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 answers the questions: “Should you hire a marketing specialist?” and “How can you implement TikTok as a marketing tool?”

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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:
Amandine, my producer is going to ask the first question.

The first question is from Deb Price Kennedy from Centerville, Massachusetts. Should I hire a marketing specialist?

Eric Rhoads:
Should I hire a marketing specialist? Thank you Amandine, you know, should I buy a new car? Should I drink a coke at dinner? You know that? I mean, there’s got to be more to the question. So I don’t need to be critical, Deb, but it’s impossible to answer that question. Because I don’t have any data points. And one thing that you will learn, or you might learn if you really get good at marketing is that everything is about data points, right? Because you have data points that inform your decisions. You know, in my world, it’s like, how many people opened up an email? And how many people read that email and clicked on something, those are data points, and you are always comparing one against the other trying to better yourself and get those data points. I don’t know why you would be asking the question. So I’m going to assume a couple of things. But I don’t know what your situation is. And that’s why I can’t answer it for you exactly. But let’s, let’s say for instance, that you’re an artist, and you’re making $10,000 a year and I tend to use round round numbers just to make it easy. And your goal is to get to $20,000. Well, when you think about it, that’s doubling your business. That’s a pretty big deal. Most people can’t figure out how to double their business in one year. I’ve tried that many times, I’ve had a chance to do it a couple of times. So it’s not exactly easy. But you have to ask yourself, if Let’s assume I could go from 10,000 a year to $20,000 a year, how much would I pay to go to $20,000? A year? But you know, if I’m at 10, and I go to 20? How much would I pay to get there? Because that’s kind of how a marketer thinks now I would I would be looking at that and saying, Would I be willing to pay 10,000 to get 10,000? And most people go, Well, that’s stupid. Why would you do that? And the reason is, let’s say, for 10, last 10 years, I’ve been doing 10,000 a year. And next year, I do 20, but it costs me 10,000 To get that 20. But that’s okay, I’m still at the 10,000 I had, but now my baseline if I do 20,000 Every year for the next 10 years, I’ve paid 10,000 to get myself to a $20,000 range. And it might be worthwhile. And that’s where an advisor can help you now, most of us look for metrics that are not quite that extreme. So we might look and say hey, to get 10,000 would I pay 10% of that? Absolutely. Would I pay? 20%? Absolutely. Would I pay 50%? Maybe not as absolutely, but it depends on you. And of course it depends on your costs and cost of delivering these paintings and all the other things that do that but you’d be ahead of the game. And if I paid 10 grand to get to 20,000 and another 10 grand to get to 30,000 and another 10 grand to get to 40,000 if there was a way to do it, I would probably do it because then you’re getting your baseline hire. Now, I might say what am I willing to pay for that 10 grand increase. And it depends, you know, depends on it as the advice Good advice isn’t cheap. Now I charge $5,500 an hour for consulting. I try not to do it very much. And that’s why I charged $5,500 an hour because I don’t have an hour very often. But it’s time now for me to raise my rates. Because now that I’m in demand, I have to get my rates up. Because when you’re in demand, you have to get your rates up. I had a watch company it was Seiko actually hired me as a consultant for them on a tech project because I did that for a while. And they actually paid me enough money that they bought me a whole new house from that money. But the amount of money which seemed like a lot of money to me, to them, it was like, Hey, he he 20 XStar business, it’s certainly worth doing that. So that’s the way you want to look at it is what am I willing to pay? And but the first thing you’ve got to start, you got to backup because you’re way ahead of yourself. The first thing is, like, what is my target outcome? Where do I want to be? Because target outcome makes makes a huge difference. Now, there’s a lot of bogus, fraudulent HYPEE art marketing and marketing advice out there. And a lot of it is just complete nonsense. In my in my particular case, I hope it’s not nonsense, but most of it, I’ve learned by doing it, and I made a lot of stupid and expensive mistakes learning it. But there are two answers to any problem. What are those two answers? It’s two resources, you can either have the resource of time, or you can have the resource of money. If you’re busy, like I tend to be, I don’t have any time. But I have plenty of money. If I spend money to solve a problem, then I’m ahead of the game. Because if I don’t have to spend three months solving that problem, or six months or a year, then I’m ahead of the game, right. So a lot of us don’t have money. And so what we do have is we have time, you can oftentimes if you don’t have the money, you oftentimes have the time, you could spend time. So like I try to master things all the time, I want to learn things, I’m always taking courses, sometimes they’re courses that have nothing to do with anything I’m doing just because I want to learn it. But if I want to master something that I put aside some time, it might be a month, it might be three months, it might be three years. But I think anybody can master anything within about two years. And you know, if you focus all your time and energy on that, if you want to focus your time and energy on growing your business, then you can do that yourself, you don’t need somebody else to do it. And I think anybody can change their trajectory in life or their trajectory in business. In about 90 days, if you stop to think about it, you come up with a plan and you implement it, you can get there in a very quick amount of time now. I read like a madman, I buy courses, I buy lots of courses, I probably spent five or $7,000 on courses. You know, I have I people out there that buy a video from time to time to improve as a painter, I have other people who buy every one that I put out there, and to see the difference that they’re making in you know, in their work, because they’re studying, they’re really serious about it. So you can become an expert. The other thing you got to keep in mind is what was true in marketing a year ago isn’t even true today. Some of it is there are some principles that never change. But there are things that are changing fast and to be a pro, you have to invest your time to stay ahead of it. Now, why do I say that if you’re going to hire an expert, let them do it. The problem is that you need to be able to manage the person or people that you are having advise you, and they’re gonna see right through you if you don’t know what you’re doing, and they’re gonna tell you things that that some are gonna be honest, some are gonna be dishonest, some just don’t know. And so you have to learn the process. So you need to learn it yourself, no matter what you may not have to get the depth of knowledge that they know, but you need to know enough to ask the right questions and drive them in the right direction. Now I have lots of people who work for me, I have lots of people who are experts, some are employees, some are freelancers, some are agencies, but I got to know their business pretty well. Because I got to be able to stay on top of them and owning any business, a small art business included. You got to know these things. And so an expert might help you. But you got to know enough about it. You can’t just you can delegate but you can’t advocate you got to stay involved in the process. So the other thing is that really you gotta go back to the root of all of this room. Remember, anytime you want to do anything, you need to start with what is the end in mind, it’s real easy to say, well, I want to hire an expert. Why do you want to hire an expert? What do you want to achieve? How much money do you want to make? What else is important other than money? What is it about reputation? Or what is it about your pricing? Or what is it about getting into better galleries? You know, these things matter to they’re not always directly about the money? And so first, you got to start with, what do I want to accomplish? What’s my timeline to get there? How much is it worth it to me? If I spend this money and it doesn’t work? Am I bankrupt? Am I out of money? What if this expert isn’t any good, I hired an ad agency, no names, I hired an ad agency. In another country, they were supposed to be one of the best in the world, everybody was raving about them. I wrote them a very, very big check for a project that I was doing. And they completely bombed, they completely failed. I was completely disappointed because I really wanted to work. And, you know, sometimes these things happen, you know, they didn’t have any experience in the thing I was trying to do. But they believed that their system would work for that they were wrong. I was wrong. So anyway, that’s, that’s the long and short of it, you got to kind of know where you’re going first, and then what you want to accomplish. So that’s a long answer to a short question Amandine, what’s next?

The second question is from Gabriel from Lake St. Louis, Missouri, how to implement TikTok as a marketing tool.

Eric Rhoads:
How do I implement TikTok as a marketing tool? Well, Gabriel, you’ve stated this correctly, you see all things that involves tactics are tools. And using tiktok as a marketing is a tool, right? using Instagram as a tool, using a magazine as a tool using a website is a tool. Those are all tools, they’re tactics. And if you were working on your car, let’s assume you had some mechanical skill, which I don’t have much of, you don’t use a hammer to loosen a bolt. Why? Well, first off, you’re going to ruin the bolt, you might break the bolt, you need the right tool, right. So you need, you need somebody who’s going to hand you the right tool, or you need to go find the right tool, the right socket, or whatever. So imagine if you’re watching trends, and you’re watching and everybody out there in the world is using hammers to repair their cars. And it’s like everybody’s doing it, I got to do it. Why? Because everybody’s doing it. That’s kind of how we think it’s very seductive. You want to do what everybody else is doing. So you start using a hammer, even though you don’t need a hammer. The point being that you got to know what you need, we get seduced by things like TikTok and social media and Instagram and reels and all the fun stuff. Because we see these YouTube stars making millions and you see tik tok stars making millions, you know, because they’re just dancing. And they do it all the time. And what we don’t see is that these kids are spending 810 hours a day sometimes, you know, seven days a week writing, recording, creating their reels, and we don’t see the struggle that they had to get there. And some of them didn’t have a struggle. You know, what Mr. Beast does on YouTube takes a lot of time and a lot of writing and a lot of planning a lot of people to pull it off and a lot of money. But he makes it look easy. But it’s not easy guarantee that so a habit that we all have is to get seduced by shiny objects, like tik tok. But first you got to ask yourself, what needs to happen. It’s kind of like what I was talking about before goes back to the idea of goals. What do I need to accomplish? What are my goals? What do I want TikTok? Or Snapchat or Instagram to do for me? And are they the right or the wrong tools to get the job done? Just you know, marketing, we all tend to go for what everybody else is doing. Remember, got milk and everybody started copying got milk. That whole campaign did not move the needle on milk sales. And everybody thinks it did. So they started doing you know, got pizza. The whole campaign was developed because they wanted to make the Board of Directors feel like they were doing something to move the needle, but it didn’t work. And yet everybody copied it was unique. It was fun. Don’t copy until you know why the copying what you know what you’re copying because there’s more to it. Now, I have lots of big Instagram sites. Some of them have hundreds and 1000s of followers. It’s taken me a long time to get there. It’s taken a lot of effort. You know my personal page is only about 17,000. My plein air mag pages 120,000. My realism today pages 205,000. But my Tik Tok is still under 1000. You know, even though I’m getting 30 40,000 views, I’m not getting followers. But none of that matters unless you have a specific purpose. I have a specific purpose, I have a specific plan. I monitor metrics for very specific reason. But you got to keep in mind that you know, when you see somebody that’s got 100,000 followers, you go to I need 100,000 followers, do you really? Why? What are you going to do with it? How are you going to turn it into money? Otherwise, it’s just vanity metrics. Getting followers on social media is cool. But unless you’re accomplishing a very specific purpose from that, and it might be branding, it might be awareness, it might be actual physical money, it might be finding ways to get email addresses, you know, there’s a lot of different things you can do. But you need to understand it first. So you need what I call a conversion plan. How do you get them to buy? Just getting out on Tiktok? isn’t enough? You need to know what you know, what is the process? Now, you can easily do this on social media easily. It’s It’s simple. It’s not easy, right? I guess it’s simply do it on social media. But it does require a plan. And it requires a lot of work. Now, people don’t usually give you money until you ask for the order. So if you’re going to say I want to make money selling paintings on TikTok, you got to figure out how to make it work, how to get him to the right place, how to make them come to you to a place where they can buy your painting, right. So there’s a whole lot to that. But to answer your question, if you have put the time aside daily, you come up with a compelling content, and you start putting it out there. If it’s good, it builds and Tiktok and Instagram and others have an algorithm, if they start seeing a lot of heat and a lot of activity, they’re going to put it more front more people in front of it, because they want them to click on it too, because that increases their metrics. And so you know, you just got to get it out there. And there’s lots of courses about how to sell on Instagram and Tiktok. And I bought one of them once and it was kind of useless. And by the way, it’s constantly changing. But you know, it’s about frequency. It’s about posting frequently. I post daily on Tik Tok, which are cuts from my art school live daily on YouTube. And we just cut them into 32nd reels or one minute reels. And then we put them up there and we put them everywhere we, we repurpose them on Facebook, we repurpose them on Instagram and so on. We put them out on you know, everything LinkedIn, et cetera. So, but if I were going to do it, right, for TikTok, if I had the time, I would do custom content specifically for TikTok with a very specific purpose in mind. That’s not important to me right now. But that might be what you should do. Now, the other thing is, there’s a very big possibility. This is gonna sound crazy, but there’s a big possibility TikTok is gonna go away. How? Why? Because the US government’s trying to shut it down because it’s sucking data from people, including you. And it’s all going to China. I don’t want to get into political discussions. I don’t even understand it. But there’s an awful lot of talk about shutting it down. There was talk before it didn’t happen. Part of it got sold, supposedly, but data’s still going in. So TikTok may not be the answer. And by the way, you know, I mean, if you look back at MySpace, it was like the hottest thing and then it went away, it can happen now maybe less likely to happen with something that’s strong, but you know, there’s gonna always be something that’ll replace it. There’s always new shiny objects, the new social media, there’s some new ones that are coming out that are right around the corner. So define what you want to achieve. get exact detail as possible about what you want to achieve, what you stand for what you want to be known for. And then once your strategy is determined, then you go to tactics. TikTok is a tactic.

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.

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