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 week’s Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, discusses how to balance art making and business, and how to introduce a new style or genre of art.
Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 121 >
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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 artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, art magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.
Admit it I answer your art marketing questions or at least attempt to and you can upload a video question to artmarketing.com/questions or you can email them to me [email protected] And give Amandine a break because she has to read them. Amandine, what’s the first question?
The first question is from Thomas Michael Newman from Pennsylvania Yeah, how do successful artists balance the need to continuously create and improve their craft? And do all the necessary tasks required to sell their art?
Well, Thomas, that’s a big loaded question. And listen, I, first off, there’s no pressure to sell anything. And I think a lot of people think, well, that’s the next step, that’s what I’m supposed to do, you don’t have to do that. Unless you have to do that. I mean, if you want to do it, you want to do it to make a living, there are a lot of ways to make a living, you don’t have to do that. But if you decide you want to do it, the moment you decide that you’re going to be selling your art, you are really deciding to make a commitment and your commitment level needs to change. Instead of dabbling. You can dabble and sell art, right? You can sell a put a, put a little show together and sell something a couple of times a year and a little bit here and there. That’s fine. That’s dabbling. But if you really want to become a full time successful artists supporting yourself, then there’s a whole whole thing about that I’ve got a series of videos just on that particular topic. And you, you have to accept the fact that if you’re selling paintings to make a living, then you are a full time artist. And when you’re a full time artist, you’re running a small business. And like a lot of small businesses, myself included, when I first started is you are the product, or the product maker and the the product, business owner, right. So it’s not unusual, think about somebody who does something else thought let’s just pick like a category like easels, right? So you know, you have an idea for an easel, you design it, and you sell it and you make your own easels, you’re out there, and you’re woodshop making it. And then eventually, you get enough demand that you can quit your other jobs. So you can just do your your products all day, and make easels all day every day. But you know, if you just made easels, but you didn’t focus on how to sell those easels and how to make people aware of them, then you’re not going to be able to succeed. So you have to find the balance. In a business. As an artist, you’re wearing a lot of different hats, right? My dad always used to say this to me, you know, some days, you got to wear your accounting hat, some days, you got to wear your shipping hat, some days, you got to wear your negotiation hat or your sales hat, you know, you’ve got a lot of different things and gallery hat. But you’re you’re never going to change, you’re still an artist, you just have to develop muscles in other areas. And so you know, as an artist is, of course, if you’ve done this, you know, you’re in the shipping business, you’re in the framing business, you’re in the marketing and sales business, because you’ve got to sell people on coming in, and you got to pay the bills. And there’s a whole lot of stuff you have to learn. But I like to create what I call time budgets. And it’s a concept I use, I highly recommend it. And essentially you make start by making a list of everything that you have to do in a typical month. And you say to yourself, Okay, I have to do shipping. And I have to do shipping once a week. And that’s going to take me two hours, you budget two hours, and then you put up a two hour block in your calendar. And you say this is my shipping time. And you might have teaching you, you have to set aside time for teaching. This is my teaching time. This is my marketing time. And this is my accounting time, you know, you have to figure out what those things are? And what is it going to take. Now. You know, you’ve got a problem, though. And that is that you have to sell a certain number of paintings. Let’s say that in order to meet your financial needs, that you have to put 30 paintings out the door every single month. Well, that means you got to do a painting a day. How realistic is that? I mean, some people can do it, some people can’t do it. But do you really want to have to do a painting every day or two paintings some days and take the weekends off. And and if let’s say you need 10 hours to do a painting, and you got to do 30 of them a month, you don’t have time, you got maybe two hours left to do something else. And that’s already beyond an eight hour day. So what you’ve got to do is you got to figure out how to become more efficient and becoming more efficient is how can I paint this painting faster? Well, maybe you can’t, some people can some people can’t. But if you can knock two hours off the process somehow, then that’s a that’s two hours you’re gonna get back for relaxed time or for other types of work. But one of the things that a way to overcome that is to figure out how do I get my prices up? Because if I need a certain amount of income, and I need to sell 30 paintings, what if I could only do 20 paintings recapture all that extra time and How much money do I need? If I’m going to hit my numbers to do 20 paintings. And of course, you have to anticipate that if you do 20 paintings, not all 20 paintings are going to sell how many are going to sell every single month? And how are you going to make that happen, that means you’re blocking out time to devote to your sales and marketing, your advertising, discussions, all of the things like that. So anyway, it’s all about figuring out how much time everything takes, and allocating that time. And if you don’t have enough time, then you got to figure out either I gotta get some help. And of course, if you get help, you’ve either got to get volunteer help, or you got to have to pay for him. That means now your expenses are higher, you got to sell more artwork, or you got to get your prices up. And I think getting your prices up most artists underprice their work. And that’s a good place. The key to successful balance is to leverage, there’s a word leverage your business. For instance, if you get a gallery or two galleries or three galleries selling for you, now you don’t have to do the selling. Now you still have to do branding and marketing, because you want to keep that under your control. You want them to do it for you, too. But that’s going to help you look for ways to get people to do things for you, leverages, you know how getting somebody to help you out, help you with your shipping, or maybe you say to yourself, look, if I spend 10 hours painting, that’s productive time, if I’m spending five hours on shipping, I’d be better off to pay somebody, you know, $10 an hour or whatever to do that it’s probably not possible anymore. Anyway. Big and business is not for the faint of heart. But guess what, it’s a wonderful thing because it buys you freedom. You don’t have to work for anyone. You got to work for yourself, though. But it’s still better because you don’t have anybody screaming at ya, you know, at work, but you got to scream at yourself, you got to say, look, I gotta get this done. I have to have this discipline, because if I don’t do it, I’m not going to be able to keep going anyway. All right, what’s our next question? Um, indeed.
The next question is from Beth Cole sent from Maine, and well known for one style and genre, but want to know how to market to a new preferred style. Do I start a new website? Lower prices? Because this is a new style and genre? What should I do?
… So Beth, I would start by asking yourself, why do you want to launch a new style or a new genre, right. And there are really two reasons that I can think of one is you’re not making enough money with what you’re doing now. And you think maybe changing things will make it better? Or maybe you’re just bored. All right. And either one is okay, there’s no right or wrong. But let’s address these before I get to your question. If you’re not making enough money at what you’re doing now, what makes you think something new and different, is going to sell better, once you’re established, because you still have to weave you do something new and different, you’re gonna have to build name recognition for that, you’re gonna have to build awareness, you’re probably going to have to start at lower pricing, you’re going to have to build up interest in that. And the amount of time that takes could take, oh, 234 years, right. Whereas you’re already known in one particular area, maybe if you just get a little more excited about that, and pour gas on that make that work, you’re gonna make more money with it. So that’s one thing to consider if you’re bored. That’s a whole nother another thing. And if you’re bored, you just want to try something different, or you don’t want to do what you’re doing now. There’s nothing wrong. But if you are going to change your style, then you’re Are you going to drop the other? Or are you going to keep that going? And I look at that if you’re making money with one thing and you decide to drop it for another, you’ve lost an opportunity. How about you build that business, you figure out a way to keep it going keep it generating income, and then launch something new and build that business, but don’t give up one for the other. And the reality is you can have a different pseudonym for yourself and have it be two different artists. I know a lot of artists who do this and so they have one under their real name. They have a couple of different styles under different other names. And they have different galleries selling their work because you know people like me get bored i Some days I want to do abstract some days I want to do tight realism. Some days I want to do Impressionism and I could in theory, if I if I wanted to be aggressive enough, I could have different types. Have artworks go to different galleries, and that’s okay. But where you get into trouble is if you’re known, let’s say you’re known for landscape painting, and you decide all of a sudden I’m going to start doing abstract painting of portraits, your, your audiences likely to want to buy it. Now they might, if you’re really established, then you can start adding some new things and see how it goes. But if if people go to your website for one thing, and they see another thing, they get confused, they don’t buy anything, that’s a problem. You want to have that not happen. So anyway, if you decide you want to do this, if it’s about being bored, and just trying something different, yeah, you’re gonna have to, you’re gonna have to figure out what your business strategy is going to be, how are you going to sell it? Yeah, it might be a new name, it might be the same name. It might be a new website, it’s probably different ads, it’s a whole lot of different things. And you just got to build it and grow it. But I would, I would hang on to what’s working. If it’s not working, fix it first. If that doesn’t work, try fixing it again. If that doesn’t work, try fixing it again. That doesn’t work, then maybe try something new. But something new is sometimes got to be more problematic than just fixing something. So avoid confusion with your value your galleries and your followers. And make sure that you’re not confusing the world. And that I think solves your problem. Anyway, that’s the marketing minute.
This has been the marketing minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at artmarketing.com.
Kathryn Stats for being on here today. Thank you. And I hope that she will come and join us and hang out and paint at the plein air convention. We would love to have her. Even though she wouldn’t be on stage teaching. She just loves being there. We love having her around. So if you want to come to the plein air convention and hang out with people like her, everybody’s very welcoming. You don’t have to be at a certain level to come. You can be a beginner, you don’t even have to paint to come you don’t have to paint on location. If you don’t want that pressure. You know, we’re just there having fun and everybody is accepting. So just come to plein air convention. It’s coming up in May and it’s going to be in Denver, it’s going to be incredible. PleinAirconvention.com is where you find out about it. And by the way, if you’re not following us, by having a subscription to plein air magazine, I think you’ll find it to be a really wonderful place to be a place to spend your time because you’re going to learn more about the plein air lifestyle is stories about art artists, techniques, collecting all kinds of things. So that’s at plein air magazine.com. Also, you know, I’m on the air daily on Facebook. It’s also on YouTube. It’s a show called Art School, live 12 noon Eastern time daily. Just go to YouTube, look up art school alive and hit subscribe. That’s the easiest way to find it. Got a little over 100,000 subscribers there now. Thank you for that and just follow and we’d be loved love to teach you about art and a lot of different ways. And also, if you don’t mind giving me a follow at Eric Rhoads. Spell it rho A DS on Instagram and Facebook. Okay. And if you’ve not seen Sunday coffee, that’s my blog. It’s out every Sunday morning and I kind of write it for my kids to kind of impart some lessons but everybody has been passing it along so I started letting everybody see it. Anyway, it says Sunday coffee and you can just go to Coffeewitheric.com and subscribe. It’s free. Also. That’s all I got for today. Thank you again to Kathryn Stats. I’m Eric Rhoads publisher, and founder of plein air magazine. And I’m getting excited because as you’re listening to this, we’re getting started with plein air live. You can still join us late just go to pleinairlive.com And you can watch replays if you missed any of it. It’s gonna be great Kathryn Stats is going to be on there doing critiques by the way. So thank you for watching today. And remember every day painting is a good day so it’s a big world. Go paint it. Bye bye.
How to Submit Your Art Marketing Questions: What questions do you have about selling your art? Submit it at artmarketing.com/questions to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.