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, shares advice on how to know which publications in which to advertise your art, and insights on paying percentages to art galleries.
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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, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.
Here’s a question from Amanda Houston, from Cornelius, Oregon. Amanda says how do I evaluate which publication to go deep into? I assume she means advertising. If I want to be in the waters where the money is flowing, which is a term I teach in marketing, which publication will allow me to grow my list of calls collectors and potential galleries, art brokers, interior designers, etc. Well, Amanda goes back to your strategy. You have mentioned a list of growing strategy but for different areas of focus, you’ve said galleries, collectors, art brokers, designers, you need to pick one which is your 80 percenter, which is the one that if you’ve got nothing else you go after that one particular one. I don’t think you should try to go after all four. I don’t think there’s any publication that’s really going to give you all four you know, if you want designers, you might want to spend, you know, massive amounts of money for a page in Architectural Digest or maybe it’s a local designer thing in your community. If you want art collectors, you know, who are looking for representational art, you know, and you want really rich ones. You go with something like fine art connoisseur, but if you want plein air collectors, those people happen to be in plein air magazine. So there’s a lot of different things and you’ve got to kind of decide Which you want. galleries are a low target because you can’t control your career with galleries as effectively. And you won’t get your prices up until you’re in their high demand top tier. Now I’m not trashing galleries, I think they’re a really good idea. But we put a lot of emphasis on galleries, I think earlier in our careers because we think, oh, they’re going to solve my problems. The problem with having a gallery is that if you have only one, then you’re relying on their ability to sell and if they mess up, or they have a bad month or a bad year, you’re going to have a bad month or bad year. That’s why I want to control things I want to control who in how I say who I sell my art through and how I sell it. And that way you can control your pricing you can get your prices up, etc. With a three year branding campaign that’s going to help you because branding helps you get your prices up. It’s going to help you get to galleries, it’s going to help you get in a lot of what a lot of different people collectors and so on. You know, you can reach galleries and collectors through one publication typically like the one that I mentioned. But designers, big world, you know, national, local, the cost to reach them can be, you know, 100 times the cost of reaching art collectors. It just depends on how you want to approach it. So first and foremost, Amanda, get your strategy down. And once your strategy is down, that will make a huge difference in what you decide to chase.
Okay, next question comes from Mark Dickerson in Mission Vallejo, California who says I have a quick question. I know you’ve talked about this in the podcast. I don’t have gallery representation yet. But when I do get a chance to really want them to be my art marketing partner and I want to offer the gallery a percentage of everything I create, even if it never hangs in their gallery. I want them to know we are in this together. How much of a percentage should I pay the gallery for any work I produced that night hangs in there gallery 25% I want to have this figured out. So when I get a chance to partner with a gallery, I’m ready to offer them to be my partner and all of my art. Mark respectfully, why would you do that? I you know, I think that the idea of having a gallery partnership if a gallery sells something for you, typically they want somewhere between 40 and 60% depending on your stature, you know, like if you’re a you’re a high level artist, you might get paid 60% they keep 40% if you’re a newbie, they might keep 60% but somewhere around that 50% area’s what they’re going to pay, but they get paid for what they sell. Now, I’m not suggesting selling around them, but why would you give a gallery a percentage of everything you sell, even if they don’t do it for you? I think that would be folly. Now. I think it goes back to what I said earlier is that a lot of people want to advocate they don’t want to delegate then want to advocate, the idea is you delegate to a gallery and you say, okay, your responsibility is we agree to that you’re going to sell my paintings at this percentage for a certain period of time and hopefully so many per month, you know, you can’t predict that exactly. But when you advocate, you’re just saying here, take over my career and run with it. And the problem is when you have somebody taking over your career, they may or may not do it as effectively as you want them to. And you know, it’s like, say, okay, you hire a manager, and you say, okay, go do whatever you want to do. Well, all of a sudden, that managers spend all your money and run off with your wife. Just never know. So you’ve got to be really careful about advocating versus delegating. And I think that’s a really important thing to think about. So, you know, typically 50% is what the gallery gets, and I like to have a balance. I think that every artist should have a certain percentage of their work or certain type of their work that they’re doing. Selling direct. And that, you know, some galleries don’t like that. And I understand that. And if they’re willing to give you enough of a good deal and enough sales, then it might be worth allowing them to do that. I know people who do it very effectively, but I don’t want my art to be in one gallery and then sit there for months and not sell, I need those paintings to sell to be able to pay my bills. And so as a result, you want to have something, you know, I like to have balance. I like you know, sometimes there’s hot markets. You know, there was a time when Silicon Valley was really hot, and people were spending money there, there were time that certain vacation spots were hot, and there were other cities that were not. So I like the idea of having my work in an area that’s hot as well as two or three other areas maybe and and that way, you know, and there are also economies that are based on seasons. So you know, like if you have a gallery in Cape Cod, they’re not going to sell much in the winter probably. If you have a gallery in Hawaii there may not sell much in the summer. You know that you’ve, you’ve got a ski resort. Well, ski resort probably is popular in summer and winter. So you got to kind of figure that out. And I like to, I like to spread the risk to at least three and sometimes a little bit more. I personally am only in one gallery. And that’s because I can only produce a certain amount of work because I don’t paint for a living. And I just got a call that that gallery is thinking about closing their doors. And so what do I do now I got to figure out a new gallery to go into, right. So I think you want to make sure that you have control and I didn’t have control in that particular case. Anyway, I hope this is helpful.
Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists 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 Artmarketing.com. Thanks for listening.
How to Submit Your Art Marketing Questions: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.