’s subtle, you don’t have to say you better buy it. Now, you don’t have to say that. They’re like, Oh, maybe if I want this, I better grab it. You don’t have to say anything more, it just want to plant a seed. Or you can say, hey, if you like that, if you want to hold it to make sure nobody else takes it, if you’re while you look through the show, I can take a you know, a $50 deposit or something, and then you can come back for it. But I can only hold it for 30 minutes, because I don’t want to lose the sale. But you know, that might be enough to pull them back, they’re going to at least come back for their money. Another thing you can do is find ways to talk about your credibility or show that people have interest in you. And that is, you know, it’s funny thing about that painting, I painted that painting. And the great art historian John stern came by here the other day and and he said this about the painting now all of a sudden, you’re building the credibility of you and credibility of the painting. And if you look for ways you can build your credibility when you’re having a dialogue with them without being braggy. You know, I you know, I’m modestly you can say, you know, I’m really excited because, you know, plein air magazine just did this article about me. And I think that’s really, you know, it seems like ever since then my paintings have been selling to more collectors, you know, things like that will give you credibility. Now, we all have to, you know, we’re a little uncomfortable with those things. And you have to decide what you’re comfortable with. Again, I don’t want you being false or lying or manipulating. In terms of scarcity, you can make it scarce, you know, a way to make it Scarce is you know, and again, tell the truth, but you can say hey, you know, it’s funny, my wife told me that if this painting doesn’t sell that we’re going to keep it in our personal collections because she thinks it’s one of the best I’ve ever done. Well, that could backfire. They might say, well, you should sell it to your wife, but you might also they might say well, you know, maybe this is good or you might look for other ways to make it scarce. Like you know, I’ve sold all my paintings to this last one. I’ve got this myself. My shows are selling out like crazy. I don’t know what’s going on. Um, but I’m really happy about it. And boom, you know, or I mean, you know, these are the the last two or something. And then you know, look for credibility builders like putting up the ribbons if you want an award or putting up a large copy of an article of you and plein air magazine or something that will help. Anyway, I hope these have been helpful to you. That’s today’s art marketing minute.

Announcer 1:25:22
This has been the marketing minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at

Eric Rhoads 1:25:30
All right. Well, you guys have been very patient. I hope you have a really terrific day. Get out there keep plein air painting. Join me at the plein air convention is going to be a lot of fun. Join me at watercolor live, that’s going to be a lot of fun. And subscribe to plein air, you’ve got to have that, I should mention that. We also have an event coming up that’s called plein air live, which is going to be happening in March. And so we’ll be talking more about that in the future. If you’ve not seen my blog called Sunday coffee, I do it every week. And it’s kind of fun for me to write about things that aren’t always about art, but are kind of the things the lessons I try to teach my kids and, you know, we’ve had, you know, a huge number of people pick it up. last number I heard was something like 150 200,000 people reading it. I don’t know if it’s true. But I don’t know why anybody would want to read my stuff that many people would want to read my stuff, but I’m honored is kind of neat. I’m on daily on Facebook, and it’s called Art School alive. And now a new thing you can do on YouTube. It’s on YouTube and Facebook, you go to YouTube and just put in at Eric Rhoads. It’ll find my channel there. You can also look for art school live. And then you can subscribe on YouTube and hit the notification button. It’ll notify you when I go live. And of course, if you follow me on Facebook on Eric Rhodes publisher, or Eric Rhoads, my personal page, then you’ll get notified when I go live as well. But we’re there every day and we’re interviewing artists and most of those artists are doing demonstrations. And so that’s kind of a good way to learn. It’s kind of like in some ways better than art school because you’re getting you know, a lot of information packed tunes in that short space. You don’t have to wait forever. Okay, that’s a lot going on. I’m Eric Rhoades, publisher of plein air magazine. We thank you for reading it and thank you for your time today. Remember, it is a big world out there. Go paint it. We’ll see you soon. Bye bye.

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 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.

> Visit (Publisher of to learn about opportunities for artists and art collectors, including:

  • Art retreats
  • International art trips
  • Art conventions
  • Art workshops (in person and online)
  • And more!