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 can artists manage social media junk queries versus actual buyers? And how should you price your framed oil paintings? Eric Rhoads answers in this week’s Art Marketing Minute Podcast.
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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.
You can send your questions to me [email protected]. And by the way, that’s a great resource artmarketing.com has lots of great articles for free. Okay, so the first question comes from Nancy Tyler in Dallas, Texas. I love going out to paint plein air and sell my work as a means to finance my trips and supplies. Many sales come through Instagram and Facebook from people that I’ve made connection with. Through my travels at outdoor events and finding the painting in their neighborhood. A question is how do I continue to engage these wonderful collectors on social media while discouraging the many many offers from those wanting to offer me ridiculous sums for my work as NFTs, cryptocurrency, bla bla bla bla bla. And it has become exhausting, explaining that I don’t deal in digital file sales and crypto and deleting their posts. Well, Nancy, it’s, it’s funny because it’s comes on the heels of my colleague Ali sent me a note that I had been somebody had hacked my account, and was pretending to be me and telling people that they had won prizes. And if they clicked on this link, they would collect their prizes. And then of course, it was some other kind of a scam. And I said, that’s the price of popularity. I mean, that’s the price of success, I suppose. And that is that you can’t avoid that stuff. If you’re on social media, and you’re getting some followers and people see that you’re eventually going to get hacked, and you’re gonna just have to deal with that stuff. As far as NFT’s go. The whole NFT thing is kind of, I don’t, from my perspective, kind of over maybe it’s not but, there’s a lot of artists are hearing from people saying, oh, I want to do NFT’s of your work, and then, they end up getting scammed, or I don’t think there’s very many people out there legitimately reaching out to artists and saying, I want to do NFT’s of your work. But quite frankly, I mean, you can do LFTs generate them with with AI now and come up with some pretty cool things and who needs who needs to do that. So, the people who’s spent millions or hundreds of million dollars on NFT’s most of them are burned pretty badly. Now most of them are you know, it’s not recovered. That could change. I don’t want to be a Luddite and say never, never say never. But right now, that kind of stuff is happening and, the whole idea of crypto. I love crypto. I think it’s really cool. But, it’s really easy to get scammed through people you there are legitimate places to go if you want to do nfts Do NFT marketplaces, if you want to do crypto do it yourself, do crypto marketplaces, but steady, steady. Be careful who you take advice from. I personally have been scammed. And I don’t want that to happen to you. But I do want to bring something up that you said I just want to you know, you said you love to go out painting and plein air and use it as a means of financing your trips and supplies. I think that’s that’s wonderful. But, you can go further than that if you want. And I think it’s nice that you look at it and say okay, this is a way to finance my trips and supplies but maybe, maybe you can do more with it. You can make more of a living with it that depends on you and what you want to do. But you also mentioned something else and that is let’s see here that that. Oh, let’s edit that out. So I want to touch on a couple other things you said your plein air painting and you’re selling via Facebook and Instagram from people you made a connection with when you were out plein air painting at events or otherwise, it’s worth pointing out because the sales that you’re getting from Facebook and Instagram may have more to do with the fact that you were out there they worked, saw your work in person, they met you in person you connected with them, they followed you, that may have more to do with it than just putting yourself out there on social media and hoping that somebody’s gonna spend money, it happens, it’s happened to me, it doesn’t happen a lot, it happens to some of my friends frequently, some of them not frequently, I think it depends on how good you are at working social media. But, there’s a lot of phony buyers out there, too, every single week, not a week goes by where I don’t get, hey, I love your artwork. And usually, it’s coming from social media, I love your artwork. And I’d like to, we’ve got a special anniversary coming up, it’s my wife’s birthday or something. And then they say they want to buy your painting, and then they cut a deal to buy your paintings and they send you a check, and you send them the painting, and then they overpay you on the cheque. And then you they say well just Venmo me the difference, I must have misunderstood, then you Venmo the money, they’ve got your painting, and then the cheque doesn’t clear. And this is a big scam. This is going on, every week, every week you get it. So it’s kind of like the Nigerian prince, it’s same kind of a thing. So be careful out there. But there are fundamentals in marketing that, no matter what the the hot thing of the moment is, these fundamentals really matter. We’re attracted to shiny objects, we assume because we have a few 1000 followers, or maybe even more than that, that everybody sees every post. And the reality is, it’s not true 2% to 3% of your followers ever see your posts ever? And only if you can increase your engagement levels? Do they start seeing a more if if Facebook or Instagram, same company, see you increasing the engagement levels? How many people comment how many things you comment back, that type of things, how many people share, then those engagement levels drive up, then you might go from 3% to 4%. And, if there are lots of things, lots of comments, lots of engagement, they might go to 5%, sometimes they go higher, but usually, we get a mistaken belief that we have a lot of followers and those people see everything we do, that’s just not true. It they’re people who have millions of followers, they have great results, because a small percentage of their people see every post or if they’re super, super popular, and it’s good for the platform than Instagram or Facebook will push them out more. But, when you have big numbers, you get small percentages, it still makes a big difference. When you have small numbers and you get small percentages, people not seeing things. So be careful about that, social media changes every three months, they’re always updating the algorithms, things always are changing. And most of us don’t have time to keep up on that. So there are experts out there that help you. But there are also experts out there that are willing to scam you. So be really careful about that. You can sell on social media, people do it. And don’t, don’t put it into things you can’t control. Put it into things you can control. There are things that are tried and true that have tribes of followers that are very specific to tribes of people who buy paintings, like the pages of, of my art magazines, the people there buy paintings, so you would kind of know that the likelihood of selling a painting is going to increase by being there. Whereas, you’re being random, just because you have a lot of followers doesn’t mean they’re people buy paintings. They might be other artists they might be who knows, there are a lot of people who, who, who follow for no reason. So they might like your artwork, but they’re never gonna buy anything. So keep that in mind.
Okay, the next question comes from Sally Dixon in Maine. I’m an impressionist plein air artists with 30 years experience. I have an art show coming up in November. How do I price my framed oil paintings? I have a website to backup my work. I’ve been in the Portland Art Gallery in Maine. I really want homes for these ocean scapes and landscapes and floral paintings. It’s a local art show at our library. So I want to price them reasonably well. I’m not sure what the question is. But let’s just talk about a couple of things. First off, let’s Congrats. Congrats on getting into an art show. That’s big deal. Thank you for pointing that out. How do I use set? How do I price my framed paintings? Does that mean that you also we’re gonna put paintings in the show that are not framed. I want to talk about frames. First off, the only things I believe, there are no rules. But the only thing I believe that you should be selling are framed paintings. Or if you have something unframed, and that might be matted prints, a lot of people sell matted prints at art shows and things like that. And you should be able to make a 600% markup, that’s the average automatic print, the cost of printing, unframed, you can make some good money on that, and to have a low price point, you might have $7 in it and sell it for $50, or something like that. So I want you to think of frames as a way to increase your profitability, and a way to increase the status of the painting, which increases your profitability a friend of mine recently sold. Recently, he told me he spent $7,000 to frame a painting, why would do not just put a $40 frame on it? Well, because he’s a high level artist he’s selling at a high level show is selling to people who have big money and big homes, and they want the best. And so you put a, you put a good frame on, it matters. I have a friend that owns a gallery, he had a painting in the gallery as a $2,000 painting, he had a frame on it didn’t sell for years. So he decided to send it back to the artist. And then he thought, now I’ll try a new frame. So he spent $4,000 on a single frame, put it back in the gallery, he said, Well, if I’m going to have a $4,000 frame, I need to raise the price. But he thought, well, it’s a beautiful frame, it looks completely different now. So stead of selling for $2,000, you put a $14,000 price tag on it 10,000 For the painting 4000 to get paid back for the frame sold first week, frames make a difference. I think that anything unframed devalues your work, if you have unframed paintings and you’re selling them cheap, you have frame paintings, you’re selling them for more money, it’s going to devalue your painting. So even if you’re saying these are my studies, these are not my best work. Don’t, don’t do that. So don’t stack them up and put them in a pile, don’t set a bunch of stuff on the ground, just treat them like they are paintings that deserve to be purchased. If they’re going to be in the show, put your best work out there and put, if you have to stack with more, or paintings, then frame them up and hang them up when you need to replace the others that are sold that have red dots on them. You also mentioned you want to price your work reasonably what does that mean? What is reasonable? Is, is reasonable. What’s reasonable to you? is reasonable. What’s reasonable to Bill Gates or Elon Musk? Is it you know, a lot of people say well, I want to price my work so that the average Joe who’s like me can afford it. But what about getting properly compensated for your time and your education and the amount of time you’ve spent learning paint learning painting? What about getting what if? What if this idea of pricing your paintings reasonably is more about your insecurity, that you can’t get a good price than it is about getting a good price? What if it’s about something completely different? You know, I hear this a lot people say I want a reasonably priced so just anybody can afford my work. But then they’re saying, Well, I would like to be able to go to the plein air convention or something, I can’t afford it. Well price your work higher, so you can afford it. And this is the big problem. Most artists I know underpriced their work. Most artists I know could double and or triple their work price and get it and probably not have any more price resistance. But most of them are like well, I don’t know, I think I could only afford this. So I want to make it affordable for everybody yet somebody could walk into your gallery and spend $40,000 on a painting, or 140,000 or 400,000. So just keep that psychology in mind that you might want to be thinking about why is it that you want to price things the way you are? Does somebody who’s going to a local library have no money? Yes, but there’s also people who go to a library local library who live in a in a $10 million house. So keep it in mind. Just try to think through what is being reasonable mean. Now, I want to meet my market. I want to give good value, but I also know that there are people who want things that are the best. There’s 10% Of all people who want the best. And so you might want to have something that those people want and price signals value. It’s documented, it’s tested. If you walk into an art gallery, and there’s $150,000 painting, next to an equally good painting, that’s $10,000. The $150,000 painting is the better painting and someone will buy that before they’ll buy the $10,000 painting could be an almost identical painting, but there’s something wrong with it, because this one’s 10. That one is 150,000. So just keep that in mind. All right. Anyway, that is the art marketing minute. Remember, pricing is emotional. So keep that in mind.
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.