In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast with Eric Rhoads, 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.
How do you price your paintings (and not set the price too low)? And how can artists use AI for their business? Eric Rhoads answers in this week’s Art Marketing Minute.
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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, it is sometimes 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.
Okay, So we have a thing here. I don’t see the questions. I don’t prepare the questions. I am taking this off the top of my head, so I may completely blow it. But I’m basing this on a lifetime of experience in marketing, not necessarily all art marketing, but a lot of marketing. You could send your questions to meet [email protected]. Which by the way, artmarketing.com has a lot of really great stuff on it for free. Or you can come onto the podcast sometime and ask your questions, but just send a note to us, [email protected]. First question comes from Marine Shelton Wallace in Tennessee. And the question is, how do you know how to price your paintings? How do you know how to price your paintings and not price oneself too cheap? Well, pricing is the most it’s the biggest question I get, I get literally hundreds of questions about pricing all the time, nobody knows how to do pricing. And pricing is all emotion of very little logic. And the reason for that is that art is not something that is easy to compare to. I mean, it’s it’s easy to say, Okay, there’s a difference between a Volkswagen and a Honda, and a Rolls Royce and a Bentley and Lamborghini, and so on. There’s a difference. But a lot of that is actually psychological. I mean, what why is one car $30,000 And another car is $130,000. And another one is $600,000. At some point, there’s not that much better car under the hood, or that much better paint job. As a matter of fact, I heard a statistic this is probably dated, I know it’s dated. But at the time I heard this statistic a BMW seven series was selling for, I don’t know, let’s say $100,000. And a Bentley was selling for 250. And this the Bentley, the body and the chassis are very, very close to the same. And there was only at the time and $18,000 difference between manufacturing the BMW and the Bentley, made by the same company, yet one was twice or three times the price. Why is that? Well, Bentley is about status. I was looking at cars, it’s like a giant picture frame around you. Some people identify a you know, with a gold frame, other people identify with a, you know, no frame. So pricing is emotional, it’s about status. But it’s also there is some measurable quality, especially in a world of realism. In the abstract world, there’s, it’s hard to measure quality, because it’s all about pure creativity, where as you can tell if someone is good at drawing are good at painting. And of course, there’s a lot of different styles and what you love is going to resonate with you in a different way. But ultimately, there is a little bit of measurability, but not a lot because you have seen paintings and I’ve seen paintings, and I won’t mention names. But you’ve seen paintings a year ago, how did that person get so famous because their paintings don’t, to me don’t seem very wonderful. And yet people are spending big money on him. We have we see that all the time. I had an argument with not an argument. I had a discussion with an art gallery I was in and I went into the gallerist I was invited in and I said they said well, okay, what about pricing? I said, I would like to be the most expensive artist in the gallery. And they said, but you’re not the best artists in the gallery. I said who’s to say? And they said, Well, we don’t think you’re the best artists in the gallery are good, but you’re not great. I said, Well, I get that but someone is going to walk into that gallery who doesn’t know the difference? Who sees something that emotionally resonates with them and they’re gonna go, I want that. And if that person happens to be somebody who doesn’t have any price sensitivity than that, it really doesn’t matter. Now, they’re the things that you can do to elevate your price. Our branding, branding elevates your price if you are TL and Lawson You can get a whole lot more money for your paintings typically than I could Right, because everybody knows he’s a brilliant painter, everybody knows his work sells for big money, everybody knows that this guy is at the top of the game. And a lot of that happens over time, because of doing a lot of shows, developing his work. And also galleries and others advertising the work and branding the work and so on. Well, Lee, that’s not a word, he deserves it well. But there are people out there who can simply advertise their work and increase their prices, because people recognize their name. And when you’re in a situation and you have painting a and you have painting B and you have one who is not known, and one who is known and you like equally, the two paintings, you’re likely to choose the one that you know, because it’s like, when you go into a store, and you could buy a t shirt with no logo on it, for the same price as a t shirt with a logo on it, and you happen to identify with that brand. You’re sometimes you feel a little weird buying something without a logo on it. I’m the opposite. I don’t like to wear logos. I don’t like to advertise other people’s stuff with my money. But anyway, that works. So how do you price your work? Well, first off, when you’re starting out, you’ve got to get a feel for it, you just got to get used to selling work. And the environment has everything to do with the price that you’re gonna get, you’re not likely this is I can’t say this is totally true, but you’re not likely to get a 10,000 or $20,000 price for an eight by 10 or 2016 by 20 painting until you’ve got your brand developed or until you’re in a gallery that is selling other 16 or $20,000 painters. If you’re in your put at doing an art show in the local art center, everything in those in that environment is likely priced low. So, you might see some $50 paintings or $300 paintings. And if people are coming in there for Christmas sale, some people who don’t know the artists are going to just pick something they like, and they’re going to pick something that’s priced within their range. Other people are gonna go, Hey, I have no problem paying 350 or $1,000, or whatever it is. But when you start getting into the bigger money than other things factor in so if you’re like, just starting out, just start showing your work somewhere. And what I used to do is I just say to people, make me an offer. And the reason I did that is because I wanted to know what the market would bear. And while some people would come in and make me an offer of $50. And I’d take it and some people would come in and make me an offer $500 And I’d take it and sometimes I I’d say you know, that’s probably not enough. I was out painting in Banff and Lake Louise one day a guy came up to me and he said, So how long? Did it take you to do that painting? And I knew exactly where it was going. And I said, well, two hours and 20 years. He said What do you mean? I said 20 years to learn how to do it in two hours. And he said, Oh, okay. And he said, What would you take for that painting? I said, Well, I don’t really feel like I want to sell it because I’ll take it back. I want to keep it it’s a memory but I’ll take it back frame it, probably send it to my gallery, they’re gonna sell it for quite a bit of money. But, he says Well, would you take $50 for it, I said, Thank you know, but to him $50 was probably a lot of money. So you got to be really sensitive to those things. But, I think just experiment. If you read books on pricing, one of the things that they talk about is that you keep raising your prices until things don’t sell and when they don’t sell then you’re back off one step and that kind of determines your pricing TV companies do that all the time. So I think you just got to hit and miss try a lot of different things. There’s not an exact formula but if you want to sell things and advertise them brand yourself and do it over time, it doesn’t happen overnight. People don’t see everything every time you got to be out there. And environment makes a big difference. If you’re selling at a flea market, it’s a whole lot different environment than if you’re selling at the Palm Beach art show right? Is somebody who walked into the Palm Beach art show drop a quarter of a million dollars and not bat an eye where somebody might bat an eye spin and 20 at the flea market so environment makes big difference. brand makes a huge difference.
Okay, next question. We have had a lot of questions from people about AI. So we don’t have a specific person on this AI to help your marketing, how can AI help your business? Which AI software tool should I try? Well, first, let me just say this. A lot of people are coming out against AI, a lot of people think it’s terrible thing, that it’s gonna ruin the world, that it’s copying and stealing your stuff. And there are a lot of lawsuits flying around, and there’s gonna be a lot more of that before it all settles out. The same kind of thing happened when Macintosh first came out, and Photoshop first came out and the laser printer first came out, this is gonna be the death of graphic design. And, in some ways it was because a lot of people could do their own, but it just changed things it didn’t, it wasn’t necessarily the death of the reality is you can go into a program called mid journey, which I use all the time I use it pretty much every day, mid journey, I went into mid journey, and I said, I would like you to generate an image of two women standing by a lake with a mountain in the background, fall leaves on the ground and fall color. I would like them dressed in 1950s outfits. And I would like it to be in the style of paint by number. And it spit out four images. I didn’t like them. So it’s been up for more informed, more informed more, and I picked one and I used it to promote fall color week. perfectly legal, perfectly able to do that. And it was it was almost perfect. Sometimes they’re not almost perfect, but it’s getting better and better. In terms of ways to do it. There are AI programs now that you can use to build your social media. The key to all AI is what they call the prompt. And the prompt means that how you ask the question is how you is going to give you the right response. If you say, give me an image of two women painting by a lake. That’s one thing if I give them more specific instructions, and that’s another, so I use AI on a lot of different things. First off, I use AI to write things for me. If I have a long presentation I need to create, I’ll go into AI and I’ll say build me a presentation and I want a heading over each paragraph and I want 10 paragraphs. And I want 10 steps towards this particular thing and write it for me. And you know 80 percent of the time it’s like really, really good. Sometimes it’s not. And so you can use things like that for preparing presentations, you can actually use them to build slides. Now you can use them to build video. There are programs that you can use to build out your social media, I have gone in and said okay, this is the message I want to send build me 15 social media posts. And then it’ll give me ideas for images, it’ll, it’ll build the social media posts, and then it’ll give me ideas for images, then I go into another AI program like majority mid journey, I’ll say, build me this image. I have not yet figured out how to build my own image into those images. But it’s coming AI has that capability. I did get very close with mid journey. And so there’s a lot of things, I use a chat GPT I have a membership, I use my journey. I am really in love with one called barred by Google that was really, really terrific. And again, there’s API’s for a lot of different things, we have AI programs that work with some of our software. So if somebody’s buying a video, that, that ai ai will say, Oh, you bought a portrait video, here are three other portrait videos you might like. So it’s a recommendation engine, this is changing the world, it’s changing marketing, it’s gonna get to a point where it’s going to be really, really, really a good tool, and it’s already pretty good. I probably save all right now I probably save 10 hours a week using AI that’s 10 hours that I’m getting back to use for other things. And I can see coming to a point where it’s going to save me 50% of my time. You can even say build me a calendar to do this to do that. Schedule this I mean, you can use it for almost anything it’s going to get to a point where it’s going to become very valuable. So you could you could do it say build me an ad, use this image and build me an ad concept. Give me 13 headlines. I went through I wanted to chat GPT He, and I needed some quotes for social media. So I said go to my, my daily show on YouTube, art marketing, I mean art school alive, and go in there and pull 50 quotes from that. And it did. And I had them in three minutes. And then I said, Okay, go into my blog, send a coffee, and pull 50 quotes from that, and put my name at the end. And it did. And so I was able to use those in social media. And then you can use AI to import them into Canva. And Canva will create images at Canva has AI now, so there’s a lot of different things you can use. So I know it’s not specific. It’s very random, but it’s going to change things. The all things change all the time. And change is good. It’s beautiful. It’s nothing to be frightened of. is AI going to take over the world and eliminate human beings? Well, some people think so. And if so, it’s been nice knowing you. Okay, that’s the art marketing minute. I’m Eric Rhoads. I hope it helps you.
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.