To help your gallery sell more artwork this summer, I've put together these 7 ideas.1. Remember the Basics: Because we are all very close to our businesses, we assume people know what we do, who we are, and what is featured in our galleries — but this is simply not true. Though you should continue to "work" your customer list, also develop a strategy to attract new faces and new customers. People are moving all the time, and out-of-towners are visiting.Your outreach program should tell your story in fresh ways that will bring in the new people and reinvigorate those who have not been in for a while. 2. Traditions Can Become Tired Have you been doing the same things year after year? Though tradition breeds comfort, it also breeds complacency. Have people stopped attending your openings or events because they have become too predictable? Shake things up. Invite interesting people or VIPs to create buzz. Though a fresh artist or a new show is often enough, it can't hurt to use a hot caterer, promote a celebrity guest, or feature an intriguing speaker. 3. People Love to Watch and Participate People are fascinated by watching sculptors and painters work. Set up guest artists weekly and find ways to spread the word though the community. Host something fresh every week or two throughout the summer. [...]
The Power Of Repetition My kids desperately want a dog, but their mother and I have mixed feelings about taking care of their animal once the kids go off to college in three years. But at every turn, when we ask them a question of any kind … like, “What do you want for dinner?” or, “What do you want to do this weekend?” the answer is always, “I want to go get a dog.” Just yesterday my wife saw twin dogs online that are available for adoption. Suddenly the kids went into sales mode to convince us to get one of those dogs. Last night as I walked into my studio there was an 8” x 10” glossy of the dog on my easel. When I went to bed, there was one on my pillow. When I got up this morning, there was one at the breakfast bar. And today when I came to work, there was one on my keyboard. Though I’ve been pretty opposed to a dog for all the practical reasons, I have to admit, each time I see the picture, it melts my heart a little more and I get a little closer to saying yes. In fact, I’ve already gone from a firm “no” to a “maybe,” and I’ve even agreed to go visit and meet the twins this weekend. Of [...]
A Marketing Message from Art Publisher B. Eric Rhoads Room where Vincent Van Gogh died A few weeks ago I visited the grave of Vincent Van Gogh, in the quaint little Northern French village of Auvers-sur-Oise, as part of our annual art cruise. We were walking the same streets and trails Van Gogh traveled and painted. Van Gogh has become the model of the "starving artist." How many people have told you the life of an artist can't be a good one because it's such a struggle? It's a lie. Though adversity stimulates growth and life's problems do typically make us better people and artists, the idea that success in their lifetimes is not possible for artists is simply a lie. In that same town, artists such as Daubigny, Pissarro, and Corot were great successes, as were many artists around Normandy and Paris. Yet we hold on to this romantic notion that we as artists have to struggle. The Church Van Gogh painted What lies are holding you back as an artist? We have all been held back by lies -- lies others have told us, lies we absorb, lies we tell ourselves. You can either choose to believe them and allow them to affect you, or you can choose to prove them wrong. We all cling to the lies we've heard from family members, friends, teachers, and colleagues, [...]
Dear Artist Friends, I hate marketing. There, I feel better now that I’ve said it. I hate marketing when it’s sleazy. I hate marketing when it’s dishonest. I hate marketing when it exaggerates. I hate marketing when it lies or it misleads. Most of the artists I know also hate marketing. They think it’s dirty. In fact, most of the artists I know believe that art should sell itself. That someone should see it, respond to it, and buy it. I’d like that too. I’d also like it if I sat down at the counter of a soda fountain in Hollywood and had a producer walk in, discover me, and make me famous. That’s what supposedly happened to Lana Turner, a 1940s Hollywood star. But it turns out it’s a myth — it never happened. It was crafted by a Hollywood PR agent so people would feel more connected to this new star as “one of them.” Tens of thousands of young wannabe stars show up in Hollywood hoping to be discovered. And those tens of thousands get whittled down to a few hundred who ever get a part, a few who become famous, and a tiny number who stay famous. Though most in Hollywood want to believe that luck plays a role, most Hollywood agents will tell you that the ones who succeed make their own luck [...]
Louise Murphy of Fredericksburg, Texas, asks, "What one marketing method would you use if you were just getting started?” Well, I know you’re eager to get out and start marketing. But Louise, before you do anything, before you get your work out there and start selling, you need to know where you want to go — before you go there. You don’t get in your car and start driving before you have a destination in mind. Same for this: Before you start marketing, you need to set your goals. Then you’ll build a strategy and tactics to get you to that goal.